The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) represented by its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr Yofi Grant, has been elected as the Regional Director (Sub Saharan Africa) for the Steering Board of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA), the Executive Organ of the General Assembly, from 2019 to 2021.
The announcement was made at the 24th WAIPA World Investment Conference held in Warsaw, Poland from October 7- 8, 2019. The conference was hosted by the WAIPA Regional Directorship for the European Union, the Polish Investment and Trade Agency (PAIH).
The event brought together members, investment promotion professionals, international organization leaders, heads of financial institutions, politicians, academics, consultants, economists and other experts in the field of investment promotion and foreign direct investment.
GIPC won this position after it got the most votes at the WAIPA General Assembly meeting. The Centre contested for this position with Investment Promotion Agency of Mali (API-Mali), and the Economic Development Board (EDB) Mauritius.
The General Assembly consists of the Presidency, two Vice Presidents, and Regional Directorship for Sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Southeast Asia, European Union, Eastern Europe, North America, Central America and the Caribbean, and South America.
As a regional director, the Centre will help facilitate the investment activities of Investment Promotion Agencies (IPA’s), and improve intellectual and investment frameworks to improve foreign direct investments in the regions.
The GIPC will also work with other regional agencies and international bodies such as International Trade Commission (ITC), World Trade Organization (WTO), World Economic Forum (WEF) and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in knowledge sharing as well as policy directions within the regions.
Additionally, the Centre will lead IPA’s in the Sub-Saharan region to organize capacity building pogrammes and lead discussions on Intraregional facilitation as well as increase awareness,open up regional markets, and advice WAIPA on all relevant issues relating to FDI in regions which need attention.
Speaking on this new role, Mr Grant said it is perhaps a recognition of Ghana’s leadership role on the continent especially in the area of trade and investment and also being selected to host the headquarters of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCTA) .
He said being a member of the Steering Committee Sub-Saharan Africa of WAIPA puts Ghana in the driving seat of promoting positive change in the investment climate of Africa through
experience sharing and capacity building as well as reforms and making sure that “we do actually accelerate growth in Africa through investments”.
Additionally, he said with the right partnerships, Africa could increase its economic fortunes especially as the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) demanded that African countries identified their own strengths and opportunities which was well expressed in the present Ghana/ Africa Beyond Aid Agenda.
On the benefit of this new position for the Centre, Mr Grant said “the role meant that the Centre would be working with African IPA’s to ensure that we have the right frameworks, improve our ease of investments and facilitation and constructive investments in partnership with our own indigenous economies, and drive policy to make sure that African countries become more attractive thereby increasing Foreign Direct Investments (FDI)”.
WAIPA is a non-governmental organization that was established under the auspices of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in 1995 in Geneva as an Association under Swiss law. Currently its operational office is situated in Istanbul.
The organization provides an opportunity for investment promotion agencies (IPAs) to network and exchange best practices in investment promotion.
Its objectives among others are to promote and develop understanding and cooperation amongst IPAs, strengthen information-gathering systems, promote the efficient use of information and facilitate access to data sources, and share country and regional experiences in attracting foreign investment and enhancing outward investments.
WAIPA is currently made up of 125 IPA’s across the world.