South African Products All Over Ghana

South African Products All Over Ghana

South African exports are pouring into Ghana, one of the world’s best-performing economies, making Ghana the second largest export market for South African goods in West Africa after Nigeria.

Ghana’s economic miracle is generally credited to surging cocoa and gold prices – the country’s two biggest export commodities – and newly discovered oil 60 kilometers off the Southwest coast, according to a report in GhanaWeb.

But other factors are at play. Ghana is a largely cash-based economy, protecting it against economic meltdown that affected Europe and North America. Also working in its favor are political stability and a business-friendly environment, the report said.

The speed with which South Africans moved into the Ghanaian economy is startling. Before 1990, the only South Africans in Ghana were African National Congress exiles and a few students at the University of Ghana in Accra.

The casual observer can stroll through any town in Ghana and it will be impossible to miss a South African presence. There are Engen garages, Stanbic branches and ATMs in all the major towns. MTN signs are as ubiquitous as Coca-Cola.

Exports of goods and services from South Africa into Ghana almost quadrupled from about $138 million in 2010 to $516 million in 2012. Products such as vehicles, machinery, mechanical appliances; electrical equipment, base metals, aircraft, vessels and associated products have contributed to increased exports to Ghana.

Black Americans Have the Highest Mortality Rates But Lowest Levels of Life Insurance
Are you prioritizing your cable entertainment bill over protecting and investing in your family?
Smart Policies are as low as $30 a month, No Medical Exam Required
Click Here to Get Smart on Protecting Your Family and Loves Ones, No Matter What Happens

Ghana is ranked seventh in attracting foreign direct investments according to the World Investment Report and No. 3 in Africa after South Africa and Nigeria.

FDI accounts to 11 percent of Ghana’s GDP and the country wants to position itself not just as a business destination but as a hub for West African business.

The Accra Mall, which was sold by private equity group Actis to Pretoria-based Atterbury Property Group for $65-million, would not look out of place in Centurion or Sandton, the report said.

Three of the biggest tenants in the mall are Game, Mr. Price and Shoprite, which stock a range of South African products at prices that would not seem out of place in some of the more expensive European capitals.

For South African expats, Shoprite is the go-to store for favorite products such as Five Roses, boerewors and Cape wines, the latest issue of “Huisgenoot” and other South African magazines. Nearby are a Woolworths and the head offices of mining companies Gold Fields and AngloGold Ashanti.

“The development of the Accra Mall came at a time when Ghanaians still sourced even basic goods from London and Johannesburg. Now they can buy products locally,” said  David Morley, Actis head of real estate.

The mall has 100 percent occupancy, said Louis van der Watt, CEO of Atterbury.

The return on investment is higher than can be achieved in South Africa and is dollar based. “That’s a double whammy, van der Watt said. The return has to be higher for the assumed risk, although I think risk in South Africa is currently higher (than in Ghana).”

Another South African icon flying the flag in Ghana is MTN, which recently announced its Ghanaian subscriber base had exceeded 12-million, making it far and away the largest cellphone network in Ghana. This is roughly half the 21-million subscribers it has in South Africa. MTN grew its Ghana base by 4.8 percent in the 2012 third quarter, despite the entry of Nigerian competitor Glo, which signed up close to two million customers since its April 2012 launch.

Although South African companies initially took a cautious view of Ghana, mining companies wasted no time snapping up some of the choicest mineral real estate. Once the mining companies had a foothold, the mining supply and service companies followed.

Group Five, WBHO, Kruger Brent Security, Africa Mining Services, Moolmans and a host of others pitched tents alongside the big mining houses. Ghana now accounts for a substantial and growing share of non-South African revenue for both Group Five and WBHO.

Mining is the lifeblood of the Ghanaian economy, and it is in this sector that South Africans reign supreme, the report said. AngloGold Ashanti’s two Ghanaian mines, Obuasi and Iduapriem, produced 512,000 ounces of gold in 2011, equivalent to 11.8 percent of total group output

In 2011, Gold Fields’ Tarkwa mine in western Ghana produced 717,000 ounces of gold, nearly double that of the previous year. This figure should reach nearly one million ounces in the next few years as its smaller Damang mine starts to benefit from new pits. That is equivalent to nearly a quarter of Gold Fields’ total worldwide output.