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About the Economy

Ghana’s economic freedom score is 63.0, making its economy the 71st freest in the 2015 Index. Its overall score is 1.2 points lower than last year, with improvements in freedom from corruption and monetary freedom outweighed by declines in the management of government spending, investment freedom, and labor freedom. Ghana is ranked 5th out of 46 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, and its overall score remains above the world average.

Over the past five years, economic freedom in Ghana has increased by 3.6 points. Along with an improvement of more than 20 points in its score for control of government spending, the country’s scores have advanced in half of the 10 economic freedoms including freedom from corruption and monetary freedom.


STATE OF THE NATION ADRESS
STRUCTURAL TRANSFRORMATION - RISING TO THE CHALLENGE

Manufacturing

Ghana's industrial base is relatively advanced. Import-substitution industries include electronics manufacturing; Rlg Communications is the first indigenous African company to assemble laptops, desktops, mobile phones, and West Africa's biggest Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and mobile phone manufacturing company. Automobiles and Electric cars manufacturing; Ghana began its automotive industry car manufacturing with the construction of its first self assembled automobile from Ghanaian automotive company "Suame Industrial Development Organization" (SMIDO) first constructed prototype robust sport utility vehicle (SUV), named the SMATI Turtle 1, intended for use in the rough African terrain and designed and manufactured by "Artisans of Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organization" (SMIDO) and the construction of Ghanaian urban electric cars from 2014.[17][18] Textiles; As of 2012 there were four major companies in this sector. Akosombo Textiles Limited (ATL), Tex Style Ghana Limited (GTP), Printex Ghana and Ghana Textile Manufacturing Company (GTMC). Crude oil and gas refining; Ghana National Petroleum Corporation and Ghana Oil Company.

Telecommunications

Ghana's telecommunications statistics indicated that as of 2013 there are 26,336,000 cell-phone lines in operation. The mass media of Ghana is among the most liberal in Africa, with Ghana ranking as the 3rd freest in Africa and 30th most free in the world on the world wide press freedom Index. Chapter 12 of the Constitution of Ghana guarantees freedom of the Ghanaian press and the independence of the mass media, and in Chapter 2 prohibits censorship. The Ghanaian press freedom was restored in 1992. Competition among mobile-phone companies in Ghana is an important part of the telecommunications industry growth of Ghana, with companies obtaining more than 80 per 100 persons as mobile phone and fixed-line phone users. Ghana was one of the first countries in Africa to achieve the connection to the World Wide Web. In 2010, there were 165 licensed internet service providers in Ghana and they were running 29 of the fiber optic, and authorized networks VSAT operators were 176, of which 57 functioned, and 99 internet operators were authorized to the public, and private data and packet-switched network operators were 25.

Private Banking

The financial services in Ghana has seen a lot of reforms in the past years. Ghana through the Banking (Amendment) Act 2007 has include the awarding of General Banking license to qualified Banks and this allows Offshore banks to operate in the country. Barclays Bank (Ghana) limited has become the first Bank in Ghana to be awarded the General Banking license in the Country. It has therefore become possible for non-resident individuals and foreign companies to open offshore Bank Accounts in Ghana.

Energy

As of December 2012, Ghana gets 97% of its energy from Hydropower and exports some of this to neighboring countries, however Ghana aims to increase its solar energy generation to get 6% of its energy from solar energy by the year 2016.

Solar energy

Ghana has aggressively began the construction of solar plants across its sun rich land in an aim for the country to become the first country to get 6% of its energy from solar energy generation by 2016. The biggest photovoltaic (PV) and largest solar energy plant in Africa, the Nzema project, based in Ghana, will be able to provide electricity to more than 100,000 homes. The 155 megawatt plant will increase Ghana's electricity generating capacity by 6%.

Construction work on the GH¢740 million (GB£248 million) and the fourth-largest solar power plant in the world, is being developed by, Blue Energy, a renewable energy investment company, majority owned and funded by members of the, Stadium Group, a large private asset and development company with GB£2.5 billion under management. Project director is Douglas Coleman, from Mere Power Nzema Ltd, Ghana.

Wind energy

Ghana has Class 4–6 wind resources and locations of the high wind areas – such as Nkwanta, the Accra Plains, and Kwahu and Gambaga mountains. The maximum energy that could be tapped from Ghana's available wind resource for electricity is estimated to be about 500–600 GWh/year. To give perspective – In 2011, per same Energy Commission, the largest Akosombo hydroelectric dam in Ghana alone produced 6,495 GWhrs of electric power and, counting all Ghana's geothermal energy production in addition, total energy generated was 11,200 GWhrs in the same year. These assessments do not take into consideration further limiting factors such as land-use restrictions, the existing grid (or how far the wind resource may be from the grid) and accessibility. To conclude, wind energy has potential to contribute significantly to the country's energy industry – 10% can certainly be attained in terms of installed capacity, and about 5% of total electric generation potential from wind alone.

Bio-energy

Ghana has put in place mechanisms to attract investments into its biomass and bio-energy sectors to stimulate rural development, create jobs and save foreign exchange.

The vast arable and degraded land mass of Ghana has the potential for the cultivation of crops and plants that could be converted into a wide range of solid and liquid bio-fuels, as the development of alternative transportation fuels could help Ghana to diversify and secure its future energy supplies. Main investments in the bio-energy subsector existed in the areas of production, are transportation, storage, distribution, sale, marketing and exportation.

The goal of Ghana regarding bio-energy, as articulated its energy sector policy, is to modernize and examine the benefits of bio-energy]on a sustainable basis. Biomass is Ghana's dominant energy resource in terms of endowment and consumption, with the two primary bio-fuels consumed being ethanol and biodiesel. To that effect, the Ghana ministry of Energy in 2010 developed the energy sector strategy and development plan. Highlights of the key policy objectives strategy for the renewable energy subsector include sustaining the supply and efficient use of wood-fuels while ensuring that their utilization does not lead to deforestation. The plan would support private sector investments in the cultivation of bio-fuel feedstock, extraction of bio-oil and its refining into secondary products, thereby creating appropriate financial and tax incentives. The Ghana Renewal Energy Act provides the necessary fiscal incentives for renewable energy development by the private sector, and also details the control and management of bio-fuel and wood-fuel projects in Ghana. The Ghana National Petroleum Authority (NPA) was tasked by the Renewable Energy Act 2011 to price Ghana's bio-fuel blend in accordance with the prescribed petroleum pricing formula.

The combined effects of climate change and global economic turbulence, had triggered a sense of urgency among Ghanaian policymakers, industry and development practitioners to find sustainable and viable solutions in the area of bio-fuels.

Energy consumption

Electricity generation is one of the key factors in achieving the development of the Ghanaian national economy, with aggressive and rapid industrialization; Ghana's national electric energy consumption was 265 kilowatt per capita in 2009.

Hydrocarbon and Mining

Ghana has 5 billion barrels (790×106 m3) to 7 billion barrels (1.1×109 m3) of petroleum in reserves and a large oilfield which contains up to 3 billion barrels (480×106 m3) of sweet crude oil was discovered in 2007. Oil exploration is ongoing and, the amount of oil continues to increase. Ghana produces crude oil, as of 15 December 2010, and until June 2011, Ghana exploited around 120,000 barrels per day and is expected to increase production up to 2.5 million barrels per day in 2014. Ghana produces gas and has vast natural gas reserves, which is used by many foreign multinational companies operating in Ghana.

Mining in Ghana has gained importance in the Ghanaian economy since the turn of the 21st century, with a growth of around 30% in 2007; main mining extractions are bauxite, gold (Ghana is one of the largest gold producers in the world), and the phosphates.

Tourism

The Ministry of Tourism has placed great emphasis upon further tourism support and development. Tourism contributed to 3.9% of GDP in 2014, attracting around 750,000 tourists. Tourist destinations include Ghana's many castles and forts, national parks, beaches, nature reserves, landscapes and World Heritage buildings and sites.

In 2011, Forbes magazine published that Ghana was ranked the eleventh most friendly country in the world. The assertion was based on a survey in 2010 of a cross-section of travelers. Of all the countries on the African continent that were included in the survey Ghana ranked highest.

To enter Ghana, it is necessary to have a visa authorized by the Government of Ghana, except for certain entrepreneurs who are on business trip.

Ghana Vision 2020

With the economic program Ghana: Vision 2020, Ghana intends to achieve its goals of accelerated economic growth, improved quality of life for all Ghanaian citizens, by reducing poverty through, private investment, rapid and aggressive industrialization, as well as direct and aggressive poverty-alleviation efforts. These plans have been forcefully reiterated in the 1995 Ghana government report, Ghana: Vision 2020. Nationalization of state-owned enterprises continues, with about two-thirds of 300 parastatal enterprises owned by the government of Ghana. Other reforms adopted under the government's structural adjustment program include increasing exchange rate controls and increasing autarky and increasing restrictions on imports. Ghana: Vision 2020 forecast assumes political stability, successful economic stabilization, and the implementation of Ghana: Vision 2020 policy agenda on private sector growth, and aggressive public spending on social services, infrastructure, and industrialization with projected announcement that, Ghana's goal and target of reaching the high-income economy status and reaching the newly industrialized country status, would be easily realized between 2020 and 2039 as Ghana rapidly enacts its Ghana: Vision 2020.