Economy of Ghana, New media in Ghana, and Automobile manufacturing in Ghana
Ghana is an average natural resource enriched country possessing industrial minerals, hydrocarbons and precious metals. It is an emerging designated digital economy with mixed economy hybridisation and an emerging market with 8.7% GDP growth in 2012.
It has an economic plan target known as the “Ghana Vision 2020”. This plan envisions Ghana as the first African country to become a developed country between 2020 and 2029 and a newly industrialised country between 2030 and 2039.
This excludes fellow Group of 24 member and Sub-Saharan African country South Africa, which is a newly industrialised country. Ghana’s economy also has ties to the Chinese yuan renminbi along with Ghana’s vast gold reserves.
In 2013, the Bank of Ghana began circulating the renminbi throughout Ghanaian state-owned banks and to the Ghana public as hard currency along with the national Ghana cedi for second national trade currency.
The state-owned Volta River Authority and Ghana National Petroleum Corporation are the two major electricity producers.
The Akosombo Dam built on the Volta River in 1965, along with Bui Dam, Kpong Dam, and several other hydroelectric dams provide hydropower. In addition, the Government of Ghana has sought to build the second nuclear power plant in Africa.
The Ghana Stock Exchange is the 5th largest on continental Africa and 3rd largest in sub-saharan Africa with a market capitalisation of GH¢ 57.2 billion or CN¥ 180.
4 billion in 2012 with the South Africa JSE Limited as first. The Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) was the 2nd best performing stock exchange in sub-saharan Africa in 2013.
Ghana also produces high-quality cocoa is the 2nd largest producer of cocoa globally and is projected to become the world’s largest producer of cocoa in 2015.
Ghana is classified as a middle income country. Services account for 50% of GDP, followed by manufacturing (24.1%), extractive industries (5%), and taxes (20.9%).
The Ghana economy is an emerging digital-based mixed economy hybrid similarly to that of Taiwan with an increasing primary manufacturing and exportation of digital technology goods along with assembling and exporting automobiles and ships, diverse resource rich exportation of industrial minerals, agricultural products primarily cocoa, petroleum and natural gas and industries such as information and communications technology primarily via Ghana’s state digital technology corporation Rlg Communications which manufactures tablet computers with smart phones and various consumer electronics.
Petroleum and natural gas production
Ghana produces and exports an abundance of hydrocarbons such as sweet crude oil and natural gas. The 100% state-owned filling station company of Ghana, Ghana Oil Company is the number 1 petroleum and gas filling station of Ghana and the 100% state-owned state oil company Ghana National Petroleum Corporation oversees hydrocarbon exploration and production of Ghana’s entire petroleum and natural gas reserves.
Ghana aims to further increase output of oil to 2.2 million barrels (350,000 m3) per day and gas to 34,000,000 cubic metres per day.
Ghana’s Jubilee Oilfield which contains up to 3 billion barrels (480,000,000 m3) of sweet crude oil was discovered in 2007, among the many other offshore and inland oilfields in Ghana. Ghana is believed to have up to 5 billion barrels to 7 billion barrels of petroleum in reserves, which is the fifth largest in Africa and the 21st to 25th largest proven reserves in the world.
It also has up to 1.7×1011 cubic metres of natural gas in reserves which is the sixth largest in Africa and the 49th largest natural gas proven reserves in the world. Oil and gas exploration off Ghana’s eastern coast on the Gulf of Guinea is ongoing, and the amount of both crude oil and natural gas continues to increase.
The Government of Ghana has drawn up plans to nationalise Ghana’s entire petroleum and natural gas reserves to increase government revenue.
Industrial minerals mining
Known for its industrial minerals, Ghana is the world’s 7th largest producer of gold; producing over 102 metric tons of gold and the 10th largest producer of gold in the world in 2012; producing 89 metric tons of gold.
Ghana is the 2nd largest producer of gold on the Africa continent behind South Africa. Ghana has the 9th largest reserves of diamonds in the world, and is the 9th largest producer of diamonds in the world with Brazil having the 10th largest reserves of diamonds in the world and being the 10th largest producer of diamonds in the world.
Industrial minerals and exports from South Ghana are gold, silver, timber, diamonds, bauxite, and manganese; South Ghana also has a great deposit of barites; basalts; clays; dolomites; feldspars; granites; gravels; gypsums; iron ores; kaolins; laterites; limestones; magnesites; marbles; micas; phosphates; phosphorus; rocks; salts; sands; sandstones; silver; slates; talcs; and uranium that are yet to be fully exploited.
The Government of Ghana has drawn up plans to nationalise Ghana’s entire mining industry to increase government revenues.
The real estate and housing market of Ghana has become an important and strategic economic sector, particularly in the urban centres of south Ghana such as Accra, Kumasi, Sekondi-Takoradi and Tema. Kumasi is growing at a faster rate than Accra, and there is less competition in its real estate market.
The gross rental income tax of Ghana is withheld at 10%, capital gains are taxed at 15% with a 5% gift tax imposed on the transfer of properties and Ghana’s real estate market is divided into 3 areas: public sector real estate development, emerging private sector real estate development, and private individuals.
The activities of these 3 groups are facilitated by the Ghanaian banks and the primary mortgage market which has demonstrated enormous growth potential. Recent developments in the Ghanaian economy has given birth to a boom in the construction sector, including the housing and public housing sector generating and injecting billions of dollars annually into the Ghanaian economy.
The real estate market investment perspective and attraction comes from Ghana’s tropical location and robust political stability. An increasing number of the Ghanaian populace are investing in properties and the Ghana government is empowering the private sector in the real estate direction.
Trade and exports
Ghana Export Treemap by Product (2014) from Harvard Atlas of Economic Complexity
■ 1st image: Container ships and Merchant ships being loaded and unloaded at Intermodal freight transport of Tema Harbour.
■ 2nd image: The Takoradi Harbour seaport was established in 1928 and is Ghana’s main export outlet. Ghana maintains one of the World’s fastest growing and expanding shipping industry.
In July 2013, International Enterprise Singapore opened its 38th global office in Accra, to develop trade and investment on logistics, oil and gas, aviation, transportation and consumer sectors.
Singapore and Ghana also signed four bilateral agreements to promote public sector and private sector collaboration, as Ghana aims to predominantly shift its economic trade partnership to East Asia and Southeast Asia. The economic centre is IE Singapore’s second office in Africa, coming six months after opening in Johannesburg, South Africa in January 2013.
Ghana’s labour force in 2008 totalled 11.5 million Ghanaian citizens. Tema Harbour is Africa’s largest manmade harbour and Takoradi Harbour along with Tema harbour in Ghana handles goods and exports for Ghana.
They are also traffic junctions where goods are transhipped; the Tema harbour handles the majority of the nation’s export cargo and most of the country’s chief exports is shipped from Takoradi harbour.
The Takoradi harbour and Tema harbour are operated by the state-owned Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority.
Electricity sector in Ghana
Shortages of electricity have led to dumsor (persistent, irregular and unpredictable electric power outages), increasing the interest in renewables. Ghana plans to become a major regional exporter of electrical power using oil from the Jubilee oil field.
According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index of 2013, out of 177 countries, Ghana ranked 63rd with Cuba and Saudi Arabia. Ghana had a score of 46 on a scale where a 0–9 score means highly corrupt, and a 90–100 score means very clean.
This was based on perceived levels of public sector corruption. Previously in 2012, the country ranked 64 and scored 45. Thus, Ghana’s public sector scored lower in 2013 than in 2012, according to CPI’s scores.
Local reports have claimed that Ghana loses US$4.5 billion annually from nominal gross domestic product growth as a result of economic corruption and economic crime by the incumbent National Democratic Congress government of Ghana led by John Dramani Mahama.
It is also said Ghana has lost an additional US$2.5 billion from nominal gross domestic product growth between the months of January 2013 to October 2013 through economic corrupt practices under the Mahama administration.
The incumbent president is however seen to be fighting corruption by some government members and a fellow politician of an opposition party, after ordering investigations into scandals.
Nonetheless others believe his actions are not sufficient in some cases.
John Addo Kufuor, son of former President John Agyekum Kufuor, and Kojo Annan, son of former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, have been named in association with the Panama Papers.
Science and technology
Ghana was the first sub-Saharan African country to launch a cellular mobile network (1992). It was one of the first countries in Africa to be connected to the internet and to introduce ADSL broadband services.
Space and satellite programmes
The Ghana Space Science and Technology Centre and Ghana Space Agency oversee the space exploration and space programmes of Ghana. GSSTC and GhsA worked to have a national security observational satellite launched into orbit in 2015.
The first practical step in its endeavor was a CanSat launched on 15 May 2013, a space programme spearheaded by the All Nations University College (ANUC) in Koforidua.
The CanSat was deployed 200 metres (660 feet) high from a helium-filled balloon and took some aerial images as well as temperature readings. As its next step in advancing space science and satellite technology in the sub-region, an amateur ground station has been designed and built by the university.
It has successfully tracked and communicated with several amateur radio satellites in orbit including the International Space Station, receiving slow-scan TV images on 18 and 20 December 2014.
The miniaturized earth observational satellite is to be launched into orbit in 2017.
Ghana’s annual space exploration expenditure has been 1% of its gross domestic product (GDP), to support research in science and technology.
In 2012 Ghana was elected to chair the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South; Ghana has a joint effort in space exploration with South Africa’s South African National Space Agency.
Cybernetics and cyberwarfare
The use of computer technology for teaching and learning began to receive government of Ghana’s attention from the late 1990s.
The information and communications technology in education policy of Ghana requires the use of information and communications technology for teaching and learning at all levels of the education of Ghana system.
The Ministry of Education supports institutions in teaching of information and communications technology literacy. Majority of secondary, and some basic schools of Ghana have computer laboratories.
Ghana’s intention to become the information technology hub of West Africa has led the government of Ghana to enact cyber crime legislation and enhance cyber security practices.
Acting on that goal, in 2008 Ghana passed the Electronic Communications Act and the Electronic Transactions Act, which established the legal framework for governing information technology.
In November 2011, the Deputy Minister for Communications and Technology announced the development of a national cyber security strategy, aimed at combating cyber crime and securing critical infrastructure.
In June 2012, the National Information Technology Agency (NITA) announced a national computer emergency response team “strategy” designed to co-ordinate government response to cyberattacks, both internal and external.
The agency also established computer emergency response teams for each municipal, metropolitan, and district assembly to improve co-ordination and information-sharing on cyberspace threats.
Ghana is ranked 2nd on continental Africa and 7th globally in cyber warfare, cyberterrorism, cyber crime, and internet crime.
Health and biotechnology
The Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine is an agency of the Ministry of Health that was set up in the 1970s for both R&D and as a practical resource primarily in areas of biotechnology related to medicinal plants.
This includes both herbal medicine and work on more advanced applications. It also has a secondary role as an educational resource for foreign students in health, biotechnology and related fields.