Ghana High Commissioner to Nigeria, Alhaji Rashid Bawa, says the country received 7.07 million dollars Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) from Nigeria in the first half of 2021.
Bawa spoke at the Africa Special Day of the ongoing 2021 Lagos International Trade Fair (LITF) on Wednesday in Lagos.
The programme has as its theme: “Boosting Intra-African Trade.”
Bawa, represented by Ms Samata Bukari, Consul General, Ghana Consulate, Lagos, said Ghana was not new to Nigerian investment.
“Virtually all internationally oriented Nigerian business establishment have footprints in Ghana either directly or indirectly in all sectors.
“According to the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), even in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Nigeria FDI in Ghana from January to June 2021 amounted to 7.07 million dollars.
“These are recorded investments in new projects,” he said.
The high commissioner emphasised the need for intra-African trade especially with the coming on board of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
He said Africa’s share of trade with the rest of the world was insignificant while the level of intra-regional trade was equally low with its attendant unfavourable impact on economic growth and development of the region.
Bawa said: “It is largely to address this situation through the stimulation of intra-African trade that the African Continental AfCFTA was established.
“It is to provide countries in the region with the opportunity to
harness the collaborations and interrelationships of their economies to fully take advantage and utilise the socio-economic benefits market
integration would provide.
“Indeed, stimulating intra-African trade and deepening African market
integration would, hopefully, lead to increased volume of trade among
According to him, this is essential for achieving sustainable economic development, and ultimately pave the way for increased capacity to compete effectively on the global market.
He said it was expected that when African countries trade with themselves, they would exchange more manufactured and processed goods, have more knowledge transfer and create more value.
“Let me quickly add that the gains of the AfCFTA will elude Africa without
investments in African countries.
“It is in this light that Ghana is
positioning herself to take full advantage of the benefits of AfCFTA and to become Africa’s investment destination of choice,” Bawa said.
He said investment opportunities in Ghana included energy, manufacturing, agriculture, information communication technology, education and transport infrastructure, among others.
He said the government of Ghana was committed to implementing policies that reduce the general cost of doing business to promote investor confidence in the country.
Also, Mr Amr Altantawy, Commercial Secretary, Embassy of Egypt, said Egypt plays a vital role in the African economy, adding that the AfCFTA would boost the country’s export to other nations in the continent.
Altantawy said Egypt was positioning to attract more investors from Africa and other continents.
He added that the country was putting policies in place to sustain its position as one of Africa’s best investment destination.
On his part, Mr Muyiwa Akinyemi, Group General Manager, United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), said there could not be a viable intra-African trade without a reliable and efficient payment platform.
Akinyemi said UBA was one of the bank’s working with the AfCFTA secretariat to establish the Pan-African Payments and Settlement System (PAPSS) which would begin operations in early 2022 in Nigeria and five other pilot countries.
He said: “PAPSS is a centralised payment and settlement infrastructure for intra-African trade and commerce payments.
“This project which is being developed in collaboration with the African Export-Import Bank, will facilitate payments as well as formalise some of the unrecorded trade due to prevalence of informal cross-border trade in Africa.
“It will also provide alternative to current high-cost and lengthy correspondent banking relationships to facilitate trade and other economic activities among African countries.”
In his remark, Mr Gabriel Idahosa, Chairman, Trade Promotion Board, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the Africa Special Day was an opportunity for networking, trade partnership development, and promotion of intra-African trade.
He said it was also an effective platform that supports the vision of AfCFTA in creating the much-needed awareness toward achieving the key mandates of the agreement.