Posts Tagged ‘accra ’

Africa: The Best Guess

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

Sometimes a thesis comes along that’s so incisive, it upends the orthodoxy. Morten Jerven’s proposition is capable of that. His book, Poor Numbers: How We Are Misled By African Development Statistics and What To Do About It, presents an eye-opening case for changing how Africa’s economies are measured and understood.

Measuring the economy’s performance, particularly gross domestic product (GDP), is critical to African governments and the donors that provide them with financial aid. Jerven shows that econometric models used to inform critical decisions about African countries are based on irreconcilably faulty data.


Dispatch from West Africa

Thursday, April 1st, 2010


Downtown Cape Coast, Ghana

Pulsating business scene

I spent the last couple weeks on assignment in Accra, Ghana. On this trip, I’ve seen more growth than any time since my company started working there in ’07. This is a period of unprecedented business activity and promising new projects within and beyond the mobile sector.  Meanwhile, new competitors from around the world are streaming in. This corner of Africa’s business scene is pulsating.

Astute businesses here are taking steps to preserve their client base and deepen relationships with their customers. We’re privileged to work with a new generation of African business leaders with the courage and determination to transform their offerings to meet the needs of an emerging class of consumers.


Coming Full Circle. The First Family Visits Ghana

Friday, July 10th, 2009

Cape Coast Castle copy


Over the coarse of the eighteenth century, the Gold Coast produced more than a million slaves, about 15 percent of the total shipped from West Africa… ~Marcus Rediker, The Slave Ship

The first African-American President of the U.S. landed in Accra, Ghana last evening. His first trip to the Sub-Sahara has symbolic significance for many reasons. Many Africans believe that Barack Obama represents the ascendancy of Africa on a global stage, reversing the despair and hardship that’s plagued the continent during the post-colonial era.  They hope that his visit will call attention to the steep challenges and promising opportunities the continent faces.


Ghana – Open for business

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

During a trip to Accra, Ghana last week to work with a Ghanaian alliance partner, I was struck by the positive attitude of the people. I’d been told that Ghanaians are generally warm and welcoming, but nothing prepared me for the esprit de corps and resourcefulness of the people whom I encountered. In fact, I’m betting that Ghana’s robust human resources will enable the country of 22 million to become a regional or maybe even a global hub in the Information Age.

A confluence of forces may be working in the country’s favor. The vitality of its government institutions, its deep appreciation of civil liberties, and its fiercely independent media have all made Ghana a beacon of stability in contrast to many of its neighbors. In addition, legions of tech-savvy Ghanaians, many educated abroad, are accelerating the country’s technology boom. These factors, coupled with the nation’s intense entrepreneurial drive, are helping Ghana build its service sector from the ground up.

As an English-speaking country, Ghana is poised to deliver a range of BPO services to other Anglophone nations in the West African sub-region and beyond. This particularly applies to its oil-rich neighbor, Nigeria with a population exceeding 140 million, the largest country in Africa. While Nigeria has made great strides in reforming its institutions recently, the country has long battled institutional corruption. Nigeria’s growing financial services sector is already looking to Ghana as a safe harbor for delivering its customer-facing and back-office services. And its telecom sector is the world’s fastest growing after that of China.

There’s been a lot of buzz about partnering with African companies lately, starting with the World Economic Forum in Davos (“Promise of Africa”), followed by this year’s TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference held in Monterey, California, last March. TED featured a particularly inspiring talk about doing business in Africa by Ngozi Okojo-Iweala, Nigeria’s former Finance Minister, who served briefly as Foreign Affairs Minister – the first woman to hold either post. She warns business people and investors not to miss the Africa boat. Africa, she tells us, is open for business.

Okojo-Iweala later wrapped up a special 4-day session held in Aruysha, Tanzania, last June, called Africa – the Next Chapter, by discussing the flow of private investment in Africa. She pointed out that emerging confidence in Africa is creating exciting opportunities for collaborating with smart African entrepreneurs. The take away is that this is only the beginning.  One thing for sure — it’s energizing doing business in Ghana.