Ghana Economy

The economy is coming out of a very turbulent two-year period but today, the domestic economic situation is decidedly different. The economic aggregates and indicators are pointing in the right directions. Inflation is coming down, interest rates are easing downward, exchange market volatility has diminished. Macroeconomic policies have shifted from one of considerable fiscal relaxation and monetary accommodation to one of fiscal stringency and monetary restraint. The rigorous implementation of the fiscal framework along with the price adjustments to utilities, petroleum and other services introduced in the interim budget explains the observed stability in the foreign exchange market. The first tangible benefit of HIPC is already being felt in an improved cash flow position. The greatest benefit is yet to come in the form of a deep reduction in the stock of debt from its presently unsustainable levels, releasing funds for social sector spending programs. Well endowed with natural resources, Ghana has twice the per capita output of the poorer countries in West Africa. Even so, Ghana remains heavily dependent on international financial and technical assistance. Gold, timber, and cocoa production are major sources of foreign exchange. The domestic economy continues to revolve around subsistence agriculture, which accounts for 41% of GDP and employs 60% of the work force, mainly small landholders.


  • GDP purchasing power parity-$33.6 billion (1998 est.)
  • GDP-real growth rate 3% (1998 est.) GDP-per capita purchasing power parity-$1,900 (2000 est.)
  • GDP-composition by sector:
  • agriculture 36%
  • industry 25%
  • services 38% (2000 est.)
  • Population below poverty line 31.4% (1992 est.)
  • Household income or consumption by percentage share:
  • highest 10% 27.3% (1992)
  • Inflation rate (consumer prices) 27.7% (1997 est.)
  • Labor force 9 million (2000 est.) Labor force by occupation agriculture and fishing 61%, industry 10%, services 29% (1996 est.)
  • Unemployment rate 20% (1997 est.)
  • Budget:

  • revenues $1.39 billion
  • expenditures $1.47 billion, including capital expenditures of $370 million (1996 est.)
  • Industries mining, lumbering, light manufacturing, aluminum smelting, food processing
  • Industrial production growth rate 4.2% (1996 est.)
  • Electricity production 5.466 billion kWh (1999)
  • Electricity consumption 5.573 billion kWh (1999)
  • Electricity exports 400 million kWh (1999)
  • Electricity imports 890 million kWh (1999)
  • Agriculture products cocoa, rice, coffee, cassava (tapioca), peanuts, corn, shea nuts, bananas; timber Exports $1.5 billion (f.o.b., 1997)
  • Exports commodities gold 39%, cocoa 35%, timber 9.4%, tuna, bauxite, aluminum, manganese ore, and diamonds (1996 est.)
  • Exports partners UK, Germany, US, Netherlands, Japan, Nigeria Imports $2.1 billion (f.o.b., 1997)
  • Imports commodities capital equipment, petroleum, consumer goods, foods, and intermediate goods Imports partners UK, Nigeria, US, Germany, Japan, Netherlands Economic aid recipient $477.3 million (1995)
  • Currency 1 new cedi () = 100 pesewas
  • Exchange rates new cedis () per US$1-7,800 (June 2002)
  • Source: Information Services Department 2002

Scenes from Ghana