Facts – Ghana

Basic Facts & Data

Land area: 238,537 sq km
Population: 26.4m (2014, IMF)
Main towns: Accra (capital): 2,344
Kumasi: 2,069
Tamale: 563
Achiaman: 299
Takoradi: 268
Cape Coast: 227
Obuasi: 180
Teshie: 177
Tema: 162
Sekondi: 147
Climate: Tropical
Weather: Hottest months, March, April, 23-35°C; coldest month, August, 22-27°C; driest month, January, 15 mm average rainfall; wettest month, June, 178 mm average rainfall
Languages: English (official), Twi, Ewe, Fante, Ga, Hausa
Measures: Metric system
Currency: Cedi (GH¢) = 100 pesewas
Time: GMT
Public holidays: January 1st, March 6th (Independence Day), Good Friday, Easter Monday, May 1st (Labor Day), July 1st (Republic Day), December 6th (Farmers’ Day), December 25th-26th

Political Facts

Economic Data & Assessment Overview:

Ghana has been a stable democracy since 1992. Following the death of President John Atta Mills in July 2012, Vice President John Dramani Mahama became interim head of state. Mahama was elected president in December 2012. Ghana is rich in natural resources, including gold, diamonds, manganese ore, and bauxite, as well as oil. It is Africa’s second-biggest gold producer after South Africa. In 2013, Ghana deported thousands of Chinese nationals for illegally mining gold. Economic challenges include managing new oil revenue while maintaining fiscal discipline.

Rule of Law:

Successive governments have deployed robust legal and institutional frameworks to combat corruption in Ghana, which is comparatively less corrupt than neighboring countries, but few Ghanaians feel that the situation has improved. Scarce resources compromise and delay the judicial process, and poorly paid judges can be tempted by bribes. The process for obtaining clear title to land is often difficult, complicated, and lengthy.

Property Rights: Ghana 50 out of 100

50—The court system is inefficient and subject to delays. Corruption may be present, and the judiciary may be influenced by other branches of government. Expropriation is possible but rare.

The property rights component is an assessment of the ability of individuals to accumulate private property, secured by clear laws that are fully enforced by the state. It measures the degree to which a country’s laws protect private property rights and the degree to which its government enforces those laws. It also assesses the likelihood that private property will be expropriated and analyzes the independence of the judiciary, the existence of corruption within the judiciary, and the ability of individuals and businesses to enforce contracts. The more certain the legal protection of property, the higher a country’s score; similarly, the greater the chances of government expropriation of property, the lower a country’s score. Countries that fall between two categories may receive an intermediate score.


Limited Government:

Ghana’s top individual and corporate income tax rates are 25 percent. Other taxes include a national insurance levy, a value-added tax, and a capital gains tax. The total tax burden equaled 17.1 percent of GDP in the most recent year. Public expenditures equal 31.2 percent of gross domestic product, and public debt equals 60 percent of domestic output.

Regulatory Efficiency:

Recent regulatory reform measures have yielded reductions in bureaucracy, but progress in enhancing overall regulatory efficiency has lagged compared to other economies. Labor regulations have been under modernization, but informal labor activity remains significant. The government has reinstated a fuel-price adjustment mechanism to eliminate subsidies and has sharply increased electricity and water tariffs to reduce the fiscal deficit.

Business Freedom: Ghana Ranks 62.5 out of 100

Business freedom is an overall indicator of the efficiency of government regulation of business. The quantitative score is derived from an array of measurements of the difficulty of starting, operating, and closing a business. The business freedom score for each country is a number between 0 and 100, with 100 equaling the freest business environment.

Open Markets:

Ghana has an 8.6 percent average tariff rate. Government procurement procedures can favor domestic firms. Freely repatriating profits, foreign investors are typically treated equally with domestic investors under the law. The financial sector has undergone restructuring, and there are over 20 commercial banks. However, high interest rates on bank loans limit financing opportunities for new firms.