Ghana Energy and Environment Facts

Natural resources, energy and environment

Significant deposits of oil and natural gas have been found in Ghana in recent years. The off-shore Jubilee oil field was inaugurated at the end of 2010 and already contributed a large part of export income the following year. Ghana also has large assets of gold, diamonds, manganese and bauxite.

Until 2010, gold was the largest export commodity (now gold and oil contribute about the same share of export income). The gold is mainly found in southwestern Ghana. Obuasi south of the city of Kumasi is one of the world’s largest gold mines. A large number of foreign companies are active in the Ghanaian gold industry, but the state has a form of veto in the mining company Anglo Gold Ashanti to safeguard the country’s interests.

  • COUNTRYAAH: Major exports by Ghana with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.

Illegal extraction of gold is a problem. Farmers forced out of their lands by mining companies and miners who have become unemployed as a result of mechanization are applying for privately owned mines with risky working conditions. Often there are women, and many have been killed in accidents when mines collapsed. A new law banning foreign nationals from engaging in small-scale mining led in 2013 to hundreds of people being forced to leave the country, most Chinese.

Diamonds are also an important export commodity. Illegal extraction, smuggling and corruption occur in diamond production. However, Ghana is part of the so-called Kimberley Process, a UN-backed initiative aimed at stopping trade in “blood diamonds”, ie diamond trade that funds terror and war. Thus, it is free to trade Ghanaian diamonds. Suspicions that diamonds are being smuggled from the Ivory Coast to enter the legal trade in Ghana mean that the UN is still keeping the country under guard.

  • Abbreviationfinder: A popular acronym site in the world covering abbreviation for each country. For example, GH stands for Ghana. Visit itypeusa for more information about Ghana.

Electric shortage threatens Ghana’s development

The most important energy sources for households in Ghana are firewood and charcoal. When it comes to electricity, hydropower has long been responsible for all domestic production. The largest power plant is located in Akosombo, where the Volta river is decomposed and Lake Volta was created. Another large hydropower plant is Kpong, eight kilometers downstream from Akosombo. The dependence on hydropower causes the electricity supply to vary with the amount of rain. Low water levels sometimes cause serious electricity shortages, which damage the important mining industry and Ghana’s electricity exports to neighboring countries. Electricity needs in the country increase by around a tenth annually. The problems with the electricity supply are seen as one of the biggest threats to Ghana’s economic development.

The repeated electricity crises have accelerated investments in other energy sources. Thermal power plants have been built and fired with oil or gas from Nigeria. Fossil fuels accounted for almost half of electricity production in 2014. In the same year, Ghana began extracting its own natural gas, which will be used to power the power plants.

Heavy industry creates environmental degradation

The exploitation of natural resources causes serious environmental problems: the extraction of timber and firewood goes hard for the forests (compare Agriculture and Fisheries), the dam construction and emissions from the gold industry destroy watercourses and lack of purification makes clean water a scarce commodity. Conflicts between mining companies and locals are not uncommon and have sometimes become violent.


Energy use per person

337 kilos of oil equivalent (2014)

Electricity consumption per person

357 kilowatt hours, kWh (2014)

Carbon dioxide emissions in total

14 466 thousand tons (2014)

Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant

0.5 ton (2014)

The share of energy from renewable sources

41.4 percent (2015)



Ghana Telecom is sold to Vodafone

Since the state telecommunications company Ghana Telecom was sold to British Vodafone, a political conflict erupts about the legality of the business and whether the price was too low.


The International Monetary Fund issues a loan pledge

The country receives a $ 600 million pledge in the form of a three-year loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Obama visits Ghana

US President Barack Obama visits Ghana.


Severance pay is criticized

Parliament criticizes John Kufuor’s severance pay in a report, which, among other things, gives the former president two houses and six cars with drivers. Criticism has also been directed at how expensive the 50th anniversary of Ghana’s independence in 2007 has become.

Mills presents new government

Ghana’s newly-elected President Mills presents his government, in which former governor Kwabena Duffuor becomes influential finance minister.

Ghana Energy and Environment Facts

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