The government is to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with its counterpart from the United States of America (USA) today in Accra for enhanced public-private partnerships in the development and implementation of energy, infrastructure and its priority projects.
The MoU comes on the back of the visit of the U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross as well as other members of the U.S. President's Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa in the country and the reaffirmation by both governments to increase trade and investment between the two countries.
The agreement is in line with government's plans to develop public-private partnership infrastructure projects that will support Ghana's agriculture and industrial production as a strategic priority in its Ghana beyond Aid strategy.
It also falls in tandem with the commitment of the USA government to further strengthen the existing commercial ties and to promote U.S. commercial participation and investment in Ghana's energy and infrastructure sectors, as well as in government stimulus programmes in other sectors such as agriculture, healthcare, industrial parks, financial services and digitally enabled services.
It would ensure that US companies interested in partnering government in the "One District One Factory" initiative, port infrastructure, rail infrastructure, oil and gas exploration and transmission, renewable energy power generation and distribution, power grid modernisation and expansion projects, off-grid energy access infrastructure such as mini-grids, customs modernisation, medical facilities modernisation, digitalisation projects involving software and other automated solutions, agricultural and agro-industrial projects, regional airport and logistics services hub , regional financial services hub and other projects were notified.
To develop a favourable business environment for investments growth, the agreement enjoins government to focus on developing a capital market regulatory environment to facilitate capital flows and developing more transparent auction procedures for offshore oil and gas resources to attract more private sector investment in Ghana's upstream energy sector.
It would also work towards improving border security, customs harmonisation and trade facilitation to enable greater trade flows; and continuing the implementation of reforms to ensure that the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) operates on sound commercial principles and maintain high standards related to health, safety, security, the environment, labour, transparency, good governance, and sustainable debt management in its development of the strategic infrastructure priority projects.
Among other commitments, the government would be required to provide effective investor protections, including generally acceptable level of legal certainty and protection against discriminatory, arbitrary, and otherwise unfair or harmful treatment to all investors and investments in its territories, such as intellectual property rights as well as provide compensation in the event of direct or indirect expropriation.
The US government, through its Department of Commerce, would work to facilitate and promote opportunities for U.S. companies to participate in commercial projects in Ghana under the Ghana Beyond Aid strategy and conduct targeted outreach via road shows, online webinars, or other means - to promote commercial and investment opportunities in Ghana.
In the area of energy advancement, it further commits the US government to continue to provide development grants and technical assistance for renewable energy, power generation and distribution priority projects in Ghana.
The US government is also committed to providing technical assistance to improve the capital market regulatory environment in Ghana to facilitate capital flows and expand trade and investment opportunities as well as the needed assistance in improving border security and harmonising customs procedures across all ports of entry and with neighbouring countries to facilitate greater trade flows.
It would further provide support to the Ghana Revenue Authority to increase transparency and reduce opportunities for corruption and the costs of tax compliance for businesses.