Scoping Study on the Evolution of Industry in Ghana


This paper chronicles the evolution of industry in Ghana over the post-independence era from an inward over-protected import substitution industrialization strategy of 1960-83 to an outward liberalized strategy during 1984-2000, and since 2001, to the private sector-led accelerated industrial development strategy based on value-added processing of Ghana’s natural resource endowments. Over the last couple of years, industry in Ghana, dominated since independence by the manufacturing subsector, is gradually being overtaken by mining and quarrying subsector due to the discovery and subsequent production of oil and gas. Industry is mainly dominated by micro and small firms, privately-owned and mainly located within urban areas in the form of industrial clusters. Patterns of labour productivity and wages within Ghana’s industrial sector indicate the food processing subsector, foreign-owned and older firms as the most productive. Currently under a medium-term agenda, the industrial sector is expected to play a pivotal role through enhanced growth in the construction sector; infrastructure development in the oil sector, energy and water subsectors and an increase in output from the mining sector, especially in salt production. The emerging policy issues relate to the key developmental objectives of the current industrial policy including how to empower the private sector especially SMEs to expand productive employment and technological capacity within a highly competitive manufacturing sector; how to promote agro-based industrial development to ensure value-addition to manufactures and Ghana’s exports; and how to promote the spatial distribution of industries away from the current over-concentration of industries within urban areas.


Ackah, C.; Turkson, F.; Adjasi, C. Scoping Study on the Evolution of Industry in Ghana. UNU-WIDER, Helsinki, Finland (2014) 39 pp. [WIDER Working Paper No. 2014/075]

Scoping Study on the Evolution of Industry in Ghana

Published 1 January 2014