Business News of Friday, 11 January 2019
Business operators in Ghana have been urged to take full advantage of Ghana’s prevailing fertile economic environment and exploit the several opportunities the 2019 budget has for the expansion and growth of their businesses.
Analysts say Ghana’s stable macroeconomic environment, expected to improve in 2019 and see a further reduction in interest rates will allow greater access to credits by the private sector to boost productivity.
Stability in exchange rates and electricity power supply are also expected in 2019 to ensure stability in planning and managing budgets from the private sector,” Senior lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Dr Raziel Obeng-Okon told this paper.
Investment banker and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of C-NERGY Holdings, tasked entrepreneurs and captains of industry to analyse the 2019 budget extensively, identify the needs of government and ensure the products and services they provide align with the six strategic key pillars upon which government seeks to build its “Ghana Beyond Aid” vision.
Enormous opportunities in agricultural value chain
According to Mr Cobblah, Ghana’s imports of crops and livestock is alarming (US$ 2.4 billion on food imports annually). Government, he noted had demonstrated its commitment by increasing production and reducing dependence on food imports through the expansion of the “Planting for Food and Jobs” and launch “Rearing for Food and Jobs”.
“This programme would provide enormous business opportunities across the agriculture value chains,” Mr Cobblah stated.
Ghana Commodity Exchange, a tool for agricultural investment
The creation and operation of the Ghana Commodity Exchange with the state of the art trading system linked to warehouses located in rural areas create a special opportunity for the private sector to invest in agriculture and agro-processing sectors.
Most banks, Dr Obeng-Okon lamented are not ready to fund agriculture due to inherent challenges in marketing, lack of warehouses and competitive pricing.
However, “the Ghana Commodity Exchange establishes linkages between producers and buyers of agricultural products at competitive prices and therefore banks and other financial institutions must be willing to invest into the agriculture sector. The proposed establishment of the Ghana Incentive Base Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (GIRSAL) with GH?400 million as a seed fund and an expected USD14 million from AfDB should certainly unlock funding into the agriculture sector from the private sector.”
Infrastructure expansion offers growth opportunities for firms
With Ghana’s infrastructure deficit hitting US$30 billion, and government having demonstrated its commitment in improving infrastructure with the aim of positioning Ghana as the regional hub for transportation, energy and logistics, Mr Cobblah maintains “this presents businesses the opportunity to invest in energy, engage in construction activities and partnership for financial assistance.”
The 2019 budget appears to have a significant element of an integrated infrastructural development programme across the country which private consultants and those of us in investment banking can take advantage of through public-private-partnership related transactions.
Good prospects for Construction sub-sector
The demand for infrastructure development in the country gives a strong indication for the need of investments into construction and a wide range of possibilities for new entrants.
Sanitation -Waste Management
Although there are number of waste management companies in the country, Mr Cobblah was of the view that the country is still battling with more burden of filth than these companies can handle.
“Businesses can generate revenue from medical waste disposal, electronic waste, green waste, construction waste, hazardous or toxic waste disposal, retailing of waste disposal equipment and tools, household waste, industrial waste and manufacturing of disposal bags,” he pointed out.
NEISP timely for young entrepreneurs
Encouraging and providing an enabling environment for entrepreneurs through programmes such as National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Support Programme (NIESP) and Tax incentives for young entrepreneurs