Links to the State Department’s website for background on the country’s political environment.
For background information on the political and economic environment of the country, please see the U.S. Department of State’s Countries & Areas page for Ghana.
Ghana’s economy had expanded at an average of seven percent per year since 2017 until the coronavirus pandemic reduced growth to 0.5 percent in 2020. The economy remains highly dependent on the export of primary commodities such as gold, cocoa, and oil, and is vulnerable to slowdowns in the global economy and commodity price shocks. Growth in 2021 expanded to approximately 5.4%, including a 6.6% expansion in the third quarter of 2021. The main sub-sectors that expanded in the third quarter of 2021 were Education (24%); Health & Social Works (20%); Information & Communication (17%); Professional Administrative & Support (17%); Hotel & Restaurants (16%); Public Administration & Defense, Social Security (16 %), Fishing (14%); Real Estate (11%); and Agriculture (10%).
Challenges to Ghana’s economy include high government debt, access to foreign capital at an affordable rate, low internally generated government revenue, and inefficient state-owned enterprises. Ghana’s increasingly high government debt levels and significant debt burden are weighing on government finances.
Private consumption (75.6% of GDP in 2020) has been dampened by almost 30% year-on-year inflation (June 2022) and a slowly recovering labor market due to the pandemic.
The domestic currency, the cedi, experienced a 4.1% depreciation against the U.S. dollar in 2021, as against a depreciation of 3.9% in 2020. It has depreciated 24% from January to July 2022. Interest rates in Ghana continue to be high mainly because of monetary policy by the Central Bank, the high cost and risk of doing business, and a high default rate. The monetary policy rate, which serves as the basis for most commercial banks determining their interest rate, is at 19 percent as of May 2022.