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Gabon and Ghana target $4b investments at property show.

Dubai: African countries, Gabon and Ghana participating at the International Property Show are looking to attract about $2 billion each in investments across diverse sectors, including affordable housing and agricultural land.

Ghana hopes to attract $2 billion in investments for projects in oil and gas, infrastructure, industrial development and transport systems, Seth Bh, President of the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told Gulf News.

The West African nation has a deficit of 1.5 million affordable homes in need of a foreign investment boost, he said. "We are looking to build lower-end homes in the price range of $40,000 that the ordinary masses can buy," he said.

It hopes to attract half a billion dollars for agricultural land development, another major area of business that Ghana is pitching during the show with a 300 per cent return on investment, Bh claimed, especially to Gulf countries that import over 90 per cent of their food requirements.

"We have a lot of virgin land in Ghana, very fertile and rich, but we need the technology and know-how to turn it around," he said. "We can feed the whole of the Arab world."

Rice, maize, cocoa, coffee, palm oil are some of the products Ghana is offering investors.

"We want to develop Ghana as a hub for trade and industry in West Africa," Bh said.

Investor incentives include repatriation of all funds from free zones and registering foreign companies within five days, he said.

Asked about whether perceptions of corruption in some African countries are deterring investors, he said: "Corruption started from the Western world, they trained us, so they shouldn't talk about corruption here."

Asked about challenges faced in attracting investments, he said: "Some don't want to leave their comfort zone. They lump Africa into one country and think it's all full of war. That's why we are here, to change perceptions."

Gabon, another African country represented at the IPS, also showcased $2 billion worth of projects in infrastructure, agriculture and services, said Lloyd Humphrey Labouba, communications manager for the Agency of Promotion of Investment and Exportations (APIEX) in Ghana.

"We are looking for investors from the Gulf and around the world," he said.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:6GHAN
Date:May 1, 2013
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