Ghana, rich in agricultural resources, timber, gold and other valuable minerals, abundant with educated skilled and enterprising people, blessed with a stable form of government and dedicated to the principles of free enterprise, has long been seen as one of Africas most promising countries.
The main exports - gold, cocoa, diamonds, timber, manganese and bauxite - known as traditional items, are now increasingly supplemented by processed and semi-processed industrial and agricultural products with tourism as the third largest foreign currency earner after cocoa and gold.
The economy has traditionally depended on exports of primary products, with about 60 per cent of the labour force employed in agriculture. Agriculture contributes about 46 per cent to the GDP and is characterised by small-scale operations, principally staple food crops and cocoa productions. The services sector is the second largest employer (about 25 per cent of the labour force), accounting for over 40 per cent of real GDP from trade and public sector services, while the industrial sector accounts for 14 per cent of GDP and employment.
Over the years, a series of comprehensive macroeconomic and structural adjustment reforms aimed at reversing the economic decline were undertaken. The reform programme included restructuring of institutions, diversifying the economy, balancing the national budget, liberalising trade and currency and attracting direct private investments.