Ghana’s macroeconomic situation has improved over the last three years under its extended credit facility agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which concluded in April 2019. The fiscal deficit has narrowed, inflation has come down, and GDP growth has rebounded, driven primarily by increases in oil production. Ghana’s economy is projected to grow 8.8 percent in 2019, according to the IMF, after expanding over 8 percent in 2017 and an estimated 5.6 percent in 2018. However, the economy remains highly dependent on the export of primary commodities such as gold, cocoa, and oil/gas, and consequently is vulnerable to potential slowdowns in the global economy and commodity price shocks. The Government of Ghana is seeking to diversify and industrialize, in particular through agro-processing, mining, and manufacturing. It has made attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) a priority to support its industrialization plans and overcome an annual infrastructure funding gap of at least USD 1.5 billion.
While the economy is doing relatively well, high government debt, low government revenue, and high energy costs remain challenges. Ghana has a population of 30 million with six million potential taxpayers of which only two million are actually registered to pay taxes. As Ghana seeks to move beyond dependence on foreign aid, it must develop a solid domestic revenue base. On the energy front, Ghana has enough installed power generating capacity to meet current demand, but it needs to make the cost of electricity more affordable through more effective management of its power distribution system and diversification of its energy matrix, including through renewable energy.
Among the challenges hindering foreign direct investment are: a burdensome bureaucracy, costly and difficult financial services, under-developed infrastructure, ambiguous property laws, a costly power and water supply, the high costs of cross-border trade, a shifting policy environment, lack of transparency, and an unskilled labor force. Enforcement of laws and policies is weak. Public procurements are opaque and there are often issues with delayed payments. In addition, there are troubling trends in investment policy over the last five years, with the passage of local content regulations in the petroleum sector and the power sector.
Despite these challenges, Ghana’s abundant raw materials (gold, cocoa, and oil/gas), security, and political stability make it stand out as one of the better locations for investment in sub-Saharan Africa. The investment climate in Ghana is relatively welcoming to foreign investment. There is no discrimination against foreign-owned businesses. Investment laws protect investors against expropriation and nationalization and guarantee that investors can transfer profits out of the country. Ghana enjoys a lower degree of corruption than that of some regional counterparts, although companies have reported a high level of corruption in foreign investments. Among the most promising sectors are agribusiness; food processing; textiles and apparel; downstream oil, gas, and minerals processing; and mining-related services subsectors.
The government has acknowledged the need to foster an enabling environment to attract FDI, and is taking steps to overhaul the regulatory system and improve the ease of doing business, maintain fiscal discipline, combat corruption, and promote better transparency and accountability.
Table 1: Key Metrics and Rankings
|TI Corruption Perceptions Index||2018||78 of 180||http://www.transparency.org/research/cpi/overview|
|World Bank’s Doing Business Report||2019||114 of 190||http://www.doingbusiness.org/en/rankings|
|Global Innovation Index||2018||107 of 126||https://www.globalinnovationindex.org/analysis-indicator|
|U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, stock positions)||2017||$1,698||http://www.bea.gov/international/factsheet/|
|World Bank GNI per capita||2017||$1,880||http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GNP.PCAP.CD|
1. Openness To, and Restrictions Upon, Foreign Investment
Policies Towards Foreign Direct Investment
The Government of Ghana has no overall economic or industrial strategy that discriminates against foreign-owned businesses. The government has made increasing FDI a priority and acknowledged the importance of having an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive. Officials are implementing some regulatory and other reforms to improve the ease of doing business and make investing in Ghana more attractive.
The 2013 GIPC Act requires the Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC) to register, monitor and keep records of all business enterprises in Ghana. Sector-specific laws further regulate investments in minerals and mining, oil and gas, industries within Free Zones, banking, non-banking financial institutions, insurance, fishing, securities, telecommunications, energy, and real estate. Some sector-specific laws, such as in the oil and gas sector and the power sector, include specific local content requirements that could discourage international investment. Foreign investors are required to satisfy the provisions of the GIPC Act as well as the provisions of sector-specific laws. GIPC leadership has pledged to work in closer collaboration with the private sector to address investor concerns but there have been no significant changes to the laws. More information on investing in Ghana can be obtained from GIPC’s website, www.gipcghana.com .
Limits on Foreign Control and Right to Private Ownership and Establishment
Ghana is one of the more open economies to foreign equity ownership in Sub-Saharan Africa. Most of its major sectors are fully open to foreign capital participation.
U.S. investors in Ghana are treated the same as any other foreign investor. All foreign investment projects must register with the GIPC. Foreign investments are subject to the following minimum capital requirements: USD 200,000 for joint ventures with a Ghanaian partner that should have at least 10 percent of the equity; USD 500,000 for enterprises wholly-owned by a non-Ghanaian; and USD 1 million for trading companies (firms that buy or sell imported goods or services) wholly owned by non-Ghanaian entities. The minimum capital requirement may be in cash or capital goods relevant to the investment. Trading companies are also required to employ at least 20 skilled Ghanaian nationals.
Ghana’s investment code excludes foreign investors from participating in eight economic sectors: petty trading, the operation of taxi and car rental services with fleets of fewer than 25 vehicles, lotteries (excluding soccer pools), the operation of beauty salons and barber shops, printing of recharge scratch cards for subscribers to telecommunications services, production of exercise books and stationery, retail of finished pharmaceutical products, and the production, supply, and retail of drinking water in sealed pouches. Sectors where foreign investors are allowed limited market access include: telecommunications, banking, fishing, mining, petroleum, and real estate.
The 1992 Constitution recognized existing private and traditional titles to land. Freehold acquisition of land is no longer permitted. There is an exception, however, for transfer of freehold title between family members for land held under the traditional system. Foreigners are allowed to enter into long-term leases of up to 50 years and the lease may be bought, sold, or renewed for consecutive terms. Nationals are allowed to enter into 99-year leases.
Oil and Gas
The oil and gas sector is subject to a variety of state ownership and local content requirements. The Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act (2016, Act 919) mandates local participation. All entities seeking petroleum exploration licenses in Ghana must create a consortium in which the state-owned Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) holds a minimum 15 percent carried interest. The Petroleum Commission issues all licenses, but exploration licenses must be approved by Parliament. Further, local content regulations specify in-country sourcing requirements with respect to the full range of goods, services, hiring, and training associated with petroleum operations. The regulations also require mandatory local equity participation for all suppliers and contractors. The Minister of Energy must approve all contracts, sub-contracts, and purchase orders above USD 100,000. Non-compliance with these regulations may result in a criminal penalty, including imprisonment for up to five years.
The Petroleum Commission applies registration fees and annual renewal fees on foreign oil and gas service providers, which, depending on a company’s annual revenues, range from USD 70,000 to USD 150,000, compared to fees of between USD 5,000 and USD 30,000 for local companies.
Per the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703), foreign investors are restricted from obtaining a small-scale mining license for mining operations less than or equal to an area of 25 acres (10 hectares). Non-Ghanaians may only apply for industrial mineral rights if the proposed investment is USD 10 million or above. The Act mandates compulsory local participation, whereby the government acquires 10 percent equity in ventures at no cost. In order to qualify for a license, a non-Ghanaian company must be registered in Ghana, either as a branch office or a subsidiary that is incorporated under the Ghana Companies Act or Incorporated Private Partnership Act.
The Minerals and Mining Act provides for a stability agreement, which protects the holder of a mining lease for a period of 15 years from future changes in law that may impose a financial burden on the license holder. When an investment exceeds USD 500 million, lease holders can negotiate a development agreement that contains elements of a stability agreement and more favorable fiscal terms. Parliament passed a new Minerals and Mining (Amendment) Act (Act 900) in December 2015. One significant provision of the new act requires the mining lease-holder to, “…pay royalty to the Republic at the rate and in the manner that may be prescribed.” The previous Act 703 capped the royalty rate at six percent. The Minerals Commission implements the law.
In December 2017, Ghana introduced regulations requiring local content and local participation in the power sector. The Energy Commission (Local Content and Local Participation) (Electricity Supply Industry) Regulations, 2017 (L.I. 2354) specify minimum initial levels of local participation/ownership and ten year targets:
|Electricity Supply Activity||Initial Level of Local Participation||Target Level in 10 Years|
|Wholesale Power Supply||15||51|
|Renewable Energy Sector||15||51|
|Electricity Sales Service||80||100|
|Electricity Brokerage Service||80||100|
The regulations also specify minimum and target levels of local content in engineering and procurement, construction works, post construction works, services, management, operations and staff. All persons engaged in or planning to engage in the supply of electricity are required to register with the ‘Electricity Supply Local Content and Local Participation Committee’ and satisfy the minimum local content and participation requirements within five years. Failure to comply with the requirements could result in a fine or imprisonment.
The National Insurance Commission (NIC) imposes nationality requirements with respect to the board and senior management of locally-incorporated insurance and reinsurance companies. At least two board members must be Ghanaians, and either the Chairman of the board or Chief Executive Officer (CEO) must be Ghanaian. In situations where the CEO is not Ghanaian, the NIC requires that the Chief Financial Officer be Ghanaian. Minimum initial capital investment in the insurance sector is 15 million Ghana cedis (approximately USD 3 million).
Per the Electronic Communications Act of 2008, the National Communications Authority (NCA) regulates and manages the nation’s telecommunications and broadcast sectors. For 800 MHz spectrum licenses for mobile telecommunications services, Ghana restricts foreign participation to a joint venture or consortium that includes a minimum of 25 percent Ghanaian ownership. Applicants have two years to meet the requirement, and can list the 25 percent on the Ghana Stock Exchange. The first option to purchase stock is given to Ghanaians, but there are no restrictions on secondary trading.
There are no significant limits on foreign investment or differences in the treatment of foreign and national investors in other sectors of the economy.
Other Investment Policy Reviews
Ghana has not conducted an investment policy review (IPR) through the OECD recently. UNCTAD last conducted an IPR in 2003.
The WTO last conducted a Trade Policy Review (TPR) in May 2014. The TPR concluded that the 2013 amendment to the investment law raised the minimum capital that foreigners must invest to levels above those specified in Ghana’s 1994 GATS horizontal commitments, and excluded new activities from foreign competition. However, it was determined that overall this would have minimum impact on dissuading future foreign investment due to the size of the companies traditionally seeking to do business within the country. An executive summary of the findings can be found at: https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/tpr_e/tp398_e.htm
Although registering a business is a relatively easy procedure and can be done online through the Registrar General’s Department (RGD) at https://egovonline.gegov.gov.gh/RGDPortalWeb/portal/RGDHome/eghana.portal , businesses have noted that the process involved in establishing a business is lengthy and complex, and requires compliance with regulations and procedures of at least four other government agencies, including GIPC, Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Ghana Immigration Service, and the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).
According to the World Bank’s Doing Business Report, it takes eight procedures and 14 days to establish a foreign-owned limited liability company (LLC) that wants to engage in international trade in Ghana. This is longer than the regional average for Sub-Saharan Africa. Foreign investors must obtain a certificate of capital importation, which can take 14 days. The local authorized bank must confirm the import of capital with the Bank of Ghana, which will then confirm the transaction to GIPC for investment registration purposes.
Per the GIPC Act, all foreign companies are required to register with GIPC after incorporation with the RGD. Registration can be completed online at http://www.gipcghana.com . While the registration process is designed to be completed within five business days, bureaucracy often delays this process.
The Ghanaian business environment is unique and guidance can be extremely helpful. In some cases, a foreign investment may enjoy certain tax benefits under the law or additional incentives if the project is deemed critical to the country’s development. Most companies or individuals considering investing in Ghana or trading with Ghanaian counterparts find it useful to consult with a local attorney or business facilitation company. The Embassy maintains a list of local attorneys which is available through the U.S. Commercial Service in Ghana (www.export.gov/ghana). Specific information about setting up a business is available at the GIPC website: http://www.gipcghana.com/invest-in-ghana/doing-business-in-ghana.html .
Ghana Investment Promotion Centre
Post: P. O. Box M193, Accra-Ghana
Telephone: +233 (0) 302 665125, +233 (0)302 665126, +233 (0) 302 665127, +233 (0) 302 665128/ +233 (0) 302 665129
Telephone: +233 (0) 302 244318254/ 244318252
Note that mining or oil/gas sector companies are required to obtain licensing/approval from the following relevant bodies:
Petroleum Commission Head Office
Plot No. 4A, George Bush Highway, Accra, Ghana
P.O. Box CT 228 Cantonments, Accra, Ghana
Telephone: +233  302 953392 | +233  302 953393
Minerals House, No. 12 Switchback Road, Cantonments, Accra
P.O. Box M 248
Telephone: +233 (0) 302 772 783 /+233 (0) 302 772 786 /+233 (0) 302 773 053
Ghana has no specific outward investment policy. It has entered into bilateral treaties, however, with a number of countries to promote and protect foreign investment on a reciprocal basis. A few Ghanaian companies have established operations in other West African countries.
2. Bilateral Investment Agreements and Taxation Treaties
Ghana has signed and ratified Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) with the following countries: China; Denmark; Germany; Malaysia; the Netherlands; Switzerland; and the United Kingdom. Ghana has concluded the BIT negotiation process with 26 countries in total, 19 of which are awaiting Parliament ratification. The countries with concluded BITs that have not yet been internally ratified are: Barbados, Benin, Botswana, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Egypt, France, Guinea, Italy, Mauritania, Mauritius, Romania, Spain, Yugoslavia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Agreements with Pakistan, South Korea, North Korea, and Belgium are being discussed.
Ghana has signed and ratified tax treaties, commonly referred to as double taxation agreements, with the following countries: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Mauritius, and the United Kingdom. Signed double taxation agreements with the Czech Republic, Morocco, Singapore, Qatar, Malta, Seychelles, Barbados, and Ireland are yet to be ratified by Parliament.
Ghana has not yet signed the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) intergovernmental agreement (IGA), but it has allowed banks or foreign financial institutions (FFIs) in Ghana to report information directly to the United States Internal Revenue Service.
The United States has signed several investment-related agreements with Ghana: the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), OPIC Investment Incentive Agreement, and the Open Skies Agreement. In 2012, the United States and Ghana initiated exploratory BIT discussions but those stalled.
Ghana has continued to meet eligibility requirements to participate in the benefits afforded by the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and also separately qualifies for the apparel benefits under AGOA.
3. Legal Regime
Transparency of the Regulatory System
The Government of Ghana’s policies on trade liberalization and investment promotion are guiding its efforts to create a clear and transparent regulatory system.
Ghana does not have a standardized consultation process but ministries and Parliament generally share the text or summary of proposed regulations and solicit comments directly from stakeholders or via public meetings and hearings. All laws that are currently in effect are printed in the Ghana Gazette (equivalent of the U.S. Federal Register).
The Government of Ghana has established regulatory bodies such as the National Communications Authority, the National Petroleum Authority, the Petroleum Commission, the Energy Commission, and the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission to oversee activities in the telecommunications, downstream and upstream petroleum, electricity and natural gas, and water sectors. The creation of these bodies was a positive step but the lack of resources and their subjectiveness to political influence challenge their ability to deliver the intended level of oversight.
The government launched a Business Regulatory Reform program in 2017, but implementation has been slow. The program aims to improve the ease of doing business, review all rules and regulations to identify and reduce unnecessary costs and requirements, establish an e-registry of all laws, establish a centralized public consultation web portal, provide regulatory relief for entrepreneurs, and eventually implement a regulatory impact analysis system.
Ghana continues to improve on making information on debt obligations, including contingent and state-owned enterprise debt, publicly available. Information on the overall debt stock (including domestic and external) is presented in the Annual Debt Management Report which is available on the Ministry of Finance website at https://www.mofep.gov.gh/sites/default/files/reports/economic/2018-Annual-Public-Debt-Report.pdf . However, information on contingent liabilities from state-owned enterprises is not explicit and is scattered in various reports.
International Regulatory Considerations
Ghana has been a World Trade Organization (WTO) member since January 1995. Ghana issues its own standards for many products under the auspices of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA). The GSA has promulgated more than 500 Ghanaian standards and adopted more than 2,000 international standards for certification purposes. The Ghanaian Food and Drugs Authority is responsible for enforcing standards for food, drugs, cosmetics, and health items. Ghana notifies all draft technical regulations to the WTO Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT).
Legal System and Judicial Independence
Ghana’s legal system is based on British common law and local customary law. Investors should note that the acquisition of real property is governed by both statutory and customary law. The judiciary comprises both the lower courts and the superior courts. The superior courts are the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, and the High Court and Regional Tribunals. Lawsuits are permitted and usually begin in the High Court. The High Court has jurisdiction in all matters, civil and criminal, other than those involving treason. There is a history of government intervention in the court system, although somewhat less so in commercial matters. The courts have, when the circumstances require, entered judgments against the government. However, the courts have been slow in disposing of cases and at times face challenges in enforcing decisions, largely due to resource constraints and institutional inefficiencies.
Laws and Regulations on Foreign Direct Investment
The GIPC Act codified the government’s desire to present foreign investors with a transparent foreign investment regulatory regime. GIPC regulates foreign investment in acquisitions, mergers, takeovers and new investments, as well as portfolio investment in stocks, bonds, and other securities traded on the Ghana Stock Exchange. The GIPC Act also specifies areas of investment reserved for locals, and further delineates incentives and guarantees that relate to taxation, transfer of capital, profits and dividends, and guarantees against expropriation.
While Ghana does not currently have a “one-stop shop” for business registration, GIPC helps to facilitate the process and provides economic, commercial and investment information for companies and business people interested in starting a business or investing in Ghana. GIPC provides assistance to enable investors to take advantage of relevant incentives. Registration can be completed online at www.gipcghana.com .
As detailed in the previous section on “Limits on Foreign Control and Right to Private Ownership and Establishment,” sector-specific laws regulate foreign participation/investment in telecommunications, banking, fishing, mining, petroleum, and real estate.
Ghana regulates the transfer of technologies not freely available in Ghana. According to the 1992 Technology Transfer Regulations, total management and technical fee levels higher than eight percent of net sales must be approved by GIPC. The regulations do not allow agreements that impose obligations to procure personnel, inputs, and equipment from the transferor or specific source. The duration of related contracts cannot exceed ten years and cannot be renewed for more than five years. Any provisions in the agreement inconsistent with Ghanaian regulations are unenforceable in Ghana.
Competition and Anti-Trust Laws
Ghana’s competition law, Protection Against Unfair Competition Act, 2,000 (Act 589), is still under review.
Expropriation and Compensation
The Constitution sets out some exceptions and a clear procedure for the payment of compensation in allowable cases of expropriation or nationalization. Additionally, Ghana’s investment laws generally protect investors against expropriation and nationalization. The Government of Ghana may, however, expropriate property if it is required to protect national defense, public safety, public order, public morality, public health, town and country planning, or to ensure the development or utilization of property in a manner to promote public benefit. In such cases, the GOG must provide prompt payment of fair and adequate compensation to the property owner. The Government of Ghana guarantees due process by allowing access to the high court by any person who has an interest or right over the property.
U.S. investors are generally not subject to differential or discriminatory treatment in Ghana, and there have been no government expropriations involving U.S. investments in recent times. There have been no reported instances of indirect expropriation or any government action equivalent to expropriation during the past year.
ICSID Convention and New York Convention
Ghana is a member state to the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID Convention). Ghana is a signatory to the convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (1958 New York Convention).
There is a caveat for investment disputes arising from within the energy sector: the Government of Ghana has expressed a preference for handling disputes under the ad hoc arbitration rules of the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL Model Law).
Investor-State Dispute Settlement
Ghana’s track record for sound governance and a relatively reliable legal system result in a dispute resolution process that benefits foreign investors, in comparison to other countries in the region.
Over the past ten years, there have been four disputes involving U.S. investors. One of the cases was resolved through international arbitration. The other three are still pending resolution.
International Commercial Arbitration and Foreign Courts
The United States has signed three bilateral agreements on trade and investment with Ghana: a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), OPIC Investment Incentive Agreement, and the Open Skies Agreement. These agreements contain provisions for investment as well as trade dispute mechanisms.
The Commercial Conciliation Center of the American Chamber of Commerce (Ghana) provides arbitration services on trade and investment issues for disputes regarding contracts with arbitration clauses.
There is interest in alternative dispute resolution, especially as it applies to commercial cases. Several lawyers provide arbitration and/or conciliation services. Arbitration decisions are enforceable provided they are registered in the courts.
The Government of Ghana established fast track courts to expedite action in certain cases. These fast track courts, which are automated divisions of the High Court, were intended to oversee cases which can be concluded within six months. However, they have not succeeded in consistently disposing of cases within six months. In March 2005, the government established a commercial court with exclusive jurisdiction over all commercial matters. This Court also handles disputes involving commercial arbitration and the enforcement of awards; intellectual property rights, including patents, copyrights and trademarks; commercial fraud; applications under the Companies Act; tax matters; and insurance and re-insurance cases. A distinctive feature of the commercial court is the use of mediation or other alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, which are mandatory in the pre-trial settlement conference stage. Ghana also has a Financial and Economic Crimes Court. It is a specialized division of the High Court that handles high profile corruption and economic crime cases.
Enforcement of foreign judgments in Ghana is based on the doctrine of reciprocity. On this basis, judgments from Brazil, France, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Senegal, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom are enforceable. Judgments from American courts are not currently enforceable in Ghana.
The GIPC, Free Zones, Labor, and Minerals and Mining Laws outline dispute settlement procedures and provide for arbitration when disputes cannot be settled by other means. They also provide for referral of disputes to arbitration in accordance with the rules of procedure of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), or within the framework of a bilateral agreement between Ghana and the investor’s country. The 2010 Alternative Dispute Resolution Act (Act 798 of 2010) provides for the settlement of disputes by mediation and customary arbitration, in addition to regular arbitration processes.
Ghana does not have a bankruptcy statute. The Companies Act of 1963, however, provides for official closure of a company when it is unable to pay its debts. A new insolvency law is under debate in Parliament.
Corruption in Ghana is comparatively less prevalent than in other countries in the region, but remains a serious problem. The government has a relatively strong anti-corruption legal framework in place, but enforcement of existing laws is rare and haphazard. Corruption in government institutions is pervasive. The Government of Ghana has vowed to combat corruption and has taken some steps to promote better transparency and accountability. These include establishing an Office of the Special Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute corruption cases, and passing a Right to Information Act (similar to the U.S. Freedom of Information Act) to increase transparency.
The most common commercial fraud scams are procurement offers tied to alleged Ghanaian government or, more frequently, ECOWAS programs. U.S. companies frequently report being contacted by an unknown Ghanaian firm claiming to be an authorized agent of an official government procurement agency. Foreign firms that express an interest in being included in potential procurements are lured into paying a series of fees to have their companies registered or products qualified for sale in Ghana or the West Africa region. U.S. companies receiving offers from West Africa from unknown sources should use extreme caution and conduct significant due-diligence prior to pursuing these offers. American firms can request background checks on companies with whom they wish to do business by using the United States Commercial Service’s International Company Profile (ICP). Requests for ICPs should be made through the nearest United States Export Assistance Center. For more information about the United States Commercial Service, visit www.export.gov/ghana .
Businesses have noted that bribery is most pervasive in the judicial system and across public services. Companies report that bribes are often exchanged in return for favorable judicial decisions. Large corruption cases are prosecuted, but proceedings are lengthy and convictions are slow. A 2015 exposé captured video of judges and other judicial officials extorting bribes from litigants to manipulate the justice system. Thirty-four judges were implicated, and 25 were dismissed following the revelations, though none have been criminally prosecuted.
In 2016, the public procurement law was amended to address the shortcomings identified over a decade of implementation of the original law aimed at harmonizing the many public procurement guidelines used in the country and to bring public procurement into conformity with WTO standards. Notwithstanding the procurement law, companies cannot expect complete transparency in locally funded contracts. There continue to be allegations of corruption in the tender process and the government has in the past set aside international tender awards in the name of national interest. Though the law on public financial management was overhauled in August 2016, with stiffer sanctions and penalties on breaches, its impact on corruption is yet to be recorded. The Companies Act was also amended in 2016 to establish a register to collect and maintain a national database on beneficial owners in Ghana, but the register has yet to be established.
The 1992 Constitution established the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ). Among other things, the Commission is charged with investigating alleged and suspected corruption and the misappropriation of public funds by officials. The Commission is also authorized to take appropriate steps, including providing reports to the Attorney General and the Auditor-General in response to such investigations. The effectiveness of the Commission, however, is affected by a lack of resources, as it conducts few investigations leading to prosecutions. CHRAJ issued guidelines on conflict of interest to public sector workers in 2006, and issued a new Code of Conduct for Public Officers in Ghana with guidelines on conflicts of interest in 2009. CHRAJ also developed a National Anti-Corruption Action Plan that was approved by the Parliament in July 2014, but many of its provisions have not been implemented due to lack of resources. In November 2015, then-President Mahama fired the CHRAJ Commissioner after she was investigated for misappropriating public funds.
In 1998, the Government of Ghana also established an anti-corruption institution, called the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), to investigate corrupt practices involving both private and public institutions. SFO’s name was changed to Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) in 2010 and its functions were expanded to include crimes such as money laundering and other organized crimes. EOCO is empowered to initiate prosecutions and to recover proceeds from criminal activities. The government passed a “Whistle Blower” law in July 2006, intended to encourage Ghanaian citizens to volunteer information on corrupt practices to appropriate government agencies.
Like most other African countries, Ghana is not a signatory to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery.
Resources to Report Corruption
Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ)
Old Parliament House, High Street, Accra
Postal Address: Box AC 489, Accra
Phone: 0302- 662150/ 664267/ 664561/ 668839
Fax: 0302- 660020/ 668840/ 680396/ 673677
Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO)
Tel +233 30 266 9995
Tel +233 30 266 7485
Tel +233 30 266 4786
10. Political and Security Environment
Ghana offers a relatively stable and predictable political environment for American investors. Ghana has a solid democratic tradition. In December 2016, Ghana completed its seventh consecutive peaceful presidential and parliamentary elections. Opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) candidate Nana Akufo-Addo defeated incumbent President and National Democratic Congress (NDC) candidate John Mahama by a margin of over one million votes. Mahama conceded the election and power was transferred to the NPP peacefully. There were isolated cases of politically-motivated violence but no widespread civil disturbances.
13. Foreign Direct Investment and Foreign Portfolio Investment Statistics
Table 2: Key Macroeconomic Data, U.S. FDI in Host Country/Economy
|Host Country Statistical Source*||USG or International Statistical Source||USG or International Source of Data:
BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other
|Host Country Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ($M USD)||2018||$65,556||2017||$58,997||www.worldbank.org/en/country|
|Foreign Direct Investment||Host Country Statistical Source*||USG or International Statistical Source||USG or International Source of Data:
BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other
|U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, stock positions)||N/A||N/A||2017||$1,698||BEA data available at https://www.bea.gov/international/direct-investment-and-multinational-enterprises-comprehensive-data|
|Host country’s FDI in the United States ($M USD, stock positions)||N/A||N/A||2017||$52||BEA data available at https://www.bea.gov/international/direct-investment-and-multinational-enterprises-comprehensive-data|
|Total inbound stock of FDI as % host GDP||N/A||N/A||2017||56%||UNCTAD data available at
Table 3: Sources and Destination of FDI
|Direct Investment from/in Counterpart Economy Data|
|From Top Five Sources/To Top Five Destinations (US Dollars, Millions)|
|Inward Direct Investment||Outward Direct Investment|
|Total Inward||Amount||100%||Total Outward||Amount||100%|
|Cayman Islands||Amount||12%||Country #3||Amount||X%|
|Brit Virgin Islands||Amount||11%||Country #4||Amount||X%|
|“0” reflects amounts rounded to +/- USD 500,000.|
Table 4: Sources of Portfolio Investment
Data not available.