MFA: Strategic opportunities for foreign exporters
Although last year 2020 brought enormous pressure on the state treasury mainly due to measures related to covid-19 and also due to the fact that it was an election year and the government started investing in many projects, especially in the field of health and infrastructure (the national debt is currently around 75% of GDP), the government shows an interest in continuing to invest massively in some sectors as part of the “Ghana beyond aid” declaration.
The government, as part of this declaration, has drawn up the “Ghana CARES” program out of which it is expected to invest GHC 100 billion to transform, revitalize and modernize the economy and return it to high and sustained growth for the next 3 years. The government further aims to continue with the rapid industrialization agenda to transform the structure of Ghana’s raw material export dependent economy into a higher value added industrial economy. Ghana is determined to take full advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area to produce more in the country and export to Africa and beyond.
Although the government has ambitious plans, the slowdown in the world economy has resulted in significant shortfalls in oil revenue, cocoa production, tourism, import duties and other tax revenue. Trade volumes, both domestic and foreign, have also decreased as a result of the pandemic. Ghana has seen a significant decrease in the volume of trade, especially with China, which represents Ghana’s largest exporter and second largest importer at the same time.
Also, flows of planned foreign direct investment slowed in 2020 due to uncertainties related to covid-19. Inflation is expected to be stable in the range of 8.1–9.9% in 2021, growth, according to some world agencies, around 1.9% of GDP. Ghana is one of the first African countries to start vaccinating its residents, the pandemic situation is now stabilized.
As part of measures to address the budget deficit created by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the Central Bank of Ghana has adopted an emergency funding provision that will allow it to support the government up to GHC 10 billion this year. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has also approved the payment of USD 1 billion to the Ghanaian government, which is to be drawn under the fast loan facility. Government, on the other hand, in order to reduce the direct impact on businesses, should spend GHC 3 billion to support industries, especially pharmaceuticals, hospitality, services and manufacturing. As part of this, the government introduced the Coronavirus Alleviation Program (CAP) worth 1 billion.
GHC, which was launched on 19/05/2020 and through which SMEs in the country can apply for government subsidy. In addition, the banks should provide selected companies with a six-month moratorium on principal repayments and a 2% reduction in interest rates. The Ghana Revenue Authority will also provide relief to small businesses and households. This includes extending the due dates for paying taxes from 4 months to 6 months after the end of the fiscal year, supporting taxpayers to pay their taxes by bank transfer, waiving penalties for those taxpayers who settle their outstanding debts by June 30, 2020, and more exempting goods intended to fight the coronavirus from VAT and allowing deductions of donations related to covid-19 as an allowed expense for tax purposes.
The government has implemented a national covid-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan (EPRP), largely funded by US$100 million from the World Bank. The government has also introduced the covid-19 mitigation program (CAP) to address the socio-economic impact of this pandemic on households and businesses. Under this program, the government substantially subsidized the cost of electricity and water services from April to the end of December 2020 and provided food rations to vulnerable groups during the partial shutdown.
The government has also initiated a program (Coronavirus Alleviation Program – Business Support Scheme) to provide concessional loans and other related support to micro and small and medium enterprises. While not readily available, spending to combat covid-19 is estimated at 1-3% of Ghana’s GDP. As a result of these measures, the government is proposing to introduce a new 1% tax on the VAT and health insurance rate, which should mainly cover the cost of purchasing vaccines.
The automotive industry in Ghana is largely dominated by the sale and purchase of used vehicles, however, the import of new cars into Ghana is growing by 10% annually, while the country’s import of automotive parts and components is also increasing. The Government of Ghana has enacted the Motor Vehicles Act, which gives the legal framework for the assembly of vehicles in the country. The detailed policy framework is expected to reduce vehicle imports, which amount to 85,000 annually and cost more than US$1 billion.
This also means that all investors will focus on setting up car assembly plants and will have tax breaks. As a result, import duties on new passenger cars, SUVs and other trucks will increase to 35 percent. Three car companies, Volkswagen, Toyota and Nissan, have signed agreements with the government to set up vehicle assembly plants in Ghana, signaling the start of mass production.
Transport industry and infrastructure
The President declared 2021 the “second year of roads”. This statement should continue to prioritize the construction of roads and other necessary infrastructure, especially the reconstruction of key bridges, overpasses and other structures. Demand for these bridges can be expected to grow as they provide access to agricultural land, which is only about 13% under cultivation in Ghana.
Ghana is also planning to establish a national flag carrier (airline) with the strategic participation of a foreign partner. Further investment in intercity transport is planned, the government has provided 100 new intercity buses for Metro Mass Transit Limited and 100 buses for Intercity STC Coaches Limited.
In particular, the deteriorating security situation in neighboring countries is forcing the government to invest more in the defense industry. The main goal of the strategic plan is the modernization of the Ghanaian armed forces, for which the Ghanaian government has long-term allocated 145 million USD even before the pandemic. As part of this modernization, small arms and ammunition, new army armored vehicles, parachutes and other army accessories should be procured for the soldiers.
The potential exists in the field of repairs and modernization of helicopter technology, deliveries of light transport aircraft, pilot training or repairs and modernization of ground technology. The Ministry of Defense’s longer-term plans include supporting and participating in UN peacekeeping operations and strengthening internal security in the country, including strengthening the protection of the oil industry in the western part of the country.
Water management and waste industry
According to allcountrylist, the government has started construction of 16 integrated solid waste recycling and processing facilities, and preparatory work has also begun on a number of water supply projects across the country. A “toilet for households and institutions” program was created to reduce the problems of open defecation.
The environment and the waste and water management industry are coming to the fore, investments in waste incinerators with energy production and other waste processing technologies are planned in the coming years.
Healthcare and pharmaceutical industry
As part of managing the covid-19 pandemic, the government initiated the so-called “Agenda 111”, which should ensure the construction of 101 hospitals in districts without hospitals, 7 regional hospitals and 2 psychiatric hospitals. The program was launched last year and many hospitals are already under construction. In addition to this construction, options are offered in the field of subsequent equipment of these facilities, both with technologies and drugs and other materials.
Ghana’s healthcare sector faces many challenges, be it outdated equipment or the complete absence of hospitals in certain regions. There is also a shortage of medical personnel who often go abroad to work. Medicines are largely sourced from India and China as the market is price sensitive.
Agricultural and food industry
It is one of the most important sectors of the economy, employing up to 70% of the workforce and contributing to 24% of the country’s GDP. The priority goal of the current government is to ensure self-sufficiency in the production of rice, corn and soybeans, and the government strives to ensure affordable agricultural equipment for small and medium-sized farmers, especially with the covid-19 situation. In previous years, more than 1,200 pieces of small tractors and accessories were imported from the Czech Republic.
Several hundred more units were delivered in 2019-2020, so further demand for tractors and spare parts can be expected. Another priority of the government in the field of agriculture is the reduction of dependence on food imports. The annual import of sugar into Ghana is 400 million USD (roughly 80% of all sugar is imported) and there is a need for the construction of new sugar factories or the revitalization of non-functioning ones built by experts from the Czech Republic in the 1980s.
Ghana has reopened a cane sugar factory, but local production is far from meeting demand. Since the import of poultry meat reached 250 thousand in 2018 tons, there is an effort to support own production of poultry meat and eggs, which represents a demand especially for feed, artificial fertilizers and processing technology. At the same time, we register a demand for the import of live beef cattle for the purpose of our own breeding, which would ensure part of the production of fresh meat and milk.
Another possibility is the import of canned goods, salami and other meat products. The demand for these products is given by 90% of meat imports into the country and at the same time the minimal production of meat products. The government also wants to limit the export of cocoa beans, especially to Switzerland, and wants to create conditions for its own chocolate production.
Rail and rail transport
A new Ministry of Railway Development was established in Ghana in February 2017. The ministry’s main objectives, defined in the 2013 “Ghana Railway Master Plan”, are to connect Ghana’s largest cities and use Ghana to transport goods from landlocked African countries such as Burkina Faso to the ports of Tema and Takoradi and vice versa.
Furthermore, the provision of a transport route for the transport of mineral resources from the areas of their deposits, both inland (manganese, bauxite, iron ore) and on the coast (oil and natural gas). The priority plan includes the construction of 1,394 km of railways in the amount of USD 7.8 billion, which should come mainly from foreign investments.
There are also plans to build a tram system in Accra and Kumasi. At the same time, the transport infrastructure should be expanded, key bridges, overpasses and other buildings should be reconstructed.
- Contacts to Czech embassies in the territory
- Practical telephone numbers (emergency services, police, firefighters, information lines, etc.)
- Important Internet links and contacts
Contacts at the embassies of the Czech Republic in the territory
Embassy of the Czech Republic
2, Hilla Limann Highway North Ridge POBox 5226 Accra – Ghana
Telephone (switchboard) +233 (0) 540 126 815-6
Emergency line +233 (0) 247 011 428
Leader Ján FÜRY
Diplomatic and consular jurisdiction for Burkina Faso, Republic of Ghana, Republic of Liberia, Republic of Ivory Coast, Republic of Sierra Leone, Republic of Togo
There is no regular transport connection to ZÚ, you have to use taxi services or your own means of transport.
Practical telephone numbers (emergency services, police, firemen, information lines, etc.)
Country Code: +233 International Access Code – 00
Police – 191
Fire department – 192/999
Ambulance – 193
National Disaster Management (NADMO) – Accra: 024-4508351 / 0302-762593
Ghana Fire Service Central Headquarters – 0302-772446 / 666576/666577/6664937
Customs Enforcement and Injury Prevention Headquarters Accra – 0302-66841 /3
Power Company of Ghana Headquarters – 0302-664941 / 665205/662277
Government of Ghana Information Services Department – 0302 228054/228011
For all other emergency numbers follow the following link: www.ghana.gov.gh
Important web links and contacts
Government of Ghana – ghana.gov.gh
Ghana Investment Promotion Center – gipcghana.com
Bank of Ghana – bog.gov.gh
Registrar General’s Department – rgd.gov.gh
Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) – ghanaimmigration.org
Social Security and National Insurance Trust – ssnit.org.gh
Ghana Chamber of Commerce & Industry – ghanachamber.org
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – epa.gov.gh
Ghana Free Zones Board – gfzb.gov.gh
Ghana Export Promotion Authority – gepaghana.org
Minerals Commission – http://www.mincom.gov.gh/
Ghana Tourism Authority – ghana.travel
Ghana Standards Authority – gsa.gov.gh
National Communications Authority – nca.org.gh
Ghana Revenue Authority – gra.gov.gh
Association of Ghana Industries – agighana.org
Ghana Public Procurement Authority – ppaghana.org
Ghana Ports & Harbors Authority – ghanaports.gov.gh
Petroleum Commission – petrocom.gov.gh
Ghana Statistical Service – www.statsghana.gov.gh
Ministry of Finance – mofep.gov.gh
Ministry of Trade and Industry – moti.gov.gh
Ghana Broadcasting Corporation(GBC) – gbcghana.com TV3 Network – tv3network.com Daily Graphic – graphic.com.gh Citi FM- citinewsroom.com Joy FM – myjoyonline.com