One of the most stable and developed countries in Africa, Ghana’s economy is among the largest in the continent and one of the fastest growing in the world. It is a significant petroleum and natural gas producer, one of the world’s largest gold and diamond producers, and the second largest producer of cocoa in the world.
Ghana’s economy has been strengthened by a quarter century of relatively sound management, a competitive business environment, and sustained reductions in poverty levels. In late 2010, Ghana was recategorized as a lower middle-income country. Ghana is well-endowed with natural resources and agriculture accounts for roughly one-quarter of GDP and employs more than half of the workforce, mainly small landholders. The services sector accounts for 50% of GDP. Gold and cocoa production and individual remittances are major sources of foreign exchange. Oil production at Ghana’s offshore Jubilee field began in mid-December 2010,and is producing close to target levels. Additional oil projects are being developed and are expected to come on line in a few years.
The Ghanaian Government has placed great emphasis upon further tourism support and development. Tourism contributed to 4.9% of GDP in 2009, attracting around 500,000 tourists. Tourist destinations include Ghana’s many castles and forts, national parks, beaches, nature reserves, landscapes and World Heritage buildings and sites
In 2011, Forbes Magazine, published that Ghana was ranked the eleventh most friendly country in the world. The assertion was based on a survey in 2010 of a cross-section of travellers. Of all the countries on the African continent that were included in the survey Ghana ranked highest.