The 2012 Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Akufo-Addo, has appealed to international investors to see Ghana as the investment hub for Africa.
Addressing a high-powered delegation of investors and various stakeholders at the Connaught Hotel, Mayfair, London, Monday, Nana Akufo-Addo said, Africa was right for a structural transformation of its economy and Ghana was ready to position herself as the driving force of that process.
He said his vision was to transform Ghana's economy from a raw material producer to a manufacturing, value-added one. "In the next couple of decades, the population of West Africa is estimated to hit half a billion. We want to start positioning Ghana as the centre of this vast economy", equivalent to the population of the European Union.
He said, Ghana has the potential to be the financial hub, the bread basket, industrial centre, and the centre of academic excellence for the region.
Touching on Ghana's estimated $1 trillion worth of natural resources, Nana Akufo-Addo said, it is time that democratic Ghana gets the kind of leadership that can intelligently leverage these resources in a way that can build a genuine society of opportunities for every Ghanaian.
He said, if elected in December, the task before him would be to shift the economy from its current status “of jobless growth, with only 25% of the youth generation getting secondary education and providing our young, energetic population with skills training.”
The meeting was held under the auspices of G3, or the Good Governance Group, a strategic advisory consultancy which specialises in providing advice on risk mitigation, governance and regulatory compliance.
It was chaired by Baroness Helen Liddell and attended by senior executives of various multinational companies.
The NPP presidential candidate also touched on his commitment to tackle corruption. He said, "We can only do that, not with pious of ‘I'm honest and I can be trusted’ and all that but by the institutional framework that we put in place and the political will power to tackle corruption".
Speaking on the theme FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) in Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo said Ghana, with the right leadership, has the confidence and capacity to become a serious economic player. Referring to the Malaysias and Koreas, he said, "If they are able to do it in Asia, we are capable of doing it in Africa.
He observed, "There's a growing recognition that Ghana is a secured place where people can do business."
However, there were reservations around how some international investors had been treated recently and Nana Akufo-Addo was asked whether or not his government would go the same path and disturb contracts negotiated by his predecessor.
His response was emphatic. "He would respect contracts that have been duly negotiated and the right processes observed."
He spoke about his vision to empower rural banks to manage and advance micro-credit to small businesses, especially women entrepreneurs, and how to link up small scale farmers with commercial farmers, an out-growers schemes, to turn Ghana into a major producer and exporter of foods.
Nana Akufo-Addo's delegation included, NPP National Chairman, Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, MP and Minority Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Hayford Atta-Krufi, UK-Eire branch chairman, NPP, Nii Titus Glover, NPP Greater Accra deputy campaign chairman, Charles Wiredu and others. The NPP candidate returns to Ghana this week.
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|