Ghana’s President Akufo-Addo courts top Chinese tech CEOs

By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana

Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has met with the co-founder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba, Jack Ma, and the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Inspur Group Peter Sun, during a visit to China to attend the just ended Forum on China Africa Trade Cooperation (Focac) in Beijing.

The visit, which was at the invitation of President Xi Jinping of China, was to deepen relations between Ghana and China. Taking full advantage of his visit, President Akufo Addo called on renowned Chinese business magnate Jack Ma.

Mr. Ma, who seems to be impressed with the rapid and tremendous technological growth Africa is enjoying with the injection of about USD $560 million in venture capital funding alone according to Partech Venture’s new research 2018 Report, will have his eyes fixed on Africa with the aim of partnering to digitally empower and develop tech savvy youths through the establishment of digital training centers across the continent.

In a tweet, President Akufo-Addo urged Jack Ma to consider establishing the headquarters of Alibaba’s Africa operations in Ghana as Alibaba Group looks to partner countries in Africa and help nurture tech talents.

Inspur Group’s Chairman Peter Sun, during a meeting with the Ghanaian President, promised to make Ghana the group’s preferred destination in West Africa for the establishment of its regional headquarters.

Explaining the company’s decision for choosing Ghana, Mr. Sun noted Ghana’s peaceful and stable nature, coupled with an impressive economic outlook, which saw Ghana grow at 8.5% in 2017, up from 3.6% in 2016.

In addition to establishing its regional headquarters in Ghana, Mr. Peter Sun, indicated further that ten (10) Ghanaian students will be selected and offered internship programmes with the company, with these ten students being trained to take up jobs in the company’s operations in Ghana and West Africa.

The President however described Inspur’s choice as an excellent one, because “Ghana is a stable country, our economy is picking up very rapidly, and so it is a good base not just for Ghana but also for West Africa.”

He assured the company of the safety of their investment in Ghana, stressing that “we encourage foreign investment in our country. So, as a base for doing business in West Africa, Ghana is ideal, and it will be a win-win situation for us all.”

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