“Over there you can pick gold on the ground like carrots,” this is a statement conveyed by one explorer while explaining the riches of Ghana to a group of friends. He had toured Ghana then Gold Coast.
Though it’s hard to relate to this statement more so in the modern day, the statement nevertheless demonstrates to a larger extent, Ghana’s incredible natural resource endowment.
The resources that helped shape and develop Ghana as we know it today.
Gold and oil production helped develop Ghana in years gone by but in this day, the country is looking past pillaging its resources for development.
Rather Ghana is looking at secondary and tertiary industries that have the potential to bring about positive economic and social impacts on the country.
Ghana has identified five key areas in which massive investment is needed.
These areas are waste disposal, food storage, real estate, public convenience, and recreational facilities.
Below we explore the five key investment opportunities identified by the Ghanaian government. Let’s take a look at the prevailing investment environment in Ghana.
Ghana’s existing investment climate is summed up by two recent reports.
Firstly is the 2017 report on ‘Where to invest in Africa’, compiled by the Rand Merchant Bank, which measures the attractiveness of a country to investors.
Ghana is ranked fifth on the rankings meaning investor confidence is very high.
Secondly, in the 2017 Ease of Doing Business Report by the World Bank. Ghana is ranked 11th in Africa and 108 in the world.
The Ease of Doing Business Report rankings is determined by 10 key factors.
These are protecting minority investors, getting credit, registering property, getting electricity, dealing with construction permits, starting a business, resolving insolvency, enforcing contracts, trading across borders and paying taxes.
A World Health Organization and UNICEF report rank Ghana as the seventh dirtiest country in the world.
This is particularly easy to comprehend considering the streets of Accra’s CBD which are full of filth at every corner.
The filth gets more and more pronounced as one moves downtown and to locations on the outskirts of the capital.
The same is true with other cities and towns in Ghana, they are all choking on the filth.
This is one key area identified as a top investment opportunity by the government.
The government seeks companies willing to put money in providing waste disposal services and recycling plants.
Considering the whole of Ghana is riddled with waste disposal challenges, this is one area with the potential of turning out to be a good investment.
One of the factors linked to the challenge above waste disposal relates to a massive shortage of food storage.
A survey conducted by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa in 2013 concluded that roughly half of the food crops grown in Ghana do not reach the consumer.
Rather it ends up in the streets as garbage.
The government wants investors who can build food storage facilities so Ghana’s produce does not go to waste.
If the food storage problem is handled well, it will result in a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Investors reap profits, the government ends it’s food storage problem, farmers minimize losses, and consumers pay less.
Official figures from the government of Ghana reveal there is a backlog of 1.7 million housing units.
On average it means the government has to provide 200 000 housing units per year for the next 10 years if it is to stop the figures from escalating.
However, it seems highly unlikely the government can provide the housing units at this rate.
There is a need for more real estate players to enter the Ghana market and provide the service that the government is finding difficult to do.
Considering that Ghana possesses one of the highest real estate returns with the potential of eclipsing the 75 percent mark, real estate investment in Ghana is very much worth it.
The housing challenge also spreads out to toilet facilities in Ghana.
According to a UNICEF post published recently, only 15 percent of households in the entire country have access to toilet facilities.
The problem also spreads out to public amenities including schools and clinics.
Though the government of Ghana received a timely boost of $4.85 million grant from the World Bank and DFID for building sustainable toilet facilities in low-income areas of Accra Metropolitan Area, there is still more work to be done.
The government is calling for private investors to help with constructing homes of public convenience.
Domestic tourism in Ghana is practically dead. Very few Ghanaians tour places of interest in their country or other recreational facilities.
Many citizens interviewed by ‘buzzghana’ a news site, say that they have never toured their own countries’ tourist destinations. The reason given by many, are that it is too expensive.
The government of Ghana wants heavy investment in recreational facilities that satisfy and can be afforded by the hard-working and fun-loving middle-class citizens.