Footprint to Africa had a chat with Dr. Sam Ankrah, Chief Executive Officer of Africa Investment Group, which has operations in Africa and Europe:
As an investment banker, do you think Ghana’s investment landscape is favourable to investors?
Ghana remains an enduring and resolute economy in spite recent crisis pertaining to the electricity crisis and slump in commodities, although, we have been able to overcome the former. Recent reports suggest that trade with China rose to $6.6 billion in 2015, an 18 percent year on year growth. The improved cocoa output will expand GDP, the political stability is coveted by investors particularly in agriculture, financial services and real estate. Crude Oil is an important proponent to the economy and with prices currently stable, Ghana remains an extremely favourable venue for investors.
Do you think Ghana has put in place the right policies to attract the much-needed investments?
The long term growth will be inspired by economic reforms and the government is cognizant of that. For that very reason, the government is closely engaging and collaborating with the IMF, there is better transparency in market fundamentals, performance measurements, and governance that ensure that Ghana’s long term trajectory is affirmative.
How can businesses ensure that their investments are sustainable?
Solid Business and Investment sustainability is achieved by instituting a spectrum of disciplines from business models, astute managerial decisions, adaptability, addressing labour concerns. Companies with a parochial outlook towards short term profits making decisions simply aligned to the bottom line, will always be flimsy businesses as opposed to companies that have a long term objective, faith in the system and the country.
Kindly explain why investments must be research-driven?
It is synonymous to the common saying, “thinking before speaking”, and thought requires research, deliberation, discussion, open mind, and a vision. Similarly, investments require the same principles. Research also ensures idea generation, efficiency and better productivity. Take agriculture as a sector. It is through research that better farming practices are adopted which does not only have the aforementioned benefits but positively impacts the safety and environmental issues.
What are some of the challenges facing investors like you in the country?
We are commodity and China disposed, so adverse news from there would be adverse. Any lapse in the proposed economic reforms would be unpleasant in the long term but I truly believe that we as a people are unfettered, bright and hardworking to survive these challenges.
Can you proffer any solution to the challenges facing investors and the economy at large?
Good governance and transparency are paramount along with a long term vision. All businesses that are challenged or will be challenged will have unique problems but in terms of macro-challenges that we may face, proper capital adequacy standards should be instituted not only for financial companies, but across every industry to weather challenges, versatile businesses will survive too.
Going forward, which sector(s) of the economy do you see attracting massive investments?
Agriculture will be the most interesting sector to watch.
What are the core activities of the Africa Investment Group?
Capital Raising; Asset Management & Financial Markets; Direct Investments and Investment Banking.
Dr. Sam Ankrah’s profile
Dr. Sam Ankrah has had more than 15 years successful experience in providing fiscal, strategic and operations leaderships in uniquely challenging situations. Repeatedly produce sustained revenue and EBITA growth in dynamic and changing markets. He has proven track record in management and finance, investment banking, leasing and finance, factoring and forfeiting oil and gas, private pension management.
He is the Executive Chairman of Africa Investment Group Ghana and Africa Investment Group International (AIGI) S.A, an investment banking boutique firm focused in Africa, specialized in Trust Services, Capital Raising, Direct investment, Asset Management and Investment Banking. AIGI has offices in Accra, London and Geneva.
Dr. Sam Ankrah co-founded the NAM Fund, a Social impact fund for Africa, which is established to contribute and align its investments towards upward mobility across the African Landscape.
Sam is also the CEO A and Founder of GAM-ANK Group, Ghana, an upstream and downstream petroleum trading, and energy firm, dedicated to inbound and outbound cross border deal solutions focused on companies in emerging markets.