Ghana is one of the most stable democracies in Africa, since attaining independence in 1957. It has a population of 25.5 million people. Gold, cocoa and oil are the country’s main exports. Since the start of 2016, inflation, energy crisis and a spiraling debt level have hit its economy.
Below are 12 things to know before investing in the West African nation.
Sources; Africanews, OSAC, GhanaWeb, Pulse Newsletter, Worldatlas, Bloomberg, Ghana Economic Outlook, citifmonline, Indonesia Investments,
The economic growth has been on a decline since 2013. In 2015 it grew at about 3.6 percent, a fall from 4.2 percent (2014) and 7.3 percent in 2013.
In 2015, the nation’s public debt was 71 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. By the end of June, it was about $23.9 billion. External debt was $14.8 billion during the same period. It has been a major cause for the nation’s slowed economic growth since 2013.
Ghana is the second biggest producer and exporter of cocoa in the world after Cote D’Ivoire. It accounts for about six percent of the nation’s GDP.
The nation has been experiencing an energy crisis since 2012. This has adversely affected the country’s business environment and has led to many businesses incurring losses running in to millions of dollars. This is one of the biggest problems that have hurt Ghana’s economy. Kwabena Donkor, the minister for Power resigned in January 2016 after failing to oversee an end to the crisis.
About 48 percent of Ghana’s youths (15-24 years) are un-employed.
Agriculture is the biggest single employer in the West African nation. It has employed 60 percent of the country’s workforce and contributes about 44 percent of Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product.
Ghana has over 13.6 million hectares of arable land that can support both livestock rearing and crop farming. It also has the potential to produce 655,000 metric tons of fisheries product yearly.
Ghana has an average literacy rate of 76.6 percent, which is one of the best in Africa. The nation has a well-developed primary, secondary and higher education infrastructure.
Ghana is one of the leading markets for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Africa. It has over 33 million mobile phone subscriptions, which is over 124 percent penetration rate, and six mobile operators.
The nation has a high rate of street and armed robberies that mostly target expatriates in Accra and other major cities. Crowded markets, beaches, recreation parks and tourist attractions sites are the hot-spots.
Ghana has not experienced major terror attacks since her independence, despite being in the West African region where several terror groups such as Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb have accounted for hundreds of deaths. The nation has not experienced the deadly terror attacks unlike her neighbors, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast. Several West African nations including Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon have also been heavily hit by the Boko Haram militants.
Road is the main means of transport in the nation, accounting for about 96 percent of passengers and freight traffic. Buses are the main means of public transport at about 60 percent while taxis account for 14 percent. Ghana is a key centre in Africa’s air transport, with many international carriers using the Kotoka International Airport. The government controls majority of road transport while rail and water transports are mainly controlled by private investors.