An entrepreneur, irrespective of nationality, can set up a business enterprise in Ghana in accordance with the provisions of any of the following legal instruments:
- · The Companies Code, 1963 (Act 179)
- · The Partnership Act, 1962 (Act 152)
- · The Business Name Act, 1962 (Act 151).
Ghana enjoys a vibrant cultural and night life and attracts visitors year round to the various festivals and cultural celebrations going on around the country. Ghana is easily accessible with flights available to and from world-wide destinations
The Ministry of Tourism has identified the following five priorities for public developments:
- Beach resorts
- Game park sites
- Inland lake resorts
- Heritage sites
The following priorities have been identified for private sector developments and are options for investors and foreign businesses:
- Beach front resorts
- Safari lodge at Mole National Park
- Lake and island resorts
- Motels and rest stops along key tourist routes
- Tourist transportation facilities
Ghana is attracting the attention of the global telecommunications community as the low access rates and market potentials of the country are increasingly becoming clear.
The infrastructure needs present investment opportunities in the following areas:
1. Last mile connectivity – to bring connectivity to the end user
a. Education Communication Network
b. Government Private Network
c. Ghana Ports & Harbors Communication Network
d. Rural Area Networks
e. Metropolitan Area Networks
f. Justice Department and Police Communication Networks
2. Regional Data Centers – to host business and mission critical applications, e.g., National Health Service, government agency intranets, air traffic control systems, medical life support systems, etc.
a. Tier-3 Data centers
b. Tier-4 Data centers
3. Hosted Application Services
a. National Health Administration Service
b. Automation of manual tax collection services, e.g. toll booths, public car parks, taxi ranks, etc.
c. National Payroll Service
d. Driver Vehicle License Administration Service
e. Lands Registry & Lands Commission administration service
h. Judiciary Management and Administration Service
4. Value-Added Telecommunication Services
a. IPTV Services
b. VoIP Services
c. Calling cards
d. Integrated mobile Top-up service
e. Wholesale International Call Termination
f. Wholesale DID services
g. Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO)
5. Data and Telecom Services
a. ISP operator with capacity for Voice.
Ghana’s real estate market has prospered in recent years as a result of growing demand for housing, hotels, office space, and commercial and industrial centers throughout the country, especially in the greater Accra, Ashanti, Western and Eastern regions.
To mitigate the shortage of capital, developers need to consider relying on local engineers, architects and building materials to complete projects. Currently, most of the glass, ceramics and metal are imported from abroad, and is a huge financial drain. Investment into building up adequate facilities for the production of such materials as well as advancing the development of machinery and professional engineering/architectural capacities would have a great impact on the real estate industry by allowing developers to put up buildings at much lower costs while contributing to the local economy.
Investment into Ghana’s wood/timber industry would also have a significant impact on real estate development. Ghana already has a competitive advantage in this field because, unlike so many of Africa’s natural resources, the industry has not been exploited to a large extent. Building elements in the timber industry have not yet been standardized, and so investment into building up this industry could go a long way in furthering real estate development and construction nation-wide.
Ghana has nearly limitless potential when it comes to opportunities to invest in real estate which, until recently, has remained largely unexplored. In recent years the industry has seen a surge of foreign companies looking to enter the real estate business to put up hotels to accommodate the growing tourism industry.
Retailers struggle to find available commercial space to set up shops and warehouses and are therefore forced to operate out of converted residential spaces with inadequate storage facilities. This represents a significant opportunity with high demand.
Global campaigns for developing countries to adopt environment-friendly building practices have inspired some contractors and developers to seek new design concepts and building layouts focused on energy conservation and efficiency. This ‘Go Green’ initiative is gaining popularity.
Oil and Gas
Ghana’s oil and gas industry has recently become the focus of global interest. In the summer of 2007, Ghana’s oil potential first became news as off-shore exploration yielded commercial quantities of crude and natural gas. As exploration and encouraging discoveries continue, Ghana is positioning itself to become one of the sub-Saharan Africa’s top five oil producing nations. Throughout the oil and gas value chain, opportunities abound as the nation seeks to strengthen its existing downstream petroleum industry and become an exporter by 2015.
In light of Ghana’s budding upstream opportunities, the government has encouraged investment in Ghana’s downstream petroleum industry. This is an industry with plenty of room for growth. Development and demand for energy resources go hand in hand. As Ghana’s economy develops, the supply of energy resources has become a bottleneck. Hydropower supplemented by crude and gas importation has been very expensive and inefficient at meeting Ghana’s growing energy needs. Ghana’s downstream oil industry is vital to its economy. Currently, 70% of Ghana’s commercial energy needs are supplied through petroleum products .The Ministry of Energy estimates that the market for petroleum products in Ghana will grow by 5.3% annually through 2015, but has the potential to grow at a much higher rate if significant investments are made in infrastructure.
Ghana’s manufacturing industry received a boost in 1957 when the government launched an industrialization drive. The drive resulted in the creation of a range of industrial enterprises including aluminum processing, oil refining, timber processing, cocoa processing, breweries, cement manufacturing and textile manufacturing. As a result of this industrialization, the manufacturing industry’s share of GDP grew from 10% in 1960 to 14% in 1970.
Ghana’s major manufacturing sectors include:
- Food and beverage
- Pharmaceutical products
Ghana has a long and prosperous mining history. More than 100 years ago, it was one of the first countries in West Africa to explore gold mining. Today, Ghana produces over 2 million ounces of gold per year. Minerals make up 35% of the country’s export income. Gold is the major earner , with other minerals including manganese, bauxite and diamonds.
The process of exploration becomes too expensive to go beyond the reconnaissance phase for most local companies, at which point they either have to partner with a larger company or seek financing from outside sources in order to continue their exploration. Such companies are good opportunities for investors looking to support local exploration efforts.
Investment in this area also creates jobs for the community, produces more skilled workers and creates opportunities for entrepreneurs. Local companies are looking for investors to provide financial assistance with setting up and maintaining mining sites throughout the country.
Ghana’s banking and finance industry is well-capitalized, profitable and liquid. There are currently 26 private banks operating in Ghana. Bank of Ghana is the government-run body that provides regulatory oversight for the industry. Under Bank of Ghana, the industry’s major financial institutions include:
- Ghana Commercial Bank, with an operating budget of about $1.8 billion
- Barclays Bank, with an operating budget of about $1.3 billion
- Standard Chartered Bank, with an operating budget of about $1.3 billion
- Ecobank, with an operating budget under $1.3 billion
- Stanbic Bank, with an operating budget under $1.3 billion
- Merchant Bank, with an operating budget under $1.3 billion.
In 2003, Bank of Ghana introduced the Universal Banking Business License, which brought competition into the industry by increasing the minimum net worth required of banks. Over the next few years Bank of Ghana put further structures in place to aid the growth of the industry. They injected a large amount of cash into the industry to support future growth, and reduced borrowing rates, allowing banks to lend at better rates to their customers. As a result of these measures, the industry has grown significantly in the past several years. Eight new banks have entered the market since 2005, mostly sub-Saharan and Asian chains.
Direct investment opportunities that exist within the industry include:
- Bringing in new banks
- Investing in existing banks
- Purchasing shares in banks operating in Ghana
Agriculture in Ghana is one of largest investment opportunities in the country. Investment opportunities in agriculture include:
- Procurement and installation of agro-processing facilities
- Erection of storage facilities
- Establishment of packaging facilities
- Export and import of agricultural products
- Pre-financing cocoa farmers to buy their yields