The Ghana Economy,
Through Various Boosts and Burns, Delivers a Fairly
Clean Bill of Health
The Ghana economy is notable both by its own merit and within
the context of the often-chaotic and difficult African economies. Though the country does still face a few financial snags in the modern age, its established solidity and rational, competent administration help to make it one of the strongest and most reliable in the continent.
Hence why she is referred to as the gateway to Africa.
Ghana is well endowed with natural resources and Gold, timber, and cocoa production are it’s major sources of foreign exchange. So much so that Ghana has twice the per capita output of the poorer countries in West Africa.
The story of the Ghana economy begins, as one might guess, with
the country’s achievement of independence from Great Britain. As Ghana relied almost entirely upon private subsistence agriculture, the creation of economically lucrative and efficient institutions was a crucial concern for the early leadership.
The first Ghana president, Kwame Nkrumrah, endeavoured to establish a number of large-scale public works, which helped to jump-start revenue and diversify the GDP.
Over the decades, the success of the Ghanaian economy waxed and waned. The creation of a major dam on the Volta River in the country’s East helped to provide electricity for the largest aluminum smelter in Africa, which was a major boost to the Ghana economy.
Setbacks grappled with this success, however.The return of a million Ghanaian refugees following independence created a substantial burden on Ghana gold and the economy at large, as did a serious drought which disrupted agricultural endeavours and caused considerable bush fires.
Through these difficulties, however, the economy, along with its treasured currency, the cedi, fought to remain viable and competitive.
Modern initiatives to improve economic matters include a recent
decision to employ a re-denomination of the cedi. Under the new scheme, ten thousand old cedis are equal to one Ghana cedi, which is itself valued at .92 to the United States dollar. Initial difficulties and confusions surrounding the change have been addressed with extensive public education programs.
Tourists be warned – a large proportion of the population, merchants and consumers, still quote prices in the old denomination!
Currently, the sector is one of the fastest growing is expected to grow at an average rate of 4.1 % per annum over the next two decades. This initiative has been boosted by the impact of soccer/football – the nation’s first love! A Ghana Tourist Board survey indicates that more than US$824,000 was sunk into the Ghanaian economy during the recently-held Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Ghana.
A remarkable triumph in recent years has been the discovery of a massive oil field within the country’s territory. The discovery, which is estimated at around three billion barrels, will likely help to sustain and enrich the Ghana economy as it is exploited and new fields are tapped. Early tests suggest that the quality of the Ghana oil is on par with the world’s best.
Despite the lucrative oil source, the majority of the country’s
economic prosperity can be found in agriculture, which is a
traditional method of subsistence for the Ghanaian people. In fact Ghana’s economy is dominated by agriculture, with more than half the population employed in that sector and subsistence agriculture accounts of around 37% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Industrial operations including the manufacture of textiles, tobacco, beverages, and automotive parts and assembly as well as basic mining outfits help to bolster the Ghana economy.
With a GDP estimated at US $1,520 per capital (2008) according to the International Monetary Fund, Ghana remains one of the strongest in Africa, and is exhibiting signs of a brighter future, even amidst modern global trends. An exemplary facet of the country, it’s economy is indicative of the country’s will to thrive and prosper.
Even with all the lucrative initiatives that are driving the country’s enterprise, the Ghana economy is still heavily dependent on international financial and technical assistance.