«2016 Country Review Table of Contents Chapter 1 1 Country Overview 1 Country Overview 2 Key Data 3 Ghana 4 Africa 5 ...»
2016 Country Review
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 1
Country Overview 1
Country Overview 2
Key Data 3
Chapter 2 7
Political Overview 7 History 8 Political Conditions 11 Political Risk Index 29 Political Stability 43 Freedom Rankings 59 Human Rights 71 Government Functions 73 Government Structure 75 Principal Government Officials 79 Leader Biography 80 Leader Biography 80 Foreign Relations 83 National Security 88 Defense Forces 89 Chapter 3 91 Economic Overview 91 Economic Overview 92 Nominal GDP and Components 94 Population and GDP Per Capita 96 Real GDP and Inflation 97 Government Spending and Taxation 98 Money Supply, Interest Rates and Unemployment 99 Foreign Trade and the Exchange Rate 100 Data in US Dollars 101 Energy Consumption and Production Standard Units 102 Energy Consumption and Production QUADS 104 World Energy Price Summary 105 CO2 Emissions 106 Agriculture Consumption and Production 107 World Agriculture Pricing Summary 110 Metals Consumption and Production 111 World Metals Pricing Summary 114 Economic Performance Index 115 Chapter 4 127 Investment Overview 127 Foreign Investment Climate 128 Foreign Investment Index 131 Corruption Perceptions Index 144 Competitiveness Ranking 156 Taxation 165 Stock Market 166 Partner Links 166 Chapter 5 167 Social Overview 167 People 168
Country Overview GHANA Formed from the merger of the British colony of the Gold Coast and the Togoland trust territory, in 1957, Ghana became the first sub-Saharan country in colonial Africa to gain its independence. In the years following independence, Ghana endured a period of political instability arising from corruption and mismanagement. In 1960, a new constitution changed Ghana from the parliamentary system to a republican form of government headed by a powerful president. In 1966 the president was deposed in a coup, heralding years of mostly-military rule. In 1981, Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings staged a second coup. He was formally elected president in 1992 when a constitution allowing for a multi-party system was approved in a referendum, ushering in a period of democracy. Ghana is rich in natural resources such as gold, diamonds, timber, and cocoa.
Agriculture has traditionally been, and continues to be, the mainstay of the economy, with cocoa beans and cocoa products remaining dominant for exports. The discovery of major offshore oil reserves was announced in June 2007, and oil production is expected to start in 2011, which will likely bolster growth and fiscal revenues.
Ghana Country Map Ghana Review 2016 Page 4 of 303 pages Ghana Africa Regional Map Ghana Review 2016 Page 5 of 303 pages Ghana Ghana Review 2016 Page 6 of 303 pages Ghana
History The history of the Gold Coast before the last quarter of the fifthteenth century is derived primarily from oral tradition that refers to migrations from the ancient kingdoms of the western Soudan (the area of Mauritania and Mali). The Gold Coast was renamed Ghana upon independence in 1957 due to indications that present-day inhabitants descended from migrants who moved south from the ancient Kingdom of Ghana.
The first contact between Europe and the Gold Coast dates from 1470, when a party of Portuguese landed. In 1482, the Portuguese built Elmina Castle as a permanent-trading base.
Thomas Windham made the first recorded English trading voyage to the coast in 1553.
Gold was the principal trading commodity in the early colonial period. With the opening of European plantations in the New World during the 1500s, which suddenly expanded the demand for slaves in the Americas, trade in slaves soon overshadowed gold as the principal export of the area.
The Portuguese position on the Gold Coast remained secure for almost a century. During that time, Lisbon leased the right to establish trading posts to individuals or companies that sought to align themselves with the local chiefs and to exchange trade goods both for rights to conduct commerce and for slaves whom the chiefs could provide.
During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, adventurers -- first Dutch, and later English, Danish, and Swedish -- were granted licenses by their governments to trade overseas. On the Gold Coast, these European competitors built fortified trading stations and challenged the Portuguese.
Sometimes they were also drawn into conflicts with local inhabitants as Europeans developed commercial alliances with local chiefs.
The principal early struggle was between the Dutch and the Portuguese. With the loss of Elmina in 1642 to the Dutch, the Portuguese left the Gold Coast permanently. Soon thereafter, both the Dutch and the British formed companies to advance their African ventures and to protect their coastal establishments. The Dutch West India Company operated throughout most of the eighteenth century. The British African Company of Merchants, founded in 1750, was the successor to several earlier organizations of this type.
Ghana Review 2016 Page 8 of 303 pages Ghana Meanwhile, the local Akan political structure was distingushed as a form of pre-colonial African culture. When the Portuguese arrived in the 15th century (as noted above), the Akan state was generally small and headed by an elder from one of the seven clans of Akan society. Over time strong states grew, uniting the smaller states. The first of these powerful new states is thought to be Bono. By the end of the 17th century, Akwamy, Ashanti, Akyem, Denkyira and Fante states emerged. Through military prowess, the Ashanti continued to grow throughout the 18th century, absorbing other states until falling to British rule in the 19th century.
At that time, in 1821, the British government took control of the trading forts on the Gold Coast.
In effect, the British Crown claimed authority over British forts on the Gold Coast via the governor of Sierra Leone. Although the British government allowed control of the Gold Coast settlements to revert to the British African Company of Merchants in the late 1820s, the exercise of limited judicial power on the coast was so effective that a parliamentary committee recommended that the British government permanently administer its settlements. It also recommended that treaties be negotiated with the coastal chiefs that would define Britain's relations with them. The government did so in 1843, the same year crown government was reinstated.
In 1844, Fanti chiefs in the area signed an agreement with the British that became the legal steppingstone to colonial status for the coastal area. In summary, a special treaty with the Fanti and other local chiefs was officialized and became known as the Bond of 1844. This document obliged local leaders to submit serious crimes, such as murder and robbery, to British jurisdiction and laid the legal foundation for subsequent British colonization of the coastal area. Additional coastal states as well as other states farther inland eventually signed the Bond, and British influence was accepted, strengthened, and expanded.
From 1826 to 1900, the British fought a series of campaigns against the firm Ashantis, whose kingdom was located inland. In 1902, they succeeded in establishing control over the Ashanti region. The British proclaimed Ashante a colony under the jurisdiction of the governor of the Gold Coast. With Asante subdued and annexed, British colonization of the region became a reality.
British Togoland, the fourth territorial element eventually to form the nation, was part of a former German colony administered by the United Kingdom from Accra under a League of Nations mandate. In December 1946, British Togoland became a United Nations Trust Territory, and in 1957, following a 1956 plebiscite, the United Nations agreed that the territory would become part of Ghana when the Gold Coast achieved independence.
The four territorial divisions were administered separately until 1946, when the British government ruled them as a single unit. In 1951, a constitution was promulgated that called for a greatly enlarged legislature composed principally of members elected by popular vote directly or indirectly.
An executive council was responsible for formulating policy, with most African members drawn from the legislature and including three ex officio members appointed by the governor.
A new constitution, approved on April 29, 1954, established a cabinet comprised of ministers drawn from a directly elected, all-African legislature. In the elections that followed, the Convention People's Party, or the CPP, led by Kwame Nkrumah, won the majority of seats in the new Legislative Assembly.
Kwame Nkrumah's role in Ghanaian development and the development of African socialism is still felt today. He was born in Nkroful in 1909 when it was still the British Gold Coast. His academic prowess earned him a college degree in 1939 from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. He was a pillar in the world of African nationalist thought. His socialist treatise, Neo-Colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism, focused on the continued exploitation of former colonies even after independence. The seminal term coined in the work -- neo-colonialism -- is still a mainstay in African political thought.
In May 1956, Prime Minister Nkrumah's Gold Coast government issued a paper containing proposals for Gold Coast independence. The British government stated it would agree to a firm date for independence if a reasonable majority for such a step were obtained in the Gold Coast Legislative Assembly after a general election. This election, held in 1956, returned the CPP to power with 71 of the 104 seats in the Legislative Assembly.
Ghana became an independent state on March 6, 1957, when the United Kingdom relinquished its control over the Colony of the Gold Coast and Ashanti, the Northern Territories Protectorate, and British Togoland.
In subsequent reorganizations, the country was divided into 10 regions, which currently are subdivided into 110 districts. The original Colony of the Gold Coast is now comprised of the Western, Central, Eastern and Greater Accra regions, with a small portion at the mouth of the Volta River assigned to the Volta region; the Ashanti area was divided into the Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo regions; the Northern territories into the Northern, Upper East, and Upper West regions; and British Togoland essentially is the same area as the Volta region.
After independence, the CPP government under Nkrumah sought to develop Ghana as a modern, semi-industrialized, unitary socialist state. The government emphasized political and economic organization, endeavoring to increase stability and productivity through labor, youth, farmers, cooperatives and other organizations integrated into the CPP. The government, according to Nkrumah, acted only as "the agent of the CPP" in seeking to accomplish these goals.
The CPP's control was challenged and criticized, and Prime Minister Nkrumah used the Preventive Detention Act (1958), which provided for detention without trial for up to five years
(later extended to 10 years), against his detractors.
On July 1, 1960, a new constitution was adopted, changing Ghana from a parliamentary system with a prime minister to a republican form of government headed by a powerful president. In early 1964, a constitutional referendum changed the country to a one-party state. The constitution of 1992 provides a basic charter for republican democratic government. It declares Ghana to be a unitary republic with sovereignty residing in the Ghanaian people. Intended to prevent future coups, dictatorial government, and a one-party state, it is designed to establish the concept of power sharing.
Note on History: In certain entries, open source content from the State Department Background Notes and Country Guides have been used. A full listing of sources is available in the Bibliography.
Political Conditions Post-Independence to the 1970s In the post-colonial period immediately after independence, Ghana was governed by Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah and the Convention People's Party, or the CPP. Although the government sought to develop Ghana as a modern, semi-industrialized, unitary socialist state, control by the Convention People's Party was challenged and criticized. As a result, Prime Minister Nkrumah used the Preventive Detention Act (1958) to detain his detractors.
Opposition to the government grew and on Feb. 24, 1966, the Ghanaian Army and police overthrew Prime Minister Nkrumah's regime. Nkrumah and all his ministers were dismissed; the Convention People's Party, or the CPP and National Assembly were dissolved; and the constitution was suspended. The new regime cited Nkrumah's flagrant abuse of individual rights and liberties, his regime's corrupt, oppressive and dictatorial practices, and the rapidly deteriorating economy as the principal reasons for its action.
The leaders of the coup d'etat established their new government around the National Liberation Council, or NLC, and pledged an early return to a duly constituted civilian government. Members of the judiciary and civil service remained at their posts and committees of civil servants were established to handle the administration of the country.
Ghana's government returned to civilian authority under the Second Republic in October 1969
after a parliamentary election in which the Progress Party, led by Kofi A. Busia, won 105 of the 140 seats. Until mid-1970, a presidential commission led by Brigadier A.A. Afrifa held the powers of the chief of state. In a special election on Aug. 31, 1970, Busia became prime minister.
Faced with mounting economic problems, Prime Minister Busia's government undertook a drastic devaluation of the currency in December 1971. The government's inability to control the subsequent inflationary pressures stimulated further discontent, and military officers seized power in a bloodless coup d'etat on Jan. 13, 1972.