Thursday, 20 August 2009

Ghana - Power, Agriculture and AIF 2010

While visiting Ghana for the first time in several years I was fortunate to have the opportunity to call on the President, HE John Atta Mills. It was good to continue our conversation started when CBC hosted him and his team for the Ghana Investment Forum back in May in London.

During my meetings with the President and several Ministers two main themes running through the government’s programme became apparent.

Managing the proceeds of the newly discovered petroleum and gas reserves for growth and development. The President is inviting international investors to work with his government to develop the infrastructure that will make growth happen.

One of the Key restraints on Ghana’s growth and development is access to power. The county’s current capacity is around 2000 Megawatts, Ghana needs to produce around 5000 a year to match the demand. The Government is looking for investors and technology to help produce power from the country’s gas, petroleum and other sources including renewable, and in its delivery to the public.

The second theme of government policy is on agriculture. The Government is determined to enhance production and encourage commercial farming practices, to take Ghana from a net importer of food to an exporter in the shortest time possible.

Ghana, having built on the solid base of democratic principles and an open economy, is fast becoming the model of a modern African economy. I am glad to see Ghana aiming high; to achieve its goal of becoming a middle income country by 2015 the country will have to achieve growth of between 8 and 10% a year and attract international investors to help bridge the infrastructure gap.

My advice to investors everywhere is to use Ghana as the window to Africa, and join us at our Africa Investment Forum in February next year as we hold it in Ghana for the first time.

1 comment:

Amitabha Sen said...

Dear Dr. Kaul,

Your brief but pointed focus on future of Ghana- the window on Africa, is indeed an eye opener to many of us. The country's dream to become self-sufficient in food and gradually becoming an exporter of agri-products is indeed an ambitous but achievable one. Closely linked with the economic development is Ghana's massive power requirement ( as you described in the brief) of about 5000 mw which is yet another potential sector that the other nations should take note of seriously and lend their support.

It appears from your account with the international cooperation surely Ghana can emerge as one of the most promising nations in the Africa region.

All these obviously require adequate media exposure globally.
Can you please tell us something about the media exposure that the country is required to draw more and more international attention? Is Ghana presently adequately exposed to the international media, e-media in particular?

As you know Africa has a special place in the minds of Indians how Indian media people, e-media in particular, can contribute to Ghana's growth and development inititaives; to focus their development programmes & future plans in the international community?

How would you like the idea of an exclusive website on Ghana (excluding the govt.'s own website)to act as international platform to exchange news, information and views of business and industry leaders around the world?

Against the backdrop of your visit to that country can you offer us some valuable suggestion in this respect? Thanks.

Amitabha Sen
Kolkata, India
Telephone: +9198312 18920