Another Summit? Reuters this time….

Posted on April 21, 2014


reuters masthead-logo
Here we go again…and this time it’s prefaced by a great anatomy (analysis) of the Ghanaian economy that is in dire need of radical action.

I always like to quote the clinching line from any article I use-just in case you don’t have time to read it:

“Economists say a radical shift in policy is required to get Ghana’s economy back on track.”

How about a radical shift away from natural resources, away from cocoa and away from gold…both in dire trouble..Here in Ashanti, cocoa production is way down because small-scale illegal gold mines are decimating cocoa farms. Recently Imani think tank posted this analysis on the cocoa industry with other reasons predicting the industry’s demise…

“Franklin Cudjoe
March 31 near Accra
And here cometh the real story behind our cocoa woes.

“Ghana’s cocoa industry is dying, slowly.

Here are a few depressing revelations about this monstrous tragedy.

1. The average age of a cocoa farm owner is 55 years old. Given that life expectancy is barely 65, it is easy to see why this is a sunset industry.

2. The average cocoa tree is 30 years old, with about 5 years of productive life left.

3. Efforts to get new trees planted have stalled because it takes roughly 2 years for a new tree to mature, which would mean lower output for the farmer switching from old trees to new.

4. Contrary to views that cocoa farmers are wealthy, actually cocoa has steadily become the ‘poor man’s crop’, a last resort for desperate farmers too ‘locked in’ to switch to palm, tubers or plantains.

5. The average yield now hovers around 500kg per hectare. With superior technology this can be tripled.

6. International buyers have spent more than $300m ostensibly to boost production with very little to show on the ground. Apparently the industry has now become too dysfunctional to execute productivity strategies.

7. The average cocoa farm worker now earns roughly 4 times less than minimum wage. As a regulated industry a case can be made that this is directly attributable to mismanagement of the sector by successive governments.

[So what can be done to get this fixed? Watch out for recommendations in IMANI’s upcoming Cocoa Status Report.]

—- Preliminary findings from a year-long survey into the state of Ghana’s cocoa industry”

and here’s the Daily Graphic’s summation.

Regarding gold, the gold price says it all! Just the other day this article entitled Obuasi Mine Faces Shutdown Fate of 7500 workers in a balance appeared in the online edition of the Daily Graphic.

Sometimes I wonder why there is no political will to develop tourism….Here are some relevant stats:

the World Economic Forum (WEF) has valued Ghana’s travel and tourism sector at $2.102 billion in 2012, and the value of the sector is 5.2% of Ghana’s gross domestic product (GDP) for the year 2012, the WEF reported in the 2013 Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index. The WEF also noted that 255 jobs representing 4.5% were created in the industry out of 1000 jobs in 2012, forecasting that Ghana’s tourism sector will contribute 5.4% to GDP from 2013 to 2022. The country it said also received an amount of $694 million from international tourism receipts in 2012


and to close..this wonderful graphic was posted yesterday on the talkofghana FB group page asking for one word to describe Ghana:

Ghana one word

There were lots of “corruption” responses…I liked the one that said “chicks”…I wrote “struggling”…so what do you have to say…one word now….