Ghana is a stabile harbour in an instable region. Ghana’s economy has maintained a commendable growth trajectory with an average annual growth rate of about 6.0 % over the five years up to 2010, reaching a record high of 15 % in 2011, following Ghana’s joining the league of oilproducing countries. Growth declined to 7.9 % in 2012 and to 3,5 % in 2015 due largely to poor performance in the agricultural and industrial sectors. Ghana produces various foodstuffs as rice, maize, pineapple, mango, fish and poultry. Traditionally cocoa has been the main focus, which has caused neglect of the overall food production. Ghana ranks 140 out of 189 countries according to the World Banks ease of doing business index.
GENERAL INDICATORS 2015
(% of population)
Corruption Perception Index
47 / Rank 56
Income per Capita
Income Distribution (gini index)
Tourism contribution to GDP
Annual growth rate
Wholesale & retail sector (% of GDP)
Travel Turist industry growth forecast
Trading partner - EXPORT
Switzerland 17%, China 10%, France 9.2%
Main export of goods (USD):
Coca beans, gold semi-factured, petroleum oils, gold unwrought, fresh or dried cashew
Trading partner - IMPORT
China 28%, Netherlands 11%, United States 7.4%
Main import of goods (USD):
Motor cars and other vehicles, cement clinkers, broken rice, cane or beet sugar and chemically pure sucrose, motor vehicles for transport of goods
Sources: World Bank, AfDB, CIA Factbook & Transparency International
- World Bank: Population, Income pr. Capita (current USD 2015), Annual growth rate (2015), Urbanization (% of population), Income distribution (Gini index of 0 represents a perfectly equal distribution of income, where all income recipients receive the same income. The greater inequality, the higher the gini index. If the gini-index is 100, one person earns the entire income in the economy. ), Poverty at 1,25/day
- AfDB 2011: Middle class distribution: Middle class with floating class ($2-20 per day) / Middle class without floating class ($4-20 per day)
- Transparency International 2014: Corruption Perception Index (a scale from 0-100, where 0 means the country is highly corrupt and a 100 mean that a country is perceived as very clean). The ranking is out of 168 countries.
- The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2015, World Bank
- World Integrated Trade Solutions, World Bank 2015: Trading partners, main imports and exports of goods
The political climate
Ghana is considered one of West Africa’s most resilient democracies, holding six elections and peaceful transfers of power between the country’s two main political parties since 1992. The country is divided not on ethnic but on political lines, despite this, the risk of instability is muted by calls from Civil Society, The Peace Council and the clergy for peace to be maintained. Ghana’s political stability has been a fundamental asset to foreign investors. The chieftaincy is bicameral: Regional House of Chiefs and National House of Chiefs. As 2016 is election year there is a ritual risk that money from state coffers is rather spent to buy support from chiefs, friends and voters than for more urgent purposes.
The cocoa production and gold mines are located in the Ashanti Region which makes the Ashanti (48%) the most powerful ethnic group. Ghana continues to be a strong advocate of regional co-operation and integration, especially in respect to initiatives relating to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The country initialled the European Partnership Agreement (EPA) in 2008, but negotiations are still underway jointly under ECOWAS.
According to Transparency International’s Corruptions Perception Index, which measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption worldwide, Ghana ranks 56 out of 168 countries with a score of 47. Major governance indicators show that Ghana has achieved significant progress over the last few years in terms of government effectiveness, transparency of the regulatory framework and control of corruption. However, although it is not perceived as extensive as in most other African countries, corruption remains a significant problem in the country. Petty corruption is persistent and there is evidence of forms of political corruption including looting of state assets. Sectors most affected by corruption include the police, political parties, and public financial management - in particular with regard to public procurement, tax and customs administration. With the recent discovery of offshore oil fields, the country’s past record in managing its mineral wealth has raised concerns over its ability to manage oil revenues in a transparent manner and avoid a “resource curse”. The government has a strong anti-corruption legal framework in place, but faces challenges of enforcement.
Agriculture accounts for 19 % of GDP and remains the mainstay of the economy in terms of crop production and employs an estimated 40 % of the workforce. Cocoa, an important crop for Ghana, accounts for about 10 % of total agricultural-sector production and contributes around 20 % of total value of export receipts. Key risks to agricultural production in Ghana are high dependence on weather conditions, world market prices and the depletion of natural resources, especially forestry stock. Poverty has decreased in urban areas as compared to the rural areas with food-crop farmers remaining the poorest occupational group. Agriculture is predominantly located in the North, and aquaculture mainly along the Volta River. In 1990 – 2010 the output from aquacultures increased from <1,000 tonnes to 10,000 tonnes.
|Agriculture, value added (% GDP)||Food imports (% GDP)||Food exports (% GDP)|
|19 (2015)||17 (2013)||32 (2013)|
The Ghanaian Ministry of Food & Agriculture’s (MOFA) mission is to promote sustainable agriculture and thriving agribusiness through research and technology development, effective extension and other support services to farmers, processors and traders for improved livelihood. The government allocates on average 10 % of its budget to the agricultural sector annually. Traditionally, when the New Patriot Party holds office more money is allocated to cocoa farmers in Ashanti Region and when National Democratic Congress holds office, more money is allocated to the northern and coastal regions. Ghana offers a 5 year period of tax relief for new companies and offers an exemption from VAT and other fees on imported machinery to business operations. Ghana's economy has been largely dependent on agriculture and its growth is key to overall economic growth and development. The first Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS I), 2003-2005 set out that agriculture was to be modernized to spur rural development. Similarly, in the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS II), 2006-2009, and its sequel the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda I (GSGDA), 2010-2013, agriculture is expected to lead the growth and structural transformation of the economy and maximize the benefits of accelerated growth.
Recently the agricultural policy was aligned with the objectives and activities of several Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as those of many non-governmental organizations and the private sector, MOFA has, as a matter of policy, involved all these agencies in policy formulation and implementation over the years. MOFA, with these stakeholders, in 2007 formulated the Food and Agriculture Sector Development Policy (FASDEP II). As the policy itself is a statement of intent, the next step towards the realization of the policy objectives is the development of a Medium Term Agriculture Sector Investment Plan (METASIP) for the implementation of the broad strategies specified in the policy. This Sector Plan has been developed based on a target agriculture sector GDP growth of at least 6 % annually and government expenditure allocation of at least 10 % within the Plan period (2011–2015). These are in conformity with national, regional and international agricultural performance targets. The strategic objectives for the agricultural policy (FASDEP II) are as given below.
Food security and emergency preparedness
Increased growth in incomes
Increased competitiveness and enhanced integration into domestic and international markets
Sustainable management of land and environment
Science and technology applied in food and agriculture development
Improved institutional coordination
The last 4 years, power cuts, depreciation of the cedi and inflation have negatively affected the Ghanaian market. The size of the middle class is still small, but is growing at a rapid pace, thereby providing the base for the demand for the convenience and variety that is offered by super- and hypermarkets.
In 2007 the first mall opened in Accra and in 2016 the largest shopping mall in West Africa opened in Kumasi. Traditional open air markets account for more than two-thirds of retail sales in Ghana. Ghana’s modern retail sector is restricted mainly to Accra where large newly constructed malls are emerging. Ghana’s growing middle class has fueled the retailing industry that has been under-served in terms of retail options. As a result a wave of retail construction activity has emerged over the past few years and grew 6 % in 2013.
|Wholesale & retail sector (% of GDP)||Retail growth||Informal/Traditional open trade|
|10,7 (2013)||6 % (2013)||66 % (2013)|
The formal retail market is dominated by large supermarkets such as Shoprite, Mr. Price, Woolworths and Marina Market. Supermarkets only account for 1 percent of sales, still more domestic supermarkets are growing including Melcom, Kwatsons and Palace Hypermarket. Well-known international retailers have been less eager to enter the market, although Zara, Mango, Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, and TM Lewin have recently shown interest. The strongest retail growth are in Osu,Tetteh, Quarshie Interchange, East Legon, Wija (Dunkuna), Teshie, Tema, Achimota, Takoradi, and Kumasi.
Power relations are very hierarchical, leader is supposed to give orders and people are supposed to obey. Power is decentralised to local but powerful chieftaincies; these chiefs cannot, however, be elected for Parliament.
The organizational hierarchy in Ghana is reflecting inherent inequalities, there is a high centralization of power and subordinates are expected to be told what to do. The society is highly collectivistic hence loyalty is paramount and overrides most other societal rules and regulations. This implies that hiring and promotion decisions usually take account of the employees in group and that management is the management of groups. However, the past 10-15 years the country is experiencing a movement of individualization reflected in mistrust to the system and the ‘big men’. Ghana is a relatively femine society and focus is on ‘working in order to live’, managers strive for consensus and conflicts are resolved by compromise and negotiation. An effective manager is a supportive one and decision making is achieved through involvement. Ghana has an incredibly low score of long-term planning , which indicate a very strong preference for normative thinking implying a low propensity for saving for the future, a great respect for traditions and a focus on achieving quick results.
According to World Bank, Ghana has an advanced infrastructure platform when compared with other low-income countries in Africa. The country’s coverage levels for rural water, electricity, and GSM signals are impressive. A large share of the road network is in good or fair condition. Institutional reforms have been adopted in the ICT, ports, roads, and water supply sectors. Ghana’s most pressing challenges lie in the power sector, where outmoded transmission and distribution assets, rapid demand growth, and periodic hydrological shocks leave the country reliant on high-cost oil-based generation. Power supply is also increasingly subject to reliability problems that stem from neglect of ageing transmission and distribution assets. Even in mobile telephony the increasing rate of dropped calls has become a recent concern, though it is a relatively standard side effect of a rapidly expanding network. This overall pattern suggests that Ghana may benefit from a systematic framework for regulating quality of public services. With respect to regional integration, Ghana is doing well on maintaining international road corridors, but lacks power and ICT connectivity with its neighbours. The Port of Tema is increasingly becoming a transit gateway to the landlocked hinterland. However, the continuing success of the Ghana Gateway program depends on successfully tackling capacity constraints at the port. The announcement in the 2014 budget for the establishment of a Ghana Infrastructure Fund, coupled with the Public Investment Programme (PIP) and Public Private Partnership (PPP) Policy is expected to speed up the development and financing of infrastructure to address some of the challenges of the private sector. In addition, these initiatives would assist in guiding both future private capital and public sector investment activities.
|Paved roads||Total network (railways km)||Mobile Cellular subscribers (per 100 people)||Airports with paved runways|
|13 (2010)||947 (2014)||115 (2014)||7 (2015)|
Ghana has a relatively mature business sector and is amongst the top-performing countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. The management quality and capability of the private sector is reflected in the accolades that selected hotels and operators receive. In attracting tourists, Ghana has begun to promote itself among Black Americans, who want to return to the land of their ancestors. The former slave castles play a vital role in this promotion. The Black Americans constitute a wealthy source of revenue. In coping with the increased level of Tourism, 5* hotel Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel recently opened.