04.12.2017 - Article

Last updated in November 2017

Political Relations

Political relations between Germany and Ghana are friendly. Ghana is a key partner for Germany in the region, as illustrated not least by the inclusion of Ghana in the G20 initiative Compact with Africa under the German G20 Presidency in 2017.

In June 2017, Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo travelled to Berlin to attend the G20 Africa Conference. Conversely, high-level delegations from Germany recently visited Ghana, including the German Bundestag’s Parliamentary Friendship Group for Relations with the English- and Portuguese-speaking States of West and Central Africa in June 2017 as well as State Secretaries Dr Friedrich Kitschelt (Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development) and Werner Gatzer (Federal Ministry of Finance) in July 2017.

A wide range of German institutions and intermediary organisations are active in Ghana.

Of Germany’s political foundations, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung have offices in the country.

The German business sector has been active in Accra since 2011 through a Delegate Office of German Industry and Commerce. A Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI) correspondent has also been based in Accra since early 2014.

Cultural intermediaries – such as the Goethe-Institut, but also institutions like the German-Swiss International School (GSIS) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) – promote scientific, academic and cultural exchange between the two countries.

Ghana is a priority country for German bilateral development cooperation. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) has had an office in Accra since 1983, and Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) and the Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG) have also maintained offices in the city since 2008. In addition, the DW Akademie and the Savings Banks Foundation for International Cooperation are engaged in development cooperation with Ghana.

Church-affiliated organisations (such as MISEREOR and Bread for the World – Protestant Development Service) are active in areas including rural development and vocational training. The Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) has sent a pastor to its German-speaking congregation in Ghana.

As part of peacekeeping and crisis prevention measures, Germany is engaged in efforts to develop and stabilise regional security structures, e.g. through the work of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), which was established in 2004 with significant support from Germany. Germany is currently helping the KAIPTC to train troops for deployment in United Nations (UN), African Union (AU) and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) peacekeeping missions as well as police and civilian personnel for deployment in post-conflict situations. Germany has also seconded a German police adviser and a German military adviser to assist with these activities.

In addition, Germany is providing, through its Equipment Aid Programme, a Federal Armed Forces Technical Advisory Group to help Ghana build an engineer regiment for the planned rapid reaction force of the AU and ECOWAS.

Economic relations

In 2016, Ghana was Germany’s fourth largest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa, after South Africa, Nigeria, and Côte d'Ivoire. The country’s bilateral trade with Germany totalled 584 million euros in 2016. There was an increase in both German exports to Ghana (from 266 million euros in 2015 to 303 million euros in 2016) and German imports from Ghana (from 270 million euros in 2015 to 281 million euros in 2016). 

The future of bilateral economic relations is expected to be dominated mainly by the following sectors: renewable energy, recycling and sanitation management, and sustainable development. The West African Clean Energy and Environment Exhibition and Conference (WACEE), which is organised by the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Ghana (AHK Ghana), has established itself not only as the most important environmental and energy fair but also as the largest (and most international) business fair in all of West Africa. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) also had a presence at the fifth edition of the fair in September 2016, hosting a pavilion for 12 German companies under the “Made in Germany” brand.

The new Ghanaian Government under President Akufo-Addo has set itself the goal of stimulating the country’s economy, in particular by encouraging private investment and strengthening the private sector, and of reducing barriers to foreign Investment.

Development cooperation

German development cooperation with Ghana focuses on the following priority areas:

  • good governance (advice on drafting policies and their implementation on a decentralised basis, local-level funding, advice on good public finance management)
  • agriculture (value chain strategies, production and marketing of agricultural products, rural funding)
  • sustainable economic development (in particular financial system development and vocational training).

At the intergovernmental negotiations in June 2015, the two countries also agreed to extend cooperation to include the recycling of electrical and electronic waste. In addition, Germany is working together closely with the Ghanaian Government in the areas of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Germany has committed a total of more than 1.5 billion euros for bilateral development cooperation with Ghana since 1956.

Cultural relations

The Goethe-Institut has been active in Accra for over 50 years, offering language courses and examinations and organising a wide-ranging programme of cultural events.

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has a branch office in Accra. The DAAD staff support student and academic exchange and promote Germany as a higher education destination. There are currently 22 bilateral partnerships between universities in Ghana and Germany.

Since the 2012-2013 school year, the former German-Swiss International School (GSIS) in Accra has been a German school abroad funded exclusively by the German Government. As part of the Federal Foreign Office’s Schools: Partners for the Future initiative (PASCH), the Accra Academy and the Wesley Girls Senior High School in Accra and the Opoku Ware Senior High School in Kumasi also receive support.

The research initiative West African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) was launched in 2012 by ten West African countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo) as well as Germany to foster scientific networking in the area of climate research and to strengthen the capacity to adapt to climate change and promote sustainable land use in West Africa. WASCAL is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and is being jointly implemented by West African and German partners. Responsibility for project coordination lies with the Center for Development Research at the University of Bonn.

As part of the Federal Foreign Office’s International Sports Promotion and through assistance from the German Embassy, Ghanaian coaches and sports teachers regularly participate in courses for various types of sports organised by Leipzig University. The German Embassy uses the resources at its disposal to support sports education at Ghana’s schools by providing sports equipment.

This text is intended as a source of basic information. It is regularly updated. No liability can be accepted for the accuracy or completeness of its Contents.

Further information

Ghana is a partner country of German development cooperation, for more information please visit the website of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Additional content

Ghana and Germany have enjoyed friendly and wide-ranging political relations since Ghana gained independence.

More Information about Bilateral Relations