Since its return to multi-party system of governance more than two decades ago, Ghana has made major strides towards consolidating its democratic achievements. Its judiciary for instance, has proven to be independent and has generally gained the trust of Ghanaians even after the dismissal of 22 justices implicated in a corruption scandal.

Ghana constantly ranks among the top three in Africa for freedom of the press and freedom of speech. The broadcast media is the strongest, with radio being the most far reaching medium of communication. These put Ghana in an enviable political position, and provides it with formidable social capital.

President Mahama’s chance of winning the 2016 elections is much debated. The main threat to the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) is the general macro-economic situation, which translated into discontent at the rate of improvement in living standards, hikes in taxes, utilities and fuel prices. According to the country’s Economist Intelligence Unit, the outcome of the elections is likely to be close. The electioneering campaign has so far focused on corruption and competency in handling the economy. Industrial action, actual and threatened, is putting pressure on the government as it seeks to manage its debts and tame the public payroll. 

Ghana’s economy grew by 4.9% during the first quarter 2016 higher than 4.1% during the same period in 2015 supported by the strong services sector performanceHowever, overall gross domestic product (GDP) growth for 2016 could be below the 3.9% growth in 2015 due to production problems in the oil sector. After lingering above 18%, the inflation rate fell to 16.7%  in July 2016—the lowest since March of 2015, reflecting the stable cedi and the maintenance of the tight monetary policy stance.

The GDP growth rate is expected to reach around 7.5% by 2018, assuming that the fiscal consolidation program remains on track and technical problems in the oil and gas sector are resolved.

Recent Economic Developments

Ghana’s fiscal consolidation program is broadly on track. Following the substantial reduction of the fiscal deficit from 10.2%of GDP in 2014 to 6.3% in 2015, Ghana aims to narrow it further to 5%of GDP in 2016. Nevertheless, in July 2016, Ghana revised its budget to reflect the expected shortfall in domestic revenue as a result of unanticipated technical problems in the Jubilee oil field and weaker than expected oil prices.

Ghana issued its fifth Eurobond on September 9th for $750 million with a coupon rate of 9.25%. The bond which was more than five times oversubscribed with total orders of $4.5 billion has a weighted average tenor of five years.

The country’s external balance improved slightly during the first half of 2016 despite the sharp contraction in oil exports. In tandem with global trends, capital outflows reversed, and foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows rose during the second quarter of the year. As a result, the depreciation of the Ghanaian cedi against the US dollar slowed with only a loss of 3.3% as of August 2016.

Near-term challenges for Ghana include continued high domestic financing cost, currently above 20% and only likely to ease slightly if the inflation rate continues to fall. In addition delays in the resolution of the energy problems related to state owned enterprises (SOEs) debt and technical problems in the oil sector, continued weak commodity prices and capital flows, and the risk of fiscal slippage ahead of the December election are all non-trivial challenges to Ghana’s economic outlook.

Last Updated: Oct 07, 2016

The World Bank Group (WBG) Country Partnership Strategy FY2013-2016 (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 pillars 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 $2.140 billion of credits and grants from the International Development Association (IDA). The strategy incorporates a substantial current IDA portfolio consisting of 25 operations for a total commitment of $2,140 billion, in addition to five regional operations with an additional net commitment of $383 million. The regional projects in West Africa, are in transport, energy, agriculture, higher education and trade.

Last Updated: Oct 07, 2016

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 46,030 in 2014. As part of the Decentralized Land administration services to ease congestion in the Center, Client Services and Access Units (CSAUs) to enhance speedy response to client needs is being piloted in seven areas across the country, and an automated Ghana Enterprise Land Information System (GELIS) is being developed to improve the efficiency in the provision of land services. Fifty Customary Land Secretariats (CLSs) under the management of Traditional Authorities to help manage land issues have been established and are operational and have recorded approximately 24, 698 land rights at the end of 2015.

Under the Ghana Social Opportunities Project, the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty Program (LEAP) has seen an increase from the 39,146 beneficiaries household in 2010 to 164,785 beneficiaries’ household as of August 2015 (70% of whom were female beneficiaries, against a target of 30%). ‘In the poorest regions of the country, 150 feeder roads of 591.9 km have been constructed, while 134 small earth dams and dugouts and 80 climate change activities have also been completed. The program has thus effectively increased access to employment and created 7,879,360 person days employment, as against the end of project target of 9,5000,000. Labor-Intensive Public Works (LIPW) direct project beneficiaries were 125,424 against the target of 190,000, out of which 61% are female, against the target of 50%. In addition to improvements in beneficiary reach, the projects have also benefited from strengthening of the social protection system with the introduction of management information systems (MIS), electronic payments and establishment of the Ghana National Household Registry.

The information and communication technology (ICT) sector has been supported by progressive policies and regulatory interventions of the government, and by the WBG and development partners under the e-Ghana project. A vibrant private sector bolsters investments in the sector and offers innovative products and services to consumers. By 2015, 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 (BPO) and information technology-enabled services (ITES). The local industry creates jobs for the country’s youth, and economic output and export revenue. Ghana produced 8,700 jobs, and an export revenue of $72 million. 

Last Updated: Oct 07, 2016

The World Bank (WB) country program in Ghana is coordinated with other development partners. The World Bank Group is in the process of completing a Performance and Learning Review (PLR) to assess implementation progress under the Ghana-World Bank Group (WBG) Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for FY13-16. 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, drawing on lessons from experience in comparable countries.

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 Country Partnership Strategy, which calls for raising private sector competitiveness through engagements in private and financial sector development, 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, IFC’s own account committed investment portfolio reached US$859.9 million with US$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 focuses on physical and social infrastructure, such as power, water and sanitation, the financial sector, small and medium enterprises (SME), 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 also served to promote the climate change mitigation, a WBG priority.

Last Updated: Oct 07, 2016


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

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments