Country profile – Ghana
The only way is up for Ghana, Africa’s oldest democracy
Throughout its history, Ghana has been an economic political leader for not only West Africa, but the entire continent as well.
In 1957, Ghana became the first Sub-Saharan nation to gain independence from Europe. However, despite this monumental accomplishment, Ghana, like many other countries in the region, became mired by political upheaval. However, after years of decades of coups, democratic elections were held in 1992, and have taken place every year since.
Ghana is regarded as one of Africa’s premier democracies. It ranked seventh in Mo Ibrahim’s 2012 Index of African Governance and it was the second least failed state in Foreign Policy annual Failed State Index.
The stablisation of Ghana’s political system has had significant benefits on the country’s economy. For most of the latter-half of the 20th century, the Ghanaian economy was mired by booms and busts caused by the volatility of the international gold and cocoa markets – Ghana’s chief exports. However, the 1990s brought Ghana economic stability, as industry reforms ushered in a period of steady growth for the next two decades.
In 2010, Ghana entered the oil industry, after discovering offshore reserves three prior. While the oil industry is tertiary behind gold and cocoa – it represented 6 percent of Ghana’s GDP in 2011 – production is expected to grow significantly as global demand continues to increase over the decade.
GDP based on PPP: $82.6 bn
GDP growth 2011: 14.4
World Rank: 3rd
Head of Government: John Dramani Mahama
Finance Minister: Dr Kwabena Duffuo
Central Bank Governor: Mr. K. B. Amissah-Arthur
World Bank Doing Business rank: 64
World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness rank: 103
Investment agency: Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) www.gipcghana.com
Public sector opening hours: 0800 – 1700
Private sector opening hours: 0800 – 1700
Legal system: British Common Law
Airlines: British Airlines and Virgin Atlantic
Visas: UK – Single entry visa valid for 90 days costs £125
Hotels: £49 to 179