Students in the metal workshop of a vocational training institution in Accra, Ghana

Ghana Anchor for stability in West Africa

Democracy is fairly well established in Ghana and the country is an important anchor for stability in West Africa. For many decades now Ghana has been successfully pursuing a good neighbours policy and pushing for more regional integration.

Ghana’s economy is heavily dependent on export earnings from just a few commodities, such as gold, crude oil and cocoa. The fluctuating world market prices for these commodities have a considerable impact on the country’s economic situation.

In 2010, Ghana achieved the leap to become a lower-middle-income country. However, there are very big differences between the level of development in the economically strong coastal region and the level of development in the North of the country. Ghana was remarkably successful in terms of reaching the targets to be achieved by 2015 for the Millennium Development Goals. Ghana was the first sub-Saharan African country to succeed in halving poverty compared with figures for 1990.

Development cooperation

The priority areas of development cooperation between Germany and Ghana are decentralisation, promoting agriculture and sustainable economic development.

Germany and Ghana signed a reform partnership in the field of renewable energies in December 2017. Furthermore, Germany is also supporting proper, environmentally sound recycling of electronic waste.

Children in school uniform on a street in Accra, Ghana

Good progress achieved Internal link

Over the past few decades Ghana has achieved many development milestones. For example, poverty has been very clearly reduced. At the same time, the availability of safe drinking water has been considerably improved. Good progress has also been made in regard to basic education.

Production of fruit juice for export to the European market (Asamankese, Ghana)

Good prospects and big challenges Internal link

In the medium term, the economic outlook for Ghana is good. In recent years, major oil and gas reserves have been discovered off the coast. Since then, oil has become the country’s second most important export and, in the coming years, production is due to be increased considerably.

 Ghanaian flags in  Accra, Ghana

Political heavyweight Internal link

Ghana is a country that embraces the idea of pan-Africanism, engaging in efforts to strengthen regional and supra-regional cooperation between African nations. Thanks to its positive democratic and economic development, this relatively small country packs a powerful political punch.

Bulding site in Accra, Ghana

Bulding site in Accra, Ghana

Bulding site in Accra, Ghana

German development cooperation with Ghana

Germany is one of Ghana’s most important development partners. The aim of German-Ghanaian development cooperation is to promote viable, pro-poor, inclusive economic growth and thus bolster Ghana’s status as a middle-income country.

During government negotiations in October 2018, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) committed new funds totalling 86.5 million euros to Ghana for bilateral development cooperation in 2018 and 2019.

The priority areas of cooperation are:

  • Governance (decentralisation and improving public finances)
  • Agriculture
  • Sustainable economic development (including vocational training)

Under the framework of a reform partnership Germany is assisting Ghana in promoting renewable energies and energy efficiency. Cooperation with regard to waste management has also been agreed. The focus of this cooperation is on how to handle electronic waste.

Reform partnership Securing a sustainable energy supply

Energy demand is constantly rising in Ghana, but the country’s power supply is already inadequate and unreliable. The main problems are power lost during transmission and distribution, inadequate cost recovery by energy suppliers and the dependence on fossil fuels.

In order to increase the country’s energy security, Germany and Ghana launched a reform partnership for renewable energies in December 2017. This partnership is part of the Marshall Plan with Africa and is Germany’s contribution to the G20 Compact with Africa initiative.

The advisory services that Germany is providing centre around devising a new forward-looking law on giving priority to renewable energy sources. The aim is that, by 2020, ten per cent of all energy consumption in Ghana will be met using renewable energy sources. With this aim in mind, Germany is supporting the use of solar energy and the construction of overhead transmission lines between Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, for example. At the same time, training programmes in the energy sector are aimed at creating new prospects for work in Ghana.

Employees in the Ministry of Finance in Ghana

Decentralisation and improving public finances Internal link

The government of Ghana is firmly committed to establishing democratic structures and further improving governance. By expanding national, regional and local-level administrative structures, it is endeavouring to lay the foundations for sustainable economic growth.

Cashew plants are cultivated in a research facility in Wenchi (Ghana).

Creating value chains for agricultural products Internal link

In order to help combat poverty in Ghana and establish food security, Germany is engaged in activities designed to increase agricultural productivity. The potential of the agricultural sector is currently underused. Ghana is therefore one of the priority countries under the special initiative 'ONE WORLD – No Hunger'.

The Girls Vocational Training Institute in Accra (Ghana) trains girls in electrical engineering.

Vocational training and financial systems development Internal link

The aim of German development cooperation in the area of economic development is to increase the number of jobs, especially in small and medium-sized businesses, and improve their access to financial services.

At a landfill site in Ghana's capital Accra, old electrical appliances are incinerated to produce recyclable metal.

Promoting proper recycling Internal link

Growing wealth, changing patterns of consumption and illegal imports are causing more and more electrical and electronic waste to be produced in Ghana. Currently, this waste is mainly processed at informal dumps, sometimes using recycling and waste disposal methods that are extremely harmful to the environment and hazardous to people’s health – for example the practice of burning the covering off cables to get at the valuable metals within

Beach of Elmina in Ghana, shortly before sunrise

Beach of Elmina in Ghana, shortly before sunrise

Beach of Elmina in Ghana, shortly before sunrise