Economy of Ghana

By West African standards, the economy of Ghana has a diverse and rich resource base. With the major industries of lumbering, mining, aluminum smelting, food processing, light manufacturing, cement and small commercial ship building, the economy of Ghana has been able to remain one of the more sound countries in the west of Africa.

Very well endowed with natural resources, Ghanaian economy has twice the per capita output of the poorer countries in West Africa. The domestic economy continues to revolve around subsistence agriculture, accounting for 34% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). About 60% of the work force is employed mainly from small landholders. Being an agricultural country, the majority of its workers are engaged in farming. The primary cash crops consist of cocoa and cocoa products, which typically provide about two-thirds of export revenues. Where as, palm oil, timber products, coconuts and other palm products, i.e., shea nuts produce an edible fat, and coffee.

All the same Ghana's economy remains heavily dependent on international financial and technical assistance, with gold, cocoa production and timber being the major sources of foreign exchange. The country has also launched a successful program of nontraditional agricultural products for export, including cashews, pineapples and pepper. Cassava, maize, rice, peanuts, yams, plantains, pearl millet, and sorghum are the basic food products while poultry, fish and meat are important dietary staples.

The industrial base of Ghana is also relatively advanced compared to many other African countries. Textiles; steel (using scrap); flour milling; beverages; tires; oil refining; simple consumer goods; tobacco; and car, truck, and bus assembling includes the import- substitution industries. Ghana produces and exports minerals like gold, diamonds, manganese ore, and bauxite. Tourism is Ghana's largest foreign income earners and great emphasis has been given to the support and development of tourism by the Ghanaian Government.

Under the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) program in 2002, Ghana opted for debt relief sanction. It was also included in a G-8 debt relief program decided upon at the Gleneagles Summit in July 2005. More priorities have been given to its current $38 million Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF). It includes tighter monetary and fiscal policies, improvement of social services and accelerated privatization. The revenue from the gold sector helped Ghana sustain GDP growth in 2006 along with a record high price for Ghana's largest cocoa crop to date. In 2006 Ghana received a Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) grant, which aims to assist in transforming Ghana's agricultural export sector.

  • GDP (purchasing power parity): $59.15 billion (2006 est.)

  • GDP (official exchange rate): $10.18 billion (2006 est.)

  • GDP - real growth rate: 5.7% (2006 est.)

  • GDP - per capita (PPP): $2,600 (2006 est.)

  • GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 37.3%
    industry: 25.3%
    services: 37.5% (2006 est.)

  • Labor force: 10.87 million (2006 est.)

  • Investment (gross fixed): 29% of GDP (2006 est.)

  • Public debt: 38.6% of GDP (2006 est.)

  • Industrial production growth rate: 3.8% (2000 est.)

  • Exports: $3.286 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

  • Imports: $5.666 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

  • Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $2.098 billion (2006 est.)

  • Debt - external: $3.546 billion (2006 est.)

  • Fiscal year: calendar year


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