President Akufo-Addo arrived back in Accra yesterday after, after attending the UK-Africa Summit in London, before proceeding to Davos in Switzerland for the World Economic Forum.
The President and his team were able to secure some developmental deals for the country, among which are Contracta Construction UK winning a £120.5million export contract to upgrade Kumasi Teaching Hospital.
Additionally, Contracta Construction UK won £40million contract to develop Kumasi Airport among others. Indeed, the president also managed to secure £326million worth of investments for the country at the just-ended UK-Africa Investment Summit.
The attention Africa is now receiving from the UK government is as a much about Brexit as anything else. With the UK leaving the European Union (EU), it needs to shore-up its trading relations with other parts of the world.
After securing Britain’s departure from the EU – the world’s largest trading bloc, on Jan. 31, Prime Minister Johnson is keen to develop business ties with countries outside Europe. The diverse and fast-growing economies of Africa offer huge potential to UK businesses.
African trade has been in decline for the UK. It accounted for 4.2% of UK trade in 2012, but it has been closer to 2.5% in the past couple of years. At the Summit, the UK government announced £1.5billion (US$2billion) of initiatives, including £350million to develop sustainable infrastructure projects.
London also set up “infrastructure partnership” with Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya and Uganda alongside the African Development Bank (AfDB), with the aim of generating billions of pounds of private sector investment in sustainable energy, transport and telecoms.
According to British High Commissioner to Ghana, His Excellency Iain Walker, Ghana is at the forefront of the UK’s trading relationship with African Nations. This cannot be disputed in view of the fact that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has called on global investment players to invest in Ghana.
This makes us feel confident that future prospects are bright in view of increasing global interest in the Ghanaian economy. Car deals from Germany and Japan will offer job opportunities for Ghanaians, and countless other investment activities all point to a future of hope – provided we are able to leverage on the opportunities positively.
Ghana has been seeking foreign direct investment to boost our economic fortunes, and this is attested by the fact we set up the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) as far back as 1998. We can confidently say our inducements to increase FDIs are paying off.