Ghana’s Automotive Industry: A Burgeoning Market for Investment

“This is the first, and there will be many more to come’’. These were the words of President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo when the German car maker Volkswagen officially unveiled its first ever range of locally assembled cars.

The VW story was birthed in 2018 when the German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Ghana to strengthen diplomatic and development ties. This saw the German car manufacturer VW, become the first company to sign a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with the Ghanaian government for the assembling of vehicles in the country. The car manufacturer subsequently registered its local company VW Ghana; a 100 percent subsidiary of VW South Africa to manufacture six of its models, the Tiguan, Teramont, Amarok, Passat, Polo and Caddy.

The official unveiling of the six models on August 3rd,2020 was the pinnacle of the success story for the first phase of  VW’s car manufacturing project valued at 10.5 million dollars.

In coming months, the company is expected to roll out a second phase worth US$22 million dollars to produce an average of 10000-20000 cars annually according to data by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI).

But the story of VW as stated by the president, will be one of several car manufacturers expected to commence the assembling of cars in Ghana under the government’s automotive industry hub; where Vehicle Assemble and Automotive Components manufacturing has been identified as a strategic industry to be supported as part of the nation’s Ten-Point-Plan for industrial development.

According to the Trade Minister Alan Kyeremanten, imported vehicles were among the top three import commodity items in the country. It represented 12.5 percent of the nation’s total import bill for 2018 which was estimated to be around US$12 billion – clearly depicting a very high demand and market for vehicles in the country. As a result, government plans to halve the high vehicle import by inducing the local production of vehicles through the Automotive Policy and developing car financing schemes to facilitate the purchase of new cars.

In the months ensuing, government is upbeat about more automobile manufacturers launching their operations. “Renault, Suzuki, Nissan and Toyota are some of the brands that have expressed interest to come in and start production. There’s also SinoTruck from China who is already assembling here for the market, while discussions are ongoing with Honda to also begin production’’ said  Yofi Grant- CEO of the GIPC when questioned on what to expect after the VW official launch in a recent engagement with the media.  He went on to explain  that the primary objective of the automotive industry hub concept was to create jobs, induce industrial growth and spur economic development in the country, contrary to agitations from second hand car dealers.

The framework of the automotive industry hub is now set in the recently developed automotive development policy by the Ministry of Trade and Industry. The initial scope of the policy  is to provide the necessary framework to establish assembly and manufacturing capacity in Ghana. The initial coverage of vehicles to be assembled under the policy includes new passenger cars, SUV’s and light commercial vehicles such as pick-ups, mini-buses and cargo vans. Additional Policy interventions are being introduced in the course of the implementation for assembling medium and heavy-duty vehicles and buses.  

The policy further provides a number of fiscal incentives under the nation’s Tax Act such as; Corporate tax holiday of 5 years for Enhanced Semi Knock Down (SKD) registered assemblers and 10 years tax holiday for Completely Knocked Down (CKD) registered assemblers. Again, the policy provides for a waiver of the import duties and related charges on any plant, machinery, equipment or parts of the plant, machinery or equipment imported for SKD and CKD Auto Assembly.

The recent passage of the Customs Amendment Bill which placed restrictions on the importation of over-age and salvaged cars also bodes well for the establishment of this automotive industrial hub by dealing with the problem of grey markets.

Notwithstanding the fact that used cars make up the chunk of the Ghanaian car market, recent trends have also shown a gradual increase in demand for luxury and new vehicles in Africa due to a burgeoning middle class. This therefore augurs well for Ghana’s developing automotive industry which will not only serve local demand but the larger West African market, a region with more than 380 million people.

This ready market together with a conducive environment backed by policies places Ghana as the most visible location for a full blown automotive industry with endless opportunity for investment across the automotive value chain, which includes vehicle sales, aftersales, vehicle assembly and production.

With time, the domestic production and assembly of vehicles will have substantial multiplier benefits for the country by reducing the overall price of cars, thereby increasing purchases as well as boosting employment opportunities, technology transfers, industrialization and export revenues for sustained economic growth.

Source: GIPC

Government’s COVID-19 Incentives Cushion Foreign Investors in Ghana

In the face of the hardships presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the roll out of distinct interventions by government has alleviated the harsh impact of the pandemic on foreign businesses.

The extension of due dates for the filing of tax, reduction in tariffs on imported inputs, low interest loans and reduction in utility bills according to most businesses had played a significant role in dealing with the adverse impact of the pandemic on their activity.

Foreign Investors operating in the country are estimated to have experienced an average revenue loss of $75,000 in the second quarter of the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic according to the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre’s recent “Survey on the Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Foreign Investors in Ghana” conducted between April 1-June 12, 2020.

Per the findings of the survey, a majority of businesses which represented 51.43 percent of the respondents had been severely impacted by the pandemic. In terms of revenue, 51.4 percent of the respondents sampled by the Centre had experienced losses in excess of 100,000 dollars whiles the rest pegged their losses between 100,000 dollars and less than 1,000 dollars. The impact of the pandemic according to the survey was unraveled with the strict lockdown measures imposed worldwide – which caused a severe disruption to demand and supply value chains.

This saw most companies experience payment and repayment delays, financial constraints and a reduction in demand for products and services which translated into revenue losses. With regards to employment, 40 percent of foreign investors foresee a permanent reduction in their workforce in the ensuing months. Meanwhile most workers have had to stay home temporarily due the pandemic.

Despite the downturn in activity experienced by various industries and businesses, sectors such as manufacturing, food processing, e-Commerce, agriculture and healthcare have remained resilient and present opportunity for growth and investments. 

Moving forward, more interventions such as a reduction in the cost of data, further reduction in taxes for manufacturers, tax exemptions on Capital Expenditure as well as the re-opening of borders will be required to cushion businesses as the detrimental effects of the pandemic unfolds. Impact of covid-19 on FDI flows The COVID-19 pandemic came at a time where global FDI had been experiencing a downward trend. Accordingly, the pandemic has exacerbated the decline in the flow of FDI. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development has projected FDI to drop by 40 percent due to the disruptions to Global Value Chains (GVC) influenced by the lockdowns.

In the case of Ghana, the survey revealed a downward trend in FDI flow from the month of April to June 12, 2020 when the survey was completed. Within the period, the Ghana Investment Promotion Center registered 13 projects with an FDI value of 9.29 million dollars.

Regardless of the initial slowdown in FDI values as indicated earlier, a total of 21 projects had been registered by the end of the quarter, i.e. June 30, 2020 which saw the value of FDI shoot up to 207.98 million dollars. The development therefore places a positive outlook on the flow of FDI into the country and indicative of a better trend for economic recovery post COVID-19.

NB: Despite the intention to have a much bigger sample size for the survey, implications of the pandemic made it difficult for responses to be collected. However, we recognized a common trend with the responses.

Kindly click on the link below to read the full report.

Ghana’s Exchange Rate Improved, Come Home to Invest – Diasporans told

Ghanaian investors in the diaspora have been told that the economy of the oil-producing West African nation has seen massive improvement over the years. Therefore, they should return to Ghana their homeland to invest in the local economy.

Speaking during a webinar organized for over 100 Ghanaians in the diaspora via Zoom on the topic ‘Ghana, An Ideal Destination for Diaspora Investments’ and organized by Bank of Africa (BoA) in partnership with the Ghana Diaspora Monetary Fund on Friday, August 21, BoA’s General Manager in charge of Enterprise Risk, Mrs. Akofa Dakwa, revealed that Ghana has witnessed a positive trade balance and improvement in the exchange rate.

She explained that since 2017, the country has been exporting more than its importation, a situation that has resulted in the improvement of the exchange rate.

“There has been an improvement in the exchange rate due to the positive trade balance,” she told the diasporans, adding: “Since 2017 our exports have been more than our import” through policies that encourage the consumption of locally produced products like rice and poultry products.

Mrs. Dakwa also revealed that the services sector grew by 7.6% in 2019, becoming the best growth performing sector of the economy for the first time since 2015, from the 2.7% registered in the previous year. Subsectors with considerably strong performances, she said, were Information and Communication (ICT and Real Estate, with growth rate of 46.5% and 19.9% respectively in 2019 compared to 13% and -6.5% respectively in 2018.

In the area of agriculture, she explained that the sector has declined in its contribution to the Ghanaian economy largely because most Ghanaians are doing peasant farming. However, she said, the trend is changing with the implementation of government’s policy – Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ).

Again there is the introduction of One Village One Dam that seeks to improve irrigation. This will ensure that food production can be carried out all year round. Mechanized farming methods have also been introduced and that will increase farming yields in the future. She further explained that there was a steady improvement in Agric sector as at June 2020 with the sector showing year-on-year improvement in growth rate. To that end, Mrs. Dakwa called on the diasporans to return to the country to invest in the economy.

For his part, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, Mr. Yofi Grant, said the Government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo takes the issues of Diasporans seriously.  He said the clean-up of the banking sector has brought sanity to it and that the banks are now poised for partnership that will see to the protection of their investment.

Bank of Africa with its strong presence in 32 countries in Africa, Europe, China and North America is ready to offer business advisory services and also facilitate the trade needs of its customers. A Deposit Protection Scheme has been created under the Ghana Deposit Protection Act 2016, Act 931, to protect depositors of their funds with financial institutions. The Scheme is at no cost to customers of banks and special depositing institutions which gives comfort to all depositors.

The Global Allied Diaspora Initiatives for Africa (GADIA), an association of Ghanaians in the Diaspora, is also mobilizing Ghanaian investors abroad to come back home to invest. Director of the GADIA, Robert Couston, said that Ghanaians in the diaspora desire to return home to invest in the economy.

“There is a huge potential amongst Ghanaians in the diaspora looking for investment opportunities,” he said.

Source: Ghanaweb

Nana Dufie Addo Appointed New Chief Operating Officer of GIPC

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Nana Dufie Addo as its new Chief Operating Officer (COO).  She replaces Carl Nelson who served a six-year term as COO of the Center.

Nana Dufie Addo is an award-winning business and change leader with executive level experience transforming and building global organizations. She can be described as well versed with investment and financial operations and started her career as an Investment Banker and Investment Analyst with Lehman Brothers-USA (now Barclays) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC)-Johannesburg respectively. Here she handled transactions across energy, gas, healthcare and financial services industries.

In 2015, she became an Investment Officer with the Washington State Investment Board ($100+ billion AUM) where she developed investment thesis and engaged with investment managers and strategic partners to assess and allocate investments across Private Equity, Real Estate, Public Equity, Tangible Assets and Fixed Income asset classes as well as worked on a framework to develop WSIB’s approach to investing in Africa.

Ms. Addo is also a recognized business consultant and spent 3 years as a Strategic Planning Consultant with Virtual Consulting International working in the areas of telecom, oil & gas and mining industries with some of her key clients being AngloGold Ashanti and Vodacom Congo.

Prior to her appointment at the GIPC, Nana Dufie Addo worked with mPharma Data Inc., a venture-backed emerging market healthcare technology company. There she served in various capacities as the company’s Global Business Development Lead, Country Group Head for Ivory Coast and Zambia and the Global Chief Financial Officer for the company. Here she spearheaded transaction structuring, due diligence, and investor relations for the acquisition of one of Kenya’s biggest pharmacy chains; and led debt and equity capital raising rounds of more than $50 million across the US and EMEA regions for the company. She oversaw the company’s operations and growth in countries including Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Netherlands, USA, and Israel; and client drug acquisition cost was improved by 40-50% under her watch.

Leadership and entrepreneurship also feature highly in Ms. Addo’s career. She is a co-founder of the Stanford University Africa Entrepreneurship Network, a platform that uses the design thinking framework to help companies in Africa and other frontier markets overcome financial, operational, and marketing bottlenecks. She sits on the boards of Stratcomm Africa and the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) and has played advisory roles for Golden Palm Investments and Foro Energy.

Nana Dufie Addo currently holds a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry and Mathematics from Mount Holyoke College, USA. She’s also a member of the USA’s oldest most prestigious academic honor society Phi Beta Kappa and was designated a ‘Next Generation Leader’ by the African Leadership Network.

The Board and Management of the GIPC welcome Nana Dufie Addo to her new role and greatly look forward to working with her.

Moving The Ghanaian Film Industry From “Potential To Actualization” Through Investments

Film making is tough business. It requires a lot of capital yet comes with significant uncertainty in terms of profitability even among the best of producers. But in a developing industry like that of Ghana’s, fraught with challenges of inadequate capital, copyright infringement and piracy, the ability to make profits is even dimmer.

The history of the industry traces back to the 1920’s when the British colonial masters first introduced cinematography as a form of entertainment among the elite. By 1960 the government had inherited the industry from its colonial masters and established the Ghana Film Corporation. It trained promising filmmakers purposely for education and socio-economic development. By the 1980’s films were made independently after government sold its majority interest in the state film industry.

The popular movie ‘Love Brewed in the African Pot’ produced by the legendary Kwaw Ansah was the first independent movie to hit Ghanaian cinemas by 1981, however the absence of government support plunged the industry into turmoil with producers depending on the appeal of their movies to raise funds. Decades on, the Ghanaian film industry has weathered the storms and continues to be a major player in film making on the continent with hundreds of popular films produced each year. However, the growth of the industry has been stalled with persistent issues of poor infrastructure, inadequate finance, breakdown in distribution and marketing channels and the biggest of all, copyright infringements and piracy. Together, these factors erode profits of stakeholders in the film industry.

“Assuming you invest about GHC 5,000 into a production, you would expect to in the least, break even. But achieving that currently, is a huge hurdle in Ghana ” exclaimed Cecil Sunkwah-Mills the Managing Director of MultiChoice Ghana, one of the four speakers in a webinar organized by the National Film Authority (NFA) under the theme “Prospects of the Pitch Series for the Ghana Film Industry”.

He recounts how MultiChoice as one of the few internal investors in Ghana’s film industry had battled with copyright infringements and piracy over the years “we often spend loads of money fighting to protect the copyright of content we buy both locally and internationally. Even if arrests are made, the legal process is really slow and frustrating. If we really want to attract investors, we’ll have to get the courts grinding on issues of right protection”.

Very often government and industry authorities garner  efforts to address the challenges and streamline activities in the film making industry. In 2016 for instance Parliament passed the “Development and Classification of Film Bill’  to regulate and advance the country’s film industry.

At present, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) has also intensified efforts of  drawing needed investment into the industry. According to the CEO of the Centre Mr. Yofi Grant, a number of investors have been engaged to explore opportunities in the country’s film industry. “ a group from Los Angeles has expressed interest in setting up a state of the art film studio and a theatre in art school here in Ghana, having identified a potential market in the subregion and continent that warrants such investments”. He disclosed on the same NFA webinar Others he said, have expressed interest in projects in the Eastern Region and in the provision of technologies for film production.

But to make these investments succeed, Mr. Grant pointed out that some teething problems in the industry had to be addressed. “There are three things investors want to be sure about before putting their money forward i.e. Returns on investment, Sustainability and Growth”. I daresay “it’s time we moved from potential to actualization” he emphasized.

Across the globe, the film industry has proven to be a major contributor to economic development of many countries. The American film and television industry for instance paid out $49 billion to local businesses across the country and supported 2.1 million jobs in 2016 according to data from Motion Picture Association of America.

In Africa, Nigeria’s Film industry, Nollywood, is recognised as one of the largest film producers in the world. The Industry has been identified as one of the priority sectors in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan for the West African Federal State with a planned US$1 billion revenue in 2020 according to a PWC report on “Perspectives from the Global Media and Entertainment Outlook 2017-2021.

Although the Ghanaian and Nigerian movie industries share some similarities in terms of potential and even challenges, it is evident that Nollywood has outpaced the Ghanaian film industry due to a number of factors including, the larger size of the Nigerian market and the growing financial sector support for the industry’s activity.

Despite lagging behind its biggest competitor; the Nigerian film industry, Actress and Executive Secretary of the National Film Authority Juliet Asante, opines that the challenges inherent in the Ghanaian film business, though troubling cannot derail the industry which is rich with talent. “One thing I saw from submissions for the NFA Pitch Series is that there isn’t a lack of talent or creativity in content for multiple platforms”. She was right. Multi Choice Academy Director Femi Odugbemi shares the same sentiment about the wealth of talent in the industry having coached participants in the NFA Pitch Series.

But talent may not be enough, for the CEO of the GIPC Yofi Grant and the MD of Multi Choice Ghana Cecil Sunkwa-Mills. Both agreed that  consented effort by  industry players and government to fix  structural challenges in the industry is crucial. This includes addressing of copyright and piracy infringements, infrastructure development, fixing of distribution and marketing channels and data collection.

With these measures in place, Yofi Grant admitted, ,  it becomes easier to woo investors. “once you put out your project and can properly define it, you can then make it sell to potential investors”. Meanwhile the State, he adds, must create an ambient condition with laws and incentives to help develop the industry to its full potential seeing as it’s a part of our cultural process, identity and pride.

The Pitch Series on the other hand according to Multi Choice Academy Director Femi Odugbemi will put efforts into amassing premium projects in different genres which can attract investment funding in the long run.

The NFA Pitch Series is an all film-related pitching event intended to bring filmmakers and the Ghanaian film ecosystem to the attention of investors, broadcasters, distributors, sponsors and platforms around the world for potential collaboration, sponsorship, sales and advertising opportunities.  It is a combined effort by the National Film Authority, the Ministry of Arts and Culture, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre and MultiChoice Ghana to attract investments necessary to chart a brighter course for the Ghanaian film industry.

Moving the Ghanaian film industry from its nascent state to a more booming one with the right structures, incentives and investments will  see the industry become a major contributor to economic development with spill over benefits such as job creation and revenue generation from local patronage and export of content.


Source: GIPC

Government to Resource GIPC to Make it More Effective – Finance Minister

Ken Ofori-Atta– the Ghanaian Minister of Finance, has revealed that government will be resourcing the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) in order to make it more effective than it has been over the period.

The GIPC, he said, is expected to help government generate the needed revenue for the development of the country, hence the decision to resource the Centre. Mr. Ofori-Atta told journalists in parliament that: “the GIPC will be resourced to make it more effective than it has been.”

The GIPC is a Government agency, responsible under the GIPC Act, 2013 (Act 865): to encourage and promote investments in Ghana, to provide for the creation of an attractive incentive framework and a transparent, predictable and facilitating environment for investments in Ghana.

The objective of the Centre is to; Create an enhanced, transparent and responsive environment for investment and the development of the Ghanaian economy through investment; and; Encourage, promote and facilitate investment in Ghana.

Source: Ghanaweb

Railing Up To A Connected Africa- GIPC CEO Talks Investments in Rail Sector

Urban rail on the continent is vital in providing a very efficient alternative to transporting large volumes of passengers and freight at high frequencies and reasonable cost. Rallying with this notion, Ghana has embarked on intense rehabilitation and development of its national rail network.

This according to government, is to help facilitate smooth and easy transportation of goods and persons not only within the country but through the sub region towards the creation of jobs and economic vibrancy.

Although the rail system is admittedly the future of Ghana’s transportation, financing remains a daunting task.  “In many countries rail has proved extremely difficult to crack in terms of financing” remarked Yofi Grant the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Center during a recent webinar session focused on Ghana’s railway development and strategy for implementation. “Here you have the private sector partnering with government. Government is also partnering with development partners towards a model that works. For us, rail is a very important construct in the mix of regional development, the CEO added.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Railway Development Authority Richard Dombo, who also participated in the webinar, it costs on average 5 million dollars to construct a kilometer of railroad; a figure too steep for most developing countries. There is the need to resort to other sources of funding beyond the traditional government coffers.

The total length of the rail network identified as Priority Projects in the country is 1,394 kilometers at an estimated cost of $7.8 billion. The overall total rail network being 4,400 kilometers was outlined in the Railway Master Plan as at 2013 at a cost of 21.2 billion.

So far, most of Ghana’s railway development has emanated from the concept of Private Public Partnerships. For example, the development of the 303 km Eastern Railway Line, from Accra-Tema to Kumasi with a branch line from Busoso to Atiwa through Kyebi is being undertaken with a strategic investor on a Build-Operate-Transfer basis with Ghanaian participation.

Similarly, the development of the first phase of Kumasi to Paga rail line, which covers approximately 103 km, is being financed with US$500 million earmarked out of the US$1billion Chinese CDB facility for development of this project.

“The main financing structure we have for these projects are negotiated concessions that are agreed on. These projects are viable and most of them have this model to source funds’’ explained Yofi Grant.

These developments and many more outlined by the Ministry of Railways Development Mr Grant noted, are a worthwhile cause for Ghana’s integrated advancement.  “Indeed, some of our policies such as the One District One Factory and Planting for Food and Jobs are spread nationwide and will see rail facilitate their progress. Also, rail is definitely one of the means through which Ghana can increase trade within the sub region” he said.

“By 2022 we estimate to have absorbed about 9.6 percent of freight transport in Ghana which is approximately 190 million tons and an estimated 2.4 billion tons by 2030. This will be upon the completion of the Eastern, Western, Central spine railway, which accounts for about 30 percent of freight in Ghana “added, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Railway Development Authority, Richard Dombo.

Beyond the rehabilitation and construction of several rail lines to enhance internal means of transportation, the Ministry for Railways Development has other projects that seek to create easy access between Ghana and its neighbors within the sub region. These include the Accra -Ouagadougou Line and the Trans ECOWAS Line.

“I think we have a greater opportunity to do this now, and with the signing of the AFCFTA, it means there is going to be more dynamism in facilitating intra Africa trade. It is therefore an important element in the scheme of things related that rail transport will be key to supporting this agenda. I believe that intra Africa trade has the potential of enabling wealth creation on the continent. We are already seeing investors show keen interest and seek information on what they can do in Ghana. If we don’t offer them the logistics value chain to support their investment, it will all fall flat,” said Mr Grant. He further explained that the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area has the potential to more than double intra Africa trade which will generate exponential wealth for the continent and justify investments into the railways sector.

With the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement, Africa will be the world’s largest trade bloc with a combined gross domestic product of more than US $3.4 trillion. Rail as part of the transport mix holds the potential of facilitating free flow of cargo and people in large volumes. However, this endeavor cannot be attained without the participation of private sector investments. 

While efforts are underway by government to revive rail transport, the Ghana Investment Promotion Center as the investment wing of government continues to beckon for more investors; as Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) has proven to be invaluable in the successful development of the railway sector worldwide. 

#Grow In Ghana Grow With Ghana

Source: GIPC

Government’s Initiatives towards Mitigating the Impact of Covid-19 on Businesses in Ghana

The Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) is a global health and societal emergency that requires effective and immediate action by governments all over the world. Trade, investment growth, and employment have all been affected and governments are implementing various fiscal measures to mitigate the adverse effects and provide relief for businesses.

To cushion the economic hit caused by this pandemic, the Government of Ghana rolled out a series of policies and measures to shore up the confidence of businesses and ease some of their burdens. Here are some of the consolidated and updated lists of Government of Ghana’s policies/measures towards mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on businesses in Ghana so far.


President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo launched a GH¢1.2 billion Coronavirus Alleviation Business Support Programme to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The amount is expected to support businesses in areas such as agriculture and agribusiness, manufacturing, tourism and hospitality, education, food and beverages, technology, transportation, commerce, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, and textile and garments. The business support programme is expected to help minimize job losses in the wake of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Out of GH¢1.2 billion earmarked for the programme, GH¢600 will be disbursed as soft loans to MSMEs with one-year moratorium and two years repayment at an interest rate of 3 percent per-anum

Furthermore, the selected participating banks will provide negotiated counterpart funding to the tune of GH¢ 400 million. The scheme is expected to reach 180,000 beneficiaries across the country.


President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in a broadcast, announced that government would fully cover the bills of low-income consumers of electricity in the country for the months of April, May and June 2020.

The remaining consumers who were outside of this category enjoyed a 50 percent reduction in the cost of electricity for the same period. In the same broadcast, the president also announced that his government would also cover the water bills for all Ghanaians for the same months of April, May and June 2020.

“We have decided further measure of mitigation for Ghanaians for the next three months… Government will fully absorb electricity bills for the poorest of the poor, i.e. lifeline consumers. This covered persons who consume 0 to 50-kilowatt hours per month for the announced period. This forms part of relief interventions by the state amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. Other categories of consumers will enjoy a 50 percent discount within the same period. For all other consumers, residential and commercial, the government will absorb 50 percent of your electricity bill for this period using your March 2020 bill as the benchmark,” President Nana Akufo-Addo stated.


The Ministry of Transport on April 17, 2020 directed the Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority to suspend charges on all cargo i.e. demurrage/detention and storage rent which have remained uncleared since or during the lockdown period only. This was to ensure that shippers and other stakeholders do not take actions that may jeopardize Government’s efforts at curbing the spread of the virus on the basis of averting the accumulation of costs in the clearance of cargoes.


The Bank of Ghana (BoG) slashed its key policy rate by 150 basis points to 14.50%. The Bank’s move, which brought the rate to the lowest point since May 2012, was aimed at minimizing the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as ease the pressure on inflation.

The unexpected easing in monetary policy was chiefly prompted by rising fears that the global economy may be pushed into recessionary territory this year, thus severely curbing Ghanaian GDP growth.

The decision was further supported by cooling domestic activity growth and subdued inflationary pressures in recent months. Moreover, the Bank deployed additional measures including lowering reserve requirements for commercial banks from 10.00% to 8.50% and that of capital conservation buffer for lenders from 3.00% to 1.50% in order to improve liquidity.

The Bank of Ghana decided to decrease the cost of fund transfers through mobile money, in order to avoid a dip in transactions, thus mobile money transfers below GH100 (USD18) was not charged by service suppliers for three months. 


Health workers are subject to the income tax regime in Ghana. However, to provide compensation for additional risks, the employment income of health workers for the months of April to June 2020 was exempted from income tax. The tax holiday was extended by three more months to include July, August and September by President Nana Akufo-Addo.

Additionally, income tax of 15 percent on withdrawals of non-qualifying accrued benefits under a third tier (statutory pension/provident fund) scheme was waived for withdrawals made by employees who lost their permanent employment and self-employed persons who lost their capital.

The deadline for filing annual income tax returns was extended by two months. As a result, June 30, 2020 (and not April 30, 2020) was dedicated as new filing deadline for the 2019 income tax returns for individuals and partnerships and the 2019 Annual P.A.Y.E. Deductions return filed by employers.

Companies and trusts were given six months, instead of four, after the end of their financial year to file their income tax returns. VAT charged by a donor and paid on goods contributed in support of efforts against COVID-19 was waived due to the approval of such taxable donations by Parliament as emergency relief items under the VAT laws.


The Registrar-General’s Department extended the deadline for filing annual company returns and renewal of partnerships from July 31 to December 31, 2020. The Department further canceled announced penalty for late annual filing for all businesses.


The Ghana Stock Exchange granted permission to companies for the extension of time to submit their audited Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2019.


The SEC directed its clients to file all statutory returns online. It further encouraged Fund Managers to adhere to redemption requests as stipulated in contracts with investors. In the unlikely event of a breach, Investors are encouraged to file complaints with the SEC via the SEC’s toll-free number, email address or the website.


Ghana, just like other nations across the world has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Coronavirus Alleviation Programme and other fiscal measures implemented by the government through the various agencies are to mitigate the immediate adverse effect of the pandemic and provide relief for businesses and households.

These measures, as stated by the President during the launch of the Programme, forms part of the many initiatives by Government upon which businesses and the Ghanaian economy are expected to recover and set on the path of growth. Policies and interventions by government have been carefully designed to address disruptions in business activities and protect jobs.

On the positive side, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that Ghana has the capacity to produce most of the goods and services that would otherwise have been imported. This ties in with government’s agenda to accelerate industrialization and local production to spur job creation and improve livelihoods. It is crucial that businesses are positioned to take advantage of the new opportunities that have risen from the crisis. 

Source: GIPC

Would Disruptions Caused by Covid-19 Change the World of Work for Good?

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic which is much averse to large gatherings, one of the intriguing questions for most  corporate  institutions is whether the disruptions presented  by the  pandemic would ignite a change in work culture for good.

While some analysts contend that the disruptions presented by the virus to  the world of work may be short lived, others maintain that the changes may be here for the long haul. It’s therefore critical that we prepare for, respond to, and ultimately emerge stronger during and post the COVID-19 pandemic. To do this, companies need to structure responses that are sustainable not just for the present, but for the challenging months ahead.

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre whose mandate is to promote and facilitate investments in all sectors of the economy has a vested interest in the sustainability of businesses in Ghana. This article is therefore aimed at stimulating discussions on the temporary and long term changes that the COVID-19 pandemic may present to the world of work and how businesses could strategize to accommodate and manage the changes.

It is estimated that around half of the world’s population went on lockdown to  contain the spread of the COVID-19, pandemic that plagued the world and  claimed thousands of lives.  This  sparked fears of the worst global recession since the Great Depression and  had a profound impact on the world of work, as well as our mental and physical well-being.

It must  be established that the COVID-19 pandemic is both a health and economic crisis. Although other crisis situations must have plagued some parts or all the world in the past, the current pandemic is unique on several fronts.

One of the unique features of COVID-19 is its global character. Unlike Hurricane Katrina and the September 11, twin tower crash in the United States, they did not pose  a threat to all of America let alone other countries of the world. COVID-19 in another character is  pervasively disruptive by changing the way we live and work.

In all the above crisis some of the changes in policy and work introduced at the time have since ceased to be effective whiles others still linger on and have obviously come to stay.

Almost two decades ago, September /11 made an impact on how we live and behave. In that period of fear and panic in 2001, companies stopped  their staff to  travel, . Those policies faded, just as we no longer feel a surge of fear on the jet bridge, glancing at each other while trying to determine if the passengers around us in the aircraft are a threat.

But the high security processes  that were introduced at the airports have stayed on.

Similarly, despite the size, scope and intensity of the coronavirus pandemic, some work activities will go back to normalcy —at least for a while. But there will be permanent changes, which will forever alter the way we think about—and behave at—work.

The global response to COVID-19 has also caused many businesses to turn their attention to employees working from home and other remote locations causing a disruption to our routine work schedules .

Work schedules have changed dramatically in Ghana since the outbreak of the pandemic as a result of some restrictions and directives issued by government. Tall among these restrictions are social distancing, closure of boarders and good hygienic practices.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic in Ghana several businesses have implemented various changes in their work policies and schedules. While some offices had to partially shut down operations, others had to resort to other forms of work schedules including the popular rotational work scheduling and working from home etc.

Academic institutions, corporate entities have all resorted to video/call conferencing and other virtual meeting arrangement, using internet applications like the ZOOM App. and others, as a result of the social distancing restrictions imposed by the government.

One of the changes COVID-19 is going to introduce into the world of work  and for that matter Ghanaian routine work schedule is corporate flexibility. Workers are likely to quickly figured out how to work from home. When the pandemic subsides, working from home will remain popular with professionals, and that will force companies—even those that were not the biggest proponents of having a virtual workforce—to become more flexible. Now that more people have had a taste of it and proven their productivity, it will be hard for companies to take it away from Ghanaian work culture.

Also, when workers return to work, temperature checks and social distancing will likely be implemented. And that will persist for a while. But once there are medical breakthroughs like treatments and vaccines, offices will be more  communal . Conference rooms, meeting spaces and video studios will take up a lot of office space. The workplace will become a far more social environment, not a “all-by-myself” scenario.

What is more interesting of the changes to work is that many professionals found working from home a challenge not because of isolation, but because they didn’t have the ideal space or a dedicated home office. For example, having a a ‘Zoom-ready spot for video meetings along with the relevant infrastructure.   With the current changes in work scheduling, homes are likely to experience permanent home offices with accompanying  information technology infrastructure at home. Internet in homes is likely to  improve, drastically and quickly in terms of cost, speed and access.

Academic institutions have become big businesses over the decades . Now, with COVID-19 pandemic, , e-learning will become a bigger part of ongoing learning. Although in-person learning programs will be reduced and likely reserved for use when necessary,  there will be a need for a revamp of the e-learning space with accompanying infrastructure to embrace the changes in the industry.  As supervisors and staffers have gotten used to seeing each other in their natural habitats, the line that separates work life and personal life has faded. Ironically, technology has made this transition possible, but it has also led to a decidedly low-tech reality: this new corporate world has made us value our organic, non-robotic humanity more than ever before.

One of the least considered changes that is likely to occur due to the working from home and virtual working changes is the fading away of uniformed work groups. Uniforms are surely an important element in corporate identity but the trend toward casual attire will accelerate quickly.

In view of the possible short term and long term impact the COVID-19 is likely to introduce to the corporate work environment, it is important that corporate leaders begin to strategize to incorporate these changes into the future work schedules of their organizations. The GIPC shares a strong interest in the development and sustenance of your businesses.

Source: GIPC

Ghana: AfCFTA’s Prospects & Challenges

With the world being a global village, trade is an important economic factor for the development of many economies. Trading dates back to centuries where an early form of trade- barter, saw the direct exchange of goods and services for other goods and services.

As time evolved and globalization emerged, trade changed, becoming broader and more complex. The formation of trade blocs such as the European Union (EU) and the Pacific Alliance, paved way for policies such as free trade; constituting bilateral and multilateral trade, which greatly expanded market access and spurred economic growth.

On the continent of Africa, the African Union (AU), which exists to promote sustainable development at the economic, social and cultural levels as well as the integration of African economies, outlines several flagship projects of which the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) is a part of.

The AfCFTA is an agreement advanced by the African Union that will create the largest free trade area in the world by facilitating the flow of goods and people within the continent. AfCFTA’ s objective is to accelerate intra-African trade and boost Africa’s trading position in the global market by strengthening the continent’s common voice and policy space in global trade negotiations.

The agreement which came into force in May 2019, initially requires members to remove tariffs from 90% of goods, allowing free flow of commodities and services within the continent.

Research according to the African Development Bank in 2014 states that only 16% of international trade takes place between African countries. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) also reports that Intra-African exports were 16.6% of total exports in 2017, compared with 68.1% in Europe, 59.4% in Asia, 55.0% in America and 7.0% in Oceania.

In Africa, small individual economies often struggle to attract the much-needed investment. With the implementation of the AfCFTA, the AU estimates that intra-African trade will see a 60% boost by 2022.

The AfCFTA will bring together fifty-four African countries with a combined population of more than one billion people and a combined gross domestic product of more than US $3.4 trillion.

Ghana’s selection as the headquarters for the AfCFTA Secretariat can be attributed to the political stability the country has, its strategic geographical location in West Africa, and being touted by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund as one of the fastest growing economies in 2019.

Amid high expectations from Ghana, the Ministry of Trade and Industry is to champion the implementation of the AfCFTA. The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC)- under the office of the President, also has a distinctive role to play in its implementation, by virtue of its core mandate of facilitating foreign & domestic direct investment in the country.

Ghana’s first President Kwame Nkrumah had a dream to create the United States of Africa – Africa as one unified body standing strong and able enough to compete and trade in the global space.

Nkrumah’s dream, arguably coming into fruition with the implementation of the AfCFTA, will create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of persons and investments.


GIPC in collaboration with relevant stakeholders is to work with the appropriate agencies to ensure that the right infrastructure and policies are put in place aiding the creation of a favorable investment environment in Ghana within which the free trade area’s objectives can be realized for the country.

The Centre’s main role here is advocacy; to push for policies that enable the smooth implementation of doing business in Ghana, thereby promoting pro-business regulatory reforms.

With restrictions lifted on foreign investments, investors will flock to the continent. This adds capital to expand local industry and boosts domestic business (World Economic Forum, 2018).


Economic Growth Opportunities

A free trade agreement will increase Ghana’s competitiveness, boost industrialization and infrastructure development for the economy.

Industrialization will have spillover effects such as job creation and increase revenues from various services delivered across the continent.

With increased trade activity, the economy is expected to see exponential economic growth and development which the International Monetary Fund in 2019, predicted Ghana to be the fastest growing economy buoyed by its commodities and recovering manufacturing industry.

More Opportunities for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)

The removal of existing tariff and non-tariff barriers to pave the way for free trade will enhance the flow of foreign direct investment. This will make room for new investments, partnerships, and opportunities. An instance sighted in a policy brief document by the George Mason University showed that in the USA between 1994-2019, policies of free trade were reviewed to allow for an average of $25.6 billion in foreign direct investment to support the American economy each year.

A free trade area will be an enabler for the attraction of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Ghana and the continent.

Competitive Advantage – Abundant Resources to Tap Into

Ghana is a country with abundant natural and human resources.  The country has large amounts of oil and gas, gold, cocoa, timber, industrial diamonds, bauxite, manganese, fish, rubber, hydropower, silver, salt and limestone. (OBG Survey, 2018)

Ghana must therefore strategize, and leverage on trading the commodities with other African countries for mutual benefit. Furthermore, emphasis must be placed on value addition to increase earnings from our exports.


The implementation of the world’s largest free trade area since the formation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995, raises some concerns regarding expected benefits to be derived. Some challenges arising from the AfCFTA include the potential increase in the outsourcing of jobs as a result of the significantly reduced tariffs and protectionism concerns.


Protectionism in theory or practice means shielding a country’s domestic industries from foreign competition by taxing imports of goods and services in a bid to indemnify natives of such opportunities within.

In Ghana, there are protectionist laws that prohibit foreigners from engaging in retail trading activities unless prescribed requirements are met – Act 865 Sub-sections 27 & 28 of the GIPC law.

Protectionism can thus pose a challenge for the successful implementation of a free trade area. The government may have to consider reviewing portions of the act as well as incentivize indigenous companies to ensure that they are equipped to compete internationally.


Ahead of the full ratification of the AfCFTA, some countries have raised concerns about their local businesses being taken over by foreign suppliers who may be able to produce at a lower cost due to some competitive advantages.

According to the Africa News Report in 2018 for instance, 22 African nations signed for the ambitious trade deal to become operational. Nigeria is however one country that delayed in its ratification stating ‘‘We will not agree to anything that will undermine local manufacturers and entrepreneurs, or that may lead to Nigeria becoming a dumping ground for finished goods.”

Inadequate Financial Resources & Infrastructure

Infrastructure – or the lack of it, is one of the leading challenges in Africa. The continent suffers from a huge infrastructural deficit compared to other parts of the world. It is estimated that this constrains productivity by up to 40 percent and reduces the continent’s GDP by about 2 percent every year. (AFDB, 2019. With the enforcement of the AfCFTA the urgency for infrastructure development on the continent is inevitable.

Another major challenge is the need for adequate financial resources to push the attainment of the policy’s agenda. Maximizing the AfCFTA’s benefits will require that Ghana develops proactive national strategies that will identify opportunities for financial growth and prosperity.

These legitimate concerns do not take away the expected benefits the AfCFTA may bring as the continent works to expand intra-African trade through improved harmonization and coordination of trade within Africa.

The AfCFTA is more than just a free trade agreement; it’s about establishing a unified continental market, including the free movement of labour and investments.

If there is to be any hope for long term prosperity in Africa, Africans must be given the predictability that comes with the rule of law, the protection of private property and free markets, and decentralized management of resources. This will harness local knowledge along with the creativity, diligence, and thrift that is natural to Africans. (Franklin, 2005)

To conclude in Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s words, “Africa must unite now. It’s the only way we can take over the world. United we stand, divided we fall.”

Implementation of the AfCFTA may experience challenges in its early stages, but its success depends on African nations fully supporting the Agreement and its execution with the understanding that the short-term losses will lead to huge gains in the long term.

When protectionist concerns are well taken care of, and efficient and participatory institutional architecture is put in place, Africa will be the future!

Source: GIPC