Mr Joe Ghartey, the Minister of Railways Development, has said Government would in the next three and a half years construct approximately 1200 kilometres of rail to boost Ghana’s economy.
He said: “The building of a modern railway network coupled with our programme of developed associated rail infrastructure under the programme.
“From Stations to Cities,” seeks to take advantage of the rail network to bring accelerated economic development to the rail corridors to transform Ghana’s economy.
“This programme of developing associated infrastructure including new industrial estates, inland rail terminal, new suburban housing and commercial centres all create opportunities for investors,” he said.
Mr Ghartey said this in an address read on behalf of the Vice President Mahamadu Bawaumia at the AI CEO African Pension And Sovereign Wealth Fund Leaders’ Summit held on May 2 in Durban, South Africa.
The summit on the theme: “Facilitating Pension Fund Investment Partnership with African Asset Owners,” aimed to focus on investment strategies and governance and showcase institutional-grade opportunities and instruments to de-risk and catalyse global and African institutional capital.
He said in the energy sector, government had announced a policy to move to new power projects from terminal to renewable energy with a focus on solar and bio energy to offer opportunities for investors.
He noted that at the last AI Heads of State Investment Working Lunch, mobilising Africa’s sovereign wealth and pensions funds for investment across the continent over the next 10 years was a stated priority outcome, with the clear aim to track and boost intra-Africa investments from its current low level of five per cent of total stock to 60 per cent over the next ten years.
Unfortunately, the pension sector in Africa is not as large as it ought to be. With the exception of South Africa, the Africa continent is on the fringes of the global pensions industry, Mr Ghartey said.
According to the Global Pension Assets Study, the 10 biggest African markets comprise a combined asset value of $37 billion and half of these assets the study said are held in South Africa.
In Nigeria, the value of pension fund assets under the management as a proportion if GDP is five per cent. This compares rather poorly with some countries where pension fund assets under the management as a proportion of GDP is more than 100 per cent
Mr Ghartey said the bright side of the low pension penetration rate was that there were opportunities for growth.
In Ghana, for example, the assets under management of the pensions fund industry grew five-fold form 2008 to 2014.
“Thus whilst Africa adopts measures to increase pension penetration it must also take steps to create an enabling environment for other pension funds, including US and Global Pension Funds and Institutional Investors.
“It is clear from the above that private sector investment has been identified as being key to bridge the infrastructure deficit in Africa. It is important therefore that clear strategies are developed to attract African sovereign wealth funds and pension funds for investment across Africa’’, he said.
He expressed Government’s commitment to partner the private sector to accelerate development hence the implementation of programmes that sought to move Ghana’s economy from focusing on taxation to focusing on development.
“We are ready as a nation for investment and we are confident that our investment and business friendly legal and institutional framework, political stability, improving and expanding economy, availability of investment opportunities in the infrastructure sector provides an interesting cocktail of opportunity for investors in Ghana,” he said.
Also at the summit were Mr Kwaku Agyenim-Boateng-Deputy Minister of Railways Development, Mr Mohammed Habib Tijani- Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Mr Solomon Asamoah- CEO of Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund and Mr Yoofi Grant- CEO of GIPC.