Overview

  • Ghana sits on the Atlantic Ocean and borders Togo, Cote d'Ivoire, and Burkina Faso. It has a population of about 29.6 million (2018). In the past two decades, it has taken major strides toward democracy under a multi-party system, with its independent judiciary winning public trust. Ghana consistently ranks in the top three countries in Africa for freedom of speech and press freedom, with strong broadcast media, and radio the medium with the greatest reach. Factors such as these provide Ghana with solid social capital.

    Twenty months after being elected president in a peaceful election, President Akufo-Addo has had some successes, but he also faces challenges, fulfilling his election pledges—including setting up a factory in each of the nation’s 216 districts, one dam for every village and providing free high school education. Though the government is implementing some of its promises, such as planting for food and for jobs, and free secondary education.

    Recent Economic Developments

    Ghana’s economy accelerated to 8.5% in 2017 making it the second-fastest growing African economy, trailing only Ethiopia. The year was off to a strong start; growth for the first quarter of 2018 was 6.8%, above 6.7% recorded in 2017 primarily driven by the continued expansion of oil production. The non-oil growth domestic product (GDP) growth was 5.4%, compared to 4.0% in first quarter 2017. The industry sector recorded the highest growth of 9.6% driven by oil, although this was lower than the 11.8% growth in 2017. The services sector grew by 5.2%, higher than the 3.3% recorded in the same period in 2017 and driven by the information and communication sub-sector. However, the agriculture sector growth of 2.8%, driven by livestock, was much slower than the 8.4% recorded in the same period in 2017.

    Ghana’s fiscal performance has shown a broad turnaround in the past 18 months. The fiscal deficit narrowed to 5.9% of GDP in 2017 from 9.3% in 2016 mostly represented by expenditure measures as revenues remained weak. The fiscal deficit at the end of first half 2018 was on track with 2.7% of GDP compared to the target of 2.8%, still with difficulties in revenue mobilization.

    The inflation rate has stabilized to levels within the central bank’s target range of 6-10%. Headline inflation fell from close to 20% in 2016 to 9.6% in July 2018. This decline was driven by moderations in both food and non-food inflation, the relative stability of the cedi as well as the ongoing fiscal consolidation. The moderation in inflation created room for policy easing since July 2017, as the policy rate was cut from 21.5 in January 2017 to 20% in September 2017 and is at 17% in September 2018.

    Growth for 2018 is expected to moderate to as one-off effects of oil production from new wells fade. Real GDP is projected to grow by 6.5% in 2018 and will remain around this level through 2020.

    Last Updated: Oct 10, 2018

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

    The CPS and the 2018 Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD) which will inform a new Country Partnership Framework (CPF) beyond FY19, seeks to help Ghana consolidate its transition to the status of a lower-middle-income country, address sources of inequality, and help pave the way to access funds from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). The CPF under preparation 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 Coordinated Program of Economic and Social Policies Agenda, which include economic development, social development, environment, infrastructure and human settlement, as well as governance, corruption and public accountability.

    The total WBG exposure is approximately $5.21 billion, with a current portfolio of $2.1 billion of credits and grants from the International Development Association (IDA). The CPS incorporates a substantial current IDA portfolio, consisting of 22 operations for a total commitment of $2.1 billion, in addition to regional operations with an additional net commitment of $383 million. Regional projects in West Africa are in transport, energy, higher education, and trade.

    Last Updated: Oct 10, 2018

  • ·         Through the Land Administration Project, out of a backlog of 62,633 cases of land title applications, 53,479 have been cleared. The number of registered land transactions (deeds and titles) increased from a total of 6,288 in 2011 to a total of 80,109 as of June 2017. As part of decentralizing land administration services to ease congestion, seven Client Services and Access Units have been established, enhancing speedy responses to clients. This has led to significant progress in the reduction of the time it takes to deliver service, thereby reducing the registration of land deeds from three months to two months, and title registration from seven months to four months. An automated Ghana Enterprise Land Information System is being developed to improve efficiency in the provision of land services. As many as 51 Customary Land Secretariats have been established, making a total of 87, and are operational under the management of Traditional Authorities, and more than 40,000 land rights issues were recorded by the end of June 2017. Support to the judiciary has also led to six, additional dedicated Land Courts in Accra, three more regional Land Courts in Sekondi, Kumasi and Tamale, and one sub-regional Land Court to serve the port city of Tema.

    Under the Ghana Commercial Agricultural Project’s GCAP’s Matching Grants Scheme, which provides grants to eligible agribusinesses working with outgrowers for land preparation and operating capital, over 6,000 ha of farmland have been developed where crop yields have jumped: rice has gone from a baseline of 1.5 metric tons per ha to 3.8 metric tons per ha in 2017. New irrigation systems and post-harvest warehouses have been built and over 9,300 smallholder farmers (40% women) have been directly supported through nucleus farms to improve their agronomic practices. The project is expected to increase irrigated area by more than 8,000 ha to benefit some 30 medium and large-scale agribusinesses and 14,000 smallholder farmers in target areas.

    The Information and Communication Technology sector has been supported by the progressive policies and regulatory interventions of the government, and by the World Bank Group and development partners under the e-Ghana and e-Transform projects. A vibrant private sector bolsters investment and offers innovative products and services to consumers. At the end of September 2017, the total subscriptions of mobile data in the country was 22,865,821 with a penetration rate of 79.94%. By September 2017, mobile phone penetration exceeded 100% in Ghana, compared to 1% in 2000, the total number of mobile voice subscriptions was 37,445,048. This represents a percentage increase of 0.09% from August 2017’s figure of 37,409,709. 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, as well as economic output and export revenue.

     

    Last Updated: Oct 10, 2018

  • The World Bank country program in Ghana is coordinated with other development partners. The WBG carried out a Performance and Learning Review to assess the progress of the Ghana–WBG Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for FY13–FY16 that had extended the strategy end date from FY16 to FY18. The review brought together partners in civil society, development, the private sector and government. Similar partnerships were demonstrated during the preparation of the Ghana: Policy Agenda for Growth and Shared Prosperity. Partners reviewed their development plans and revamped the architecture for donor coordination and dialogue to recognize the emerging importance of the private sector and newer, non-traditional partners. The World Bank Group is currently finalizing a Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD) for Ghana, which will inform the development of a new Country Partnership Framework (CPF). Consultations on the emerging priorities of the SCD took place throughout the country in early March 2018.

    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 active gross exposure of $455.3 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 January 2018, it had committed $1051.2million of its own account in Ghana. IFC’s current program in Ghana consists of 30 projects, comprising of investments in infrastructure ,  manufacturing, agribusiness, and services , and financial institutions, or FIs . IFC’s infrastructure strategy is to support the entire energy value chain from generation to transmission and distribution. It also includes support to port logistics. Through financial intermediaries (Fis), IFC provides small and medium enterprises (SMEs) access to credit by partnering with FIs, as well as by supporting trade finance, capital markets, and financial infrastructure development. IFC also seeks to leverage its investments in the financial sector to support value chains in agribusiness, as well as tourism and commercial real estate.

    In advisory services, it has implemented over $34.4 million worth of projects related to trade and competitiveness, financial markets, health, energy, and environmental and social governance.  IFC is also committed to improve Ghana’s business environment with dedicated activities focusing on: modernizing the legal framework; facilitating trade at Ghana Port and along corridors, improving government transparency and effectiveness, improving capacity coordination of private sector facing institutions, and strengthening public-private dialogue mechanism.

    Last Updated: Oct 10, 2018

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LENDING

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

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments

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Additional Resources

Country Office Contacts

Main Office Contact
Independence Avenue
King Hassan Rd, Plot no. 3
Ridge, Accra, Ghana
+233-30-221-4100
For general information and inquiries
Kennedy Fosu
Communications Officer
+233-30-221-4142
kfosu@worldbank.org
For project-related issues and complaints
ghanaalert@worldbank.org