Ghana Infrastructure

Ghana Industry Profile – At A Glance
Capital Accra
Population: 21 029 853 (2007)
Area 239 460 Km²
Currency: Ghanaian Cedi  ie: 1 cedi = 100 pesewas
Official Language English
Time Zone GMT+0h00
ISO Code: GH
Dialing Code: +233
  • Ghana is an independent republic with a democratic government which lies on the Gulf of Guinea, situated in sub Sahara West Africa. Ghana’s capital is Accra and other main towns are Kumasi and Tamale and the ports of Cape Coast, Tema and Takoradi.
  • The official language is English but there are at least 100 different native languages that are spoken. The local currency is the cedi.
  • The international time zone for Ghana is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) from October through to March and GMT-1 from March through to October.
  • The international dialing code for Ghana is +233. Air Ghana is the national carrier which operates regional and intercontinental services. 10 other airlines fly to Ghana which has an international airport at Kotoka, 10 km from Accra. Non-ECOWAS citizens must obtain visas prior to entry.
  • Malaria, tuberculosis, hepatitis A, meningitis, typhoid fever and schistosomiasis may be contracted while travelling in Ghana. The risk of contraction is based on a number of factors including location, individual’s state of health, current immunization status, and the local disease situation.

Economy

  • The Ghanaian economy has had a mixed performance in 2002. The country enjoyed improved terms of trade with higher gold and cocoa prices and improvements were made in the areas of tax administration, financial sector reform, the move to full cost recovery for electricity and water and governance.
  • The mining industry in Ghana is the key sector in the economy with the principle minerals produced being gold and diamonds. Ghana has an active stock exchange.
  • One project which may expand Ghana’s energy sources is the West African Gas Pipeline which would transport natural gas to Ghana, Togo and Benin from Nigeria. The oil industry is a key sub-sector. The Tema Refinery on the coast near Accra provides most of the petroleum products required by the local market. The Ghana National Petroleum Company is responsible for managing the production and supply of fuel products to the country. The downstream oil industry is also well-developed with 5 international oil companies present in the country.
  • In addition to its oil industry, Ghana has an active chemicals industry, as well as being one of the larger markets in the lubricants industry of the West African region.
  • Ghana exports timber and pineapples, the most important export crop being cocoa. The Ghana Cocoa Board manages the earnings from the export of cocoa beans. Although Ghana’s economy is based mainly on subsistence agriculture, the industrial sector does play a part by producing goods locally. Emerging industrial sector products include cassava, fruits and cocoa by-products. In 2002 agriculture contributed 34.7% to GDP, industry 25% and services 40%. GDP in 2002 was US$6 billion. The inflation rate at the end of 2002 was 15%.
  • After a decade of structural adjustment reforms, Ghana has established a significant record of economic growth, expanding export industries, a growing stock market and rapidly increasing private investment opportunities. In recent years, Ghana has received a strong endorsement of economic health from the Consultative Group for Ghana, which comprises representatives of 11 developed countries and multilateral institutions, including the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
  • Ghana’s major trading partners include neighbouring Nigeria, Germany, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Japan and the United States. Ghana relies on grants from some of these countries to fund areas of development.
  • Ghana is rated 127th on Human Development Index (2003). The economy faces a number of challenges; the main focus being the country’s high population growth (the population in 2002) was 20.1 million..
  • Ghana has experienced a stable political climate and an average annual GDP grow trend of nearly 5 percent over the past ten years.

International Trade

  • The main export commodities in Ghana include cocoa beans and products, copra, cut flowers, cut diamonds, food ingredients, fruit, gold, manganese, timber and tea and coffee, while the main imports include fuel, intermediate goods, machinery, petroleum products, tobaccos, chemical products, consumer goods and crude oil.
  • Exchange controls are liberalized and several private forex bureaux operate in Ghana, while the Bank of Ghana Exchange Control Department administers the allocation of exchange for payments for invisibles and capital.
  • No known specific government regulations or requirements governing countertrade and there are no import licensing requirements and all imports, except for those prohibited for non-trade reasons, are allowed. A free trade zone has been opened in Ghana’s main port, Tema.