Since its return to multi-party system more than two decades ago, Ghana has made major strides towards consolidating its democratic achievements. Its judiciary has proved to be independent and has generally gained the trust of Ghanaians. The Ghanaian Parliament is vibrant, and despite inherent challenges and the dominance of the two leading political parties, has created the avenue for debate and vigorous legislative activity.

Ghana is constantly ranking 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. While all these put Ghana in an enviable political position, and provides it with formidable social capital, Ghana's economic course over the past couple of years raises many concerns.

The main threat to the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) is discontent at the rate of improvement in living standards and an ongoing energy crisis. The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has requested a new voter registration system from the Electoral Commission after claiming that a number of irregularities have been found. The NDC has disputed the claims put forward by the NPP, further stating that there is no need for a revised system.

Ghana made a significant progress in poverty reduction, and met the Millennium Development goal of halving poverty rates by 2015 to 24% in 2013 from 52% in 1991. Real GDP growth is projected to fall to 3.4% in 2015 from 4% in 2014. Nevertheless, Ghana’s long-term growth prospects are positive. The growth rate is projected to rebound to 5.9% in 2016 and 8.2% in 2017, assuming that energy rationing will be resolved in 2015, and planned fiscal adjustment remains on track to achieve the 2017 objectives with the support of the IMF and other development partners.

Recent Economic Developments

Ghana’s fiscal consolidation program, which started in late 2014, is on track, as the fiscal deficit narrowed more than the budget projections in June 2015. The primary balance, estimated at 0.6% of GDP (against the target 0.6% deficit), represents a significant improvement from the 1.4% deficit in June 2014, while the overall fiscal deficit was reduced to 2.2% of GDP from 4.3% during the same period.

The current account deficit narrowed to 2.6% of GDP in June 2015 from 5.2% for the same period of 2014.

Ghana experienced net capital outflows in June 2015, partly driven by deterioration in perceived risk in the midst of global market volatility. As a result, gross international reserves were down by $1.1 billion by end-June to $3.2 billion (equivalent to 2.1 months of import-cover), and the Ghanaian cedi lost 21% of its value against the US$ by September, 2015. 

Inflation has remained high, despite the tighter monetary policy stance and slowdown in economic activity. Inflation rose to 17.3% in August from 16.4% in January, reflecting the sharp currency depreciation and fuel price adjustments.

Real GDP growth is projected to fall to 3.4% in 2015 from 4% in 2014, as energy rationing, high inflation, and ongoing fiscal consolidation continue to undermine economic activity. Ghana expects to receive large capital inflows in the coming months: a possible Eurobond issuance up to $1.5 billion (of which only $1 billion to be issued with the World Bank guarantee to restructure its debt); and disbursements from development partners. Ghana’s long-term growth prospects are positive. 

Last Updated: Oct 05, 2015

A new 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. The current portfolio consists of $2.188 billion of credits and grants from the International Development Association (IDA). The strategy incorporates a substantial current IDA portfolio consisting of 25 operations during the CPS period for a total commitment of $2,188 billion in addition to six regional operations with an additional net commitment of $382 million. The six regional projects in West Africa, are in transport, energy, agriculture, higher education and trade.

Last Updated: Oct 05, 2015

Progress towards the Country Partnership Strategy FY2013-2016 (CPS) outcomes has largely been positive. 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. Twenty 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 2014 In primary education, completion rate increased from 87.1%in 2009 to 93.7%in 2011/2012, but quality remains low. The improvements in access to education across the country have been supported by the World Bank Group-financed Ghana Partnership for Education Project and for senior high schools through the results-based Secondary Education Improved Project.  

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 6,211,242 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 60.5% are female, against the target of 50%.

The information and communication technology 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 2014, 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 05, 2015

The World Bank country program in Ghana is coordinated with other development partners. There is an established coordination structure for budget support through the Multi-Donor Budget Support (MDBS) process, by which GoG and Development Partners (DPs) agree to a set of objectives, reform measures, and indicators.

FY15 Deliverables and FY16 Pipeline Projects

In fiscal year 2015, the WBG delivered projects to address the country’s macroeconomic competitiveness challenges, a financial sector reform program, and modernization of government systems under the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for transformation. In addition, the Government of Ghana was supported with an IDA policy-based guarantee and Partial Risk Guarantee (PRG) for the Sankofa Gas development with a potential to bring in private investments of up to $8 billion   Total IDA commitment for FY 15 was $380 million. For FY 16, the pipeline includes another guarantee to support Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

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 $319 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

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), access to finance. We are also involved in developing a viable agribusiness sector. IFC invests in the real 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 05, 2015


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

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments