GHANA is positioned as a maritime gateway for a cluster of landlocked countries in West Africa. The country had one of the fastest growing economies in the world, but it has since slipped into an economic crisis.


Ghana is the largest producer of gold in Africa, followed by South Africa. Australia imported $82 million worth of gold from Ghana in 2021-22. The second biggest import commodity in that period was cocoa, valued at around $7 million. Ghana was the world’s second largest exporter of cocoa beans in 2021 – it exported US$1.51 billion worth of the commodity that year. The main importers of Ghanaian cocoa were the Netherlands, Malaysia, the United States and Brazil.

Oil, iron and diamonds are among the other abundant resources in Ghana, and agriculture contributes around one fifth of the country’s GDP. Ghana has one of the highest GDP per capita in West Africa, but spiralling public dept has caused severe economic hardship.


Ghana’s two main ports are in Takoradi and Tema. Port of Takoradi facilitates the international trade of the landlocked nations of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. The port handled 25% of Ghana’s seaborne traffic, 61% of its exports and 18% of its imports in 2021.

Port of Tema is the largest port in Ghana. It covers around 3.9 million square metres of land and receives more than 1500 calls each year from container vessels, general cargo ships, tankers and ro-ro vessels. Both ports are operated by the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority.

Ghana’s maritime industry also comprises the Ghana Shippers Authority and the PSC Tema Shipyard. The Regional Maritime University in Accra provides maritime training and education for the workforce. The institution is owned by Ghana, Cameroon, The Gambia, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

On the landside, Ghana’s rail system connects the Sekondi-Takoradi, the city of Kumasi and Accra and extends to the Port of Tema.


The Ghana Maritime Authority is responsible for enforcement of international maritime conventions under the Ghana Shipping Act 2003. The maritime authority met with the International Maritime Employers’ Council earlier this year to discuss the rights of seafarers – some shipping companies represented by IMEC employ crewmembers from Ghana.

The meeting explored opportunities for cadetship programs in Ghana and discussed challenges in the country’s maritime labour workforce.

The maritime authority said stakeholder organisations were working to ensure the rights of seafarers were properly met to bring about fair employment conditions. The meeting also sought to exchange knowledge, identify potential solutions to bottlenecks and fortify Ghana’s maritime sector.

This article appeared in the November 2023 edition of DCN Magazine