Ghana - Forestry
The forest area (primarily in the south) covers about 28% of the country. Since October 1972, the government has acquired a majority share in a number of foreign-owned timber companies. The Timber Marketing Board has a monopoly on the export of timber and timber products.
Among the roughly 300 timber-producing species are the warwa obech, mahogany, utile, baku, and kokrodua; species such as avodire, sapale, and makuri are considered the best in Africa. A ban on the export of 21 species was established in 1979 in order to encourage the production of sawn timber and timber products. The total production of roundwood in 2000 was 21,765,000 cu m (769,540,000 cu ft), with 95% burned as fuel. Sawn wood production was 243,000 cu m (8.6 million cu ft), with exports of $76.8 million. Total exports of forest products in 2000 amounted to $137.6 million. After cocoa and minerals, sawn timber and logs constitute the third-largest export item. The government is encouraging a shift to value-added timber exports in order to strengthen Ghana's position in the global market, create more employment, and bring in more foreign revenue.