Current issues in Ghana:
“A stable political system and greater investment in the local economy are some of the keys to Ghana’s rapid growth.”
In the midst of the financial crisis and the debt that has plagued the world economy since 2008, a light shines on Africa, despite the fact that this continent continues to bear the karmas of poverty, “ungovernability” and tribal violence.
The growth of African countries is today among the fastest in the world and is the center of a dispute between the major powers seeking to position their investments there. Not for nothing the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, made last March, shortly after taking office, a tour of the continent, with the aim of strengthening cooperation. His US counterpart, Barack Obama, meanwhile, emulated the journey. “Washington understood perfectly that countries that do not take advantage of new African opportunities … will be left behind,” analyst Aubrey Matshiqi of the Helen Suzman Foundation told Agence France Presse.
Among the countries that are beginning to enjoy economic improvements, Ghana stands out, which together with having been the first country on the continent to be visited by Obama after taking power in 2009, was recently chosen as “the most promising African country to invest” for more than 60 experts consulted by the US magazine Foreign Policy.
The Investment Promotion Center in Ghana indicated in February of this year that in 2012 there were a total of 399 foreign investment projects in the country. Thus, investments have increased by 34.8% since 2008.
The growth of the Ghanaian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was in 2011 the third highest in the world, after Qatar and Mongolia (18.8%, 17.5% and 15%, respectively), and last year increased by 7, 9%, according to the World Bank.
Despite the downturn, the latest report World Economic Outlook of the World Bank (WB), meanwhile, places Ghana in seventh place among the 20 economies with the fastest growth projected between 2013 and 2015, highlighting that “the services sector contributes to 50% of Ghana’s GDP, while oil, gold and cocoa production provide the basis for future growth. ” In addition to these two star products, the country extracts gold (it was the eighth largest producer in 2011), silver and manganese. In terms of agriculture, Ghanaians have diversified their matrix with plantations of plantain, peanuts, rice, corn and cassava.
According to the International Development Association (IDA, dependent on the WB), the good performance of the former British colony is that Ghana has developed political and institutional improvements, and has invested in infrastructure and basic services, all of which led to reduce, for example, poverty levels from 52% in 1992 to 28.5% in 2006, according to the WB. It has been, therefore, “a mixture of better education, better governance and greater investment in the economy, which has helped boost growth, along with more than 100 thousand barrels of oil a day that began to extract in 2011 “, Commented to The Third Charles Robertson, coauthor of the book The Fastest Billion: The Story Behind Africa’s Economic Revolution (The fastest billions: the history behind the economic revolution of Africa).
As in many of the countries experiencing economic improvement, in Ghana not all the population has accessed the benefits of growing development, but is on track to do so. Access to water, for example, reached 80% of the inhabitants of rural areas in 2010, when in 2006 the percentage was 71%. Electricity, meanwhile, remains rationed, according to the BBC.