The Federal Republic of Ghana is relatively small compared with other African nations, but holds a strategic location on the Atlantic Ocean’s Gulf of Guinea, where it shares borders with Côte D’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Togo in West Africa.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reached around 77.59 billion US dollars in 2021, ranked 72nd in the world according to the World Bank, with per capita GDP assessed at US$2,363. Predictions for 2022 put GDP at around 76 billion US dollars.
Ghana is on the fringe of Africa’s top 10 economies and rebounded in 2021, post-pandemic, with growth at 5.4% according to the World Bank, largely due to the services and agriculture sectors. However, growth slowed early in 2022 to 3.6% and is expected to remain at that level into 2024. The amount of public debt against GDP led to discussion with the International Monetary Fund regarding a possible loan programme, as inflation at over 31% reached an 18-year high.
Ghana is investing to make its Atlantic ports more efficient and competitive, enhancing its potential as a ‘gateway to Africa’ and the point of entry for goods to be re-exported to other West African nations. Ghana’s position is strengthened by hosting the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and membership with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Ghana has drawn on its natural resources to become one of the continent’s leading economic lights and they are a major part of its economic profile and key elements to fuelling growth.
Out of Ghana’s wide range of natural resources, oil and gas are the major components and although Nigeria remains the hub for production and export, Ghana is attracting more companies and partners to the sector. On the minerals front, only gold, diamonds, manganese and bauxite are exploited. Ghana’s self-sufficiency in salt from the sea and lagoons add this commodity to its list of exports.
Agriculture, forestry and fisheries are a strong sector, accounting for one-fifth of GDP and employing over 40% of the workforce, with half the arable land used to cultivate cacao for its seeds and cocoa beans – a major export commodity.
The services sector has grown to become a significant driving force of Ghana’s economy, with many commercial, development and foreign banks in the financial sector. The services sector overall shows among the highest growth rates in sub-Saharan Africa, in computer and related operations, architectural and engineering support services, legal work and accountancy. Ghana has strong ties with the US and a significant number of American ICT providers are in the market.