The Vice President of the Bank of Montreal in Canada, Mr Scott Brison, on Friday paid a day’s working visit to the Western Region as part of a familiarisation tour of the area.
The visit to Ghana, and the region in particular, was to reciprocate that of the Ghanaian delegation to Canada last June, during which the Western Regional Minister, Mr Kwabena Okyere-Darko Mensah, made a presentation of investment potentials of the region and invited Mr Brison to visit the region.
Mr Okyere-Darko Mensah during a courtesy call on him, told Mr Brison and his entourage that the region now had four 14 administrative districts headed by Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives adding, “we have a strong traditional leadership exercised by chiefs who are the custodians of our lands, customs and traditions and who also play a vital role in the mobilisation of the people for development”.
With a population of 2.1 million people per the 2019 projections and a land size of 14,625.2 sq.km, the Western Region, Mr Okyere-Darko said, was well endowed with natural resources which contributed about 60 per cent to Ghana’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP).
The Western Regional minister mentioned economic activities such as agriculture, fishing, cocoa which Ghana was well known for, rubber, coffee, cashew nuts, oil palm, coconut among other cash crops.
He told his visiting guest that nearly all the mineral resources mined in the country, including gold, manganese and bauxite were found in abundance in the region.
According to him, the region was the hub of Ghana’s oil and gas production with a tourism potential being great because of the 192 km pristine coastline with several beach resorts, fauna and flora across the beaches and the wet lands and historical sites as the forts and castles and the Nzulezu community on stilts.
Mr Okyere-Darko Mensah intimated that the business opportunities in the region were enormous coupled with the fact that the infrastructure gap posed by many undeveloped roads, inadequate rail lines, the need for an international airport in Takoradi, insufficient housing and other social amenities, needed a serious investment capital.
In response, Mr Scott Brison observed that there were many opportunities for Ghana and Canada to work especially in the fields of mining, sports, rail, energy and other business areas.
He said the relationship between Ghana and Canada was a blessing because Ghana’s steady economic growth, low inflation and other achievements needed more investors to come and develop the economy more.
The delegation toured the SOCINAF Plantation at Daboase in the Wassa East District, the Aboadze Power Enclave in the Shama District and the Takoradi Port, oldest port in Ghana.
FROM PETER GBAMBILA, SEKONDI