Monthly Archives: July 2017

Small Biz Challenges

In the Kokolemle section of Accra, I met a group of female farmers and entrepreneurs pondering a move into agribusiness. Their issues—access to capital, access to markets, finding affordable office space, defending intellectual property—are all issues my small business clients in Boston have wrestled with. Some of the obstacles are a bit more extreme. However, many of the same skills, along with a dash of cultural sensitivity can address these problems.

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Adventures in Ghanaian Real Estate

Time to catch up on my Ghana journaling. On my second Tuesday in Accra, my good friends and colleagues at Emos Consultancy arranged for me to meet with the managing director of NTHC Properties. This is the property development arm of National Trust Holding Company, one of Ghana’s oldest and largest investment firms.

The MD is a long time veteran of the Ghanaian property industry He pointed out that the high end of the market is not yet saturated but could eventually get there. Meanwhile there is nearly insatiable demand in the affordable segment serving the middle and lower middle of the market. This expert suggest improving existing properties to minimize cost rather than starting brand new developments. This strategy underpins NTHC Properties bear tern strategy.

The following day I met with in Asian entrepreneur regarding two vastly different ventures. One that provides affordable housing in the agribusiness sector. The other is a luxury apartment complex. Both projects have elements of risk as well as strong upsides. Thankfully, land title does not appear to be an issue. There are other challenges to work through. We are looking forward to providing our expertise to help shepherd these projects to completion under the right conditions.

 

 

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3 Things I Learned Today in Ghana

1. It’s great to have friends in country

Not only fornthe hospitality, or the insights and view from inside, the ability to trust people to do what they say they’ll do is invaluable.

2. Projects are not always what they seem to be

A simple capital raise can reveal a need for a variety of consulting services

3. There’s nothing like on the ground presence.

I spent most of today with the management team of a Nigerian construction firm setting up in Ghana. Today they were looking for office space. Tomorrow they meet key decision makers whose influence can determine who wins contracts. American companies need to show this level of commitment or else be beaten to the punch by bold competitors from Africa, Asia, and Europe.

I was also reminded why I made this trip. I’m grateful for the opportunity to see first hand the changes that say much than the macroeconomic statistics. Now I’m  better prepared to explain this exciting and growing market.

 

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Ghana Today–a Story of Growth and Struggle

I arrived in Accra yesterday morning for my first visit in several years. While I’m here to meet with partners, colleagues,  and prospective clients, I’m also anxious to see see up closely of the changes I’ve been reading about.

A different Accra greeted me immediately. The airport arrival area was cleaner and much more orderly than before. On the way to my hotel I saw several new office buildings including the brand new Octagon. There’s also the fabulous new Movenpick. This enormous building is clearly designed for big event and caters to an international clientele.I’m  right around the corner at the Accra City Hotel, which has replaced the old Novotel on Barnes Rd. The arrived of these new premium properties are recognition of Accra as one of the premier meetings destinations in West Africa.

Later that day, during my ritual stroll around the neighborhood, I could see that much of the old Ghana remains. There’s the chaotic bustle of Makola market. The tro-tros still offer dirt cheap transportation along with new City buses tant world ont besoin ont of place in DC or Mexico City.

During the next two I will explore the current state of Ghana’s development,  focusing on energy, infrastructure, and the country’s efforts to lessen its dependence on raw commodities and become a more industrialized, higher value economy. Along the way I will highlight potential investment opportunities and suggest ways Ghana’s companies and governments can become more investor friendly. Stay tuned!

AccraCityHotel

Movenpick

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