This Selected Issues paper discusses growth strategy for Ghana. Ghana has achieved impressive development gains over the last decades, with rising incomes, lower poverty, and better health, education, and gender outcomes. However, growth has recently become less inclusive, with high inequality and slower poverty reduction. In order to address these challenges, the authorities are pursuing a “Ghana beyond Aid” development strategy centered around agricultural modernization and export-led industrialization. Accelerating productivity growth calls for fostering competition, improving the business environment, strengthening human capital, taking advantage of growing regional markets and industrial policies that prioritize sectors that can export and innovate and where Ghana could achieve economies of scale. Consistent and predictable government policies can help increase long-term investment and improve public spending effectiveness. A key lesson from growth accelerations in other countries is that it is crucial to achieve economies of scale. In most cases, rapid economic growth required achieving export success in specific sectors.
This paper examines the corporate financing pattern in Ghana. In particular, it investigates whether Singh's theoretically anomalous findings that developing country firms make considerably more use of external finance and new equity issues than developed country firms to finance asset growth hold in the case of Ghana. Replicating Singh's methodology, our results show that compared with corporations in advanced countries, the average listed Ghanaian firm finances its growth of total assets mainly from short-term debt. The stock market, however, is the most important source of long-term finance for listed Ghanaian firms. Overall, the evidence in this paper suggests that the stock market is a surprisingly important source of finance for funding corporate growth and that stock market development in Ghana has been important.