In what appears a new chapter of economic cooperation between Ghana and Nigeria; both countries are to co-host a joint investment summit next month in Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America.
The event, which will hold on Tuesday, October 18, at Dekalb, Atlanta, will focus specifically
on the oil and gas, healthcare, manufacturing, the service industry and agriculture sectors.
It is being jointly organised by the Accra-based Ghana-Nigeria Business Council, GNBC, and its sister-organisation, the Nigeria-Ghana Business Council, NGBC, based in Lagos. It is supported by
the Nigerian High Commission in Accra, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment-Nigeria, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Regional Integration, US Embassy-Ghana, Nigeria Consulate in Atlanta, GIPC, GEPA, numerous chambers of commerce in Atlanta, African Business magazine, published by IC Publications, Ghanaian-American Journal and the private sector in both Ghana and Nigeria.
Attendance at the conference attracts a US$250 registration fee per participant, with the window for registration closing on September 16, 2022.
Speaking at the launch of the conference in Accra recently, executive secretary of the Ghana Nigeria Business Council, Nadia Takyiwaa-Mensah, expressed the optimism that the conference would help businesses in Ghana and Nigeria raise capital from the Americas, particularly from the diaspora community.
Takyiwaa-Mensah further said that “access to funding remains our single biggest challenge. You’ve got brilliant ideas; you’ve got people being able to do the business; there are lots of businesses that are at their scale-up stage but it’s financing that we are having a challenge with.
“So, once we are able to get financing for these businesses, you’d start seeing a lot of homegrown businesses becoming corporates and then potentially multinationals as well.”
The event will address key aspects including,
Ghana/Nigeria Economy and Infrastructure; highlight developments, limitations and key mechanisms and measures being put in place in both countries to spur investments from the diaspora.
There will be a spotlight session on a leading American brand which operates in Ghana and Nigeria, which will provide insight on doing business within the respective countries and key considerations for businesses to consider before investing.
Also speaking, the director of Investor Services Division at the Ghana Investments Promotion Center, GIPC, Edward Ashong-Lartey said that the GIPC and the GNBC had been together since 2014 executing trade assignments, indicated that the USA was chosen for the trade mission because outside of the country and Nigeria, the US was the third most active country in which enquiries were made about investments in the two countries.
“We are going to Atlanta that has the third largest Diasporan population and following the April roadshow there has been a lot of interest so we find this GNBC proposal very welcoming. And we will take the advantage to follow up on the initial leads and reach out to a larger audience,” he said.
“It is going to be the hybrid form so if you cannot travel to Atlanta you can join them online. So we are providing the platform to encourage more of our people to reach out to Diasporas in Atlanta,” he added.
Similarly speaking, the director of marketing development and marketing promotion at the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Agnes Adjei-Sam dispelled the fears of a rift between Nigerian and Ghanaian business, stating that the impending joint summit affirms the contrary.
Adjei-Sam said Nigeria was rather one of Ghana’s key markets for exports.
According to her, Ghana raked in $68 million dollar in exports with Nigeria in 2017 adding however, that the figure declined to $60 million in 2018 and $31 million in 2021.
Adjei-Sam was however, optimistic about the fortunes and success the Ghana Nigeria Business and Investment Conference presents to both countries, urging them to take advantage of it.
The Atlanta event delivery will be hybrid with speakers being both in-person and virtual, with the target audience in Atlanta being primarily Fortune 1000 companies, BlackWall street, Ghanaians and Nigerians in the diaspora and high net-worth individuals.
There will also be B2B/B2G matching sessions for businesses that are coming from Ghana and Nigeria.
The organizers explained that “the USA was chosen as venue country for the event because outside of Ghana and Nigeria, the US is the third most active country from which we receive enquiries about investment in Ghana and/orNigeria.”
“We are seeing more African-Americans, corporate America wanting to know more about what can be done with their money, what industries are booming or about to boom, how safe it is to invest within our countries. We are equally receiving queries from our own looking to invest their money into effective investment vehicles as they are slowly moving away from relying on friends and family for sound investment choices,” the organisers said.