CONSTITUTION OF GHANA
Ghana practices a multiparty
parliamentary democracy based on a constitution. This
Fourth Republican Constitution, which came into force in
1992, provides for a unitary state governed by a
President (and Cabinet) and a Unicameral National
Assembly. It entrenches the separation of powers and
offer appropriate checks and balances. The presidency
has a four-year term and an incumbent can serve for a
maximum of two terms. Parliament comprises a 275-seat
National Assembly, which has a 4 year term.
The Supreme Court is at the apex of
Ghana's judiciary headed by the Chief Justice. The legal
system is based on the English Common Law, where the
courts are bound to develop the notions of fairness to
the individual. The constitution also makes provision
for continued recognition of traditional chiefs and
A decentralized central government
administration has been fostered at local government
level where there are 10 Regional Co-cordinating
Councils, 216 Metropolitan, Municipal and District
Assemblies which serve to involve grassroots
participation in the formulation and implementation of
government policies and the general development of their
areas of jurisdiction.
Ghana has a pluralistic and highly independent media. There are over 50 newspapers, most of which appear daily, except Sundays and some holidays. Two (2) of the press houses that publish these newspapers are state-owned enterprises. There are twenty three (23) approved television stations, among which is Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), the state-owned station with a national coverage and some 125 frequency modulation (FM) stations and a number of cable television companies.
THE ECONOMY OF GHANA
The Ghana economy is a free market system with enabling legislation and institutional frameworks to accelerate private sector led economic development and attract direct private foreign investment.
Through Government's pragmatic stabilization
programmed, inflation has declined from the of peak 41.5 percent in March 2001 to 14.9 percent in September 2005. The exchange rate of the cedis has remained stable over the few years and has recently been appreciating in nominal terms against the major international currencies.
Private sector participation in the economy has increased. Private investment as a percentage of GDP has increased from 13.8 percent in 2001 to 17.1 percent by end of 2004. Public investment has also increased steadily from 6.1 percent of GDP in 2002 to 12.5 percent of GDP by end of 2004.
The Government has put its fiscal house in other and has made the structure of government finances more transparent and accountable.
Revenue generation has been robust, and expenditure has been contained ; and
Lower government borrowing has meant more resources for the private sector and at lower interest rates.
On the monetary side, the government has given the Bank of Ghana the independent monetary policy with some notable degree of success. The Bank of Ghana Act (2002) was passed to give the central bank statutory independence and focus its mandate on price stability for growth.
• A real Time Settlement Payment System was introduced in 2003 to facilitate the settlement of high value transactions between banks;
• An Inter bank Credit Transfer System has also been introduced to facilitate the settlement of small value payments through the banking system;
• A Payment System Bill was passed into Law in 2003
• A Central Securities Depository System became operational in November 2004.
Ghana submitted itself to the sovereign credit rating process in 2003 with a B+ rating assigned by Standard and Poor's and a ”B Positive Outlook” assigned by Fitch Ratings. While the B+ rating was confirmed by Standard and Poor's, Fitch Ratings upgraded the “B Positive Outlook” to B+ in 2004. These ratings confirm Ghana's sustained track record in prudent economic management and good governance and hence, put Ghana at par with countries like Turkey, Brazil and Indonesia, in terms of Sovereign credit risk.
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