"Ghana is one of Germany's most important trading partners in sub-Saharan Africa," reads the Foreign Office's Ghana page right at the beginning. But what does that mean in concrete terms? Expressed in numbers, it means:
- 231,092,000 € - Goods of this value were exported to Ghana in 2018.
- 394,205,000 € - Goods in this value were imported from Ghana in 2018 (both figures are from the end of 2018).
There is a lot to know about trade behind these numbers. Bilateral trade agreements are often very complex matters that have often arisen from history.
Here are the cornerstones of German-Ghanaian trade relations:
What treaty underlies trade with Ghana?
Ghana gained its independence on March 6, 1957, emerging from the British Crown Colony called the Gold Coast. Even then, the British colonial power was trading with Europe. An official Ghanaian-German treaty under international law on this subject was finally concluded on November 23, 1998. This is an investment protection agreement that officially regulates, among other things, direct investments in foreign states.
What are the most important export goods from Ghana?
The main exports from Ghana to Germany are petroleum and natural gas, agricultural and hunting products, food and animal feed, and metals (as of the end of 2018).
What are the main cash crops in Ghana?
Cash crops in this context are primarily (agricultural) products that are produced by a country not for self-sufficiency but for export. In Ghana, these are first and foremost cocoa and beans, followed by products such as coffee, cotton and pineapples.
What are the most popular imported goods to Ghana?
The following items in particular enter Ghana from Germany: machinery, foodstuffs and animal feed, motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts, and chemical products (as of the end of 2018).
What is the German Chamber of Foreign Trade?
The German Chamber of Foreign Trade (AHK) or bilateral chamber is a so-called delegation of German business in Ghana and has been based in the Ghanaian capital Accra since 2010. It represents the interests of Germany and German companies and investors in Ghana and works for positive mutual business relations. Both German and Ghanaian employees work at the AHK. The fact that Ghana has such a foreign chamber of commerce is not self-evident, because only countries that are economically of special interest for Germany get such a chamber.
What impact does the EU have on trade with Ghana (EPA)?
The EPA (Economic Partnership Agreement), a trade agreement between the EU and Africa, ensures almost duty-free trade between the two continents. On the one hand, this is good because many products can be imported and exported so cheaply and bilateral trade is strengthened as a result. On the other hand, however, this agreement has a strong negative impact on domestic trade and the economy in Ghana, as you can read in our article here.
How will trade between Germany and Ghana develop further?
A concrete forecast on this is of course difficult, but the signs are positive from an economic point of view. In 2017, under the German G20 presidency, Ghana was included in the G20 "Compact with Africa" initiative. In addition, a bilateral "Reform and Investment Partnership" was concluded - also in 2017. In concrete terms, this means that Germany not only wants to increase trade with Ghana, but also to invest more in the African country. To this end, GIZ, the German Society for International Cooperation, has even published a guide for German companies. It bears a name that has long been part of our program at fairafric: "Ghana - new markets, new opportunities".