- Ghana had the fastest growing economy in the world in 2019.
- Cocoa accounts for 10% of Ghana's exports.
- Gold is the largest industry in Ghana
In 2019, Ghana’s economy outpaced other emerging markets and was estimated to grow by around 6.7%; which is higher than the world average. The West African nation was historically plagued by poverty and instability, but Ghana’s economy has been booming as of late. Propped up by oil reserves and the growing prices for crude oil (pre-pandemic), other industries are reaping the benefits and are boosting Ghana’s GDP. Industry is not the only reason Ghana’s economy is gaining steam, and successful government initiatives have had positive results as well.
Increased access to education was an important platform for the current government, and it has made efforts to make education more accessible to the public by making secondary education free. The government also aims to improve the quality of education and the resources available in the country. An educated population helps drive economic growth as educated people tend to be more efficient, productive, and innovative.
9. Mining and Minerals
In addition to gold, Ghana also produces bauxite, diamonds, and manganese. Manganese is a mineral with medicinal properties and is used in steel making. Bauxite is the raw material used to make aluminum, which makes it very valuable. However, it is also a contentious substance because one of the largest bauxite deposits in Ghana sits inside the Atewa Forest Reserve, which is home to many endangered species.
8. Taxation Measures
Ghana has implemented effective taxation measures to more evenly distribute wealth and resources but has also sought to formalize businesses that operate outside the official economy. Informal businesses do not pay taxes, and their revenue cannot be used by the government to help prop up different sectors and diversify the economy. Taxes help pay for things like public secondary schools, and a more educated society is typically a more productive society.
7. Economy Diversification
Over the past few years, Ghana has made great strides to diversify its economy. The country has invested in other sectors so that the economy is not solely reliant on one product. As a result, employment and exports in other areas are up, which gives the economy a boost through the direct output of exports. Higher employment numbers also lead to more purchasing power.
One of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s election promises was to grow Ghana's agriculture industry through programs such as: Planting for Food and Jobs, Rearing for Food and Jobs, and Planting for Export and Rural Development. As a result, the agriculture industry is the second-fastest-growing sector in Ghana.
5. Stable Democracy
In 2016, President Nana Akufo-Addo successfully and peacefully won the election and has since made impressive strides toward a freer and more stable economy by investing in the nation. He has sought to make secondary education free, increase manufacturing throughout the country, and increase hydropower.
Due to the stability of Ghana’s democracy and the creation of free zones, the country is seeing larger investments from foreign investors in its industrial and consumer goods market. Companies such as Unilever, Coca Cola, and Toyota have set up production in the country.
Ghana is well known as a major cocoa exporter, and the industry accounts for 10% of exports. Increased cocoa production has led to favorable and sustainable growth in the industry and employs thousands of people.
Ramping up production of crude oil and taking advantage of the rise in oil prices around the world, the government of Ghana has used these funds to help other industries increase production. Oil accounts for 17% of Ghana’s overall exports.
Ghana’s largest export is Gold, making up about 49% of the country’s product exports. They are now the top gold producer in Africa and are said to have more gold reserves than countries like Peru and Papua New Guinea.
While Ghana’s economy has had some incredible and hopeful successes to date, there are some significant risks and challenges posed by its energy sector, and of course now with COVID-19 disrupting major economies around the world, Ghana’s economy will be strained as well. The World Bank is working with Ghana’s COVID-19 relief work in an effort to retain fiscal and political stability leading to the country's upcoming 2020 election.