Ghana’s decision to accept two ex-detainees from the Guantanamo Bay, has not affected the number and security of investments into the country.
As a result, Ghana is still a safe place to do business within sub-Saharan Africa.
This is the assurance from the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, GIPC.
Government early this year accepted two ex-detainees citing solidarity with international protocols. The decision has since been met with numerous reservations with some threatening of a massive decline in investments into the country.
However commenting on the matter in an exclusive interview with Citi Business News, the CEO of the GIPC, Mawuena Trebah explained that some significant increases in investments depict that the issue had little impact on investments.
“Statistically, we have registered about 39 projects in the first quarter of this year and they are estimated at about 248 million dollars.
Those sort of increases demonstrate that there is continued interest in investing in Ghana, the investment community both domestic and foreign still feel safe doing business in Ghana,” she noted.
“Of course there are various decisions that government will take but we look at it in the context of the numbers and that suggests to us that Ghana is still seen as a very safe place to do business,” she assured.
Official figures released by the GIPC also show that total registered projects for the first quarter of 2016 increased to 39 compared to 38 in the same period in 2015.
Also, the initial capital already put into investments increased from 105 million cedis to about 400 million cedis for the same period.
Mrs Trebarh further maintained that the quality of inbounds recorded corroborates the efforts put in place by the Centre to attract investments despite such concerns. “We always have to look at the statistics and be very dispassionate when we are assessing any decision, whether it is political or non political.
For us at GIPC, we only have the numbers that tell us about the quality of inbound delegation that are coming into the country.”
“It is important to highlight here that when you find inbound delegations, about average 25 business people, what that indicates is that a great deal of work has been done for people to purchase tickets and fly all the way to this side of the Atlantic to come and look at specific investment opportunities,” the GIPC boss stated.
She added, “Delegation after delegation, we have hosted the French, the Turks, we have had delegation coming from England back to back.
That is because we were able to showcase specific investment opportunities. Those sorts of increases demonstrate that there is continued interest in investing in Ghana.”
Gitmo two raises concern
Early this year the government of Ghana accepted two GITMO detainees who were reported to have been held for 14 years at the Guantanamo Bay facility without trial.
The two are expected to stay in Ghana for a maximum of two years after which they will be sent back to their home base. The decision has since received a lot of backlash from Ghanaians and the opposition who described the deal as “secretive” and “unconstitutional”.
Others have however welcomed the idea citing the need to accept them on compassionate grounds.
GIPC dismisses reports over business relocating to Ivory Coast
Meanwhile the GIPC has dismissed reports suggesting that Ghanaian businesses are relocating to neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire following the challenging business environment in Ghana.
Though some business associations like the Importers and Exporters Association had argued that their members were relocating for economic respite, Mawuena Trebah told Citi Business News that the GIPC’s statistics do not confirm any of such claims