Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Philip Davis said, on May 17, 2023, that he was “truly delighted” to attend the Ghana-Bahamas Business Summit, held under the fitting and timely theme of “Building Stronger Ties”, at the University of The Bahamas.
“Today is a special day,” Prime Minister Davis said. “Today we build new relationships, while fortifying old ones.”
“Today we forge a promising, mutually beneficial future for the Republic of Ghana and the Commonwealth of The Bahamas,” he added. “The work of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in this region is a clear testament to the power of collaboration between our two nations.
“Our partnership, built on a shared history and common aspirations, only stands to grow stronger through forums like this very summit.”
Among those in attendance were Minister for Grand Bahama the Hon. Ginger Moxey; the Republic of Ghana’s Minister of Information, the Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah; Deputy Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration the Hon. Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpong; and other Ghanaian representatives; Ambassador Designate of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas to the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Andrew A.D. Wilson; the Office of the Spouse’s Ann Marie Davis; senior Government officials; other stakeholders; and interested persons.
Prime Minister Davis noted that, in the current era of interdependence, no nation can truly prosper in isolation. Building stronger ties between Africa and the Caribbean was about more than harking back to a joint past, he added.
“It is about constructing a shared future and executing a common vision for mutual growth and opportunities,” Prime Minister Davis said.
He added: “South-south cooperation remains essential if our nations are to cultivate just, prosperous, and citizen-centric societies. The African Export-Import Bank’s role in enhancing economic cooperation is a shining example of the fruit successful international partnerships can yield. It reminds us that collaboration has accomplished much before and can accomplish even more in the years to come.”
Prime Minister Davis pointed out that, considering the bank’s impact, and the “auspicious” summit in which they found ourselves at that time, they should all take the opportunity to commit themselves to open and transparent dialogue on the issues which matter most.
“Let us work together to tackle rising inflation, to expand new opportunities for trade, and to chart fresh paths for foreign direct investment,” he said.
“Ghana and The Bahamas may be relatively young nations, with an even younger bilateral relationship, but that does not mean our countries cannot become a beacon for international cooperation.”
Prime Minister Davis noted that, the year before, The Bahamas signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Afreximbank, which has paved the way for the multilateral trade finance bank to establish a Caribbean Exim Bank.
“This development promises to fill existing gaps in the region, particularly as it relates to private-sector businesses seeking international funding, while offering a range of key services – such as Trade and Project Financing, Export Development, Guarantees and Trade Information, as well as Advisory Services,” he said.
“The Bank has also indicated that, following the opening of the regional office, it envisions committing an investment of US $700 million in the Caribbean Development Bank.”
Prime Minister Davis stated that such a significant capital inflow promised to unlock “crucial socioeconomic benefits” for the region, especially as it recovers from “the pandemic, grapples with an environmental emergency, and addresses the cost-of-living crisis.”
“It goes without saying that Ghana and The Bahamas, when it comes to cooperative ventures, do have a track record of success,” he said.
“From as early as 2011, The Bahamas has been assisting Ghana in building capacity for its tourism and hospitality industry;and Ghana has stood by The Bahamas in international affairs by supporting its application for full accession to the World Trade Organisation,” Prime Minister Davis noted.
“Moving forward, it only makes sense that we strengthen our ties as we tap into new avenues for investment,” he added. “From tourism to technology, to agriculture and energy, there are a myriad of sectors ripe for mutual investments.”
Prime Minister Davis pointed out that The Bahamas was seeking to achieve 30% renewable energy production by 2030. That, he added, was “certainly a lofty and ambitious goal”, and one for which the nation was seeking “any and all support”.
“Without dreaming big, we won’t achieve big, and so I especially welcome conversations on sustainable energy transition over the course of this summit and beyond,” he said.
Prime Minister Davis added that the investment potential of Ghana and The Bahamas was “certainly staggering”, and the two governments stood ready to facilitate and support investors inspired by the success of the Afreximbank partnership.
“I am a man of faith, and because I am a man of faith, optimism comes easy to me,” he said. “Today, however, I find myself especially optimistic.”
“The future, I have no doubt, is bright for The Bahamas and Ghana.”
Prime Minister Davis stated that their relations were deepening, and with the strengthening of such ties, they drew ever closer to their goals of shared growth and prosperity.
“Our governments are already working on several initiatives, alongside institutions like the African Export-Import Bank, to bring this vision to life,” he said. “But for our societies to truly flourish, every business, every investor, and every citizen must recognise their role in shaping the way forward.”
Prime Minister Davis stated that a stronger Ghana-Bahamas relationship benefited both countries by opening up new avenues for growth and collaboration.
“I extend my sincerest thanks to the team from Ghana, and to all of you, for your contributions to this burgeoning partnership,” he said.
“My friends, with hope in our hearts and unity in our actions, we can surely anticipate a flourishing future for both our nations.”