Ghana - Future trends

Well endowed with natural resources, Ghana has twice the per capita output of the poorest countries in West Africa. Even so, Ghana remains heavily dependent on aid and foreign investment.

Gold, timber, and cocoa production will continue as the major sources of foreign exchange. The domestic economy continues to revolve around agriculture, which accounts for 40 percent of GDP and employs 60 percent of the workforce, mainly small landholders, most of whom are very poor. It is difficult to envisage anything other than very slow progress in the agricultural sector, where so much of the work is devoted simply to providing for subsistence.

Between 1995 and 1997, Ghana made steady progress under a 3-year structural adjustment program in cooperation with the IMF. On the minus side, public sector wage increases and regional peacekeeping commitments have led to continued inflationary deficit financing, depreciation of the cedi, and rising public discontent with Ghana's austerity measures. A rebound in gold prices will provide a substantial boost to the economy.

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