Participants at the Sudan-Ghana Business, Culture and Education Expo have expressed optimism about future trade prospects between Sudan and Ghana based on relations established during the Expo.
The Expo had been a success with several Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) due to be signed between some of the companies and their Ghanaian counterparts.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency on the last day of the Expo, Mr Gaafar A. Ahmed, the Chief Executive Officer of the GIAD Industrial Group of Sudan, said the Expo had been successful as they were expecting to sign about five MOUs with various Ghanaian companies in different fields of cooperation.
He said the fields include agricultural equipment, farms development, agro industry, steel factories and mining adding that the nature of the partnerships would be decided after the signing of the MOUs.
“The MOUs will be the base for this cooperation and over time we will make it clear in which way we are going to cooperate,” he said.
Mr Gaafar said though they had not gotten any Ghanaian company interested in investing in Sudan he was optimistic of future Ghanaian investments.
He said they had agreed in a meeting with the Vice President on Tuesday to replicate the Expo in Sudan where Ghanaian companies would also go there to explore investment opportunities.
He lauded Ghana’s investment environment, saying Ghana was the best place in Africa to make investments due to her political stability and efficient management.
Dr Bazara Imam Ali Barry, the Director of Business Development at the Nile Centre Technology Research based in Khartoum- Sudan, said the Nile Centre was also expecting to sign about three MOUs with Ghanaian companies adding that there was potential in Ghana’s technology sector.
He expressed confidence that Ghana would soon become a technological hub in West Africa with the thriving environment for ICT companies.
Dr Barry said while the Nile Centre was established in Sudan, with partners in Europe and the Middle East, it did not have any partners in Africa thus Ghana would be the gateway to fruitful collaborations in Africa.
He said ICT, aside being seen as a supporting function of businesses, could be seen as a business in itself citing countries like India and China, which had created big businesses out of ICT and called for a replication of that in Africa.
“We have the minds, we have the passion and we have people who are willing and passionate about learning new things,” he said, adding that Africa could design, develop and build ICT products, services and solutions for her people.
Sudan, he said, had learned to rely on herself over the past 20 years due to the American embargo placed on her and had been able to develop and build such solutions using open-sourced technology that could be adapted to suit the needs of the country.
On future trade relations between the two countries, Mr Barry said Ghana and Sudan could do better to enhance trade relations by establishing a Ghanaian embassy in Sudan.
Mr Hani Ragheb, the Chief Commercial Officer of Haggar Group, a Sudanese investment group with interest in manufacturing, services and exports, said Haggar was interested in connecting with Ghanaian companies in the cocoa, cashew and Shea butter adding that they had been able to initiate contact with some of such companies.
He said there was a market for those commodities not only in Sudan but also in the African Region and the Middle East.
Two Ghanaian companies who participated in the exhibition; Kingdom Exim Group and Anabia Food and Drinks, lauded the Expo saying they had been able to make useful contacts for future business prospects with their Sudanese counterparts.