Opportunities in Africa – Featuring Ghana

 
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 

Ghana is politically stable country; the business language is English, and the legal system is predominantly based on the British legal system.  Ghana’s GDP has been of the order of 8-9% for the past four years, and the inflation rate has decreased from 17.5% in 2016 to 9.8% last year.
During the course of the past twelve months we have had a series of high-level delegations visit South Africa, and according to Minister Rob Davies, Ghana features as a strategic partner for South Africa in the West African region and is pivotal towards advancing integration on the continent.  It has been prioritized as part of South Africa’s integrated national export strategy aimed at developing new markets for SA’s value added and manufactured goods and services.

BACKGROUND

Formed from the merger of the British colony of the Gold Coast and the Togoland trust territory, Ghana in 1957 became the first sub-Saharan country in colonial Africa to gain its independence. 

The current president took office in 2016 and he is Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.  English is the official language of Ghana.

 

ECONOMY

Ghana has a market-based economy with relatively few policy barriers to trade and investment in comparison with other countries in the region, and Ghana is endowed with natural resources.  Ghana’s economy was strengthened by a quarter century of relatively sound management, a competitive business environment, and sustained reductions in poverty levels, but in recent years it has suffered the consequences of loose fiscal policy, high budget and current account deficits, and a depreciating currency.

Agriculture accounts for about 20% of GDP and employs more than half of the workforce, mainly small landholders.  Gold, oil and cocoa exports are the major sources of foreign exchange.  The expansion of Ghana’s nascent oil industry has boosted economic growth, but the fall in oil prices since 2015 reduced oil revenues by half.

As of 2018, key economic concerns facing the government include the lack of affordable electricity, lack of a solid domestic revenue base, and the high debt burden.  The Akufo-Addo administration has made some progress by committing to fiscal consolidation, but much work is still to be done.   Ghana signed a $920 million extended credit facility with the IMF in April 2015 to help it address its growing economic crisis.  The IMF fiscal targets require Ghana to reduce the deficit by cutting subsidies, decreasing the bloated public sector wage bill, strengthening revenue administration, boosting tax revenues, and improving the health of Ghana’s banking sector.

Ghana’s GDP has been of the order of 8-9% for the past four years, and the inflation rate has decreased from 17.5% in 2016 to 9.8% last year.  The total value of trade between SA and Ghana for 2017 amounted to R5.5 billion, and the sectors targeted for growth are agro-processing and agribusiness, furniture, wood processing, infrastructure as well as the built environment professionals.

Ghana is the gateway to ECOWAS which consists of 350 million people and is worth $43 billion in terms of the size of the total economy.
Ghana GDP grew by 8.5% last year and like many other countries in Africa is a predominantly young population with 60% under the age of 35 so we must industrialise the continent in order to create jobs.Inflation in Ghana is down to 9.8% down from 16% in 2016 and the goal is to get it down to 6% by May 2018.There is a very good tax regime in Ghana, and they have made doing business relatively easy.  There are opportunities in FMCG, transportation, infrastructure, financial services, energy, manufacturing, tourism and agro-processing.  Ghana recently became an oil producing national.The areas of focus for Ghana are:

  • Agro-processing;
  • To be the best to do business with in Africa;
  • To become a hub for East Africa.

According to Minister Davies, Ghana features as a key strategic partner for South Africa in the West African region and is pivotal towards advancing integration on the continent.  It has been prioritised as part of South Africa’s integrated national export strategy aimed at developing new markets for South Africa’s value added and manufactured goods and services.

OPPORTUNITIES
The Ghana department of trade and industry has indicated that their priority sectors are:

    1. Agriculture and Agro-Processing;
    2. Cotton & Textiles;
    3. Food Processing;
    4. Forestry;
    5. Health – this includes hospital and clinics, health centers, maternity homes, laboratories, chemical shops;
    6. Horticulture;
    7. Minerals processing;
    8. Oil and Gas;
    9. Tourism;

Thanks and Kind Regards


Lesley Squires
Market Intelligence & Exports
Tel: +27 11 883 0119 | Cell: +27 82 758 8074