Economy - overview: Well endowed with natural resources, Ghana has roughly twice the per capita output of the poorer countries in West Africa. Even so, Ghana remains heavily dependent on international financial and technical assistance. Gold, timber, and cocoa production are major sources of foreign exchange. The domestic economy continues to revolve around subsistence agriculture, which accounts for 36% of GDP and employs 60% of the work force, mainly small landholders. Excessively expansionary monetary and fiscal policy prior to the 2000 elections led to accelerating inflation in early 2001. A depressed cocoa market and continued weak growth in non-traditional exports led to disappointing growth in 2001. The late 2002 crisis in Cote d'Ivoire has boosted cocoa prices markedly. It remains to be seen if this portends a long-term shift in the cocoa market. Ghana opted for debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) program in 2002.
Definition: This entry briefly describes the type of economy, including the degree of market orientation, the level of economic development, the most important natural resources, and the unique areas of specialization. It also characterizes major economic events and policy changes in the most recent 12 months and may include a statement about one or two key future macroeconomic trends.
Source: CIA World Factbook - Unless otherwise noted, information in this page is accurate as of April 17, 2002
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