Ghana Country Report
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) won the December 2016 election against a backdrop of poor economic performance coupled with electricity shortages and growing perceptions of corruption under the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) government. The NPP administration's reform agenda has focused on stabilising the economy with fiscal controls and investments in social spending, while reducing regulation and taxes, and improving business processes. However, government stability is likely to be challenged by mass protests, led by civil society groups and labour unions, if living costs continue to rise amid frozen public-sector wages.
The government is implementing its reform agenda with institutional audits in the energy, mining, and telecoms sectors. However, moves such as the appointment of over 100 ministers highlight risks from corruption and institutional capacity with likely turf wars developing. Ghana has enacted various legal frameworks such as the Public Procurement Act to deal with public-sector corruption but faces enforcement challenges. Public-sector corruption from facilitation fee demands to shortcut red tape is rising; labour strikes and protests are likely to increase if living costs continue to rise.
Ghana is an aspirational target for Islamist militant groups seeking to establish a presence in coastal West Africa. These groups, affiliated with movements such as Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda, have demonstrated operational capability with targeted attacks in neighbouring countries such as Côte d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso. Although there is the lack of entrenched jihadist networks in the country, there is a low risk of a one-off spectacular armed attack targeting individuals in hotels and entertainment venues in major towns, including Accra. Piracy risks in Ghana's territorial waters are rising, although Ghana's navy has increasingly become better equipped and acts professionally.
Inter-state disputes, especially over border demarcation, are more likely to be solved through negotiation and arbitration than militarily. Ghana's maritime dispute with neighbouring Côte d'Ivoire was settled in September 2017 by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) through international arbitration. Domestically, sporadic communal violence does occur between ethnic groups mostly in the Northern and the Volta regions. This is mainly due to disputes over chieftaincy succession and jurisdictional control. There are also instances where communal violence has occurred in ethnic-based communities in key cities such as Accra and Kumasi. These disputes are, however, unlikely to degenerate into civil war.
Political and socio-economic protests will increase if economic conditions fail to improve. Protests led by the opposition, civil society groups and labour unions are frequent and often peaceful, but can disrupt traffic and cargo movement for up to six hours due to roadblocks. Demonstrations are, however, likely to turn violent if there are confrontations with security forces, leading to rioting and vandalism of property. Hotspots for protests in Accra include the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, Independence Avenue, and in local communities such as Agbobgloshie. Sporadic inter-communal violence is most likely to continue in the north.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
Proof of vaccination against yellow fever is required for travelers over one year of age.
Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.
Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).
Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).
Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).
Meningococcal Meningitis: For prolonged stays, or in case your travels will put you in close contact with a local population affected by an epidemic of the disease (for children over the age of two years).
Malaria: Recommended preventive medication - mefloquine (sometimes marketed as Lariam) or doxycycline (sometimes marketed as Vibramycin).
For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.
It should be noted that two rainy seasons (April-May and August-October) sometimes bring torrential rain and floods that can cause significant damage to road infrastructure.
Swimming in waters off the Ghanaian coast is dangerous due to rip tides.
Roads in Ghana are in decent condition but traffic accidents are common, particularly on the main highways (e.g. linking Accra with Kumasi and Takoradi). Due to the absence of street lighting, driving at night is not advisable.
Illegal roadblocks are sometimes reported, particularly outside large cities. Assaults and carjackings are on the rise, particularly in the following areas: Graphic Route, the George Walker Bush highway, the Accra Mall rotary (roundabout), the Awudome cemetery road, the Pokuase-Amasaman route, areas along the coast, and along the Teshie-Nungua route.
Be wary of drivers claiming to have mechanical issues or flat tires as this could be a ruse to induce good Samaritans to pull over before being robbed. Be particularly vigilant to these risks in the above zones.
Generally speaking, always drive with windows closed and doors locked, be aware of your surroundings, ensure you are not being followed, and check that there is no one hiding inside your vehicle before entering it. In the event of an assault, do not offer resistance.
It is not advisable to use public transit, including private minibuses called "Trotros," particularly after nightfall.
Shipwrecks are common on Lake Volta. If travel by ferry is necessary, make sure that health and safety conditions are sufficient, i.e. that there are enough lifejackets and that the ferry's radio is in good working order.
Regarding domestic flights, a number of airlines connect Accra with Kumasi, Takoradi, and Tamale. Domestic airlines adhere to international safety regulations.
Ghana's climate is tropical. Conditions are hot and dry in the north of the country and hot and humid in the southwest (plains and forests). The rainy season lasts from May until October in the south and from June until September in the north. The ocean is warm all year long.
|Police:||999 ou 191|
|Ambulance:||999 ou 192|
|Fire Dept.:||999 ou 193|
|Ghana National Fire Service:||66 49 37|
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