Ghana is a peaceful and stable democracy, making good progress toward its goal of becoming a middle-income country by 2020. With economic growth rates consistently topping 6 percent over recent years, Ghana is being hailed as an emerging African economic success story. It has had five consecutive democratic elections and two peaceful transitions of power since 1992, leading other African nations to look to Ghana for assistance with their own elections.

Since 1990, the Ghanaian government has been working closely with the donor community and has nearly halved the number of citizens living in extreme poverty. However, about 30 percent of Ghanaians still live on less than US$1.25/day. Some two million individuals have limited access to food, and food shortages are recurring in the three northern regions. Children are especially vulnerable, with approximately 12 percent of Ghana's children under the age of five currently underweight. Ghana ranks 138 out of 187 countries on the United Nations Development Programme's 2014 human development index.

In terms of the 2008 international food crisis, Ghana has been fairly successful in minimizing the effects by means of social support programs and such measures as the removal of import duties and taxes on food and fuel.

However, Ghana does face serious macroeconomic challenges, including high inflation, significant deficits, and a growing debt load due, in part, to high public sector spending to ease the impact of the international food and fuel price crises.

Ghana is still vulnerable to the ongoing effects of the global economic crisis, and poverty has recently deepened among some groups, especially women, farmers, and people living in the northern regions.

Ghana's main challenges include:

  • Weak public sector institutions, resulting in poor delivery of basic services in areas such as agriculture, health, and education.
  • Persistent food insecurity in the three northern regions.
  • Limited access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.
  • Inequality between women and men.

Find out what Canada is doing to support development in Ghana.

Thematic Focus

In 2014, Ghana was confirmed as a country of focus for the Government of Canada’s international development efforts. In keeping with this agenda, Canada continues to provide direct support to the Government of Ghana's budget in order to carry out the objectives of Ghana's national plan.

Canada's international development program in Ghana builds on efforts already being undertaken by the Government of Ghana to support public sector reform, promote a stronger parliamentary role in terms of government oversight and accountability, and enhance public participation in the development and assessment of government plans and policies. Canada continues to have a strategic focus in the North—where poverty and food insecurity are highest—and continues to dialogue with the Government of Ghana, other donors, and various Canadian and local civil society organizations for more effective aid delivery.

Children and youth

Canada supports the Government of Ghana in playing a lead role in the design, development, and implementation of a multidonor program to support Ghana's new national water policy, which will have a significant impact on the health and well-being of women, children, and youth.

In keeping with Ghana's decentralization plan to deliver basic services more efficiently at the local level, Canada also provides increasing technical and financial assistance to local governments to help them provide health and education services that benefit children and youth.

Key anticipated results

  • Developed water systems in a sustainable manner in 13 northern districts.
  • Provided rural communities and small towns with access to safe drinking water.
  • Provided households with access to safe drinking water in urban areas.

Food security

Canada supports efforts to increasing food security in Ghana through:

  • Continued investment in community-level food security initiatives in the North.
  • Complementary investments in agricultural research and in the strengthening of farmer-based organizations.
  • Support to sustainable management of land and water resources.

Canada also continues to support efforts to the strengthen Ghana's Ministry of Food and Agriculture by helping it be more effective in implementing the national food and agriculture sector development policy.

Key anticipated results

  • Trained government officials of the Northern Regional Coordination Council in the planning, coordination, and monitoring of food security initiatives.
  • Strengthened farm-based organizations to function smoothly and support agricultural productivity.
  • Improved access for farmers-women and men-to improved technology, farming advice, and agricultural supplies.

Progress on Aid Effectiveness

Aid effectiveness, as the term implies, is an approach for improved delivery and monitoring of aid to achieve greater efficiency, strengthened partnerships, and greater results. Overall, aid to Ghana is more untied, and more funds are flowing through program-based approaches. As well, donor coordination of analysis and reporting is more effective.

In 2008, Ghana hosted the Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, and, in recent years, it has demonstrated strong ownership of the development agenda. The Government of Ghana has prepared a new aid policy containing bold measures to strengthen Ghanaian ownership and leadership of development cooperation in the country.



Achievements 2013-2014

Food security

  • Provided supplementary feeding to 67,000 children younger than age five and 101,500 pregnant and lactating women suffering from malnutrition.
  • Provided approximately 125,000 people with more than 10,000 metric tons of food through Food-For-Assets and Food-For-Training programs.
  • Contributed to the increased production of staple foods from 28 million metric tonnes in 2010 to 28.8 million in 2011, making more food available for purchase throughout Ghana in spite of a poor growing season due to scarce and erratic rainfall.
  • Trained 3,445 small food processors (80 percent female) on eight different technologies for processing crops to help reduce post-harvest losses and add market value.
  • Helped build 250 dams and dugouts to provide a secure water supply for household and agricultural needs.

Children and youth

  • Provided vitamin A to almost 5 million children, helping to improve child health and prevent disease
  • Helped 87,655 people access safe drinking water through the provision of water systems in 150 rural communities and 7 small towns
  • Helped increase access to improved sanitation, reaching 51,422 people and provided sanitation and hygience education to 56,361 children
  • Trained more than 15,000 front-line health workers and community volunteers to manage undernutrition in children and treating 8,300 for malnutrition

2014-2015 international assistance disbursements to Ghana (in millions of dollars)

Global Affairs Canada69.75
Other departments and sources0.36