The World Investment Report (WIR) released by the United Nations (UN) in 2012, states that Ghana has become the third largest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into Africa for 2011. Ghana’s rise in stature can be largely attributed to its oil reserves. The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report, published in 2012, showed that the FDI inflows at the end of 2012 was US$3.2 billion, i.e. 60% more than what Ghana had received in 2009.
The Ghanaian economy’s strong growth has attracted investors from around the globe. With an FDI influx of US$407.21 million, the United States ranks first in terms of invested money, and in terms of the number of projects, China leads as the top source of FDI. Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) recorded an increase of over 200% in the first quarter of 2012 as compared to the same quarter of 2011, which means a total investment value of US$1.18 billion with a total of 95 new projects. During the first quarter of 2012, 52 of the 95 projects registered with GIPC were wholly-foreign-owned enterprises valued at US$422.77; the remaining 45.26 percent, valued at US$759.28 million, were joint ventures between foreign partners and Ghanaians.
In the first quarter of 2012, GIPC also facilitated various investment/trade delegations from 12 countries, namely Portugal, Finland, India, South Africa, United States, Spain, United Kingdom, Tunisia, Italy, China, Turkey and Singapore. Exploring investment opportunities in property development, education, waste management, mining services, agriculture, energy, information and communication technology (ICT) and manufacturing services was the main objective of these activities.
Ghana has realized the importance of adding value to the human and natural resources. The Minister for Environment and Science and Technology have encouraged the youth to enhance their knowledge in various competitive fields, such as ICT, etc. As a part of this initiative, the second cycle and tertiary students in Sekondi in the Western Region were distributed free laptops.
The favorable macro-economic environment created by the government of Ghana had attracted US$7 billion worth of FDI in 2011. When compared with the other poorer countries of West Africa, Ghana has almost twice the per capita output owing to its rich reserves of natural resource such as Cocoa (world’s second leading producer), forestry, gold and other metals, diamonds and other precious stones and industrial minerals.
Ghana continues to be considered as the gateway to Western Africa’s 250 million consumers, especially since it has close ties with the US and British businesses and acts as an exit point for many of the landlocked countries. Ghana’s strides in diminishing poverty and its fast-growing reputation as a politically stable and culturally tolerant country have created a positive business environment, which has and continues to attract the foreign investors.