Ghana is widely regarded as a rapidly maturing African democracy, with peaceful elections and transitions of power since the multi-party system was introduced in 1992. Ghana's abundant natural resources are a blessing in times of elevated commodity prices, and there is scope to ramp up output further. Multilateral debt relief has reduced Ghana's external liabilities significantly, freeing up former debt servicing funds for pro-poor spending and greater developmental efforts.

We keep our clients informed of the latest market moves and political developments in Ghana, as part of our 'top-down' and 'bottom-up' perspective. Clients also benefit from in-depth analysis on 14 of Ghana’s most important industries. We provide interactive data and forecasting alongside detailed and risk-assessed analysis from our expert research teams. Our aim is to keep you ahead of the curve, so you can operate with confidence in Ghana.

Country Risk

Ghana Country Risk

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Core Views:

  • Economic growth in Ghana will be buoyant over 2015-2018 thanks to rising oil production and strong investment inflows - the latter encouraged by IMF policy oversight.

  • Foreign investment inflows will be robust thanks to Ghana's abundant natural resources and relative political stability.

  • The current account deficit and fiscal deficit will remain key structural weaknesses in the economy.

  • Peaceful protests against power shortages and economic hardship will take place in 2015. Ghanaians are wary of the conditions that may be attached to IMF support.

Major Forecast Changes:

We maintain our view that Ghana's real GDP growth will pick up in 2015 and 2016, rising to 4.5% and 6.7%...

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Ghana Operational Risk Coverage (9)

Ghana Operational Risk

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BMI View: Ghana's wealth of natural resources and relatively stable political and economic environment attracts many investors in the country who benefit from strong economic openness and a widely available labour pool. Nonetheless, the country's poor quality transport network, power shortages and the rise of cyber crime poses a serious threat to businesses operating on the ground. Investors must also consider risks associated with Ghana's limited banking sector penetration and small skilled labour pool. Ghana therefore receives a score of 51.6 out of 100 in the BMI Operational Risk Index, sitting in 5th position out of 48 Sub-Saharan African states.

We identify the most pressing risks emanating from Ghana's unstable logistics network. The poor state of its roads, frequent power shortages and insufficient water...

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Ghana Crime & Security

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BMI View: Ghana is a relatively stable country and risks emanating from crime and security are low for investors in comparison with its West African neighbours. Nonetheless, crime levels in Ghana warrant a degree of vigilance when operating in the country, with foreign workers particularly targeted. The threat of piracy in the region is heightened by a lack of coordination with neighbouring authorities. Due to these considerations, we score the country 48.7 out of 100 for its overall Crime and Security risk. This score places the country 10 thwithin Sub-Saharan Africa and 100 thglobally out of 201 countries covered in BMI Index.

Expatriates and tourists are frequently the victims of non-...

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Ghana Labour Market

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BMI View: Ghana's labour market is attractive compared to other Sub-Saharan African countries, high levels of urbanisation, a large migrant worker community and flexible employment conditions. The country offers limited labour market risks from a regional perspective but poor access to its underfunded education system along with low life expectancy reduces the size of the skilled labour pool considerably. In addition to employer absenteeism, businesses operating in Ghana face high severance pay costs. Overall, Ghana's score of 51.1 out of 100 ranks the country in first place out of 48 countries in Sub-Saharan...

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Ghana Logistics

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Ghana's abundance of natural resources and newfound oil wealth has attracted high levels of foreign direct investment flows to the country, but the dilapidated state of its roads, insufficient water network and frequent power shortages means that investors face a tough operating environment and will have to factor in higher start-up costs if they are seeking to expand into this market. Although Ghana performs well by regional standards, high government debt and underinvestment in its utilities infrastructure threaten its economic growth and pose the highest risk to investors. Because of this, we award Ghana a score of 46.7 out of 100 in the BMI Logistics Risk Index. While this score is uncompetitive from a global perspective, the country does perform well in a regional comparison, ranking fifth out of 48 Sub-Saharan African (SSA) states, increasing its attractiveness to investors, especially those seeking an entry point to Africa....

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Ghana Trade & Investment

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Ghana's trade and investment environment is attractive from a regional perspective, driven by a steady inflow of foreign direct investment and a clear regulatory framework. However, the country's poor banking sector penetration, inadequate legal system and high levels of taxation pose risks to foreign investors. Consequently, Ghana is ranked fourth out of 48 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) the Trade and Investment indicator, with a score of 55.0 out of 100. This mark is less competitive on an international level, placing the country just 75th out of 201 states.

Currently, the government is strongly pushing for greater public-private partnerships for important infrastructure projects. This method of investment mitigates some of the risk to investors, with private and public entities sharing the cost burden of these developments. Investors should be aware, however, of the risk emanating from the country's limited...

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Ghana Industry Coverage (15)

Agribusiness

Ghana Agribusiness

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BMI View: We believe that the Ghanaian cocoa sector will post reasonably strong growth over our forecast period to 2018/19. High cocoa prices will encourage production, while the government has pledged schemes in order to encourage yield growth. The launch of a new government project to revitalise the poultry sector suggests that the challenges facing the segment as it struggles to compete with imports are being taken seriously and, although firm proposals are thin on the ground, we remain optimistic about the industry's future. One of the main constraints on growth will be high feed prices, giving added urgency to programs aimed at increasing corn yields. We expect production levels to climb only gradually in the grains segment and concerns exist in the near future regarding food price inflation....

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Autos

Ghana Autos

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We forecast vehicle sales to grow at an average of 3.9% per annum over the 2014-2019 period, to hit 83,412 units by 2019. This forecast is based on data from the Ghana National Road Safety Commission.

Domestic Demand To Drive Autos Growth

We believe a number of factors will generate wealth for the country and consequently boost consumer spending in the coming years. The Ghanaian economy will enjoy strong economic growth over the medium-to-long term, propelled by the nascent oil and gas sector. Ghana's abundant natural resources and fast growth trajectory will bode well for strong foreign investment inflows over the next five years.

However, both economic and political risks remain elevated in the short term. The local currency has depreciated significantly against the US dollar since the start of 2015 due to its wide current account deficit and dollar strength....

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Commercial Banking

Ghana Commercial Banking

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...
Commercial Banking Sector Indicators
Date Total assets Client loans Bond portfolio Other Liabilities and capital Capital Client deposits

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Food & Drink

Ghana Food & Drink

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BMI View: Ghana's real GDP growth will accelerate to 5.8% in 2015 and 8.0% in 2016, thanks to robust investment inflows and a deal with the IMF on an extended credit facility. Although consumer price inflation will remain elevated over the next two years, we expect consumer confidence to gradually improve as currency depreciation slows and fuel costs fall. Reflecting the steady improvement in consumer confidence, we forecast real private consumption growth to accelerate from 2.8% in 2014 to 5.0% in 2015 and 6.0% the following years.

Headline Industry Data

  • 2014 per capita food consumption (local currency) = +10.7%; forecast compound annual growth rate (CAGR) 2014 to 2019 = +12.8%.

  • 2014 beer volume sales = +7.0%; forecast CAGR 2014 to 2019 = +9.9%.

  • ...

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Information Technology

Ghana Information Technology

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BMI View: The oil-producing African nations draw a large portion of government revenues from petroleum exports, exposing them to the sharp decline in crude oil price in late 2014 and early 2015. BMI expects oil prices to remain depressed throughout our forecast period to 2019, with Nigeria to be among the most vulnerable markets to lower oil prices. This will weigh on public spending and private investment, including investments in new IT products and solutions.

Headline Expenditure Projections

Ghana

Computer Hardware Sales: GHS1.027bn in 2015 to GHS1.2bn in 2016, +16.8% in local currency terms. The government's ambitious Basic...

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Infrastructure

Ghana Infrastructure

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BMI View: The medium-term outlook for Ghana's construction sector outlook remains positive, with strong growth forecast for 2015 and 2016. Investment across the power, transport and residential and non-residential construction sectors will lead to growth of 7.24% in 2015 and an average of 6.75% over the forecast period to 2024. Growth will be supported by the Ghana Infrastructure Fund, a recent Eurobond issuance and private investment.

While we expect the construction sector to be one of the more resilient in Ghana's current macroeconomic crisis, we do see some spill-over effects as a result of cuts in government investment and...

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Insurance

Ghana Insurance

Medical Devices

Ghana Medical Devices

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BMI Industry View : Ghana represents a comparatively small medical device market of just under USD60mn. Per capita spending is low at USD2.3 indicating considerable potential for expansion. Primarily supplied by imports, the market has enjoyed one of the world's highest CAGRs over the 2008-2013 period, but a sharp contraction in the market in 2013 and 2014 will result in slower growth being registered over the 2013-2018 period.

Headline Industry Forecasts

  • In 2013, the medical device market was estimated at USD59.6mn, equal to USD2.3 per...

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Mining

Ghana Mining

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BMI View: West Africa's growth outlook will be dented by continued mineral price weakness, countries' inadequate infrastructure and the aftermath of the Ebola outbreak over the coming quarters. Miners operating within the region will suffer from declining profit margins and increasing difficulties in obtaining finance. However, the region's long-term growth outlook remains promising due to countries' vast untapped mineral reserves, positive foreign investment outlook and infrastructure developments.

Cote d'Ivoire - Cote d'Ivoire's gold production will experience solid growth due to new...

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Ghana Mining

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BMI View: Ghana's mining sector is heavily reliant on gold production and, as such, will face severe headwinds over the next few years as prices of the commodity come under increasing pressure globally. We expect the country's gold miners to continue reducing capacity and expenditure over the coming quarters, through the country will continue to rank as Africa's second largest gold producer after South Africa. In contrast, bauxite production is forecast to expand at a steady pace over the medium term, as the industry attracts the attention of overseas investors.

Mining will remain an important component of Ghana's economy through the next few years, however, the growth of the industry is being affected by a lack of diversity, with gold mining accounting for about 90% of...

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Oil & Gas

Ghana Oil & Gas

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BMI View: We hold to our bullish view on the Ghana oil and gas sector, as production from Jubilee, TEN and Sankofa support rising production growth. However, production will remain insufficient to meet the strong growth in consumption, and we forecast deepening import dependence for the country across our 10-year forecast period.

...
Headline Forecasts (Ghana 2013-2019)
2013 2014e 2015f 2016f

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Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

Ghana Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

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BMI View: Our outlook for Ghana's pharmaceutical and healthcare market is becoming increasingly bearish. The National Health Insurance Scheme is facing backlash from both drugmakers and service providers due to a lack of payments. Furthermore, we believe that the scheme will come under even more scrutiny in light of the proposed government spending revision on the back of lower oil prices.

Headline Expenditure Projections

Pharmaceuticals: GHS1.01bn (USD329mn) in 2014 to GHS1.18bn (USD316mn) in 2015; +16.5% in local currency terms and -4.1% in US dollar terms. Forecast in line with Q115 in local currency terms and slightly downwards in US dollar terms due to currency depreciation.

Healthcare: GHS5.06bn (USD1.65bn) in 2014 to GHS5.85bn (USD1.57bn) in 2015; +15.5% in...

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Power

Ghana Power

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BMI View: Ghana continues to face a deteriorating energy situation, with the vicious cycle of energy shortages and growing debts kept in motion by factors including the rising cost of funds, disruption to fuel supplies and a spate of bad weather. Even with the government's latest moves to appoint new members to the board of the Electricity Commission of Ghana(ECG), there appears little means to rectify the situation and alleviate the impact from previous poor planning and limited investment in the power sector.. Given that the government's capability to finance investments in generation capacity will be capped in view of the loan package from the IMF, we believe the government will have to turn to seek help from the private sector. With our political team forecasting civil protest in the next months due to the electricity shortages, and President Mahama's commitment to add 3,500MW to the grid in...

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Retail

Ghana Retail

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BMI View: Ghana currently enjoys a booming economy that is ranked among one of Africa's strongest. This country's positive economic performance will support steady growth in household spending, which we expect to average a respectable 6.81% over our forecast period. The country is also experiencing increasing levels of urbanisation and an emerging middle class, which we believe will create compelling opportunities within Ghana's retail market over our forecast period.

Ghana's economy has shown successive year-on-year economic growth. We currently forecast Real GDP growth in 2015 to reach 5.81%, increasing to 8.00% in 2016. A stable political environment, combined with rich natural resources support our long-term outlook for Ghana's economy. Economic growth has started to benefit households, who are currently experiencing growth in net income and increases...

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Telecommunications

Ghana Telecommunications

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BMI View: The NCA's plan to license MVNO players in Ghana's already crowded mobile market will push price competition to unsustainable levels. This will encourage operators to seek further cost efficiencies and could trigger consolidation among the smaller players.

Key Data

  • The Ghanaian mobile market grew by 2.2% quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) in Q414 to reach 114.7% market penetration.

  • The mobile data market grew by 2.6% q-o-q in Q414, yet 53.1% growth y-o-y due to strong first and third quarters in 2014. The market is driven by expanding network coverage, falling tariffs and the availability of low-cost smartphones.

  • The wireline market remained nearly unchanged and contracted by 3.7% year-on-year (y-o-y) to reach 260,407 wirline subscriptions in Q414. The market had been...

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