Increasing trade between Ghana and Scotland through mutual benefit

SEEN by many as the gateway to the West African oil and gas sector due to its relative stability and ease of doing business, Ghana presents a great opportunity for Scottish companies looking to explore the region.

Since first discoveries in 2007, the scale and nature of the oil and gas sector in Ghana has changed almost beyond recognition. The country may not have the scale of reserves of West African neighbours like Angola or Nigeria, but that hasn’t stopped them from aspiring to grow their industry. Despite challenges caused by the crash in crude prices and the dispute with Cote d’Ivoire over maritime borders, the market in Ghana is resolutely buoyant with high expectations for the future.

The recent announcements made by ExxonMobil to begin exploration, Hess expected to begin production this year and Tullow Oil increasing production underline this confidence, with both operators and supply chain companies keen to take advantage of this opportunity. In June 2017, a Scottish trade mission of 14 companies led by Scottish Development International (SDI) visited Ghana with great success. This reflected the achievements of the year before, with 12 Scottish companies attending the SDI mission.

Crucially the interest is mutual, with the Ghanaians keen to learn more about the capabilities of the Scottish supply chain and offer the possibility of beneficial local partnerships. The recent launch of their Accelerated Oil & Gas Capacity Programme, designed to “build the capacity of both citizens and industry to enable them to participate in the upstream oil and gas sector”, will require support in areas such as education and training. When combined with the upturn in exploration and production, Ghana represents opportunities for Scottish companies across the supply chain.

In the last six or so months, there has been three Ghanaian oil and gas delegations to Scotland, with the latest group set to visit around Subsea Expo. The group of around 20 delegates aim to connect with a wide range of oil and gas supply chain companies, while attempting to forge partnerships with Scottish companies and identify ways to reduce costs by optimising outputs. There is expected high-level representation from the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), the Ghana Petroleum Commission and many Ghanaian oil and gas service companies.

2018 is expected to be a big year for Ghana, with the World Bank forecasting the countries economy to be among the ten fastest growing globally over the course of the next year. There are clear aspirations to improve and grow not only benefitting local industrialists, but also the lives of citizens throughout the nation. Ambitions that if successful, will not only impact Ghana but also the wider West Africa region.

With a proposed trade mission to Ghana coming up soon, SDI is ready to assist Scottish companies able and willing to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity. Based upon previous successes and strong demand, the mission will aim to further strengthen the already strong relationship that exists between the two countries, through showing the best of the Scottish oil and gas supply chain. Support is available all year round, with our office in Accra able to provide local expertise as required, helping to ease the entry to market.

Scottish Development International (SDI) works with both Scottish-based and overseas companies and organisations. Our objective is to benefit the Scottish economy both by encouraging inward investment into Scotland and by helping Scottish-based companies to develop international business opportunities.

For more information on Ghana, Sub-Saharan Africa or SDI, please contact Cameron Douglas (