Share this page

Event report : "Ghana - Japan Investment Seminar: Business Opportunities and SDG Impact Areas"

Event report : "Ghana - Japan Investment Seminar: Business Opportunities and SDG Impact Areas"

On Tuesday July 13, 2021,UNIDO ITPO Tokyo organized an online seminar titled “Ghana—Japan Investment Seminar: Business Opportunities and SDG Impact Areas” jointly with Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) and UNDP.

* Please click presenter names shown below to download presentation materials.


This seminar highlighted the attractiveness of Ghana as an investment destination, a country that has relatively stable political and security situations as well as well-developed basic infrastructures. Mr. YASUNAGA Yuko, Head, UNIDO ITPO Tokyo gave opening remarks, which was followed by welcome remarks by H.E. Mr. HIMENO Tsutomu, Ambassador of Japan to Ghana and H. E. Mr. Frank OKYERE, Ambassador of Ghana to Japan.

Ambassador HIMENO opened the seminar by stressing that it was a very important convening to encourage Japanese companies to invest and do business in Ghana, which is an attractive investment destination, and urged the participants to make use of the SDG Investor Map issued by UNDP. He also emphasized the Japanese Government’s focal points for support in Ghana, comprised of the Embassy, JETRO, and JICA, saying that Japanese companies can always contact for support.

During the presentation by public sector entities in the Session I, Dr. Angela LUSIGI, Resident Representative, UNDP Ghana presented efforts to accelerate SDGs achievement by identifying Investment Opportunity Areas using the SDG Investor Map (in English and Japanese) as a tool which provides knowledge, data and impact measurement intelligence to investors inside and outside the country. She stated that the SDG Investor Map for Ghana identifies Agriculture, Infrastructure, Healthcare, ICT, and Manufacturing as areas with potential for multiplier investment effects, consistent with the national development priorities set out in the National Medium Term Development Framework of Ghana. Her presentation delved into the specific sub-sectors and Investment Opportunity Areas of the SDG Investor Map for Ghana. She concluded on the note that the SDG Investor Map provides practical and disaggregated analysis on the Investment Opportunity Areas and associated market information, which have a potential to achieve both SDGs impact and investment returns. 

Mr. Yofi GRANT, Chief Executive Officer, GIPC cited Ghana’s three “Os,” namely, opportunities, openness and optimism as the attractive points of the country as an investment destination. He said that, in addition to the fact that investment opportunities were available in Ghana, a nation gifted with a wealth of resources and shifting to industrialization (opportunities), its market was open to investors in and outside it due to its political stability and investor protection regulation (openness), adding that its economy was expected to grow steadily in the years ahead on the back of its rapid economic growth in recent years and advanced aid programmes for private-sector entities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic (optimism).

The Session II saw efforts at companies highlighted by The Ajinomoto Foundation, a public interest incorporated foundation, and Degas Ghana Ltd., both engaged in activities in Ghana, as well as by Ghana companies in the IT, agricultural and manufacturing sectors.

KOKO Plus Foundation (The Ajinomoto Foundation, a public interest incorporated foundation)
Mr. Yusuke TAKAHASHI, Country Director, KOKO Plus Foundation featured the Nutrition Improvement Project of Koko Plus Foundation. Sub-Saharan Africa is beset with an issue of babyhood malnutrition impeding body and brain growth. So, the foundation developed KOKO Plus, a nutritional supplement powder that betters the nutritional balance of baby foods, in collaboration with universities, enterprises and international agencies in Ghana. The product underwent nutritional improvement effect checks in regions with a social business model being developed to solve issues in a sustained manner. Mr. Takahashi expressed an intention to boost the foundation’s efforts further towards achieving Universal “Nutrition” and Health Coverage.

Degas Ltd.
Mr. Doga MAKIURA, CEO, Degas Ltd. highlighted the firm’s agricultural business. Population trapped with poverty, although having declined rapidly in the world as a whole over the last three decades, has grown in Sub-Saharan Africa. Particularly Ghana was faced with an issue of low productivity with farmers accounting for some 70% of its population. Degas Ltd. developed a business model in which to make a network of individual farmers and connect harvested agricultural products to consumers while providing seeds, fertilisers and expertise of high quality to deliver an improved productivity. As a future goal, Mr. MAKIURA expressed an intention to use data gathered with digital technologies and move further to lower costs and raise productivity, thereby building a social infrastructure through agriculture.

IT Consortium
Mr. Romeo BUGYEI, Managing Director, IT Consortium featured digitization opportunities in Ghana. The firm builds a foundation in which to connect local and global economic activities by delivering digital infrastructure as a FinTech provider. In addition to highlighting great market opportunities in the digital domain of Ghana, Mr. BUGYEI expressed an intention to work on services for finance and skill development to run start-ups by using mobile devices, PC and mobile phone in cooperation with Japanese companies and to establish digital skill development institutions.

Dr. Daniel ASARE-KYEI, CEO, Esoko highlighted the digital technologies-based agricultural reform efforts by the firm. Farmers account for 70% of the total population of Ghana, but it is faced with an issue of low productivity resulting from limited access to markets, inputs, and credit. Mr. ASARE-KYEI said digitizing agricultural supply chains with various IT technologies such as those provided by Esoko would induce more efficiency in the agricultural sector and raise the value of the nation’s agricultural output. He demonstrated that massive opportunities that exists for Ghanaian AgriTech and Fintech companies to collaborate with Japanese investors to unlock the huge potential of Ghana’s agricultural sector, which currently is operating at 20% capacity. Specific areas for investment, according to Dr. Asare-Kyei include an end-to end digitization of agricultural value chains, credit disbursement using digital solutions, value addition and processing as well as in untapped opportunities in warehousing, post-harvest storage, transportation, cold chain and associated logistics.

Glofert Limited
Mr. Foster Mawuli BENSON, CEO of Glofert Limited, featured the firm’s fertiliser manufacturing business. African countries including Ghana are much required to invest in agribusiness projects due to rising risk for their food security as they will experience a rapid urbanization and population growth in the years ahead. The firm manufactures optimal fertilisers on a custom-made basis in accordance with the conditions of individual agricultural products and land tracts. Mr. BENSON expressed an eagerness to increase the harvest volume for agricultural products and improve agricultural productivity in the big market for Ghana’s agricultural value chain through investment in collaboration with Japanese companies.

The panel discussion in the Session III deliberated on success cases and challenges related to Japanese firms’ business and investment promotion in Ghana with Mr. Emmanuel FORSON, Principal Investment Promotion Officer, GIPC serving as a moderator.

To begin with, as for the experience at the time of expanding its business to Ghana, Mr. Yusuke TAKAHASHI of KOKO Plus Foundation looked back on the fact that the biggest challenge it had run into was not having any local partner. He described the importance of building partnership with trustworthy local companies and organizations through obtaining support from international institutions and donors. As the reason for having decided to expand to Ghana, Mr. MAKIURA of Degas Ltd. cited the political stability and peace of the country. He said that in June 2021, Ghana had been removed from the money laundering “grey list,” targeted for upgraded surveillance, due to having been praised for its counter measures led by the Financial Action Task Force, an international organization of the financial authority. Moreover, he stressed that Ghana was drawing much attention from investors in and outside the country as an attractive investment destination.

The panel discussion also emphasized the impact of COVID-19 on the agricultural sector. While noting that support had been given to the sector by the national government and international institutions, they pointed out the need to upgrade such supports in the months ahead. Mr. NANA OSEI BONSU, Chief Executive Officer, Private Enterprise Federation (PEF) highlighted its efforts to build, through dialogues with the government, an environment and regulatory framework in which private-sector companies find it easy to engage in business. He stressed the importance of foreign companies expanding their businesses while building a good partnership with local firms given that, in the pandemic, many companies had no option but to do activities remotely.

Mr. Louis AMO, Chief Economics Officer & Head of Asia Unit, Ministry of Finance, Ghana, featured the Ghana CARES (Ghana Covid-19 Alleviation and Revitalization of Enterprises Support) Obaatanpa Program envisioned by the government towards post-COVID-19 era resuscitation of the economy in the medium term. He noted that the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic partially crowded out Government’s infrastructure spending to meeting emergency health needs of the country while noting that tax revenue for 2020 would have increased beyond what was realized at the end of the year, had the pandemic not strongly impacted the business sector adversely. He noted further that the intention of Government for the approximately US$17.5 billion Ghana CARES Obaatanpa Programme is to have 30 percent of the financing requirement contributed by Government while the remaining 70 percent is taken up by the private sector. He intimated that the Ghana CARES Obaatanpa Programme, thus, presents very important investment opportunities for the business community to explore and exploit and entreated the Japanese Community to take full advantage of it.

Lastly, opinions were exchanged on the SDG Investor Map, which Mr. BONSU said was an optimal platform for identifying Ghana’s competency and capacity and discovering investment opportunities. Mr. AMO said that the SDGs have been well incorporated in the Government’s development agenda and the Ghana CARES Obaatanpa Programme. He stressed that the SDG Investor Map dovetails into these development agenda and programmes of Government. He added that the SDG Investment Platform would be able to deliver useful local investment information on Government’s priority programmes to people in and outside of the country and is envisaged to deliver the desired investment results for the country. He, therefore, lauded the GIPC and the UNIDO ITPO for their collective efforts in that regard.

In her closing remarks, Ms. Afua Ntiriwa TEKYI-MILLS, Head, Corporate Affairs, GIPC said the organization wished to provide various forms of support to Japanese companies that consider expanding their business to the country, in light of the fact that the Ghana government, private-sector companies and international institutions were working together as one team to promote investments in Ghana.

* From July 14 to 29, UNIDO ITPO Tokyo held investment counseling meetings in which to meet GIPC representative on a one-on-one basis. Please click here for the details.


Date:    Tuesday, July 13, 2021
Time:  17:35-20:05 (JST)/ 8:35-11:05 (GMT)
Organizers: Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), UNDP, UNIDO ITPO Tokyo, 
Language: Japanese/English (Simultaneous interpretation)
Registration fee:  Free of charge


17:35/8:35        Opening remarks   
         Mr. Yuko YASUNAGA, Head, UNIDO ITPO Tokyo

17:40/8:40       Welcome Remarks 
         H.E. Mr HIMENO Tsutomu, Japanese Ambassador to the Republic of Ghana

17:45/8:45       Welcome Remarks 
         H. E. Mr. Frank OKYERE, Ambassador of the Republic of Ghana to Japan

17:50/8:50      Session I: Public Sector
17:50/8:50        Presentation on the regulation and Investment Opportunities in Ghana  
         Mr. Yofi GRANT, Chief Executive Officer, GIPC

18:05/9:05        Presentation on highlights of the SDG Investor Map in Ghana  
         Dr. Angela LUSIGI, Resident Representative, UNDP Ghana

18:20/9:20      Q and A Session

18:35/9:35        Break

18:40/9:40      Session II: Private Sector
18:40/9:40        Presentation by KOKO Plus Foundation/ Ajinomoto Foundation 
                          Mr. Yusuke TAKAHASHI, Country Director, KOKO Plus Foundation

18:47/9:47        Presentation by Degas Ltd
                          Mr. Doga MAKIURA, CEO, Degas Ltd.

18:54/9:54        Presentation by IT Consortium
         Mr. Romeo BUGYEI, Managing Director, IT Consortium

19:01/10:01      Presentation by Esoko
         Dr. Daniel ASARE-KYEI, CEO, Esoko

19:08/10:08      Presentation by Glofert Limited
         Mr. Foster Mawuli BENSON,  CEO, Glofert Limited

19:15/10:15      Q and A Session

19:30/10:30    Session III: Panel Discussion
Moderator: Mr. Emmanuel FORSON, Principal Investment Promotion Officer, GIPC
Mr. Louis AMO, Chief Economic Officer & Head of Asia Unit, Ministry of Finance
Mr. Nana OSEI-BONSU, Chief Executive Officer,
Private Enterprise Federation (PEF)
Mr. Yusuke TAKAHASHI, Country Director, KOKO Plus Foundation
Mr. Doga MAKIURA, CEO, Degas Ltd.

20:00/11:00       Closing remarks
                          Ms. Afua Ntiriwa TEKYI-MILLS, Head, Corporate Affairs, GIPC

Speakers and panelists (information will be updated)

Mr. Yasunaga has had an extensive career with Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), with expertise in the areas of Natural Resources and Technology. Dr. Yasunaga was Vice-President and later Councilor of Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) from 2013 – 2017 and held key managerial posts within METI from 2002 – 2013. Dr. Yasunaga holds a Ph.D. in Engineering, from the University of Tokyo.
H.E. Mr HIMENO Tsutomu, Japanese Ambassador to the Republic of Ghana
H.E. Mr. Tsutomu HIMENO is Ambassador of Japan to Ghana since 2017, with accreditation to Liberia and Sierra Leone. Previously, he assumed various posts such as Deputy Permanent Representative and Minister at Permanent Delegation of Japan to the OECD and Consul-General of Japan in Boston. He has also served as Executive Officer of Nippon Automated Cargo and Port Consolidated System, Inc. (NACCS Center). H.E. Mr. HIMENO is a graduate of the Osaka University (BA Law) and he holds Special Diploma in Social Studies (Distinction) from Oxford University.

H. E. Mr. Frank OKYERE, Ambassador of the Republic of Ghana to Japan
H.E. Mr. Frank Okyere is Ambassador of Ghana to Japan since June, 2018. He was born in Kumasi, Ghana, in 1948, and graduated from City of London College, UK, in 1976, majoring in Economics. After joining his family business, Oyoko Europarts Limited, he became a general managing director in 1999 and remained in the position until 2018. He is particularly passionate about value-added products produced in Ghana, and he believes that there is a lot to learn from Japan in this regard.

Mr. Yofi GRANT, Chief Executive Officer, GIPC
Mr. Grant draws from over three decades of a successful career and experience in investment banking and finance as he heads the GIPC, under the Office of the President of Ghana. He is recognized in the fields of financial Markets and Investment and has co-founded a number of companies, besides being a key financial policy adviser. On the continent, he led a number of advisory mandates both equity and debt transactions including the development and implementation of AAF SME Fund LLC, one of the largest agriculture funds in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Dr. Angela LUSIGI, Resident Representative, UNDP Ghana
She has over 20 years of experience in developing national development strategies, socio-economic analysis, partnerships building, inclusive and sustainable development. Prior to her current appointment, Dr. Lusigi was a Strategic Advisor in the UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa in New York. She previously served as Regional Program Advisor of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and as Assistant Resident Representative (Strategy and Policy) with UNDP in Nigeria.

Mr. Yusuke TAKAHASHI, Country Director of KOKO Plus Foundation
Mr. Takahashi joined Ajinomoto Co. After working in research laboratories, factories, and business divisions, Mr. Takahashi was seconded to the Ajinomoto Foundation in 2018. The foundation has been building systems producing nutritious food that is delicious, nutritious, affordable, and local where he is in charge of Ghana Nutrition Improvement Project (GNIP) and trying to establish a social business model for addressing malnutrition (stunting) by selling nutritious supplement, KOKO Plus.

Mr. Doga MAKIURA, Degas Ltd./Degas Ghana Ltd. Founder & CEO
With the vision of “Changing people’s lives dramatically”, Degas provides production and digitisation support to smallholder farmers in Ghana. In February 2017, proposed a Regulatory Sandbox framework (approved at the House of Councilors in May, 2018) to Prime Minister Abe (then) at the advisory council for deregulated zones. Received a letter of appreciation by the President. Akufo-Addo of Ghana to Degas in July, 2020.

Mr. Romeo BUGYEI, Managing Director, IT Consortium
Mr. Bugyei joined IT Consortium, a Financial Services Technology Provider with integrations in the banking and mobile money space, in 2015. He  has over 20 years of executive leadership experience in consulting, insurance and technology, where he contributed to the technology transformation of many companies. He currently chairs the Governing Council of the Technology Chamber of Ghana. Mr. Romeo holds an MPhil in computer science and application from the Shanghai University of Science and Technology, China.

Dr. Daniel ASARE-KYEI, CEO, Esoko
Dr. Asare-Kyei is an agricultural economist, technologist, geo-information scientist and entrepreneur. As CEO of ESOKO, he has led one of Africa’s largest Agritech providers to develop several innovations for the African agricultural sector by creating a closed ecosystem to digitize rural supply chains and build rural digital and financial inclusion. He has over 17 years of experience working with aid agencies and private sector in several technological driven development initiatives. He holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Bonn, Germany.

Mr. Foster Mawuli BENSON, CEO, Glofert Limited
Mr. Foster is a chartered Accountant (FCCA, ICAG) and has over 18 years of experience mostly in the mining industry especially in various multinational companies including Newmont Ghana Gold Limited, BCM Mining. He is currently the President & Chief Executive of Glofert Limited, the largest fertilizer blending company in Ghana. Mr. Foster holds an MBA in Finance from the University of Ghana, MSc in Accounting from the University of London.

Mr. Emmanuel FORSON, Principal Investment Promotion Officer, GIPC
Mr. Emmanuel has over a decade of experience as an Investment Promotion Professional. He has served in various functions including business development, investor aftercare, and marketing and is currently the team lead for the Missions Team within the Corporate Affairs Division of the GIPC. He
has worked with several business executives across different industry sectors and cultures to provide solutions to legal and regulatory requirements for doing business in Ghana. Mr. Emmanuel holds an MSc. Supply Chain Management degree from Coventry University, UK.

Nana Osei-Bonsu Mr. NANA OSEI BONSU, Chief Executive Officer, Private Enterprise Federation (PEF)
After more than 30 years of extensive banking experience in New York, he joined the investment banking division of JP Morgan Chase & Co. He then worked in Ghana as a Technical Assistant to the Economic Management Team at the Senior Minister’s Office and as a Technical Advisor to the Minister of State for Economic Planning. Since 2011, he has served as CEO of the PEF. He holds a Master’s degree in International Finance from Fordham University Graduate Arts and Sciences.
Ms. Afua Ntiriwa TEKYI-MILLS, Head, Corporate Affairs, GIPC
Ms. Tekyi-Mills has been responsible for marketing, communications and event management in GIPC since 2008, leading the Ghana Club 100 Awards and a number of investment promotion missions. She also builds effective collaboration with relevant government agencies and private sector to increase FDI. Previously, she provided consulting services in brand promotion for international companies as a Senior Executive at Perfect Relations Pvt in India. She holds a Master’s degree in Finance and Marketing Management from Jamia Hamdard University, India.

Contact for inquiries

 Ms. Onozaki, UNIDO ITPO Tokyo