Domestic demand for wood products is growing rapidly in Ghana, driven by a growing population (just under 30 million) and economic development. Ghana has undergone sustained growth averaging over 7% in the last 15 years and is forecasting to continue to enjoy GDP growth of over 7% in the next three years. As the World Bank states: ‘Ghana has evolved into a stable and mature democracy throughout the last two decades.’ Stability and economic growth have gone hand in hand with construction and increased demand for timber of all types.
Rapid deforestation in West Africa has been a result of heavy logging and expanding agricultural land use patterns. The situation facing Ghana’s forest cover is dire: it stood at approximately 8.2 million hectares in 1900 but is now estimated at just 1.2 million hectares, and current national estimates put the current rate of deforestation at an unsustainably high 65,000 hectares per annum.
At such a rate, Ghana’s forest cover will not last the next 20 years. While there is strong political support for reforestation projects, the national Forestry Commission has scarce resources and simply does not have the capital necessary to replant large areas of forest. The country requires significant private investment into the plantation forest industry to redress the imbalance.
The Ghanaian government is seeking to preserve the rapidly dwindling natural forest resources, and encourage the rapid establishment of sustainable forest plantations and efficient sawmilling capacity within the country.
The Company has established excellent relationships with the Government and the Forestry Commission, and has been able to lease degraded forest lands for the establishment of commercial, sustainable forestry plantations. As such, there is a very strong commercial opportunity to develop fast growing timber plantations to supply both the domestic and export markets.
- Ghana is a peaceful democratic republic formed in 1957 from the merger of the British Gold Coast colony and the British Togoland trust territory becoming the first sub-Saharan country in colonial Africa to gain its independence.
- Politically and economically stable, Ghana’s GDP has risen at over 7% per annum over the last 10 years
- The Financial Times, The Economist, the US State Department, the UN Trade & Development Agency and the World Bank all rank Ghana as one of the most stable and business-friendly countries in Africa.
- Ghana is ranked the 3rd most peaceful country in sub-Saharan Africa by the Vision of Humanity Global Peace Index and Ghana’s protection of business investors is comparable to what is found in OECD countries.
- Ghana is a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) providing immediate access to all ECOWAS markets with a total population of 220 million people.
- Most of Ghana’s 238,000 square kilometres is savannah and savannah woodland, which covers 156,000 square kilometres and has never been a source of commercial timber for export. The natural high forest zone is in the south-western and southern regions.
- The discovery of the Jubilee Oil Field off the coast of Ghana in 2007, reported to contain 3 billion barrels, has now started to produce oil in commercial quantities, further driving economic development.
Ghana in brief
|Total Area||238,533 sq km|
|Forestry Area||52,900 sq km|
|GDP Growth 2017 (forecast):||7.5|
|GDP Growth 2016:||3.6|
|GDP Growth 2015:||3.9|
|GDP per capita (2016, PPP):||US$4,150|
|GDP composition by sector (2016)|