(July 30, 2013) On July 18, 2013, Ghana’s Parliament adopted the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Bill 2013, which, if signed into law by Ghana’s President, will introduce changes to the country’s investment laws and institutions. (Parliament Passes GIPC Bill, GHANA BROADCASTING CORP. (July 24, 2013); Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Bill, Parliament of Ghana website (July 24, 2013).) The Bill will repeal and replace the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act 478 of 1994. (Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Bill, § 43.)
The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre is a government agency that currently coordinates and monitors all investments in the country in sectors other than mining and petroleum. Although the functions of the Centre outlined in the legislation do not differ markedly from those set forth under the current Act, some notable changes are proposed. The Bill requires Ghanaian citizens who partner with foreign investors to have at least 30% equity participation in the joint enterprise. (Id. § 27.) In addition, the legislation extends this and other requirements to mining and petroleum enterprises. (Id. § 1; Act 478 of 1994, § 17.)
The legislation also prohibits the transfer of the equity participation to a non-Ghanaian. (Id. § 27.) This is to prevent circumvention of the higher capital requirements for foreign investors under the legislation, which are set at US$50,000 in the case of a joint enterprise with a Ghanaian and US$200,000 when an enterprise is fully controlled by a foreign investor. (Id. § 27 & Memorandum attached to the Bill at ii.) The Bill also expands the investment activities reserved for Ghanaians and Ghanaian-owned enterprises. (Id. § 26.)
Written by Antoinette Ofosu-Kwakye, Intern, Law Library of Congress, under the guidance of Hanibal Goitom, Foreign Law Specialist.