General Character: At independence, economy based on
cocoa and gold; country relatively prosperous. After mid-1960s,
economy stagnated, characterized by weak commodity demand, outmoded
equipment, overvalued currency, smuggling, and foreign debt. Since
1983 Economic Recovery Program (a structural adjustment program)
has resulted in new investment and rising exports of cocoa, gold,
and timber, but also in high foreign debt and little improvement in
standard of living.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP): In 1992 GDP was US$6.1
billion; per capita income US$380.
Budget: In 1993 about ¢667 billion, including ¢119
billion deficit (roughly US$1.1 billion and US$187 million,
respectively, based on mid-1993 exchange rate).
Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing: In 1991 agriculture
most important sector of economy, constituting just under half of
GDP, down from 60 percent in 1983. Production of exports and food
crops fell steadily after mid-1960s; major recovery began in 1980s.
Cocoa most important cash crop; Ghana world's third largest cocoa
producer as of 1992-93 crop year. Other cash crops--palm oil,
cotton, tobacco, sugarcane, rubber, and kenaf (used in fiber bags)-
-much less important. Major food crops: yams, corn, cassava, and
other root crops. Forests cover southern third of country.
Commercial forestry major industry; deforestation serious problem.
Livestock production negligible outside far north. Limited
commercial fishing industry.
Industry: In 1960s largest manufacturing industries
included aluminum, saw mills and timber processing, cocoa
processing, breweries, cement, oil refining, textiles, and vehicle
assembly. Factory output fell as low as 21 percent of capacity by
1982 but recovered to average of 40 percent in 1989. In early
1990s, many textile, pharmaceutical, leather, and electronics
factories reportedly closed because of economic liberalization and
Mining: Major minerals are gold, bauxite, manganese, and
diamonds. Mineral production fell precipitously during 1970s,
recovered during 1980s. Minerals second highest export earner in
early 1990s. Gold most important mineral, long associated with
ancient and contemporary Ghana. Production in 1992 more than 1
million fine ounces and rising, surpassing cocoa as chief export
earner. One of world's leading producers of manganese, but early
1990s production less than half mid-1970s output. Diamonds mostly
industrial grade; 1992 production 694,000 carats and increasing.
Large bauxite reserves little exploited.
Energy: Commercial quantities of petroleum offshore, but
output negligible in early 1990s. Hydroelectric generating capacity
nearly 1.2 megawatts, mostly at Akosombo Dam on Volta River; 60
percent consumed by Volta Aluminum Company, remainder consumed
domestically or sold to Togo and Benin. Significant expansion
planned. Northern regions being connected to national power grid.
Foreign Trade: Major exports--cocoa, gold, timber, and
industrial diamonds--mainly to Germany, Britain, United States, and
Japan. Major imports--capital goods, oil, consumer goods, and
intermediate goods--mostly from Britain, Nigeria, United States,
and Germany. Ghana's trade balance, negative since 1980s, estimated
at -US$190 million for 1994.
External Debt: US$4.6 billion in 1993.
Currency and Exchange Rate: Cedi(¢), divided into 100
pesewas. In January 1995, US$1.00 = ¢1,035.
Fiscal Year: Calendar Year.
Data as of November 1994