GHANA BACKGROUND CHECK

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General Information

GDP USD48.14bn (World ranking 82, World Bank 2013)
Population 25.9 million (World ranking 47, World Bank 2013)
Form of state Constitutional Democracy
Head of government John Dramani MAHAMA
Next elections December 2016, presidential and legislative

 

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PRODUCTS IN GHANA

Data Protection

Data Protection Laws Not Found

(Date of Gazette notification: 31st December, 2003.)

Offences and penalties

25. (3) Any member of staff or employee of the Agency who

(a) demands or takes a bribe, gratuity, recompense or reward for the neglect, omission, commission or performance of duty under this Act;

(b) wilfully fails to report to the Director-General any abuse or irregularity that comes to the notice of the person in the course of the performance of duties under this Act; or

(c) makes any report to the Director-General which the person knows to be false or which the person has no reason to believe to be true commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than 1,000 penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years or to both.

(Date of Gazette notification: 31st December, 2003.)

Corrupt Practices

93. (1) Entities and participants in a procurement process shall, in undertaking procurement activities, abide by the provisions of article 284 of the Constitution.

(2) An act amounts to a corrupt practice if so construed within the meaning of corruption as defined in the Criminal Code, 1960 (Act 29).

Section 179C—Using Public Office for Profit.

Any person who—

(a) while holding a public office corruptly or dishonestly abuses the office for private profit or benefit; or

(b) not being a holder or a public office acts or is found to have acted in collaboration with a person holding public office for the latter to corruptly or dishonestly abuse the office for private profit benefit,

commits an offence.

Section 193—Piracy

(3) A master or seaman conflicts an act of piracy if he betrays his trust, runs away with his ship or belonging to her or yields them up voluntarily to any person contrary to his duty, or conspires or combines with or attempts to corrupt any master, officer or seaman to yield up or run away with any ship or goods makes or endeavours to make a revolt in the ship

Section 239—Corruption, etc. of and by Public officer, or Juror.

(1) Every public officer or juror who commits corruption, or wilful oppression, or extortion, in respect duties of his office, shall be guilty of a misdemeanour.

(2) Whoever corrupts any person in respect of any duties as a public officer or juror shall be guilty misdemeanour.

Section 240—Explanation as to Corruption by Public Officer, etc.

A public officer, juror, or voter is guilty of corruption in respect of the duties of his office or vote, if he directly or indirectly agrees or offers to permit his conduct as such officer, juror, or voter to be influenced by the promise, or prospect of any valuable consideration to be received by him, or by any other person, from person whomsoever.

Section 241—Explanation as to Corruption of Public Officer, etc.

A person is guilty of corrupting a public officer, juror, or voter in respect of the duties of his office respect of his vote, if he endeavours directly or indirectly to influence the conduct of such public officer, or voter in respect of the duties of his office or in respect of his vote, by the gift, promise, or prospect valuable consideration to be received by such public officer, juror, or voter, or by other person, from person whomsoever.

Section 242—Special Explanation as to Corruption of and by Public Officer, etc

It is immaterial, for the purposes of section 240 or 241, that the person respecting whose conduct endeavour, agreement, or offer therein mentioned is made is not yet at the time of the making of endeavour, agreement, or offer, such a public officer, juror, or voter, if the endeavour, agreement, or offer made in the expectation that he will or may become or act as such officer, juror, or voter.

Section 243—Corrupt Agreement for Lawful Consideration, etc.

It is immaterial, for the purposes of section 240, 241 or 242, whether the act to be done by a person consideration or in pursuance of any such gift, promise, prospect, agreement or offer as therein mentioned be in any manner criminal or wrongful otherwise than by reason of the provisions of the said sections.

Section 244—Acceptance of Bribe by Public Officer, etc., After Doing Act.

If, after a person has done any act as a public officer, juror, or voter, he secretly accepts, or agrees or secretly to accept for himself or for any other person, any valuable consideration on account of such act, shall be presumed, until the contrary is shown, to have been guilty corruption, within the meaning Chapter, in respect of that act before the doing thereof.

Section 245—Promise of bribe to Public Officer, etc. After act Done.

If, after a public officer, juror, or voter has done any act as such officer, juror, or voter, any other person secretly agrees or offers to give to or procure for him or any other person any valuable consideration account of such act, the person so agreeing or offering shall be presumed, until the contrary is shown, have been guilty of having, before the doing of such act, corrupted such public officer, juror, or voter, respect of such act.

Section 246—Explanation as to Oppression.

A public officer or juror is guilty of wilful oppression in respect of the duties of his office if he wilfully commits any excess or abuse of his authority, to the injury of the public or of any person.

Section 247—Explanation as to Extortion.

A public officer is guilty of extortion who, under colour of his office, demands or obtains from any person, whether for purposes or for himself or any other person any money or valuable consideration which knows that he is not lawfully authorised to demand or obtain, or at a time at which he knows that he lawfully authorised to demand obtain the same.

Section 252—Accepting or Giving Bribe to Influence Public Officer or Juror.

(1) Whoever accepts, or agrees or offers to accept any valuable consideration, under pretence or colour having unduly influenced, or of agreeing or being able so to influence, any person in respect of his functions as a public officer or juror, is guilty of a misdemeanour

(2) Whoever gives, or agrees or offers to give to any public officer any valuable consideration for the grant himself or to any other person of any benefit or advantage or for the exercise of influence in favour of himself or any other person is’ guilty of a misdemeanour.

Section 253—Corrupt Promise by Judicial Officer or Juror.

Whoever, otherwise than in the due execution of his duties as a judicial officer or juror, makes or offers make any agreement with any person as to the judgment or verdict which he will or will not give as a judicial officer or juror in any pending or future proceeding, is guilty of a misdemeanour.

Section 254—Corrupt Selection of Juror.

Whoever, with a purpose of procuring any undue advantage or disadvantage to any party to any judicial proceeding, procures himself, or any other person to be summoned, empanelled, or sworn as a juror such proceeding, or endeavours to prevent any other person from being, summoned, impanelled; or as a juror in such proceeding, is guilty of a misdemeanour.

Section 256—Corruption Intimidation, and Personation in Respect of Election.

Whoever is guilty of corruption, intimidation, or personation in respect of a public election, shall be guilty misdemeanour, and shall, during seven years from the date of his conviction, be incapable of voting public election and of holding the public office in respect of which the election was held, or any public of the same nature.

(Adopted on: 15th May 1992)

35.

(8) The State shall take steps to eradicate corrupt practices and the abuse of power.

216.

There shall be established by Act of Parliament within six months after Parliament first meets after the coming into force of this Constitution, a Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice which shall consist of –

(a) a Commissioner for Human Rights and Administrative Justice; and

(b) two Deputy Commissioners for Human Rights and Administrative Justice

217.

The President shall appoint the members of the Commission under article 70 of this Constitution.

218.

The functions of the Commission shall be defined and prescribed by Act of Parliament and shall include the duty.

(a) to investigate complaints of violations of fundamental rights and freedoms, injustice, corruption, abuse of power and unfair treatment of any person by a public officer in the exercise of his official duties;

(b) to investigate complaints concerning the functioning of the Public Services Commission, the administrative organs of the State, the Armed Forces, the Police Service and the Prisons Service in so far as complaints relate to the failure to achieve a balanced structuring of those services or equal access by all to the recruitment of those services or fair administration in relation to those service;

(c) to investigate complaints concerning practices and actions by persons, private enterprises and other institutions where those complaints allege violations of fundamental rights and freedoms under this Constitution.

(d) to take appropriate action to call for the remedying, correction and reversal of instances specified in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of this clause through such means as are fair, proper and effective, including –

(i) negotiation and compromise between the parties concerned;

(ii) causing the complaint and its finding on it to be reported to the superior of an offending person;

(iii) bringing proceedings in a competent Court for a remedy to secure the termination of the offending action or conduct, or the abandonment or alteration of the offending procedures; and

(iv) bringing proceedings to restrain the enforcement of such legislation or regulation by challenging its validity if the offending action or conduct is sought to be justified by subordinate legislation or regulation which is unreasonable or other wise ultra vires;

(e) to investigate all instances of alleged or suspected corruption and the misappropriation of public moneys by officials and to take appropriate steps, including reports to the Attorney-General and the Auditor-General, resulting from such investigations;

(f) to educate the public as to human rights and freedoms by such means as the Commissioner may decide, including publications, lectures and symposia; and

(g) to report annually to Parliament on the performance of its functions.

Risk

Sovereign risk

Public debt is growing quickly to cover large fiscal and external deficits. The external debt burden is being magnified by the recent rapid currency depreciation as well as by slower economic growth. Under the auspices of the IMF, public financial management is expected to improve slowly, which will aid debt sustainability in the longer term.

Banking sector risk

Private-sector credit has been increasing strongly, with much of this expansion being backed by rising deposits. Nevertheless, rising interest rates, tightening credit conditions and slower economic growth imply that testing times lie ahead.

Political risk

Political risk stems from dissatisfaction with the delivery of government services, high inflation and corruption allegations. Protests, strikes and even small-scale unrest are likely, but Ghana’s respect for democracy and the rule of law will prevail, even during the election period in 2016. Relations with Côte d’Ivoire will remain frosty, reflecting a dispute over the maritime border.

Economic structure risk

Development of the oil and gas sector is attracting investment and supporting economic growth. However, this also exacerbates Ghana’s commodity dependency, with the country heavily exposed to international price trendsin particular, the recent falls in global oil prices. Persistent fiscal deficits will push public debt towards 80% of GDP in 2016.

Travel Risk

Security

The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.

You should exercise a high degree of caution in Ghana and maintain a high level of security awareness at all times.

Northern and Upper East regions

Regional ethnic tensions remain a concern in the Northern and Upper East regions of Ghana. You should evaluate your need to travel to these areas given previous outbreaks of violence, which caused deaths and injuries in many areas, including in or near Tamale (the capital of the Northern Region), Gushegu (Northern Region), and Bawku (Upper East Region). When regional violence breaks out, local authorities often respond by imposing curfews. Consult local authorities before entering any of these regions to get the latest information.

Crime

Pick-pocketing, purse snatching and attacks by individuals on motorbikes are increasing in Accra and its surroundings, including areas around the High Commission of Canada. Violent crimes have also increased, including armed robbery. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid walking alone or displaying signs of wealth. Home invasions are on the rise. Affluent areas in Accra where foreigners live are targeted and some thieves carry firearms.

There have been recent cases of violent robberies often targeting foreigners travelling in taxis at night. If you have to use a taxi, ensure that there is no other passenger in the car and try to limit trips to day-time hours.

When possible, carry photocopies of your travel documents and keep the originals in a secure place.

Be very careful when driving in Ghana. People may try to get you to stop your vehicle. Pedestrians may bang on your car, making it appear as if they have been hit, and drivers may attempt to cause minor vehicle collisions. Crowds gathering as a result of these types of incidents can become dangerous. Drive with your doors locked and proceed immediately to the nearest police station to make a report if you are involved in any traffic incident.

An increase in crime has also affected Tema, Kumasi, and the Upper East and West regions. Armed robberies of vehicles are a growing concern in areas such as Takoradi, Kumasi and other parts of the Ashanti region. People working in the mining industry should be particularly cautious. Armed attacks have also been reported along the Accra-Tema and Accra-Kumasi-Tamale highways. You should remain vigilant at all times.

Thefts occur at Kotoka International Airport in Accra and in hotels across the country. Be wary of unsolicited assistance from uniformed porters or officials appearing to work at Kotoka International Airport. Official airport employees wear identification cards bearing both their name and photograph. If you are being met at the airport, you should confirm the identity of your driver.

Demonstrations

Demonstrations occasionally occur in Accra and other major cities. You are advised to be prudent and avoid large crowds and public gatherings, as some have turned violent in the past. Monitor local news reports, follow the advice of authorities, and respect any curfews or roadblocks.

fraud

Canadians are frequently the victims of Internet scams originating in Ghana, which is a base for commercial and Internet fraud schemes in the region. Scammers will offer enticing business or financial opportunities, often related to the gold industry. Be wary of unsolicited emails. Ensure that any business opportunity is legitimate before travelling to Ghana.

Other scams involve online friendships or romances. There are many variations, all with the intent of scamming money from people abroad, and some Canadians have lost thousands of dollars and in some cases, have been arrested as a result of such situation.

Credit card fraud is also a considerable problem. Limit your use of credit cards whenever possible.

See our Overseas Fraud page for more information on scams abroad.

Road travel

Road conditions are generally good in cities, but poor in rural areas. Inadequate lighting, pedestrians and roaming livestock pose risks. Traffic accidents are common on the road from Accra to Cape Coast and Kumasi. Travel outside urban areas should be restricted to daylight hours. In the event of an accident, you should stay in your car and contact help with a mobile phone or proceed to the nearest police station and contact the High Commission of Canada in Accra if necessary.

Police roadblocks are routine. At checkpoints, vehicles and passengers may be subject to inspections, and armed security forces may demand money, either directly or indirectly. You should always carry copies of identification documents, such as your passport and valid visa, and your International Driving Permit (IDP). Vehicles with temporary licence plates (DVLA) are prohibited from traveling anywhere in Ghana between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Vehicles may be seized for the night and fines imposed for non-compliance. Furthermore, as border closures are frequent, seek the advice of the High Commission of Canada in Accra prior to departure if you are planning on leaving Ghana by road.

Public Transportation

Buses are unreliable and inconvenient. Car rentals are available but expensive. Taxis are also available, but taxi fares should be agreed before departure. Domestic air travel may be subject to disruptions.

See Transportation Safety in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.

Reserves, safaris and the beach

There are inherent risks associated with viewing wildlife (both marine and on land), particularly on foot or at close range. You should always maintain a safe distance when observing wildlife and avoid exiting vehicles unless professional guides or wardens say it is safe. Use reputable and professional guides or tour operators and closely follow park regulations and wardens’ advice.

Avoid isolated picnic areas and beaches. Coastal waters have unpredictable wave and tide patterns and can be dangerous. On many beaches, there are serious and strong undertows and riptides that can sweep swimmers out to sea. Follow the advice and warnings of local authorities.

Piracy

Pirate attacks and armed robbery against ships occur in coastal waters. Mariners should take appropriate precautions. For additional information, consult the Live Piracy Report published by the International Maritime Bureau.

General safety information

Contact local police in the event of an emergency. Emergencies: 191 (country-wide) or (0302) 77-36-95, 77-39-06, or 78-73-73. Ambulance: 192 (country-wide).

Periodic shortages of electricity and city water can occur, especially in the dry season from November to March.

Address Format

RECIPIENT

[BUILDING]
[SUBBUILDING]
[HOUSE_NUMBER] STREET_NAME
LOCALITY
Ghana

Sample

Airport Hotel
17 White Avenue
Accra
Ghana

Summary

Calendar GMT Reference Actual Previous Consensus Forecast
2014-01-07 05:00 PM Q3 5.3% 4.87%
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