- Ghana is blessed with many investments, some of which came to be after abroad-based Ghanaians chose to return home and work
- A&C Mall, the first mall in Ghana, was established by Edmund Kwabena Asamoah after he left his software company in the US to return home
- Kwame Adade has an IT background and was working with his family's telecommunication company, but he quit that to become a fish farmer in Ghana
- Golden Coast Developers was birthed after Neil Oku, a big-time investment banker, decided to resign after 12 years, returned to Ghana and started a real estate company
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People tend to travel abroad for better education, opportunities, and quality of life. Still, some often wish to return home after years abroad to retire or start a business venture.
It cannot be disputed that Ghana has been blessed with several businesses that hit the ground because diasporans returned home to mimic what is done abroad. YEN.com.gh has put together the journeys of three Ghanaians who returned home from abroad to start thriving businesses.
1. Edmund Kwabena Asamoah moved from the US to become CEO of A&C Mall
Edmund is the current Chief Executive Officer of the well-known A&C Mall located in East Legon. The business was an idea birthed by his late father, who was investing in lands in Ghana and thought of coming up with a mall that would be Ghana's first.
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The young man at the time was living in Atlanta in the US, running his own software company. His father pitched the idea to him and gave him two options: to come home, start the business and retire, or just be an investor. In an interview, Edmund shared his thought process when the options were presented to him;
" I looked at the options; the so-called 'comfort' of living in the US or the challenge of returning to Ghana and investing in this vision. I'm a natural entrepreneur, so I enjoy challenges and felt I had reached a point in the US where I was ready for the next step", he said.
His tech consulting company was doing extremely well. Still, when the opportunity to start the very first shopping mall in Ghana came, his mindset shifted to 'how he could be part of the solution in Africa'. With that left everything behind in the US and headed back home.
Edmund admitted that many people who heard about his decision to abandon the great life he had built in the US to start afresh in Ghana thought he was crazy. According to him, many believed setting up a mall in Ghana would not work.
"My parents and I kept getting asked why we wanted to build a mall in Ghana because they believed it would not work. We were told that people prefer to go to the Makola market to shop and the concept of malls work only in the western world not Ghana".
With the endless negativity coming in, Edmund knew he had to know something to focus on his goal, so he stopped letting people in on his plans for the mall and worked low-key to build it up from scratch.
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Years later, A&C has become very successful with over 50 occupants, but international and local. The driven Ghanaian man is very glad he never bought into the negativity.
2. Kwame Adade left his IT job in the UK to start a fish farm in Ghana
Although fully Ghanaian, Kwame was born and bred in the UK but came to Ghana for school for just two years and returned abroad. Kwame was an IT personnel in the United Kingdom with the family's telecommunication company. He was stuck to a consistent routine in the UK, and eventually, life became very boring for him. Wishing and hoping for a more flexible and enjoyable lifestyle, the now fish farmer decided to migrate to Ghana.
"Things were going really well with the company but it started getting too boring. Even with the money, it still was boring; work, come home, TV, sleep and the cycle continued like that", Kwame said.
He joined his father, who was already living in Ghana and had a small-scale fish farm. He took about a year and a half to learn the trade and discussed with his father to expand the business.
According to him, the first two fish tanks his dad built were very labour-intensive, so he went to the drawing board with his team and came up with a round fish tank which was fully automated. The new tanks were very successful, and about 5,000 tilapia were harvested from them. The downside, however, was that they were very expensive to operate and maintain.
Finally, Kwame got the idea to build a man-made pond which would house the fishes with just an automated feeder on the side. He shared how the idea came about in an interview:
"This was originally a flood land so we started digging it out to set up more fish farms but were realised that the more we dug, the more water flooded out and filled the space. We then said to ourselves, let's just do a big one so we continued digging and here we go. The pond is actually about 3-4m deep"
The farmer revealed that the traditional fish pond has saved them a lot of money compared to the automated tanks and is much easier to maintain.
Kwame's primary goal is to build an educational centre where he can impact what he has learnt in IT on others. According to him, most of the proceeds from the fish farm would eventually be directed towards the centre for free training.
3. Neil Oku, an investment banker in the US who migrated back to Ghana to build smart houses
Neil chose to leave his luxurious job as an investment banker in the US to migrate back to his motherland, Ghana and started a successful real estate business.
The businessman was born and bred in America but came home from time to time for holidays. After completing his university education in the US, Neil thankfully landed a job as an investment banker on Wall Street with one of the biggest investment banks. He worked there for 12 years and just started yearning to return to Ghana. Nii, in an interview, shared what he left behind in the US.
"I must confess, life was really good for me. I was living the American dream. I was the youngest senior vice president in my whole division and everybody I worked with was very supportive of me", Neil said.
With all the good that living abroad brought Nii, he still wanted something to call his own. He asked himself, 'where can I actually make a difference? where can I bring a new form of innovation and thinking?' and the answer was very clear to him, his home country, Ghana.
As the finance guy he is, Neil researched the best investment venture to pursue and finally landed on building first-of-its-kind smart houses in Ghana. With his savings, he began building, and according to him, his business, Golden Coast Developers, has been very successful.
Couple From America Relocate To Ghana Permanently & Establish Oil Firm Seven Streams Limited Company
Still on business owners, YEN.com.gh earlier reported that Gerald Wilson and Kaleen Wilson, a visionary Black couple originally from the Caribbean but recently based in the United States have set up an oil company in Ghana.
Seven Streams Limited Company, as the firm is called, has already employed a number of topnotch professionals in Ghana with dreams of creating greater employment opportunities for a lot more Ghanaians.
Speaking to YEN.com.gh, Gerald indicated that the idea to migrate to Africa has been long coming for more than 20 years because against all narratives, he and his wife discovered that it was a land full of hope, love, peace and joy.
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