Population (2019): 30.41 million
GDP (2019): US$ 66.98 billion
World Bank “Ease of Doing Business” Rank (2019): 114
Bilateral Trade with India (2019-20): US$ 2.3 billion
Ghana saw real GDP growth of around 8.4% in 2017, among the highest in West Africa. It is the continent’s second-biggest producer of gold and cocoa, and the 11th largest gold producer in the world.
Besides oil, the country is noted for its rich and diverse resource base, including bauxite, diamonds, manganese ore, and timber. Major manufacturing industries include automotives and ship building, as well as oil refineries, plastics, and textile.
Ghana has one of the largest stock exchanges in Africa; in 2014, its exchange had an estimated market capitalisation of over US$20 billion. The country ranks 122nd in economic freedom.
According to the Marsh Political Risk Map (2018), Ghana is one of the most politically stable countries in West Africa. The state transitioned to a multi-party democracy in 1992, and has held free elections for the past two decades. According to Transparency International, Ghana ranked as the second least corrupt state in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in 2011.
Ghana’s stability has drawn long-term investors and foreign businesses alike. The country also maintains strong relations with the international community, as one of the leading examples of democracy in West Africa.
Strong Government Support for Economic Initiatives
Ghana Vision 2020 is an ongoing programme aimed at accelerating the state’s economic growth. Initiated in 1995, the plan promotes private sector growth, and aggressive public spending on industrialisation, infrastructure, and social services. If the programme’s progress is maintained, Ghana’s goals of reaching high-income economy status, and newly industralised country status, can be realised between 2020 and 2039.
The general corporate tax rate in Ghana is 35% for upstream petroleum companies, but only 25% for most other industries. Hospitality-related businesses pay taxes of only around 22%.
Ghana’s government has also taken significant steps to be more business-friendly. According to the World Bank’s Doing Business report in 2018, the time for setting up a business in Ghana is now 14 days, down from 33 days in 2010.
Rich in oil resources
Ghana became an oil producer in 2010. In 2013, it produced 115,000 to 200,000 barrels of crude oil a day. The country’s oil and gas industry is growing, with a total proven reserve base of approximately 883 million barrels of oil in 2014. It exported US$ 2.66 billion worth of crude petroleum in 2016.
At present, Ghana has over 36,000 sq km and 103,600 sq km of open offshore and onshore acreages. This number is expected to grow, with ongoing efforts in oil and gas exploration.
New output from Ghana’s Tweneboa-Enyenra-Ntomme (TEN) and Sankofa fields, when combined with the Jubilee field, are expected to boost its oil and gas production significantly in 2020. This provides growing opportunities for the oil and gas sector, as well as tangentially related services.
Oil and gas companies from India are well positioned to provide the expertise and equipment needed in Ghana’s young oil-producing industry.
Since the discovery of the Jubilee oil field in 2007, Ghana’s oil industry has seen three offshore projects implemented. The industry is expected to remain a top prospect, and a key driver of growth in the domestic economy.
Further oil and gas exploration are still ongoing. The Sankofa Gye-Nyame field is expected to provide enough gas to power Ghana’s thermal power plants for at least 15 years, while the Tweneboa-Enyenra-Ntomme (TEN) field will continue to bolster oil production. The combined output of the Jubilee and TEN fields are expected to raise production to 180,000 barrels a day.
The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) notes that the country has inadequate human capacity for the exploitation, development, and production of oil and gas. This provides opportunities for Indian firms to partner with related Ghanaian companies.
Agriculture formerly contributed 40% of Ghana’s GDP, but has since fallen to 17% of Ghana’s GDP. Nonetheless, agriculture remains an important branch of Ghana’s economy. The country’s growing middle class continues to raise demand for safe, high quality foodstuffs, which provides opportunities for businesses.
Ghana’s major crops include bananas, cassava, cocoa, corn, peanuts, and rice. Ghana is one of the world’s largest cocoa producers, and it exported US$2.27 billion worth of cocoa beans in 2016.
Due to its location on the West African coast, Ghana’s agri-businesses have easy access to export markets in Europe. Ghana also has an international airport in Accra, and two major ports in Tema and Takoradi. This makes it cost-effective for agri-businesses to ship from Ghana, compared to many other parts of Africa.
The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) incentivises companies to set up production or processing enterprises in-country. Participating agri-businesses get a five-year tax holiday at the startup phase, custom duty exemptions for relevant machinery, and location-based tax rebates. If you are looking for a low tax business environment, Ghana’s agricultural sector offers many possibilities.
The Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project also offers public-private partnerships, for infrastructure projects in designated areas. Other initiatives include the development of a land bank, and model lease agreements for investor seeking to acquire land in Ghana.
Information and Communications Technology
Ghana has 9.3 million internet users, and more mobile phones than people (approximately 139 telco subscriptions for every 100 persons)1. Demand for Information & Communication Technology (ICT) services is also growing in Ghana. As the country industralises, local companies are adopting digital solutions to manage office functions, as well as interact with customers.
The improved infrastructure for international broadband connectivity has grown in Ghana, causing a proliferation of Internet Service Providers (ISPs). As of 2016, there are 54 operational ISPs in the country.
Ghana’s government has identified ICT as a priority sector, and is a consistent investor. In 2014, Ghana launched an e-Transform programme, backed by US$ 97 million from the World Bank. The programme aims to accelerate tech adoption among the population, as well as local businesses.
In 2018, the government launched an ICT innovation project at Accra Digital Centre. The project includes a Mobile Applications Laboratory and an Innovation Hub. These will serve as incubators for tech-based startups, as well as research and development in robotics and artificial intelligence.
Consumer demand is rising for instant messaging and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, such as Skype and WhatsApp, along with rising use of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Other services including mobile banking, and mobile online health services are also becoming more popular.
In the business sector, there is a limited pool of qualified graduates for in-house ICT functions. This has created a trend toward outsourcing tech talent. In addition to the widespread use of English in Ghana, Indian tech companies have marked opportunities to fill these niches.
In 2014, Ghana is estimated to have received around US$2.1 billion in tourism revenue, with over 1,093,000 international tourists2. This is expected to grow to 4.3 million international tourist arrivals, by the year 2027.
Ghana is noted for its wildlife, coastal resort areas, and natural formations such as the Tagbo falls, which is the largest in Africa. Other attractions include the Bosumtwi meteorite crater, and Lake Volta, the largest man-made lake in the world. Ghana is dense with nature reserves and national parks, which are major tourist destinations.
The Pan-African Historical Festival (PANAFEST), held every two years to celebrate unity across Africa and emancipation ideals, is also a tourism draw. The event is celebrated in the historical cities of Elmina and Cape Coast in Ghana, and takes place over eight to nine days.
The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) identifies several bankable projects in tourism, including the establishment of a Tourism Hospitality Institute, and the establishment of tourist rest stops. The Marine Drive Tourism Investment Project, to be developed across 241 acres of land stretching from the Christiansborg Castle in Osu to the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, provides lucrative opportunities to tourism investors.
GIPC surveys also note that many tourists to Ghana return with their spending money unused. This is from the lack of shopping opportunities, despite the country’s wealth of products. Indians who can apply their retail experience can find good opportunities here, and will find it easy to work with the predominantly English-speaking populace.
Financial services for tourists are also in short supply, and there is room for infrastructure that promotes acceptance of card payments. Take note of this if you run a fintech business, or an IT infrastructure business.
Ghana was included as one of the nine West African countries under the GOI’s TEAM 9 initiative launched in 2004. India has been supporting Ghana’s development by providing assistance in setting up projects through provision of Lines of Credit and grants. So far, Government of India has extended Lines of Credit amounting to about US$ 230 million to Government of Ghana for various developmental projects. Some of the projects have been completed while a few are in various stages of implementation. Amongst the recent projects are the India-Ghana Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence for ICT; the Flag Staff House (Presidential Complex); the Pan African E-Network Project and Rural Electrification Project.
Two projects under EXIM Bank of India Line of Credit were successfully commissioned in 2016 – Komenda Sugar Plant on 30 March 2016 and Elmina Fish Harvest & Processing plant on 29 November 2016. A Line of Credit facility for supply of 104 fire tenders to Ghana National Fire Services was also completed on 3rd December 2016. Other projects which are in the pipeline are in diverse sectors,inter alia, waste management, railway equipment, agro-processing, supply of potable water etc. Government of Ghana signed a Buyers’ Credit agreement with Exim Bank of India for US $ 398.33 million for the Tema-Akosombo railway line on 22 November 2016.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on 6 July, 2010 between India and Ghana for the setting up a US$ 1.2 billion Joint Venture Fertilizer Project using gas to manufacture fertilizer. However, not much progress happened due to shortage of gas supply.
Hon’ble Rashtrapathiji announced a further financial assistance worth about a million dollars to the India-Ghana Kofi Annan Center for Excellence in ICT. The Center, which is presently run as an autonomous instution under the Ministry of Communications of Ghana, was set up with assistance from India under ‘Aid to Africa’. The Centre is well appreciated not just by Ghana but within the region.
An India-Africa Institute of Information Technology (IAIIT), Food Processing Business Incubation Centre, Material Testing Laboratory and Project Arrow for the improvement of postal infrastructure in Ghana under the decisions of India Africa Forum Summits (IAFS- I & II) are at different stages of implementation. Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) have a working MoU which is under consideration for renewal for a further period of three years from 2016.
The exchange of business delegations in recent years has led to an increase in investments by Indian companies in Ghana in sectors like construction, manufacturing, trading, services and tourism and in areas such as steel, cement, plastics, pharmaceuticals, ICT, agro-processing and agricultural machinery, electrical equipments, chemicals, etc. A number of Indian companies are establishing their presence in Ghana, both from the public as well as from the private sector. From the public sector, Bank of Baroda started operations in Accra in February 2008. It opened its second Branch in Tema in August 2012 and a third Branch in Kumasi, the second largest city in Ghana, on 14 November 2016.
The private sector is represented by eminent companies viz. Tata, Ashok Leyland, Mahindra & Mahindra, Escorts, Larson & Toubro, Bharti Airtel, NIIT, M/s ShapoorjiPallonji& Co., as well as several pharmaceutical companies. Svani Motors, dealers of Mahindra & Mahindra in Ghana, recently announced plans for construction of a modern automobile plaza that would house the assembly plant and a service center. Bajaj Auto Ltd. has partnered with Somoco Ghana (a subsidiary of Mohinani Group of Ghana) to market Boxer motorcycles in the Ghanaian market.
According to Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Indian companies have invested in more than 600 projects with total investment of US$ 998 million between September 1994 and September 2014 making India the second largest foreign investor country in Ghana in terms of number of projects and ranked 9th in position
Ghanaian Deputy Minister for Health Dr. Victor AsareBampoe visited India at the invitation of the Apollo Hospitals from 6-9th February 2015 to participate in the Apollo Cancer Conclave, Hyderabad. During the visit, a MoU was signed between the Ministry of Health of Ghana and Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited to establish tertiary healthcare services in Ghana.
|Product code||Product label||India’s export to Ghana in 2019 (Value in US$ million)|
|84||Machinery, mechanical appliances, nuclear reactors, boilers; parts thereof||91.40|
|39||Plastics and articles thereof||50.15|
|63||Other made-up textile articles; sets; worn clothing and worn textile articles; rags||36.93|
|73||Articles of iron or steel||34.50|
|85||Electrical machinery and equipment and parts thereof; sound recorders and reproducers, television . . .||31.64|
|87||Vehicles other than railway or tramway rolling stock, and parts and accessories thereof||30.08|
|72||Iron and steel||19.90|
|38||Miscellaneous chemical products||15.69|
|48||Paper and paperboard; articles of paper pulp, of paper or of paperboard||15.02|
|40||Rubber and articles thereof||11.85|
Source: Trade Map of India
India has an untapped export potential of US$ 913.4 million to Ghana.
|Product code||Description||Export potential|
|180100||Cocoa beans||US$ 1.3 billion|
|80131||Cashew nuts, in shell||US$674.3 million|
|180310||Cocoa Paste||US$ 203.8 million|
|180400||Cocoa butter, fat & oil||US$212 million|
|4403Xc||Wood in the rough, nes||US$ 165.4 million|
|160414||Prepared or preserved tunas||US$ 145.7 million|
|803||Bananas, fresh or dried||US$ 131.7 million|
|180500||Cocoa Powder||US$ 68.2 million|
|760110||Aluminium, not alloyed, unwrought||US$ 85 million|
|4407Xc||Wood, sawn/chipped lengthwise, sliced/peeled, thickness >6mm||US$ 51.1 million|
Source: Trade Map of India
|Product code||Product label||India’s import from Ghana in 2019 (Value in US$ million)|
|71||Natural or cultured pearls, precious or semi-precious stones, precious metals, metals clad . . .||18,81,956|
|27||Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation; bituminous substances; mineral . . .||3,32,505|
|8||Edible fruit and nuts; peel of citrus fruit or melons||1,40,800|
|44||Wood and articles of wood; wood charcoal||76,190|
|12||Oil seeds and oleaginous fruits; miscellaneous grains, seeds and fruit; industrial or medicinal . . .||18,448|
|76||Aluminium and articles thereof||10,073|
|85||Electrical machinery and equipment and parts thereof; sound recorders and reproducers, television . . .||8,726|
|72||Iron and steel||8,012|
|18||Cocoa and cocoa preparations||7,694|
|78||Lead and articles thereof||2,309|
Source: ITC Trade Map
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