A Senior Lecturer at the Department of Land Economy at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Dr Frank Gyamfi-Yeboah, has told Ghanaian investors in the diaspora that Ghana is currently facing extreme housing deficits.
He revealed that this is due to inadequate investments in the real estate sector hence, the diasporans should consider investing in that sector of the local economy. Dr Gyamfi-Yeboah explained that the housing sector at the moment is estimated to be facing between 1.5 and 2.5 million unit’s deficits. This situation, he said can be reversed through investment.
He was speaking during the third and final part of the webinar series for Ghanaians living in the diaspora on the theme” Ghana, An ideal destination for diaspora investments” on Friday, September 4. Over five hundred Ghanaians living in the diaspora took part in the webinar which was organized by Bank of Africa (BoA) in collaboration with the Ghana Diaspora Monetary Fund.
Dr Gyamfi-Yeboah told the participants that “Ghana faces severe housing deficit. Estimate vary but range between 1.5 and 2.5 million units. At the heart of the problem is the lack of adequate investments in the sector. Both developers and end-users face are financing constraints.” He further told the gathering that there has been some form of interventions to deal with the situation, however, the problem persists.
The lack of affordable financing for households appears to be the most critical. “There have been interventions in the acquisition of houses,” he said adding that “Government set up the National Housing and Mortgages Fund (NHMF) in 2018 to develop the local currency primary mortgage and construction finance market, promote private sector mortgage refinancing companies, promote mortgage-backed securities.”
Regarding Ghana’s mortgage system, he said that market has remained underdeveloped over the years however, he noted that there are emerging opportunities lurking around. “Ghana’s mortgage market remains underdeveloped, faces several challenges – unfavourable macroeconomics environment, high cost of funds, lack of access to long term funds, weak regulatory regime. “There are however emerging opportunities – increased mobilization of long term funds, safe well-capitalized banking sector,” he said.
Mr Alex Agyei-Amponsah, Head Retail Banking at Bank of Africa (BOA) noted that the bank has made available packages to assist the investors to do businesses in Ghana. He said the bank has a reliable, convenient and fast digital banking applications to assist the investors wherever they may be found on the planet.
He took participants through the bank’s offering for the diasporan community which he said was attractive enough to get them to do business in Ghana. He outlined and offered solutions to the challenges of securing an account in Ghana. He said with the use of technology, it is now easy to open and operate a bank account in Ghana even from abroad.
Mr Agyei-Amponsah reiterated the bank’s focus on Retail, SME and Corporate Banking products and emphasized on the functionality of each of them. He mentioned that credit facilities are available for diasporans who are interested in investing in the economy. This he said comes in the form of mortgage and vehicle financing, SME support and working capital financing, assets financing amongst others.
He again emphasized that the Bank leverages on its network around the globe to facilitate international and cross- border trade demands. We are strong in the provision of LCs, documentary collections, overdrafts and loans, civilization and discounting, Guarantees and negotiation of documents he said.
According to him, the bank has a dedicated and professional team that offers business advisory services to all its clients and potential customers.
He pointed out that BOA has a remittances product that ensures direct transfer from your bank to your BOA account with same-day value. The bank also has investment products in the form of Fixed deposits, Treasury Bills, Bonds-both home and abroad as well as a specially designed product called REPO.
BOA has a “secure internet banking and which can be used to effect payment. We have a mobile banking platform called Bmobile with secured and enhanced features. This ensures fast and convenient banking transactions with up to date information.
‘We have our visa debit and prepaid cards, propriety cards accepted on GhLinks platforms, online instant pay services, POS devices, QRCode digital payment services, housing deficits, and many more.
Adding that “We provide support for your business to thrive through working capital and liquidity management, we provide opportunity and platforms for you to invest in high yielding liquid assets in Ghana.