Although Ghana’s growth has been fairly robust, the source of growth has always been biased in favour of extractive and capital-intensive service sectors, which do not have direct poverty reducing effect. Poverty endemic areas are often constrained by lack of basic infrastructure such as feeder roads that link their economic activities, mostly farming, to urban market centres.
Malaria still remains a public health concern, as it is the leading cause of morbidity in Ghana. There are still challenges in meeting the goal of reducing maternal mortality ratio to the expected 185 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births by 2015. There are rural‐urban disparities in health care services. Moreover, there is still a significant number of children of primary school age not enrolled and significant enrolment gaps also remain between the poorest and the wealthiest children.
Ghana’s forest cover continues to decline rapidly. The agriculture sector, particularly the food crop sub-sector, continues to rely on rain-fed agriculture and the adoption of limited modern agricultural techniques. Women’s lack of access to and control over land, information on land rights issues, access to formal credit from the banks, as well as storage, processing and marketing facilities limit their ability to engage independently in food crop farming activities.
The business climate in Ghana is still weak and continues to hold back productive investment, particularly in the area of manufacturing. The business community is often constrained by limited and unreliable supply of energy and affordable finance, especially for SMEs, to enable them expand production, create jobs and improve incomes of workers.