Ghana is endowed with abundant natural wealth, including vast agricultural, mining and human resources. Along with its growing manufacturing sector, agriculture remains a key sector of the economy. The agrarian sector employs 60 percent of the Ghanaian workforce and makes up almost 44 percent of the country’s GDP. Cocoa exports from Ghana enjoy a premium on the world market as a result of its high quality. Cocoa currently accounts for about 20% of Ghana’s total merchandised exports. Ghana is the second-largest producer of cocoa and among the leading producers of gold in the world, and new exports such as wood products, textiles, jewelry, pineapples, tuna fish and cotton are rapidly diversifying Ghana’s agricultural export profile. Ghana also exports crude oil, timber, bauxite, aluminium, manganese ore, diamonds, horticulture and electricity. The country has over 13.6 million hectares of arable land suitable for crops or livestock, and a potential annual production of 655,000 metric tons of fisheries products.
In addition to agricultural wealth, Ghana is also rich in mineral resources. Gold recently replaced cocoa as the country’s primary export, with diamonds, aluminum and bauxite accounting for a large part of the country’s exports. The mining industry was liberalized in 1987, and strategic investors such as de Beers, Lonrho, and others from the United States, Canada, Australia, South Africa and Britain have already taken advantage of the new business opportunities.
Gold output rose to some 1.6 million ounces in 1995, and the Ghana Minerals Commission estimates that the 1996 output will reach 1.84 million ounces. Diamond production rose by an estimated 60 percent in 1994, and a continued rise is expected.
Ghana commenced drilling crude oil in commercial quantities in mid-December 2010, and currently produces close to 120 000 barrels per day. Oil production is expected to increase in light of the new government-approved TEN (Tweneboa-Enyenra-Ntomme) oil field, operated by Tullow Ghana, which has a production capacity of around 80 000 barrels per day. Gas export is also expected to commence during 2014 from the TEN field.
Ghana has two major ports, the Tema and Takoradi ports, which serve Ghana and other landlocked countries such as Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. The Tema Harbour is the largest man-made harbour in Africa. It handles close to 80% of the nation’s total exports and imports.
The main source of power is hydro-generated power from the Akosombo Dam; it supplies power to Ghana as well as to other neighbouring countries.
The Bui Dam project is another hydropower scheme, which was designed to augment power supply in Ghana. The 400 megawatt (MW) hydropower project began in 2007 and is expected to be completed by December 2013.
The first power-generating unit of this project was completed in April 2013. In addition to hydropower generation, the Bui project is also expected to contribute to the development of an irrigation scheme for agricultural development and enhanced ecotourism and fisheries.