When he first moved to Canada as Ghana's High Commissioner, he noticed that all Canadian investors operating in Ghana were only into gold mining.
Ayikoi Otoo, therefore, resolved to ensure that Canadian investors set their eyes on other sectors of the economy.
“Government has interest in developing our Bauxite and Iron ore deposits into Aluminum and Steel for rapid industrialization”, he says.
“But regrettably none of the Canadian Mining Companies are interested in that,” he adds.
Ayikoi Otoo made it a point to entice Canadian businesses to take advantage of other opportunities in the Ghanaian economy.
In collaboration with Canada Africa Strategic Investment Group Inc. (CASIG), the high Commissioner, embarked upon a Trade Mission, led by the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumiah, that brought together Canadian investors from all sectors to meet the vice president and his team.
Dubbed the Canada-Ghana Economic summit, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia told Canadian investors how conducive it is for them to do business in Ghana.
He said Ghana has been ranked highly in terms of an amazing legal environment to protect Canadian businesses.
“Ghana provides a haven under which investments are protected under a fair and ‘commercially-aware’ judicial system,” Dr Bawumia said.
He said, constantly, Ghana has been ranked ahead of Nigeria, South Africa and Rwanda in terms of business attractiveness.
Dr Bawumia said the siting of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) headquarters in Ghana is indicative of the trust Africa has in Ghana. He said in the next 10 years, “a successfully implemented AfCTFA will have a combined consumer and business spending of $6.7 trillion in 2030, boost manufacturing and industrial development in Africa.”
In his Speech dubbed “Changing the Narrative”. Ayikoi Otoo called upon Canadian investors to take advantage of government’s policies and interventions.
“We hope these investors will take advantage of Government flagship programs of One District One Factory; Planting for Food and Jobs; One District One Dam; Manufacturing, Agro-Processing Or Value addition to agricultural produce; Infrastructural Development-including railways and railways infrastructure, roads, bridges Ports expansion, Health, ICT, Energy especially Petroleum and the Petrochemical industry and Tourism,” he said.
Minister for Business Development, Dr Awal Mohammed the CEO Of Ghana Investment Promotions Council and Mr Francis Boateng of Ghana National Gas Company also took turns to market Ghana.
Dr Awal enumerated areas where Canadian businesses can invest, including value addition to agricultural products /Commercial farming, Hotels, ICT, Technical and Vocational Training Education and Housing, Aviation and turning Ghana into Aviation and Health hubs.
According to Mr. Yoofi grant, Ghana has made significant economic strides and assumed a sustained path of macro-economic stability that should be of interest to all investors.
He indicated the various tax cuts such as the over 17 taxes abolished or reduced by government, a cumulative reduction in electricity prices of 11%, and suspension of Import Value Added Tax of 15% on 64 Commodity Groups, each of which is made up of several hundreds of individual products are all direct policy interventions by government to spur investment growth.
Mr Francis Boateng gave an overview of Ghana Gas Operations and pointed out areas which Canadian investors would wish to invest in the construction and maintenance of Gas Pipelines, Oil exploration and production of fertilizer amongst others.
The acting Mayor of the City of Vancouver Councillor Sarah Kirby- Yungpraised the organizers for the initiative. Dr Edward Akuffo CEO of Casig Inc. said they’ll be partnering Canadian investors to invest in Ghana.
H. E. Ayikoi Otoo, believes the summit was successful and hopes this will be the beginning of Canadian businesses making inroads into other sectors of Ghana’s economy so as to change the narrative for good. He says more summits of this kind will be held in the coming months and years.