Chapter 5: Ghana
Formed from the merger of the British colony of the Gold Coast and the Togoland trust territory, in 1957 Ghana became the first Sub-Saharan country in colonial Africa to gain its independence. Ghana endured a long series of coups before Lt. Jerry Rawlings assumed power in 1981 and banned political parties. After approving a new constitution and restoring multiparty politics in 1992, Rawlings won presidential elections in 1992 and 1996, but was constitutionally prevented from running for a third term in 2000. John Kufuor succeeded him and was re-elected in 2004. John Atta Mills took over as head of state in early 2009. Ghana is well endowed with natural resources, and agriculture accounts for roughly one-third of GDP and employs more than half of the workforce, mainly small landholders. The services sector accounts for 50 per cent of GDP. Gold and cocoa production and individual remittances are major sources of foreign exchange. Oil production at Ghana’s offshore Jubilee field began in mid-December 2010 and is expected to boost economic growth. Ghana signed a Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact in 2006, which aims to assist in transforming Ghana’s agricultural sector. Ghana opted for debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) program in 2002, and is also benefiting from the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative which took effect in 2006.
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