It’s World Cup time again – and Ghana is looking to become Africa’s first champion. All eyes are turning towards Brazil and the hopes of beating the German team in the Group G round. It won’t be an easy feat, but if there is an African nation that can do it, it’s Ghana. However, even if the Black Stars aren’t scoring goals in soccer, there are plenty of Ghanaian initiatives winning gold at home and abroad.
Take the commission of a 16M cedi factory in Tema. This incredible investment derives from two different sources: the Distell Group (a South African distillery) and Finatrade (a Ghanaian FMCG distributor). Together, they are building a bottling plant which will soon be responsible for beverages such as Savannah Dry and Hunter’s Gold.
But Hunter’s isn’t the only Gold to be won from this investment. Not only will the Tema factory need to employ local labour, but the actual benefit is in the use of the plant as a distributor. These drinks, including some award winning whiskies will no longer need to be imported from South Africa. Tie that with the ability to become a distributor for the West African region and this investment should expand far beyond the initial cedi amount.
The timber industry is also set to gain new and renewed international investment. The Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources recently accompanied the EU Ambassador Claude Maerten on a tour to assess Ghana’s compliance preparations towards the EU Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA). The team was reviewing timber companies in the western region in advance of the issuance of Timber Validity Licenses (TVL) later this year. And all of that is just a fancy way to say that Europe is soon to be importing sustainable Ghanaian timber. Wood is certainly not a precious metal, as gold or silver, but this endeavour may just bring in plenty of currency.
While Ghanaian companies work to bring in the investment, an American living in Ghana is working to bring in the aid. Isaac Hirt-Manheimer, a sustainable developer in Ghana, is currently visiting his home in Richfield, Connecticut, USA. While there, he is organising a fundraising concert to benefit a school in Ghana that he’s helping to rebuild. Back in Ghana, he runs a cultural centre, Sanfoka Eco-Arts Village that aims to eliminate cultural misconceptions through exchange. That alone is a win for Ghanaian culture at home and for its perceptions overseas.
Though, of course, most Ghanaians won’t feel the effects of these initiatives immediately. And, even if they did, their eyes would still be on Brazil and the World Cup. With a fairly new squad, the country will be looking for Kwesi Appiah to pull out some Black Star Magic from the minute Ghana takes the field against the USA. One can only wonder which team Isaac Hirt-Manheimer will be supporting, but it does appear he’s promoting a Ghanaian win one way, or another.