Government is courting both domestic and foreign investors into the country’s agriculture and digital sectors as global rating firm, Fitch Solutions, upgrades the country’s ability to pay its debt. Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Information Minister, explained that there were numerous profitable ventures in Ghana’s agriculture and digital sectors, with government continually creating the enabling environment for investors. He said this in an exclusive interview with the Ghana News Agency at the maiden Ghana Mutual Prosperity Dialogues, in Accra, on November 2, describing Fitch’s upgrade of Ghana as a ‘pleasing news’. Fitch upgraded Ghana’s long-term local currency issuer default to ‘CCC’ – with a ‘real default possibility’ from restrictive default – implying a distressed debt exchange on bonds. The upgraded rating comes as government begins to pay outstanding payment of local bonds following the completion of its Domestic Exchange Programme (DDEP). The country has also recorded an average of 3.2 per cent growth for the first two quarters of 2023, with inflationary and exchange rate pressures declining. He explained that the positive ratings by Fitch was evidence that Ghana’s debt restructuring was meeting expectations of market watchers, with progress in the investment prospects. ‘If an investor knows that an investment of yours has been graded in a higher class, then, the confidence that the investor will have investing in those liabilities is higher,’ he said. The government in 2017, launched the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) one of the key initiatives to create opportunities for investors in Ghana’s agriculture sector, with positive returns. The five-module focuses on empowering farmers to scale up productivity by providing them with 50 per cent subsidy on the cost of inputs [seeds and fertilizers], as well as extension services and marketing avenues. Ghana’s digital sector grew on an average of 19 per cent between 2014 and 2020, making it one of the leaders in World Bank’s Sub-Saharan Africa and Digital Economy diagnostic report. It is for these and other developments in the Ghanaian economy, that the Information Minister said government would be keen on agriculture and digital infrastructure going forward. ‘There are a lot of opportunities in Ghana’s agriculture sector, including aquaculture and digital infrastructure. There’s a lot of talks about the need to have more data centres and facilities that would make it easier for those who want to build digital products and services to ride on – these are the priority areas we’re looking at,’ Mr Nkrumah said. He said the government would leverage Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), with enhanced engagement with the private sector to spur economic transformation and create more decent jobs for Ghanaians. ‘For the government, the most important thing is stability – not necessarily going on a drive to acquire liabilities per say, but stability that will give confidence to other investors,’ he pledged. On the Mutual Prosperity Dialogues, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Finance Minister, said: ‘Our hosting of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) headquarters and?its wider implication for national progress and growth requires frequent engagements?and conversations for the change we all desire.’ He said the interactions between the public and private sectors were?expected to define the appropriate plans, policies, and timelines to accelerate the?turnaround and transformation of the business environment.?
Source: Ghana News Agency