Feature Article of Monday, 25 April 2005
Columnist: Appiah-Danquah, Kufuor
Entrepreneurs ? Your Investment is safe in Ghana
Ghana Airways and Afra Airlines
The article by Jean Lukaz re Ghana Airways and the plea by Luke regarding Afra Airlines have raised a lot of eyebrows among some big financial institutions and prospective investors in the UK.
Whilst, I share in the concerns of some of my colleagues on the Board of London Luton Airport and the Chamber Business, I still do believe that our dream of achieving a golden age of business can be realized. The socio-economic problems facing our continent in
For once we must bury our differences in our quest to create a cohesive and prosperous society.
The challenge for all Ghanaians, for the next decade and beyond, is to improve the quality of life of all our citizens, increase their social and economic prospects for the future and enable our people to participate fully in their communities. That is a shared vision that we can all buy into.
Folks, I do not intend to spend much time on the damming article by Jean Lukaz regarding the sale of Ghana Airways to GIA. There is no denying the fact that this issue has done a lot of harm to our image abroad. The simple fact is attracting potential investors is all about confidence and good governance. It does not matter how much I scream from the hill top or how loud I extol the virtues of my country and government the critical factor is how investors perceive our systems. The Ghana Airways issue was not one about trust, transparency or good governance- it may be the case of a potential bidder receiving unfair advantage. What I can confidently say is; the current President and his Senior Ministers are extremely keen, determined and ?gang-ho? in creating a level playing field for guys like Luke and other prospective investors. We badly need the jobs for our citizens ?our young people.
In relation to Afra Airlines, I am extremely disappointed that the real issues surrounding Afra was not resolved and it had to come to this. I feel a personal sense of failure, as I have been closely associated with Luke and our efforts to reach an amicable solution, which would have satisfied all parties. I had arranged for Luke to visit Luton International Airport and develop links with the Airport in our efforts to create more jobs and build a prosperous future for our country.
I do understand Luke?s frustration and his wish to secure his license back. It should not have reached this stage. The President had stated clearly that the Ghana Civil Aviation must deal with all the issues. It is not good enough ? So many people are letting the President down
All parties knew the score, I have spend a fortune ringing, emailing, texting all interested parties with the view of getting an amicable solution to this complex issue. Anytime we seem to be getting closer to a solution, something crops up.
I have on several occasion (telephone conversations, emails, texts ) re-assured Luke and his good wife that there will be a satisfactory solution to this commercial problem and that our country, government and the President was genuinely committed to the golden age of business?.
Obviously I am disappointed by the washing of our ?dirty-linen in public, I guess Luke had no choice but to make his confidential letter which I had last week and I had personally send it to the President about a week ago open. To exacerbate the issue further my friend and work colleague Krishna Sharma. London Luton Airport Client Manger who was keen to develop links between Afra and Luton International Airport died yesterday.
Krishna, the Managing Director of London Luton International Airport and the Development Director had already met with Nii Ayite Boafo a Presidential adviser and they had expressed their optimism and hope for our country. Luton International Airport is home to Britannia, Easy Jet and a host of major airlines. It is the major employer in the Bedfordshire conurbation of England and its experience in developing a world class Airport will serve our country. We can still develop links with GIA and Afra.
Plea to potential investors
My plea to all potential investors is simple: Please, my country is a safe haven for your investment. We are a people determined to create the ?African Jaguar economy?. and leave a prosperous nation for our children.
As a nation we are proud of the good investment climate and good governance that had been developed between Ghana and the outside world, the result of many years of hard work by the NDC, NPP, our communities, church/Moslem, leaders and by the free spirit of Ghanaians.
The current President is fully aware that he cannot ill afford the breakdown of confidence by investors that so badly affect our neighbours. We need all hands on board.
I can assure Ghanaians and potential investors that the President and his senior Minister are not complacent (I have been heavily and personally involved with the Afra issue); as a people we know that tensions can rise and mistakes can be made, often as a result of events and actions beyond our control. It is at times like this that the strength of the trust, confidence and shared vision built up over so long proves its value.
I hope and pray that all who wish Ghana well would see this as a learning curve ? OUR COUNTRY IS A SAFE HAVEN FOR POTENTIAL INVESTORS, TOURISTS AND ALL WHO WISH US WELL- WE NEED YOU ALL
Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.