What’s Bringing the Hi-tech Giants to Ghana

Kwabena Adu Koranteng, Economic and Financial Journalist at the New Crusading Guide

Accra, Ghana//-Some notable and powerful American technology giants are investing heavily and establishing offices in Ghana in a bit to promote their operations and increase penetration in the West African country.

Something good seems to be happening in the country that is attracting these hi-tech giants to invest in the country that only critical thinkers and industry watchers can see and identify with and there is a need to educate the entire people and raise awareness about some of these good things.

First of all, the conducive environment, the business friendly and enabling environment created by government secures foreign direct investment in the country.

What I mean is no business man or investor will lose his or her investments when it is pumped into the economy.  The investments rather increase and the return on investments appreciates.

I can confidently tell you that all the multinational companies that invested their resources into Ghana’s oil industry from, Tullow oil, Kosmos Energy, Anadarko, ENI and the rest are doing genuine and good business and are recouping their investments.

That is what has attracted some other giants like ExxonMobil and others to operate in our deep waters.  The same thing applies to the mining companies like AngloGold Ashanti, Newmont Perseus Mining, Goldfields Ghana, and the rest.

Secondly, the political stability and the good governance structures of the country   are also making Ghana attractive to so many investors.

Anybody in Ghana has a right to express his or her view as stipulated in the constitution without fear of favour. Businesses and investors who have unsatisfied with business and legal decision have the right to seek alternative dispute resolution either in Ghana or outside the jurisdiction and are given fair hearing. Democracy and good governance has helped shaped the Ghanaian economy.

Thirdly, we have a free economy where commodity prices and inflation are not controlled by the government but are monitored by government and policies are changed and implemented as and when appropriate to keep them in check unlike other countries where commodity prices and inflation are controlled by the central government.

This country also has a strong system in place to check and monitor money laundering activities and prosecute people involved.

Our security systems are also good and better. The security institutions have been equipped with vehicles and state of the art equipment’s to protect the sovereignty of the country and arrest people who seem to be threatening the peace being enjoyed by the good people of Ghana

The digitization and digitization agenda of the current government is also in a way attracting lots of Hi -Tech America investors and investment firms.

Government last year launched a mobile application designed to make the purchase of electricity credits and the payment of bills more convenient for customers of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

Known as ‘ECG Power’, the app, designed in-house by the ICT staff of ECG, makes it possible for 2.8 million out of the company’s 3.8 million customers to make payments for power purchased and services rendered by the company.

Other digital initiatives include the introduction of Zipline Technology, a medical drone programme which is helping in healthcare delivery especially in the hard-to-reach communities of Ghana.

Also, the  introduction of a Paperless Port system which has reduced the turn-around times at the country’s ports; the digitisation of DVLA to eliminate corrupt practices, the introduction of a Digital Property Addressing System, issuance of a National ID Card and the provision of banking services to every resident of Ghana through the innovative Mobile Payments Interoperability platform.

Twitter’s mission is to serve the public conversation, and it’s essential, for the world and for Twitter, to increase the number of people who feel comfortable participating in it. To do this, we need to make it easier for everyone to join in and provide more relevant experiences for people across the world.

MESSAGE FROM TWITTER

Today, in line with our growth strategy, we’re excited to announce that we are now actively building a team in Ghana. To truly serve the public conversation, we must be more immersed in the rich and vibrant communities that drive the conversations taking place every day across the African continent.

We are looking for specialists to join several teams including product, design, engineering, marketing and communications. Full details on current job openings can be found on the Twitter Careers site.

Aligned with our existing WFH policies, we look forward to welcoming and onboarding our new team members remotely so that we can make an immediate impact while we explore the opportunity to open an office in Ghana in the future.

Why Ghana?

As a champion for democracy, Ghana is a supporter of free speech, online freedom, and the Open Internet, of which Twitter is also an advocate.

Furthermore, Ghana’s recent appointment to host The Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area aligns with our overarching goal to establish a presence in the region that will support our efforts to improve and tailor our service across Africa.

Whenever we enter new markets, we work hard to ensure that we are not just investing in the talent that we hire, but also investing in local communities and the social fabric that supports them.

We have already laid foundations through partnerships with Amref Health Africa in Kenya, Afrochella in Ghana, Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative (MANI) in Nigeria, and The HackLab Foundation in Ghana.

As part of our long-term commitment to the region, we’ll continue to explore compelling ways we can use the positive power of Twitter to strengthen our communities through employee engagement, platform activation, and corporate giving.

We still have much to learn but we are excited to listen, learn, and engage. Public conversation is essential to solving problems, building shared ideas, and pushing us all forward together. We can’t wait for the next step on that journey.

Ghana’s wealth of resources, democratic political system and dynamic economy, makes it undoubtedly one of Africa’s leading lights.

Gaining the world’s confidence with a peaceful political transition and a grounded and firm commitment to democracy has helped in expediting Ghana’s growth in foreign direct investment (FDI) in recent years.

Ghana has attracted the attention of well-known international businesses, investing in all sectors of our economy.

All these investors have come to Ghana because they know we have a wonderful conducive social, political and economic environment in which they can invest, grow and be successful.

Building on significant natural resources, our dear nation is committed to improving its physical infrastructure.

Moreover, Ghana has recently embarked on an ambitious but achievable reform programme to improve the investment climate for both local and international investors.

These efforts have paid off tremendously with Ghana being recognised by the World Bank Doing Business Report 2014 as the “Best Place for Doing Business in the ECOWAS Region”

GOOGLE

I am told that Google AI Lab is being established in Ghana. I don’t know if it’s completed and operating. Google probably has reasons for choosing Ghana, I think it has to do with the robust network of academic institutions as well as infrastructure.

Google has been a significant investor in strengthening those institutions and the infrastructure around it.

An Alphabet Subsidiary named CSquared spun out of Google has quietly been operating an extensive fiber optic backbone in Accra and Kampala to help solve the last-mile internet problem.

The country has relatively stable electricity, relative security, and decent internet infrastructure. It also has some of the best tourist destinations in the developing world.

By Kwabena Adu Koranteng, Economic and Financial Journalist at the New Crusading Guide