Ghana's top import and export commodities

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Ghana is a democratic republic that declared independence from the United Kingdom in 1957. Ghana spans the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean to the south, sharing borders with the Ivory Coast in the west, Burkina Faso in the north, and Togo in the east. Ghana covers an area of 238,535 kilometers square, spanning diverse geography and ecology that ranges from coastal savannahs to tropical rain forests. With over 31 million people, Ghana is the second-most populous country in West Africa, after Nigeria. The capital and largest city are Accra. Other major cities include Kumasi, Tamale, and Sekondi Takoradi. Around 29 percent of Ghana’s population is under the age of 15, while persons aged 15 to 64 make up 57.8 percent of the population. Ghana’s FDI stock reached 42 million dollars in 2020. 

The top investing country in Ghana’s economy in 2020 was Australia, China, the Netherlands, South Africa, and the UK. 

Unlimited opportunities abound in Ghana’s key sectors which include: Agriculture, Mining, crude oil, entertainment, education, E hailing or E-commerce, financial services, energy, construction, and tourism. 

Ghana is a multinational state, home to a variety of ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups. While the Akan are the largest ethnic group, they constitute only a plurality. The vast majority of Ghanaians are Christians in Ghana approximately 71.2 percent, with close to a fifth being Muslim and a tenth practicing traditional faiths or reporting no religion.

Ghana is a unitary constitutional democracy led by a president who is both head of state and head of government.

 Since 1993, it has maintained one of the freest and most stable governments on the continent and performs relatively well in metrics of healthcare, economic growth, and human development.

Ghana consequently enjoys significant influence in West Africa and is highly integrated into international affairs, being a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, the Group of 24 or G24, and the Commonwealth of Nations.

 Around 29 percent of the population is under the age of 15, while persons aged 15 to 64 make up 57.8 percent of the population.

The population distribution has 4.7 million in Ashanti, 2.3 million in Brong Ahafo, 2.2 million in Central, 2.6 million in Eastern, 2.3 million in Western, and 4 million in the seat of government in Greater Accra geographically and legally part of Eastern then administered separately on 23 July 1982.

As of 2010, 4.1 million persons reside in the Northern territories with 2.4 million in the North, 1 million in Upper East, and 0.7 million in Upper West.

As of 2010, 2.1 million persons reside in Ewe territory, Volta.

Demographic Information: Ghana has an estimated population of 29.34 million comprising mostly of younger population that is less than 25 years which makes up about 56.1 percent of the population, those in the age bracket of 25 to 64 years makeup about 39.5 percent of the population and above 65 years age group makes up of about 4.4 percent of the population. The average population density is estimated at 137 inhabitants per kilometer square. In terms of human development indicators, it has a life expectancy of 70.8 years for women and 65.6 years for Men. It achieved universal primary education with a 104.84 percent Primary enrollment rate in 2019 and an overall literacy level of 76.6 percent as of 2015.

Broad Economic Overview

 Ghana is well endowed with natural resources with gold and cocoa export serving as the major foreign exchange earnings of the country. It is Africa’s second-biggest gold producer and second-largest cocoa producer in addition to being rich in diamonds and crude oil deposits. Agriculture is estimated to contribute about 20 percent of the GDP and employs about 35 percent of the country’s workforce. Ghana is placed among Africa’s 10 fastest-growing economies having achieved high growth momentum since 2017. Real GDP expanded 6.1 percent in 2019 having recorded 4.5 percent compounded annual GDP growth in the past 5 years. Ghana’s growth prospects remain positive, with increased output and stable global prices for its main export commodities. Ghana’s currency is Cedis, but the currency remains volatile and reflective of import-driven demand. Main export includes gold, cocoa, diamonds, oil, timber, manganese ore, bauxite, tuna, etc. Major imports include refined petroleum products, foodstuffs, and capital equipment.

Investment Opportunities

Ghana has taken several initiatives including a 10 Point Industrialization agenda which aims to increase productivity and boost output in key primary sectors and value chains. Part of the plan includes the decentralization of industrial growth through the One District, One Factory policy, Strategic Anchor Industries, Industrial Parks, and Special Economic Zones. The country is ready to partner with investors who are willing to transform the agriculture sector by improving the sustainability of the production of exportable horticultural crops and animal products, reducing the size of its food import bill, and encouraging domestic processing to mitigate post-harvest losses. There are investment opportunities in the following sectors: tourism, mineral processing, oil and gas, utility such as water supply and sanitation infrastructure, forestry, health, cotton & textiles, food processing, etc. 

Ghana’s main exports are gold, cocoa beans, and timber products. Others include tuna, aluminum, manganese ore, diamonds, and horticulture. Its main export partners are the Netherlands, Burkina Faso, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.

Ghana, located in West Africa, is a multicultural nation with a diverse population, rich wildlife, and abundant natural resources. The country has a population of about 27 million, with a variety of ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups. Ghana is considered one of the most economically and politically stable countries in Africa and has the 9th largest economy in the African continent in terms of purchasing power and nominal GDP. 

Ghana became the first ever sub-Saharan country in Colonial Africa to finally gain its independence, and it is this kind of influence and ability that makes Ghana a regional power in all of West Africa.

The majority of the Ghanaians shop at general stores or from roadside kiosks, or table tops. Shoppers in Ghana buy products that they have personally tried and that are affordable. Packaging or advertising heavily influences the shopping behavior of people.

Major exports in Ghana: These include Oil, Gold, Cocoa, Timber, Tuna, Bauxite, Aluminium, Manganese ore, Diamonds, Horticulture products

Major imports in Ghana

With over 15.4 Billion dollars in imports in 2019, Ghana is the world’s 91st largest importer. The most recent imports of the country are Special Purpose Ships which account for 10.1 percent, and Refined Petroleum which accounts for 4.59 percent, according to OEC.

Here is a list of some of the others:

Cars 11.5 percent, Rice 14.2 percent, Large construction vehicles 4.73 percent, Raw sugar 1.9 percent, and Non-fillet frozen fish account for 10.1 percent. 

Top export destinations of Ghana

They are Iran, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Switzerland, and France

Top import origins of Ghana: China, Cote d’Ivoire, United States, Belgium, Luxembourg, India

Ghana’s top container port: The most important part of Ghana is Tema.

Ghana’s most important cargo airport: Kotoka International airport, which is located in Accra, is Ghana’s most important airport.

Tariff and taxes

Most products have a 12.5 percent value-added tax applied on CIF plus duty. Some products have additional taxes. Selected commodities have a special tax of 10 percent applied on the CIF plus duty. Selected products have an Excise Tax applied on CIF.


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