Ghana, which is well endowed with natural resources, has twice the per capita output of the poorer countries in West Africa. However, Ghana remains somewhat dependent on international financial and technical assistance as well as the activities of the extensive Ghanaian diaspora. Gold, timber, cocoa, diamond, bauxite and manganese exports are major sources of foreign exchange. An oilfield which is reported to contain up to 3 billion barrels (480,000,000 m3) of light oil was discovered in 2007. Oil exploration is ongoing and, the amount of oil continues to increase.
Tourism has become one of Ghana's largest foreign income earners (ranking third in 1997), and the Ghanaian Government has placed great emphasis upon further tourism support and development. The financial services in Ghana has seen a lot of reforms in the past years. Ghana through the Banking (Amendment) Act 2007 has include the awarding of General Banking licence to qualified banks and this allows offshore banks to operate in the country. It has therefore become possible for non-resident individuals and foreign companies to open offshore bank accounts in Ghana.
The domestic economy continues to revolve around subsistence agriculture, which accounts for 50% of GDP and employs 85% of the work force, mainly small landholders. On the negative side, public sector wage increases and regional peacekeeping commitments have led to continued inflationary deficit financing, depreciation of the Cedi, and rising public discontent with Ghana's austerity measures. Even so, Ghana remains one of the more economically sound countries in all of Africa.
Ghana has since July, 2007, embarked on a currency re-denomination exercise, from Cedi (¢) to the new currency, the Ghana Cedi (GH¢). The transfer rate is 1 Ghana Cedi for every 10,000 Cedis. The Bank of Ghana has embarked upon an aggressive media campaign to educate the public about what re-denomination entails.
Economy - overview
Well endowed with natural resources, Ghana has roughly twice the per capita output of the poorest countries in West Africa. Even so, Ghana remains heavily dependent on international financial and technical assistance. Gold and cocoa production, and individual remittances, are major sources of foreign exchange. The domestic economy continues to revolve around agriculture, which accounts for about 35% of GDP and employs about 55% of the work force, mainly small landholders. Ghana opted for debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) program in 2002, and is also benefiting from the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative that took effect in 2006. Thematic priorities under its current Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy, which also provides the framework for development partner assistance, are macroeconomic stability; private sector competitiveness; human resource development; and good governance and civic responsibility. Sound macro-economic management along with high prices for gold and cocoa helped sustain GDP growth in 2007. Ghana signed a Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact in 2006, which aims to assist in transforming Ghana's agricultural sector.
GDP (purchasing power parity)
$31.13 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)
$14.86 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate
5.5% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)
$1,400 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector
services 37.5% (2006 est.)
11.29 million (2007 est.)
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