Overview

  • Since its return to a multi-party political system more than two decades ago, Ghana has taken major strides towards democracy, with its judiciary proving independent and generally gaining the trust of Ghanaians. Ghana consistently ranks in the top three for freedom of the press and freedom of speech in Africa, with broadcast media strongest and radio the most far-reaching medium of communication. These factors put Ghana in an enviable position and provide it with social capital.

    On 7 December 2016, Nana Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the opposition New Patriotic Party was elected President. The electoral process was peaceful with Akufo-Addo receiving 54% of the vote to former President Mahama’s 44.5%, averting a second round of elections. Akufo-Addo and Mahumdu Bawumia were sworn-in as president and vice-president on 7 January 2017. The President has since sworn-in his Ministers of State. The size of his victory clears the way for him to implement his political agenda but significant economic challenges remain. The President in his maiden State of the Nation address has pledged to reduce the budget deficit and cut waste in all sectors of public life.

    Recent Economic Developments

    Ghana’s economic performance during 2016 was mixed. After making solid progress on fiscal consolidation in bringing the fiscal deficit down from 10.2% of GDP in 2014 to 6.3% in 2015, the target to narrow it further to 5.3% of GDP in 2016 was missed by a wide margin with the deficit widening to 9% of GDP. Nevertheless, GDP growth at 3.6% was slightly higher than the forecast of 3.3%, and inflation, after remaining stubbornly above 17%, fell a little to 15.4% in December and further to 13.3% in January 2017, closer to the central bank’s target range of 6%–10%. 

    Furthermore, in spite of weak commodity prices, Ghana’s external balance improved in 2016, reflecting increased exports and a fall in imports. The current account deficit narrowed to 6.4% of GDP in 2016 from 7.6% of GDP in 2015. Gross foreign reserves increased marginally from $4.4 billion in 2015 to an estimated $4.9 billion, equivalent to 2.8 months of imports at the end of 2016.

    Ghana’s near term prospects are good, absent further fiscal slippage. Economic growth is expected to accelerate in 2017, spurred by improvements in both the oil and non-oil sectors. Oil production is expected to increase as repairs are completed in the Jubilee field and the TEN Field reaches its full capacity. The non-oil growth sectors, including services, are also expected to remain robust. Surveys conducted by the central bank indicate a positive outlook for business sentiments; this will go a long way to improve private sector investments. The expected rebound in commodity prices will support the exports and growth necessary to stabilize the exchange rate and create employment going forward.

    However, near-term challenges are substantial and downside risks remain high, reflecting in part the need for the new government to build credibility in prudent fiscal management. In addition, uncertainties in the global environment, including whether the nascent recovery in commodity prices will be sustained, could negatively affect foreign direct investment flows to Ghana.

    Ghana is also likely to face continued high domestic and external financing costs as its debt expands and global interest rates rises. In addition, the new government face a number of other major challenges: high youth unemployment; ongoing delays in the resolution of debt incurred by energy state-owned enterprises; and the high cost of electricity and need to better match its capacity and the demand for supply. 

    Last Updated: Apr 20, 2017

  • The World Bank Group (WBG) Country Partnership Strategy FY2013-2018 (CPS) was endorsed by the Bank in September 2013.The objective of the CPS is to assist government to sustain economic growth, accelerate poverty reduction, and enhance shared prosperity in a sustainable manner.

    The CPS seeks to support Ghana to consolidate its transition to lower middle income status, address sources of inequality, and help pave the way to access to International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). The CPS program is based on three pillars: improving economic institutions, improving competitiveness and job creation, and protecting the poor and vulnerable. In turn, these are anchored in the Ghana Shared Growth Development Agenda pillars of competitiveness and employment, vulnerability and resilience, and governance and public sector capacity.

    The total WBG exposure is approximately $3 billion, with a current portfolio of $2 billion of credits and grants from the International Development Association (IDA). The strategy incorporates a substantial current IDA portfolio consisting of 24 operations for a total commitment of $2 billion, in addition to four regional operations with an additional net commitment of $383 million. Regional projects in West Africa, are in transport, energy, agriculture, higher education and trade.

    Last Updated: Apr 20, 2017

  • Through the Land Administration Project, out of 31,643 backlog cases of land title applications, 30,156 have been cleared, with the issuance of 3,880 certificates. The number of registered land transactions (deeds and titles) increased from a total of 6,288 in 2011 to a total of 61,629 in 2016. As part of the Decentralized Land administration services to ease congestion in the Center, the establishment of seven Client Services and Access Units to enhance speedy response to client needs has led to significant progress in the reduction of the time it takes to deliver service, thereby reducing the registration of Land deeds from 3 to 1.5 months and for Title registration 7 to 4 months. An automated Ghana Enterprise Land Information System is also being developed to improve the efficiency in the provision of land services. Fifty Customary Land Secretariats under the management of Traditional Authorities have been established and are operational, and recorded about 24,698 land rights issues by the end of 2015.

    Under the Ghana Social Opportunities Project, the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty Program has seen an increase from the 39,146 beneficiaries’ households in 2010 to 164,785 households as of August 2016 in 185 districts (70% of whom were female beneficiaries, against a target of 30%). In the poorest regions of the country, 150 feeder roads of 792 km have been constructed, while 192 small earth dams and dugouts, and 2,550 hectares of degraded public/community land have also been completed through tree planting and other biodiversity-restoration activities.

    The program has thus effectively increased access to employment and created 7,879,360 person days of employment, as against the end of project target of 9,5000,000. Labor-Intensive Public Works direct project beneficiaries were 165,860, against the target of 190,000, out of which 61% are female, against the target of 50%. In addition to improvements in reach, the projects have also benefited from the strengthening of the social protection system with the introduction of management information systems, electronic payments, and the establishment of the Ghana National Household Registry.

    The information and communication technology sector has been supported by the progressive policies and regulatory interventions of the government, and by the WBG and development partners under the e-Ghana and e-Transform projects. A vibrant private sector bolsters investments in the sector and offers innovative products and services to consumers. By 2016, mobile phone penetration exceeded 100% in Ghana, compared to 1% in 2000. Greater availability of high-speed internet and falling wholesale prices are helping a growing domestic industry of business process outsourcing and information technology-enabled services. The local industry creates jobs for the country’s youth, economic output, and export revenue. Ghana produced 8,700 jobs, and an export revenue of $72 million. 

    Last Updated: Apr 20, 2017

  • The World Bank country program in Ghana is coordinated with other development partners. The World Bank Group (WBG) carried out a Performance and Learning Review to assess progress under the Ghana- WBG Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for FY13-18. A number of major partners worked together to review their development plans and revamp the architecture for donor coordination and dialogue to more fully recognize the emerging importance of the private sector and newer, non-traditional partners.

    Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) Operations

    MIGA currently insures four active projects in Ghana, supporting power, telecoms, clean water, and oil and gas supply, with total gross exposure of $265 million. MIGA's support is aligned with the first pillar of the CPS, which calls for raising private sector competitiveness through engagements in private and financial sector development, the modernization of agriculture, sustainable natural resource management, and investment in infrastructure.

    International Finance Corporation (IFC) Country Strategy and Operations

    Ghana is IFC’s 3rd largest exposure in Africa in terms of committed investment volume. As of June 2016, the IFC’s own account committed investment portfolio reached $859.9 million with $474 million outstanding. IFC’s investments have contributed to the direct employment of at least 21,618 people as of 2014. IFC strategy in Ghana aims to increase the competitiveness of the private sector. Its investments and advisory services in the country focus on physical and social infrastructure, such as power, water and sanitation, the financial sector, small and medium enterprises, and access to finance. We are also involved in developing a viable agribusiness sector. IFC invests in sectors such as manufacturing, tourism, mining, and health and education. Our work in Ghana has promotes climate change mitigation, a WBG priority. 

    Last Updated: Apr 20, 2017

Api


LENDING

Ghana: Commitments by Fiscal Year (in millions of dollars)*

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments

MULTIMEDIA



PHOTO GALLERY

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In Depth

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Africa's Pulse, No. 15, April 2017

Economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to recover to 2.6 percent in 2017, following a marked deceleration in 2016.

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International Development Association (IDA) in Africa

IDA, the World Bank’s fund for the poorest, contributes nearly 50% of its funds to 39 African countries.

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World Bank Africa Multimedia

Watch, listen and click through the latest videos, podcasts and slideshows highlighting the World Bank’s work in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Doing Business in Ghana

The Doing Business Project provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement. See where Ghana ranks on the "Ease ...

Additional Resources

Country Office Contacts

Main Office Contact:
+233-30-221-4100

Kennedy Fosu
Communications Officer
+233-30-221-4142
Plot #3
Corner of Independence Ave & 10th Street
Ridge, Accra, Ghana
kfosu@worldbank.org
In Washington:
Sergiy V. Kulyk
Country Program Coordinator
+1-202-458-4068
1818 H Street NW
Washington DC 20433
USA
skulyk@worldbank.org