Nana Osei-Bonsu, CEO of PEF and some other members of the panel
The American Chamber of Commerce in Ghana (AMCHAM) and the European Business Organization (EBO) organized a seminar in Accra to discuss Ghana’s local content regime and how it can be used as a tool for development. Both organizations have reiterated their commitment to seeing the successful implementation of Ghana’s local content policies and regulations, stating that such policies and regulations must ensure win-win situation for both foreign investors and Ghana. The CEO of PEF, Nana Osei-Bonsu was invited to join a panel to deliberate on the provisions in Ghana’s laws on local content and participation in various sectors of the economy. The discussion was to find a way forward for effective local content legislation and implementation for development of Ghana’s economy without undermining the drive for foreign direct investments. Nana in his submission stated that the pursuit of local content and participation is the surest way of safeguarding the interest of the local private sector to have a share in the benefits of the Ghanaian economy and also to ensure sustainability of the industry when the foreign counterparts sometimes leave for their home countries. However, he emphasized the need to train the local workforce across the value chain, to equip them with the requisite skills and competencies to drive innovation and growth in the industry. Nana mentioned that local content policies usually cover four key elements: local contracts to provide local goods and services; provide local employment opportunities; local equity participation; and technology transfer. He stated that in the mining sector where Ghana has zero equity in companies operating in the sector, local content regulations were intended to share the value generated in the mining sector with Ghanaians. Nana Osei Bonsu cited the good example of Technip FMC, an upstream oil and gas service provider that had invested in training local engineers, instead of using mostly foreign engineers.
Nana remarked that content legislation cannot substitute mediocrity for quality of business and fail woefully if low skill and competencies level of labor is not trained to world class standard. The event gave stakeholders, foreign and local; the positive and negative sides of local content regulation and to seek a mutually beneficial ground to operate thus making the country attractive to FDIs. The event had a panel comprising Kwasi Abeasi, Chairman, Board of Directors of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC); Nana Osei-Bonsu, CEO of Private Enterprise Federation; George Brakoh, Regional Manager, Local Supplier and Contractor Development, Newmont Ghana; David Addo Ashong, Founding Partner, Ashong Benjamin and Associates and Senyo Hosi, CEO of Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors. The panellists agreed that local content policies and regulations are important in bringing value and benefits to all stakeholders of the business-including shareholders, employees, suppliers and locals.