Nigeria is not better than Ghana to invest, says IPMC CEO

Investment PanelRob Withagen, managing director of Asoko Insight, Ido Sum, investment director of TLcom TIDE Africa, Amar Deep Singh Hari, CEO of IPMC and Yofi Grant, CEO of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre. (Image source: AB2020)IPMC CEO Amar Hari came quickly to the defence of potential investors thinking about starting a tech business in Ghana

Hari vehemently disagreed with Ido Sum, investment director of TLcom Technology and Innovation for Developing Economies Africa,  who suggested Ghana was unable to compete with Nigeria, Africa's largest market for technology investment opportunities.

Speaking at the Tech in Ghana Conference in London, a first-of-its-kind platform, organised by AB2020, that brought Ghana's leading innovators and entrepreneurs together to share industry updates,  Hari said: "It's a wrong notion that only companies of Nigeria are positioned in the best place and a small country like Ghana cannot offer the same potential. With 26 million people living in Ghana, we can achieve it."

Hari explained 25 years ago he had the opportunity to start his IT company IPMC, in either country, but decided to begin his business in Ghana, which now operates in over 25 locations with more than 800 employees.

He was responding to Sum's statement whose company has been working in African tech for 10 years, that Ghana was not a big enough market for tech investors.

Sum previously told the investment and funding panel: "Up until four or five years ago, Accra was much more of a hub for emerging tech start-ups," saying they still only wanted to serve Ghana first and fails to serve a region in the same way as Nigeria. He added: "Although we are starting to see Ghanians think more regionally, without start-ups having this Pan-African thinking it will be harder for investors to give them a lot of attention in Ghana."

IPMC, West Africa's leading IT company, recently signed a partnership agreement with China's leading Telecom firm, Huawei Technologies to be their solutions partner for West Africa, specifically Ghana. 

Yofi Grant, who has just been appointed chief executive officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, added to the debate: "We are currently re-positioning ourselves in the West African market not just in the Ghana or Nigeria markets, but West Africa where there is 400 million consumers waiting to be serviced. As the newly appointed CEO of the centre, I have the responsibility to making sure that's exactly what we become and serve the whole of West Africa, including the Francophone. As you know Ghana is surrounded by three French speaking countries, so either learn to speak French or learn to swim."  

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