Ghana has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, but the country’s long-term economic growth is challenged by high energy costs; high levels of government debt, including in the energy sector; low access to credit; high borrowing costs; low agricultural productivity; a business climate that restricts private sector growth; and regional trade barriers. Disparities also exist between the country’s North and South. Nearly 68 percent of Ghanaians in the Northern Region live on less than $1.25 a day, and stunting rates among children under five are as high as 40 percent in some districts in the region. USAID is helping Ghana to address these challenges through programs that promote a more diversified economy with a broader export base, while addressing the long-term economic impacts of COVID-19; increased private sector-led investment; expanded use of affordable energy; healthy, skilled citizens participating in economic and social development processes; and increased incomes.
REFORMING POLICY AND INCREASING ACCESS TO CREDIT
USAID assistance helps Ghana to finance its own self-reliance by increasing access to finance and improving an environment which fosters broad-based economic growth. USAID facilitates public-private dialogue on policy and regulation, helps farmers and businesses access finance and markets, spurs investment in key sectors, and forges partnerships with businesses. Key interventions include:
- Supporting business associations and civil society organizations to advocate for improvements in the business environment.
- Helping small and medium enterprises to diversify their sources of finance.
- Facilitating agricultural financing to micro, small, and medium enterprises to support targeted value chains, particularly those that involve women and youth.
USAID/Ghana has facilitated access to over $90 million in financing for more than 63,000 beneficiaries in diverse areas ranging from seed and fertilizer supply to strengthening value chain links to agricultural processing.
EXPANDING TRADE AND FACILITATING ACCESS TO MARKETS
USAID helps the private sector to access and supply domestic, regional, and international markets; improve market information; meet required food safety and health standards; and introduce new technologies. Key interventions include:
- Collaborating with the GoG to promote trade facilitation, remove technical barriers to trade, encourage policies that stimulate regional and two-way trade, and attract investment.
- Supporting private sector growth in strategic export-oriented sectors including, but not limited to, agriculture and agricultural processing, services to enable greater exports, garment and apparel production, and light manufacturing.
- Reducing the time and cost that it takes to move goods across borders.
Through the West Africa Trade and Investment Hub, USAID/Ghana has forged 10 partnerships with Ghanaian businesses to catalyze over $70 million of investment, export over $200 million worth of goods, and create over 25,000 jobs.
EXPANDING RELIABLE ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE ELECTRICITY
Through the U.S. Government’s Power Africa Initiative, USAID partners with Ghana to better plan and execute strategies to meet its electricity needs in the most efficient way; achieve universal access to electricity; define and implement institutional, regulatory, financial, and commercial strategies to develop the gas and power sectors; and build the financial sustainability of the energy sector. Key activities include:
- Supporting transactions to help businesses and industries to lower their cost of electricity and to help Ghanaians who are not connected to the grid access energy.
- Developing strategies with the GoG to strengthen the power sector’s financial health through improved planning, pricing, and efficiency.
- Helping project developers and power system managers to implement solutions to increase their use of clean energy resources to lower the cost of electricity.
- Incentivizing efficient operations in the electricity sector by supporting utility, regulatory and operational reforms, and technological innovation.
Under the Power Africa initiative, USAID/Ghana has reduced Ghana’s energy debt by $4.7 billion and removed 10 million cubic tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The Agency has also connected 225,000 households to electricity and integrated 50 megawatts of solar energy with a hydroelectric dam in northern Ghana, an innovative model that can be applied throughout West Africa.