Business News of Thursday, 26 April 2012Source: GNA Ghana is to host the maiden edition of West Africa Investment Conference in Accra, aimed at promoting the private sector in the sub-region.
The conference, scheduled for May 8-10, would identify different sources of investment capital, and the potential for their use, to create employment, social engagement and economic growth, thereby delivering a long-term positive impact on the region’s economy.
It is being organised by Objective Capital, an international investment company, with special expertise in handling metals and minerals companies, with sponsorship from the Ghanaian-led Corporate Finance Practice, Weston Capital Management, and the lead collaborator, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre.
Ms Ros Lund, Managing Director of Objective Capital, said the conference aims to create an annual investment pilgrimage in West Africa, which would attract potential investors, as well as provoke debate that would identify investment opportunities in Ghana and the sub-region.
She said the four-day conference would look at key sectors such as agriculture, which had 60 per cent of the country’s work-force and the mining sector.
“We want to educate Small and Medium Enterprises to find business opportunities and not excuses for not finding enough opportunities,” Ms Lund said.
Mrs Harriette Amissah-Arthur, of Arthur Energy Advisors, said in the modern world, one had to attract investment through convictions adding that “The notion in the sub-region that we need to be treated with particular consideration should stop. What we need to do as a people is to attract people to invest in our economy, by creating the right kind of atmosphere”.
She noted that while the country was making all efforts to attract investors into the energy sector, “They are not coming in at the pace we want. I believe that would improve if we work towards a more conducive atmosphere”.
Mrs Amissah-Arthur said the conference would identify opportunities within the energy sector and find out more effective ways of marketing them.
She said the conference would consider the demand and supply of power in the sub-region, as well as looking at Ghana’s position in supporting sustainable economic and social development of her neighbours, through her power exportation programme.
Mr Rexford Kontor, Executive Director, Weston Capital Management, said the conference was not going to be a talk shop, rather, it was an event for networking with the region’s policy makers, investors, entrepreneurs and industry leaders.
He said the event was specifically designed to make a sustainable impact on the region’s socio-economic development, through the show-casing of true investment opportunities across a variety of sectors.
Mr Kontor said the sectors included, energy, mining and banking.
Mr Edward Ashong-Larte, Investment Promotion Director of GIPC, lauded the maiden edition of the conference and said it was in line with the aims and objectives of the centre, which sought to promote investment.
He said the conference would introduce genuine investors to invest in projects as well as provide an environment for transacting business.
Mr Ashong-Larte appealed to stakeholders to take the opportunity to participate in the conference aimed at show casing trade investment opportunities in the various sectors.
About 100 participants from Canada, Australia, England, US, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Cameroon and France, are expected to participate in the conference.**