Opposition candidate John Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) had a narrow lead in Ghana’s presidential election run-off over Nana Akufo-Addo of the previously ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), private broadcaster Joy FM said on Monday.  The run-off vote will decide who will be president of Africa’s newest emerging oil producer, which has already attracted much investor interest.

Per Reuters, here are some interesting facts regarding Ghana’s economy:

  • World’s No. 2 cocoa grower after neighbouring Ivory Coast, producing around one fifth of world supply. Government plans to increase output by around half to 1 million tonnes by 2010.
  • Africa’s second biggest gold miner after South Africa, with 2007 output of nearly 2.5 million ounces.
  • Britain’s Tullow Oil and private-owned Kosmos Energy plan to start producing 120,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil offshore in late 2010, rising later to 250,000 bpd.
  • Economic reforms under [outgoing President John] Kufuor’s administration are credited with boosting growth and helping secure billions of dollars in debt relief.
  • Economic growth forecast at 6.5 percent for 2008, slowing to 5.8 percent in 2009/10, then accelerating to 6.8 percent by 2013, according to the IMF.
  • Annual inflation has eased since an 18.4 percent peak in June, and the cedi currency has stabilized after falling 17 percent against the dollar in the first seven months of 2008.
  • $750 million Eurobond issue in 2007 was sub-Saharan Africa’s first outside South Africa.
  • Ghana’s stock exchange is one of the top-performing markets in 2008 with the all-share index up around 60 percent, although trade is illiquid with as little as 600 cedis worth of trade in one session in October.
  • Power shortages in recent years have added to business costs, curbing mining output and forcing the closure of the VALCO aluminium smelter, which the government wants to sell.