Founded in the year 1999, the G20 is an international forum for governments and central banks from twenty (20) of the major economies around the world. Its aim is to study, review and promote high-level discussion on policy issues pertaining to the promotion of international financial stability.
The G20 in 2017 held the twelfth (12) meeting of the group and was dubbed as “G20 Hamburg Summit”. The meeting took place in the German city of Hamburg on the 7th and 8th June 2017 with some of the world’s top policymakers and investors represented.
For the first time, Africa was high on the G20 agenda with nine African heads of government, including the Ghanaian president, H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo in attendance. Other attendants included ministers, the heads of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the African Development Bank alongside the Federal Chancellor of Germany, Dr Angela Merkel, German Minister of Finance Dr Wolfgang Schäuble and the German Development Minister Dr Gerd Müller. The conference presented a platform to discuss issues of central importance for the continent’s future and forging a new partnership between the G20 members, emerging countries and Africa.
On Thursday 22nd June 2017, the German Embassy in Ghana in partnership with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) held a press conference at the German Embassy to brief a section of the media about the outcomes of the G20 Africa conference and the successful high-level bilateral meetings between officials of the Ghanaian and German governments.
The media encounter was addressed by the German Ambassador to Ghana, Hon. Christopher Retzlaff, who accompanied the Ghanaian delegation to the G20 Hamburg Summit, Mr Henry G. R. Kerali, Country Director of the World Bank and Mrs Natalia Koliadina, Country Representative for the IMF.
To renew efforts of cooperation and to enhance sustainable economic development, the German G20 Presidency launched the G20 Africa Partnership. The Partnership aims to support reliable financial frameworks in order to increase investment opportunities, push for a more sustainable infrastructure as well as create jobs and employment in African countries thereby contributing to the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
“In this regard, the partnership intends to support related political initiatives of the G20 and facilitate joint commitments being investment compacts between African countries, G20 Partners and International Financial Institutions. The Compacts are demand-driven and form the basis for long-term cooperation, with the aim of creating a sound investment climate in relevant sectors of selected African economies. During the G 20 Africa conference, Ghana became one of the now seven Compact countries including Tunisia, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Rwanda, Morocco and Ethiopia”, Ambassador Retzlaff highlighted.
Ambassador Retzlaff added that three Compact countries (Ghana, Tunisia and Côte d’Ivoire) will additionally enter into a reform partnership with Germany. This saw the signing of declarations of intent between German Development Minister, Dr Müller and the Ghanaian Minister of Finance, Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta. This will see Germany and Ghana intensifying their cooperation in the fields of Renewable Energy, Technical and Vocational Training and Financial Sector Development with an investment package of up to 100 Million Euros from Germany. The first year will be to improve the climate for private investment and create better employment prospects.
Mr Kerali indicated the need for the Ghanaian government to create an enabling environment to attract foreign investment and also introduce policies leading to conditions to support the growth and development of businesses. “It will be great to have a review of the process to register and set up a company in Ghana to make it easier and faster. That will be a great incentive to most investors and businesses looking at having operations in Ghana and the World Bank is committed to supporting Ghana to become very attractive to businesses and investors”, he cited.
The Country Representative of the IMF, Mrs Natalia Koliadina, was optimistic the goal of the Compact, to boost private investment by harnessing the expertise and resources of governments, investors and international organisations, will be achieved.
By: Chris Koney