Ghana is lower-middle income, has a population of over 27 million, and over 6 million people living below the national poverty line. Ghana’s economic performance has been mixed. GDP growth remains low compared with Ghana’s neighbouring countries, at 3.6% in 2016 despite exceeding the 3.3% forecast. Ghana’s economic outlook looks positive for 2017, with improvements in oil and non-oil sectors. Challenges for Ghana includes high youth unemployment, delays in resolution of debt incurred by state-owned enterprises in the energy sector, and high electricity costs which do not match demand for supply.

Ghana’s diversity in natural resources has played a role in strengthening Ghana’s economic growth. Ghana exports cocoa, oil, timber and gold. Ghana is the second-largest producer of cocoa and one of the world’s leading gold producers. Low market prices for oil and gold exports, combined with a three year power crisis, rising fiscal deficit and public debt has slowed Ghana’s economic growth. Rapid urbanisation has also brought a new set of challenges for Ghana to overcome in relation to housing, sanitation, transportation and youth employment opportunities. Commodity prices are, however, expected to recover, boosting economic growth to a forecast by the World Bank of 6.1% in 2017.

According to the African Development Bank economic growth fell from 14% in 2011 at the onset of oil production to 3.5% in 2016, the lowest in two decades. The economy recovered in 2017, growing an estimated 6.3%, spurred by recovery in nonoil sectors, lower inflation, and new hydrocarbon wells. Over the medium term, economic growth is expected to accelerate to 8.5% in 2018 and then moderate at 6.2% in 2019 as the budget and current account deficits narrow amid lower inflation and falling interest rates.

BERF Work in Ghana

BERF has completed three assignments providing technical support to the Ghana Business Enabling Environment Programme (BEEP), including support with the design of a monitoring and evaluation framework and an evidence and learning note on evaluating the impact of business environment reforms, drawing on lessons from the programme’s experience using the cost compliance methodology to assess results and drive implementation. BERF is further planning to provide monitoring and evaluation support for the programme.

BERF Ghana Projects

  1. BERF Ghana BEEP Phase III Project Completion Report, November 2017
  2. DFID Ghana Evidence and Learning Note Lessons from Ghana BEEP, March 2017
  3. Ghana Business Enabling Environment Programme – Design of a Monitoring and Evaluation Framework, July 2016

World Bank Doing Business

The World Bank Doing Business indicators for 2018 show Ghana ranking at 120, down from 108 in 2017, and 112 in 2015 (out of 190 in total). This puts Ghana behind Kenya but ahead of countries like Senegal (140) and Tanzania (137).  Reforms in 2018 included Dealing with Construction Permits: Ghana increased the transparency of dealing with construction permits by publishing regulations related to construction online free of charge.

DFID Ghana Strategy

Building institutions:  The UK is helping Ghana reduce its reliance on UK aid, supporting the government to double the amount of tax collected, tackle corruption, and improve management of the economy.

Basic services and women and girls: The UK is helping over 800,000 poor and vulnerable Ghanaians and have helped over 40,000 girls and women take control of decisions about when they have children and how many they have. The UK has supported over 90,000 children to receive quality education. The UK will continue to support women and girls and the most vulnerable by providing the government with technical support and policy advice to improve Ghana’s systems to deliver better human development outcomes to all Ghanaians.

Economic development: The UK is making it easier to do business in Ghana by working with the government to cut the number of days taken to issue building permits, increase the number of one-stop business permit centres and improve the efficiency of the commercial court system. This will help create jobs.