Ghana is a key economy in West Africa, having enjoyed over two decades of stability and growth. In addition to a growing domestic economy, it’s a key conduit for trade with neighbouring, landlocked countries. Wines of South Africa’s market manager for Africa, Matome Mbatha spoke to Edo Heyns about doing business in Ghana.
How does Ghana compare with other key African markets when it comes to ease of doing business?
Ghana is known to be accessible, with less complicated customs regulations. South African companies have long looked to Ghana as a key destination for investment and export opportunities in West Africa. Ghanaians are familiar with South African products and comfortable with South African goods, services and business customs.
What is Wines of South Africa doing to promote wine exports to Ghana?
Wines of South Africa (Wosa) held the first generic tasting in Accra in July last year. Ghanaian journalists subsequently attended Cape Wine 2015 and South Africa enjoyed notable media coverage and publicity in Ghana.
The Wosa Ghana Grand Tasting has now been rolled-out as an annual South African wine event held in collaboration with the South African embassy and South Africa Airways. Wosa is looking to expanding the participation of other South African businesses to present a collective Brand South Africa position and leverage each entity’s existing brand visibility in Ghana.
It also held an introductory course to South African wines, targeting the trade, hotel staff, food and beverage/hospitality industry portfolio managers and the media to create ambassadors for South African wine.
What are the growth prospects for wine in Ghana?
The wine market is young and driven by a burgeoning middle class, growing expat community and returning diaspora. South African wine took the market by storm over the past decade, displacing traditional suppliers from France and to a lesser degree Spain. However these countries and other suppliers are now fighting back and the market is becoming more competitive. Chilean wines are seen as the key competitor in terms of price and quality.
There’s a genuine affection for South African wines from the perspective of being from Africa. This social capital is an invaluable asset in the market and presents huge opportunities for South Africa. As the wine culture takes root the market will in the medium to longer term definitely see good growth for wines in the mid to upper range.