Ghana: A smooth transition precedes the hard work ahead

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Date: Friday, 27 January 2017

Time: 08:00 - 10:00

After the presidential and parliamentary elections on 7 December tested Ghana’s track record of political pluralism and stability, the winning team led by three time candidate Nana Akufo-Addo will have to turn its attention to an economy hit hard by crashing commodity prices, rising unemployment and the regional slowdown. With Ghana signed up to an economic reform programme with the IMF and foreign debts levels at over 70% of gross domestic product, the new government inaugurated in January 2017 will have little room for manoeuvre. But it remains a popular investment destination and a politically progressive force on the continent.

Editorial director of Africa Confidential and Editor of Nigeria Focus Patrick Smith, who has been covering the election campaign in Ghana and their aftermath, will look at the challenges confronting the new government:

  • Consolidating power across the country after the election tensions
  • Delivering on promises to tackle fast-rising youth unemployment
  • Servicing and managing a ballooning foreign and domestic debt burden
  • Wide-ranging reform of the mining and oil and gas sectors to boost production and processing capacity
  • Sharply increasing investment in development of educational, vocational training and health service capacity


Patrick Smith - Our Lead Ghana consultant is editor and publisher of our monthly Nigeria Focus publication and Africa Confidential, a fortnightly newsletter reporting and analysing political and economic developments in Africa. Subscribers include the UN, the World Bank, the IMF the late Nelson Mandela, African and Western Governments, among others.

He lived in Accra and Lagos throughout the 1980s when he was West African Correspondent for Associated Press. He wrote extensively for the Guardian, the Observer, and Economist Intelligence Unit, and filed news and feature reports for BBC television and radio.

Nina Bowyer – Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills - Nina is the global co-head of the firm's Africa practice group and has over 10 years' experience working on transactions in Africa. Based in our Paris office, Nina works with a broad range of clients on single and multi-jurisdictional mergers, acquisitions and disposals, joint venture structuring, project development and related financing arrangements in the oil, gas, power and mining sectors. Her practice focuses in particular on transactions and projects across West Africa, including Ghana, where she is currently advising on the implementation and development of projects in the mining sector and various opportunities across the power sector.