The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Wednesday, April 5, 2017, inaugurated the 9-member Board of Directors of the Ghana Investment and Infrastructure Fund (GIIF), charging them to develop the country’s infrastructure space with creativity and purpose.
President Akufo-Addo also urged the Board to unlock new sources of finance and investment for the country, and work closely with other Ghanaian institutions, both public and private, “so that infrastructure investment in the country can be raised, and more jobs created.”
At a brief ceremony held at the Presidency, the President noted that GIIF “is an important vehicle Ghana can use, with its $250 million seed funding, to leverage capital from other sources for the nation’s infrastructure financing and development.”
Whilst acknowledging that Ghana lacked a fully developed infrastructure, i.e. accessible transportation systems, which allow for the transport of people and goods to markets; affordable, reliable power; affordable telecommunication services; and greater industrial and manufacturing platforms, the President noted that investments in infrastructure should lead to greater economic activity and job creation.
The challenge, in this vein, according to the President, is finding the money and expertise to make such investments from both public and private sector sources.
“The public sector, within our current constrained financial circumstances, cannot, on its own, provide and finance all of our infrastructure needs. We have to mobilise the private sector to fill the gap. That is how we would be able to achieve our goals for infrastructure development. This is the principal objective of the fund, which is to accelerate economic growth,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo added further that GIIF must be run on the principles of strong corporate governance, with members of the Board, as stipulated in Act 877 (2014), having “the necessary integrity, knowledge, expertise and experience in matters relevant to the functions of the Board.”
A member of the board, the President noted, and in the words of the statute, “has the same fiduciary relationship with the Fund and the same duty to act with loyalty and in good faith as a director of a company incorporated under the Companies Act 1963, (Act 179).”
Prof. Christopher Ameyaw Akumfi, who is the Chairperson of the Board, was described by President Akufo-Addo as a “respected public servant, who has earned an enviable reputation, both in his work as an academician and a politician”, and one who is “eminently qualified to act as Chairperson of the fund.”
The Chief Executive Officer of the Fund, Mr Solomon Asamoah, according to the President “is amongst the foremost specialists in infrastructure financing on the continent. He has been personally responsible for over $4billion in infrastructure investments across Africa, and has occupied senior offices in some of the continent’s premier institutions.”
Mr. Asamoah, prior to his appointment, served as Vice President of the African Development Bank; the deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Africa Finance Corporation; the Vice President of the Development Bank of Southern Africa; and Special Assistant to the Chief Executive of the International Finance Corporation, in Washington.
“He is uniquely qualified for this role, and I am confident that he will surely unlock new sources of finance for the infrastructural development of our country,” he added
The other seven members of the Board, three of whom are women, the President noted, “bring strong skills to the Board”.