Focusing on enterprise
ONE OF President Kufuors priorities in the revival of the economy is the development of the private sector. After taking office, he established the countrys first Ministry for Private Sector Development, responsible for encouraging entrepreneurship, stimulating investment, and tackling bureaucratic red-tape. In an economy dominated by large public enterprises and state holdings, it is quite a challenge.
Minister for Private Sector Development
On a practical level, the Ministry is assisting private businesses by opening up new lines of funding, refining legislation, and identifying bottlenecks. The Minister for Private Sector Development, Kwamena Bartels, says he is studying areas such as immigration, clearance procedures at airports and harbors, and company registrations with the intention of cutting red tape and speeding up transactions.
There are also initiatives to earmark areas in which Ghana can claim a competitive advantage. In these sectors, such as cocoa, timber, salt and tourism, there are high hopes for attracting private investment from overseas. There is plenty of scope for American investors to participate, especially in areas like textiles, through the African Growth and Opportunity Act. With access to the large west African market there are lots of possibilities for regional export.
Bartels believes U.S. firms need to become aware of the potential. The
biggest advantage that we have is the peace and stability in this country,
Substantial foreign interest has benefited the construction sector, which has developed a strong reputation for delivering quality products on budget and on time. Local construction companies have experience in a wide-range of complex projects, from highways and gas terminals, to homes and luxury hotels. Key industry players include Taysec, Regimanuel Gray, and the Manet Group.
The Manet Group, a fully indigenous firm founded in 1994, is also working in the rapidly growing real estate sector. It operates two subsidiaries: Manet Housing, a real estate development company, and Manet Hotels, which owns and operates a beach resort along the coast about 65 miles from Accra. The group has experienced explosive growth since its formation less than a decade ago.
DR.THERESA OPPONG BEEKO
Chief Executive Officer of Manet
Together, the two subsidiaries are managed by Manet International Company (MIC), which acts as a parent company. Incorporated in 1998, it is wholly owned by Ghanaian business-woman Dr. Theresa Oppong Beeko, the groups Chief Executive Officer and founder. Last year, the University of Ghana honored her achievements in the real estate and tourism industries with an honorary doctorate.
Beeko hopes to reach a turnover of $10 million by the end of 2003. In comparison,
Taysec, the largest construction firm in the country has a turnover of around
In less than a decade, Manet Housing has grown from humble origins to become the second largest real estate developer in Ghana. The company is committed to providing high quality homes on schedule and at affordable prices. It was recently listed among the top 20 firms in the country and has more than 800 homes either built, or nearing completion, to its credit.
Manet is working on two major projects, the Manet Court, where it is building
250 standard, deluxe and executive homes, and the Manet Palms development of
200 semidetached homes.
Manet Hotels, set up in 1998, is looking to expand on its present three-star facilities at the Paradise Beach Club in Ada, a 45-room complex offering both tourism and business services. It has hosted conferences for major corporate and financial names including Barclays Bank. There are now plans to increase the number of rooms to 100 and upgrade conference and meeting facilities. The company also hopes to build a new four-star hotel in the center of Accra to appeal to the high end business and tourism markets.
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