IFA chairperson and chief executive Neil de Beer. Photo: Supplied
JOHANNESBURG - Formerly known as the Gold Coast, Ghana is an Anglophone country in the Gulf of Guinea.

The country's contribution to the world has not been limited to natural resources, but includes great African leaders.

Those that need to be remembered are former president and revolutionary Kwame Nkrumah, who led Ghana to independence from Britain in 1957 and went on to form the Organisation of African Unity in 1962.

Kofi Annan, the Nobel Peace Prize-winner in 2001, is a proud Ghanaian who promotes peace in the world and served as the secretary-general of the UN from 1997 to 2006.

Ghana, with an increase of 12percent in gold output, has recently taken over as Africa's largest gold producer from South Africa's position.

With an estimated population close to 30million and a gross domestic product (GDP) of $50billion (R716.19bn) the country will become the fastest-growing economy at an expected growth rate of 8.8percent, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The country boasts a rich range of resources, which includes gold, diamonds, abundant gas and oil, which have been the major drivers of the economy.

Agriculture exports such as cocoa contribute 20percent to the GDP and employ half the labour force.

Positive economic movements in Ghana have been driven by commodities like oil and gold, making Ghana a commodity-dependent country.

The country has suffered huge dips in its GDP, due to negative changes in the world prices of oil and gold.

GDP in 2013 reached an all-time high of $47.81bn, and plunged to $37.34bn in 2015, due to the decline in the world prices of their major export commodities.

Years of growth based on the extractive industry have not addressed widening inequality and the creation of decent jobs.

The country has made a success out of private sector development, with huge investments made in its industrial sector, mainly machinery, which quadrupled between 2000 and 2017 with total investment of up to $670million.

The government has also introduced its “One district, One factory” (1D1F) initiative in 2017, which is expected to establish 275-plus factories nationwide.

Ghana has put in motion the private sector participation in industrialisation to diversify its economy and benefit from its government's private sector-led agenda for economic transformation.

Ghana is also a fashionable country. One should visit and experience the incredibly influential Kingdom of Ashanti's legacy (1670 to 1957), which has shaped the culture of modern-era Ghana.

Kente cloth, the fabric worn by Ashanti royalty, is still a point of national pride.

The Ashanti region's capital, Kumasi, has the largest market - Kejetia market - in West Africa, where one can find a variant of tradeable goods.

On the Neil Economic scale, the current price of a litre of petrol is 4.45 cedi (R12) and the price of a 300ml Coke is 2.50 cedi (R6.73), which to date makes this our most economic country on the scale to purchase these items.

When comparing this indicator to the past six columns on Africa run in Business Report, it is clear that Ghana has turned out to be the cheapest on the Neil Economic indicator.

There can be no doubt that the President of Ghana, HE Akufo-Addo, is a true Africanist and believes in a United Independent Africa.

With the growth in tourism, oil and gas, agriculture and mining, it would seem that this country is showing huge “leadership in action”.

* The winner of the pen for last week's interesting fact on DRC is Daanyaal Cloete.

Send your interesting fact on Ghana to [email protected] and stand a chance to win the “Neil on Africa” engraved Parker pen.

Neil De Beer is the president of the IFA and advises numerous African states on economic development. www.ifa.africa or [email protected]