Ghana has seen economic growth above six percent a year for the last decade, and its GDP grew more than 20 percent in 2011. Ghana’s economy has traditionally been based on commodities, and the country benefits from booming commodity prices, especially for gold (Ghana is the second largest producer of gold in Africa) and oil. By some measures, it’s been the fastest-growing economy in the world in the last two years.
What’s has this boom meant for ordinary Ghanaians? Traffic jams, yes, and some increase in the standard of living. Its poverty rate dropped by half since 2000. It also has its own unique entrepreneurial culture, as the Ghanaian entrepreneur Bright Simons writes in Harvard Business Review.
But in many ways Ghana remains much the same as it was. Julia Vitullo-Martin, a New York-based writer on cities, visited Ghana in February. She sends this photo dispatch of a nation on the move. We start with fishermen near Elmina, a modern port.