In January 2017, opposition leader Nana Akufo Addo became the country's new president. After a peaceful, democratic transition of power, president Akufo Addo presented a new policy, which focuses on the development of the private sector. This could be a positive development for Ghana, in general, and also for Dutch-Ghanaian co-operation, since Ghana is a transitional country in which economic ties are gradually replacing official development aid (ODA). The Netherlands and Ghana are working together productively on inclusive growth. Apart from the common goal to boost employment and development for all, both the Dutch and Ghanaian governments hope to convince potential emigrants to stay in Ghana. With regard to the priority themes, new financing and business models have been introduced to encourage better participation by the Dutch and Ghanaian private sector, knowledge institutions and NGOs. Ghana's economic growth has traditionally been strong but the macro-economic situation has been less favourable in the past year, due to major fiscal and external imbalances. Given these developments, the IMF is investing in economic and financial reforms, and the Netherlands has increasingly focused its support in Ghana on market reforms, customs and tax policy implementation.

Featured project

Safina project in Ghana

One of the Ghana WASH Window projects, Safisana, has shown good results. In 2015, it won the Sarphati Award during the Amsterdam Water Week. Using Dutch technology and developing innovative business models, the project treats organic waste to produce electricity and compost. The project is a good example of how Ghana could deal with its waste in a businesslike manner. The video provides a concise overview of the Safisana Ghana project.

Key results of the embassy in Ghana


Indicator Score Progress

Number of people in urban populations with access to and use of improved drinking water facilities

403,800 On track
Number of people in urban populations
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

Ghana has surpassed the MDG target for access to drinking water with coverage increasing from 53% in 1990 to 93% in 2014. The Ghana Netherlands WASH Programme (GNWP) works to improve both WASH access in urban areas and urban water management. Strategies to improve the provision of adequate, safe and affordable water include: mobilising investments for water treatment plants; the implementation of demand management measures for efficient water use; encouraging public-private partnerships (PPPs); and developing business models for urban WASH service delivery.

Number of people in urban populations with access to and use of adequate sanitation facilities

45,191 Progress, not on track
Number of people in urban populations
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

Coverage in the area of sanitation in Ghana only increased from 19% in 1990 to 20% in 2014. Access to sanitation remains a major health issue. Due to poor sanitation, a modern city like Accra has experienced the outbreak of cholera. Open defecation is widely practiced (19% nationwide). Only 4% of the urban population is connected to sewers and the limited sewage/sludge treatment plants are often non-functioning. With the economy developing, solid waste problems have increased. The Ghana Netherlands WASH Programme has implemented 16 projects, including PPPs that address sanitation issues. A good example is the Safisana project, which turns organic waste into electricity and compost.

Food & Nutrition Security

Indicator Score Progress

Number of farmers with increased productivity and income

139,304 On track
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

The Dutch programme in Ghana focuses on cocoa, palm oil and vegetables. It increases productivity and sustainability through good agronomical practices and certification, but also through good entrepreneurial practices to learn new business skills. These are promising results in a sector that was challenged by low economic growth (3%) in 2016 and in some sub-sectors, such as cocoa, even experienced a decline, due to lower cocoa output, mainly caused by weather conditions. The new government is encouraging a greater role for the private sector in agriculture. This is very much in line with the embassy's agricultural activities, which support the private sector's role in agriculture.

Number of hectares of farmland used more eco-efficiently

76,568 On track
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

Most of the cocoa and palm oil sustainability results are achieved through certification and good agronomical practices (GAP). For vegetables, they are achieved through GAP, EUROGAP and the newly developed Ghana Green Label. The new government has placed emphasis on climate-smart agriculture and promotes climate adaptation and mitigation measures. This is important, as most of the crops grown in Ghana will be affected by climate change.

Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Indicator Score Progress

Number of young people reached with comprehensive sexuality education

731,472 On track
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

This result goes beyond our project target of 2016, yet much more still needs to be done. In Ghana, young people are better informed and able to make better choices with regard to their health. For example, fertility has declined from 6.4 children per woman in 1988 to 4.2 children per woman in 2016, but this rate is still high.

Number of comprehensive, safe, (post-)abortion care services provided

666 On track
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

The target for safe abortion services was surpassed by the embassy: 666 safe abortion services were provided in 2016, compared to the target of 110. The main source of data on comprehensive abortion care at national level is from the embassy-supported partner Marie Stopes international. The achievement of this target was boosted by services provided by Marie Stopes Ladies, which piloted a new model in which trained midwives provide medical abortion services. The achievement also makes a significant contribution to reducing maternal mortality in Ghana, of which about 30% can be attributed to unsafe abortions. The current maternal mortality rate is 350 per 100,000 births.

Private Sector Development

Indicator Score Progress

Number of companies with a supported plan to invest or trade

482 On track
Number of companies
Interpretation of the Embassy results in the context

The WASH entrepreneurs received business support services, including credit. A business-oriented methodology and engagement of private sector actors are at the core of the Ghana Netherlands WASH Programme (GNWP) approach. Urban water and sanitation are suited to the introduction and reinforcement of private sector involvement. Most citizens are able to pay for quality services and the local and international business community is eager to enter into these new markets. At the municipal level, local governments are working in good co-operation with the private sector through PPP consortia. Many Dutch NGOs and companies are involved in GNWP project implementations. The Sustainable Health Innovation for Equity (SHINE) project, implemented by Marie Stopes International Ghana (MSIG), is designed to achieve effective, innovative and sustainable private-sector engagement in the provision of SRHR services.

Background & future

Interpretation of the results in context

Water: the Ghana Netherlands WASH programme's fourth call for PPPs did not take place due to budget cuts. Waste management projects have been delayed in starting due, in particular, to the election campaign in the second half of 2016 and a new administration taking over at the beginning of 2017, which needed time to familiarise itself with the ongoing projects. Consequently, the waste management projects have not yet produced the planned results.

Glimpse into the future

Under the new government, in place since January 2017, our programmes are expected to operate in a more conducive environment. The government has initiated reforms to create a more enabling, business-friendly environment. In order to be successful, Ghana also needs a more positive macro-economic situation, which requires following the IMF programme and positive world market dynamics.
Positive results achieved in agriculture have led to a scaling up of private sector-oriented programmes in cocoa, palm oil and vegetables up to 2020, both in Ghana and in the surrounding region. WASH programmes, including the delayed start-up of waste management projects, will continue until 2020 but with reduced funds, as a fourth call for PPPs was withdrawn due to a shortage of funds at a central level. For SRHR and health, it was decided not to continue the programme beyond 2016, although the private sector approach did present some positive and innovative results. Private sector development programmes, especially those focusing on young entrepreneurs, will continue, as this theme is relevant both in the Netherlands and Ghana.
By 2020, Ghana will no longer receive any delegated ODA funds managed by the embassy in Accra.

Financial summary

Total expenditure Embassy € 26,427,068

Expenditure 2016 per theme

Expenditure 2016 per channel