Ghana is on the FATF List of Countries that have been identified as having strategic AML deficiencies
Latest FATF Statement - 21 February 2020
Since October 2018, when Ghana made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and GIABA to strengthen the effectiveness of its AML/CFT regime, Ghana has taken steps towards improving its AML/CFT regime, including by raising awareness of the supervisors and regulated entities to the identified ML/TF risks. Ghana should continue to work on implementing its action plan to address its strategic deficiencies, including by: (1) implementing a comprehensive national AML/CFT Policy based on the risks identified in the NRA, including measures to mitigate ML/TF risks associated with the legal persons; (2) improving risk-based supervision, by enhancing the capacity of the regulators and the awareness of the private sector; (3) ensuring the timely access to adequate, accurate and current basic and beneficial ownership information; (4) ensuring that the FIU is focusing its activities on the risks identified in the NRA, and adequately resourced; and (5) applying a risk-based approach for monitoring non-profit organisations.
Compliance with FATF Recommendations
The last follow-up to the Mutual Evaluation Report relating to the implementation of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing standards in Ghana was undertaken in 2018. According to that Evaluation, Ghana was deemed Compliant for 14 and Largely Compliant for 20 of the FATF 40 Recommendations. It was deemed Highly effective for 0 and Substantially Effective for 1 of the Effectiveness & Technical Compliance ratings.
US Department of State Money Laundering assessment (INCSR)
Ghana is categorised by the US State Department as a Country/Jurisdiction of Primary Concern in respect of Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.
Ghana continues to make progress strengthening its AML/CFT laws in line with international standards and is working to implement its AML/CFT regime across all sectors and institutions. Ghana is continuing to consolidate its banking and financial sectors, with new capital requirements reducing the number of banks operating in the country. This consolidation, along with an incremental but positive trajectory of improved banking supervision, should aid authorities in prioritizing the allocation of resources.
In September 2019, Ghana developed a National AML/CFT Policy and Action Plan to address all the strategic deficiencies identified in its national risk assessment (NRA) and by international experts. The NRA was first published in April 2016 and reviewed in 2018. Ghana has also conducted a nationwide rollout of AML/CFT sensitization programs for NGOs to raise awareness of AML/CFT issues.
In 2019, Ghana’s Financial Intelligence Center (FIC), the FIU, worked with international partners to conduct AML/CFT trainings for both government and private stakeholders. Ghana is developing a nationwide capacity-building workshop on AML/CFT and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction for law enforcement agencies in several regions of the country.
NPOs and DNFBPs continue to represent the largest gaps in Ghana’s AML regime, both in terms of the legal framework and risk. To address these and other money laundering issues, the government of Ghana should continue to allocate adequate funding to fight money laundering, effectively implement relevant asset forfeiture laws and regulations, and sanction institutions that do not file STRs and CTRs, as required by Ghanaian law.
There are no international sanctions currently in force against this country.
BRIBERY & CORRUPTION
Rating (100-Good / 0-Bad)
Transparency International Corruption Index 41
World Governance Indicator – Control of Corruption 53
Corruption poses an obstacle for businesses operating or planning to invest in Ghana. Nonetheless, corruption levels in Ghana remain low compared to other African countries. Low-level government employees are known to ask for a 'dash' (tip) in return for facilitating license and permit applications. Ghanaian anti-corruption law is primarily contained in the Criminal Code, which criminalizes active and passive bribery, extortion, willful exploitation of public office, use of public office for private gain and bribery of foreign public officials. The Public Procurement Act, the Financial Administration Act and the Internal Audit Agency Act have been introduced to promote public sector accountability and to combat corruption. The government has a strong anti-corruption legal framework in place but faces challenges of enforcement. Gifts and other gratuities offered to civil servants in the aim of influencing their duties are illegal, nonetheless, facilitation payments are not defined in law. For further information - GAN Integrity Business Anti-Corruption Portal
Ghana's economy was strengthened by a quarter century of relatively sound management, a competitive business environment, and sustained reductions in poverty levels, but in recent years has suffered the consequences of loose fiscal policy, high budget and current account deficits, and a depreciating currency. Ghana has a market-based economy with relatively few policy barriers to trade and investment in comparison with other countries in the region, and Ghana is well-endowed with natural resources.
Agriculture accounts for nearly one-quarter of GDP and employs more than half of the workforce, mainly small landholders. The services sector accounts for about half of GDP. Gold and cocoa exports, and individual remittances, are major sources of foreign exchange. Expansion of Ghana’s nascent oil industry has boosted economic growth, but the recent oil price crash reduced by half Ghana’s 2015 oil revenue. Production at Jubilee, Ghana's offshore oilfield, began in mid-December 2010 and currently produces roughly 110,000 barrels per day. The country’s first gas processing plant at Atubao is also producing natural gas from the Jubilee field, providing power to several of Ghana’s thermal power plants.
As of 2015, the biggest single economic issue facing Ghana is the lack of consistent electricity. While the MAHAMA administration is taking steps to improve the situation, little progress has been made. Ghana signed a $920 million extended credit facility with the IMF in April 2015 to help it address its growing economic crisis. The IMF fiscal targets will require Ghana to reduce the fiscal deficit by cutting subsidies, decreasing the bloated public sector wage bill, strengthening revenue administration, and increasing revenues. The challenge for Ghana will come as the MAHAMA Administration approaches the November 2016 elections, facing public dissatisfaction in the midst of economic austerity.
Agriculture - products:
cocoa, rice, cassava (manioc, tapioca), peanuts, corn, shea nuts, bananas; timber
mining, lumbering, light manufacturing, aluminium smelting, food processing, cement, small commercial ship building, petroleum
Exports - commodities:
oil, gold, cocoa, timber, tuna, bauxite, aluminum, manganese ore, diamonds, horticultural products
Exports - partners:
India 25.2%, Switzerland 12.2%, China 10.6%, France 5.7% (2015)
Imports - commodities:
capital equipment, refined petroleum, foodstuffs
Imports - partners:
China 32.6%, Nigeria 14%, Netherlands 5.5%, US 5.4% (2015)
Investment Climate - US State Department
Until recently one of the fastest growing economies in the world, Ghana’s GDP growth rate slowed in 2015 to 3.9 percent. The country’s economy is highly dependent on the export of primary commodities such as gold, cocoa, and oil, and consequently remains vulnerable to potential slowdowns in the global economy and commodity price shocks. Attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) continues to be a stated priority for the Government of Ghana (GOG), given the urgent need to restore the country’s economic momentum and overcome an annual infrastructure funding gap of at least USD 1.5 billion.
Increased inflation and devaluation of the Ghanaian cedi since late 2013 has dampened the earlier macroeconomic success story – inflation hit 19.2 percent in March 2016 – the highest since early 2010. In April 2015, the GOG signed a three-year $918 million extended credit facility agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in an effort to stabilize Ghana’s struggling economy. In September 2015, Ghana’s debt to GDP ratio rose above 70 percent. The Ghanaian currency, the cedi, lost almost 32 percent of its value in 2014 and slid another 15 percent in 2015. The nation suffered severe power outages in 2015, negatively affecting business and industry. Under the ongoing IMF program, Ghana’s inflation, currency, and debt are beginning to stabilize but it will be critical that Ghana adheres to program guidelines to ensure long-term economic success. New power plants are coming online in 2016 that will help meet consumer and business demand and ameliorate the power outage issue. The nation is preparing for national presidential elections in November 2016.
Despite the current macro-economic challenges, Ghana’s abundant raw materials (gold, cocoa, and oil/gas), good governance, political stability, and policy reforms makes it stand out as one of the better locations for investment in sub-Saharan Africa. Among the promising sectors are agribusiness, food processing, downstream oil, gas, and minerals processing, as well as the energy and mining-related services subsectors.
The current government administration acknowledges that foreign investment requires an enabling environment and is open to discussing issues that hinder foreign investment. However, implementation and enforcement of the laws, policies, and actions needed to attract FDI continue to lag. The burdensome bureaucracy, weak productivity, costly and difficult financial services, under-developed infrastructure, ambiguous property laws, frequent power and water cuts, and an unskilled labor force are the main factors that hinder FDI in Ghana.
Overall, while the investment climate in Ghana is relatively welcoming to foreign investment, especially compared to other countries in the sub-region, there are also troubling trends in investment policy. The passage of stringent local content regulations in the petroleum sector and public discussion of expanding local content provisions to other sectors are signals of future efforts to legislate restrictions on how international capital can be used within Ghana.
In sum, Ghana offers investors a business environment with features such as:
A stable and predictable political environment
No discrimination against foreign-owned businesses
A free-floating exchange rate regime and guarantees that investors can transfer profits out of Ghana
Investment laws that protect investors against expropriation and nationalization
A lower degree of corruption than that of some regional counterparts.
Current market challenges:
Although the existing legal framework recognizes and provides ways to enforce property rights, the procedure to obtain a clear title over land is often difficult, complicated, and lengthy.
Lack of sufficient protection of intellectual property rights, including computer software and pharmaceuticals.
A lengthy and complex process to establish a business, involving at least five government agencies.
Local content regulations in the oil and gas sector that entered into force in November 2013.
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