Ghana's economy is predominantly agricultural, with 60% of the population engaged in subsistence agriculture. The biggest cash crop is cocoa. Rice, coffee, cassava, peanuts, corn, shea nuts, and bananas are also widely grown. Fishing and lumbering are important, although inadequate roads and facilities have hindered the development of the timber industry.
Minerals (most importantly gold, but also industrial diamonds, bauxite, and manganese) are found in the north, south, and coastal regions. There are offshore petroleum deposits, and commercial exploitation began in 2010.
The major industries in Ghana are mining, lumbering, light manufacturing, aluminum smelting, cocoa and other food processing, and shipbuilding. The major exports are gold and other minerals, cocoa, timber, and tuna. Imports include capital equipment, petroleum, and foodstuffs. The Netherlands, Nigeria, Great Britain, the United States, and China are Ghana's major trade partners. The country has a large but poorly maintained road system; rail lines connect the major centers in the south.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.