38_G15_Spotlight_Ghana

Global Issue 15

Spotlight Ghana Each cocoa pod holds between 30 and 50 seeds that are white when picked, turning brown when dried to the country’s GDP. Despite the anticipation drummed up by oil, mining and cocoa will remain the main pillars of the Ghanaian economy for at least the rest of this decade and both require handling with velvet gloves. Several gold mines around the world and in South Africa have already been mothballed until the gold price recovers to a level when mining is again sustainable. Despite these setbacks, however, the Ghanaian economy has been built on solid foundations and whatever it may lose on the gold swings in the short run, it can gain on the oil roundabouts when production rises from its current 125,000 barrels per day (b/pd) to 250,000 b/pd when phase two of the Jubilee project is completed and several more fi elds begin production. If all the commercial discoveries made so far come on stream, Ghana could well become the third largest oil producer in Africa after Nigeria and Angola. In addition, the Ghana Gas Company, set up in 2011 to avoid the wasteful fl aring of natural gas that characterised the early years of the Nigerian oil industry, was expected to start production in July, but delays in the release of funds from the Chinese government have held up the project. Gas will be supplied to the Tema and Takoradi power plants, while the 400 MW Bui hydro scheme, which is being developed by Sino Hydro, will add to the energy mix and, hopefully, not only end the country’s chronic shortage of power but also leave a surplus for export. While Ghana has made enormous strides, its economic planners now have to show a nimbleness of foot to cope with unexpected hurdles, fi scal discipline to put a cap on spending while raising domestic tax revenue and imaginative leaps to create more job opportunities and spread the fruits of growth far more equitably than at present. The middle distance race has more or less been won – now comes the long haul of the marathon. Does Ghana have the staying power? 38 l www.global -br ief ing.org thi rd quar ter 2013 global 


Global Issue 15
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