CDIS | Ghana's indicators

Culture’s role in development has been increasingly recognized in recent years thanks to a range of national advocacy efforts. References to the symbiotic relationship between culture and development can be found in such key documents as the Cultural Policy of Ghana (2004), the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (2010–2013), and the National Tourism Development Plan (2013-2027). The challenge is to ensure that the full range of culture’s benefits is considered and that culture is consistently mainstreamed as a defining and sustainable component in national development plans. The new wealth of data on culture and development, which resulted from implementing the CDIS, has made it possible to empirically illustrate culture’s multidimensional contribution to development and advocate for its greater integration in the national development agenda. The facts and figures generated have already led to ongoing discussions between UN agencies and their commitment to integrate culture in the next UNDAF (United Nations Development Assistance Framework) for Ghana.
Culture matters in Ghana: CDIS indicators highlight the multidimensional role of culture for development, while underlining certain obstacles in place that inhibit it  from reaching its full potential as a mainstreamed component of national development.

The results suggest that culture is already a non-negligible contributor to the national formal economy and GDP (1.53% of total GDP) 1, even though currently available data greatly underestimates the sector’s contribution. Difficulties to reflect the informal economy may also be a major factor in the low percentage of recorded cultural employment 2 (0.03% of the total employed population). However, gaps in arts education in key formative years 6 (0%), as well as in the professional training opportunities in culture at the TVET and tertiary levels 7 (0.6/1) are also undoubtedly contributing factors to low levels of formal employment. Heritage sustainability 22 (0.57/1), and particularly intangible cultural heritage, may also be diminished due to the lack of opportunities in the teaching of local and regional languages and culture.

The gaps in education indicate a low level of effective priority given to the sector, in spite of very positive results for the indicators on the normative, policy and institutional frameworks, and civil society participation 8 9 11 (0.79/1; 1/1; 0.93/1), which suggest that the foundation for good cultural governance is in place. Additional obstacles persist regarding the distribution of cultural infrastructures across Ghana 10 (0.46/1), which not only prevent opportunities to access cultural life, but also disfavor outlets for cultural production, diffusion and enjoyment. Increased support of infrastructures may assist in expanding domestic consumption of cultural goods and services 3 (0.66% of total household consumption expenditures) and enhance the market potential of the sector.
Through increased access to cultural activities, the potential of culture to reinforce feelings of mutual understanding, solidarity and trust may also be enhanced, resolving the gap between indicators on intercultural and interpersonal trust 14 15 (75.8%; 8.5%). Thus, cultural participation may contribute to social cohesion and the continued promotion of unity within Ghana’s cultural diversity, as stated in the 2004 Cultural Policy of Ghana. For culture to further contribute to wellbeing, focus may need to be placed on improving perceptions of gender equality for development 18 (45.7%), and transforming positive cultural values and attitudes into objective outputs of gender equality 17 (0.34/1).
While the government’s efforts have already established the basic prerequisites for an enabling political, economic, legal, social and cultural context that facilitates benefitting from culture as a medium of expression and satisfaction, illustrated by the guarantee of the freedoms of expression 19 (73/100) and self-determination 16 (7.14/10), additional support may be necessary to allow such freedoms to fuel dynamic cultural and creative industries. Though key national objectives underline a desire to build the sector, nationally defined goals to promote growth are not yet being met, as in the case of the ratio of domestic fictional content on public television 21(24.7%) and the persistently low, though rapidly growing, percentage of Ghanaians that use the Internet 20 (14.1%).





In 2010, cultural activities contributed to 1.53% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Ghana. 40.5% of this contribution was generated by central cultural activities, and 59.5% by equipment/supporting cultural activities.

While already significant, the contribution of cultural activities is underestimated by this indicator as it only takes into consideration private and formal cultural activities and excludes the indirect and induced impacts of the culture sector. Activities that take place in the informal economy and non-market establishments are not incorporated in the calculations but may be significant in Ghana. It’s estimated that over two-thirds of economic activities are informal.  Moreover, in Ghana no data was available for the contribution of select cultural activities, such as television programme and broadcasting activities, museums and historical sites, music publishing, etc. Thus, the true contribution of culture to national product is undoubtedly considerably higher than that reflected by this core indicator.

Nevertheless, this indicator offers valuable new information on the profits generated by the culture sector, which is of particular significance given the current drafting of a new Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA) due to come into force in 2014. The previous GDGDA (2010–2013) included the development and strengthening of Ghana’s creative industries as a key policy objective for national industrial and economic development. The central activities that contributed the most to national GDP include the sale of books and newspapers, architectural activities, and advertising. Accounting for nearly half (49%) of the total contribution of cultural activities to the GDP, wired and wireless telecommunications activities are responsible for the largest contribution to GDP. Cross-analyzing these results with the indicators of the Communication dimension suggest that the significant profits of this sub-sector are likely due to the recent rapid growth of ICTs.



In 2010, 0.03% of the employed population in Ghana had cultural occupations (3,668 people). 87.7% of these individuals held occupations in central cultural activities, while 12.3% held occupations in supporting or equipment related activities.

The global contribution of the culture sector to employment is underestimated in this indicator due to the difficulty of obtaining and correlating all the relevant data. This figure does not cover non-cultural occupations performed in cultural establishments or induced occupations with a strong link to culture, such as employees of hospitality services located in or close to heritage sites. In addition, this figure likely does not cover all informal employment in the culture sector due to the reluctance of some participants to convey such occupations during official surveys. Employment in the informal culture sector is likely to be significant in Ghana. No individuals were recorded as being employed in key central cultural occupations such as visual artists, musicians, handicraft workers, sign writers, traditional medicine professionals etc. Similarly, no figures reflect employment in select support professions such as pre-press technicians. This unavailability of data, and thus non-inclusion of these professions in the final result, is likely dually attributed to the high probability of these occupations occurring within the informal economy in Ghana, as well as the inability of current national statistics to capture informal employment.

Despite 0.03% being a great underestimation of cultural employment, this result is very low in light of recent national objectives and priorities to make the culture sector relevant for national economic development. To increase the sector’s contribution to the formal economy, the 2013 National Budget has enhanced support of the creative industries, and the programs of the Cultural Initiative Support Project (CISP) aim to provide an effective framework to generate new jobs and activities in the sector.



In Ghana, 0.66% of household consumption expenditures were devoted to cultural activities, goods and services in the year of 2010.  95.4% was spent on central cultural goods and services, and 4.6% on equipment/supporting goods and services. Both the consumption of books (35%) and press (35%) were responsible for the largest shares of cultural goods and services consumed.

This indicator underestimates the household consumption of cultural goods and services due to methodological constraints and gaps in data available at the national level. It does not account for the value of cultural goods and services acquired by households and provided by non-profit institutions at prices that are not economically significant (e.g. in-kind transfers). Similarly, spending on cultural products that are not directly financed by households, such as design services and advertisements, are not taken into consideration; and it excludes certain expenditures that cannot be isolated due to the aggregation of coding systems, such as spending on musical instruments. Furthermore, in Ghana no data was available for expenditures on select supporting goods and services such as photographic and information processing equipment. Despite these limitations, this indicator offers unprecedented insight into how Ghanaian households value cultural goods and services.



4 INCLUSIVE EDUCATION: 0.57/1 (2003)

The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana (Article 25.1) states “all persons shall have the right to equal educational opportunities and facilities.” Within this context, the result of 0.57/1 reflects the efforts made by Ghanaian authorities to guarantee this fundamental cultural right and pursue measures to assure that this right is secured in a complete, fair and inclusive manner. This result shows that the average years of schooling of the target population aged 17 to 22 is 7.1 years. Therefore, though below the targeted average of 10 years of schooling, the majority of Ghanaian citizens can enjoy the right to an education and participate in the construction and transmission of values, attitudes and cultural skills, as well as personal and social empowerment throughout primary and secondary school. However, 20% of the target population in Ghana is still living in education deprivation, meaning that they have fewer than 4 years of schooling. This 20% highlights significant inequality in the enjoyment of this fundamental cultural right. These results indicate that for fair and inclusive education, more research and efforts are needed to identify marginalized populations and improve their access to and continuity of education.




Article 26.1 of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana states that “every person is entitled to enjoy, practice, profess, maintain and promote any culture, language, tradition or religion.” Article 39.3 goes further to proclaim, “the State shall foster the development of Ghana Languages and pride in Ghanaian Culture,” and the 2004 Cultural Policy of Ghana (Chapter III) asserts, “Ghanaian languages shall be promoted as a medium of instruction in the educational system” and that necessary action shall be taken by the National Commission on Culture, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, “to ensure the development of Ghanaian languages and Literature as vehicles of expressing modern ideas and thought processes.”                     

According to the 2010-2013 Official Curriculum, 60% of the hours to be dedicated to languages in the first two years of secondary school is to be dedicated to the teaching of the official national language- English. The remaining 40% of the time is to be dedicated to the teaching of an international language- French. In spite of national affirmations to ensure the development of Ghanaian languages, 0% of the required national curriculum is dedicated to any local or regional languages, though the Bureau of Ghana Languages recognizes 81 such languages and actively works on the promotion of 11. The Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Ministry of Education have approved the latter 11 languages to be taught in the educational system, but they are only included in curriculums as optional electives.

These results indicate that while the official curriculum is designed to promote limited linguistic diversity on the global scale, additional efforts are necessary to meet national objectives of promoting the diversity of local Ghanaian languages and culture.


6 ARTS EDUCATION: 0% (2010-2013)

The 2004 Cultural Policy recognizes the importance of arts and cultural education, both for its social benefits including “the impartation of positive national cultural values and the sustenance of cultural institutions and practices,” as well as its role in developing the talents of skilled individuals with an interest to pursue occupations in cultural fields (Chapter III). To reap these benefits the Cultural Policy adopts a strategy that includes formal education in schools.

Contrasting with policy statements, the results for this indicator illustrate that arts and culture are not compulsory subjects in the first two years of secondary school; 0% of the 2010-2013 Official Curriculum is dedicated to arts or culture. Nation-wide, students have few opportunities in these fields.  However, in the select schools that have the means to offer arts education as an elective course, students may take 4 hours a week (13.3% of a 30 hour week). These results indicate a low level of public priority given to arts and culture subjects, and significant inequality of opportunities amongst learners.

Furthermore, a gap in the offerings of arts education over the course of the educational lifetime emerges when looking at the following indicator on tertiary and training programmes that are offered in Ghana. Though some cultural programmes are offered at the higher education level, this gap in arts education during secondary schooling may obstruct developing students’ interest in professional careers in the culture sector.



According to the 2004 Cultural Policy, the education of individuals with artistic talent and an interest in cultural occupations is to be promoted through the National Commission on Culture’s support of arts and cultural programmes in higher education (Chapter III). Adequate support is to be given to ensure the development of students’ skills, as well as the continuity of traditional arts and the development of new Ghanaian arts.

Ghana’s result of 0.6/1 indicates that while national authorities have manifested an interest and willingness to invest in the training of cultural professionals, key gaps persist in the coverage of cultural fields in national public and government-dependent private technical and tertiary schools. Indeed, though diverse programmes are offered at the tertiary level, few opportunities for technical education in cultural fields are available.

The University of Ghana, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, the University of Education Winneba, and the National Film and Television Institute offer various tertiary programmes in the fields of heritage, performing arts, visual and applied arts, cultural management and film. However, no technical training exists in any field apart from visual and applied arts. Increased technical training opportunities would assist in reaching the economic objectives of the Cultural Policy and transforming artistic talents into employment and contributions to the national economy.




Ghana’s result of 0.79/1 indicates that there is already a reasonable standard-setting framework in place and that the country has made many efforts to ratify key international legal instruments affecting cultural development, cultural rights and cultural diversity, as well as to establish a national framework to recognize and implement these obligations.

Ghana scored 0.72/1 at the international level, which demonstrates Ghana’s many achievements while underlining key areas for improvement. Ghana has ratified several important conventions such as the 1972 Convention concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage; the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; and the 1977 Cultural Charter for Africa. However, Ghana is still working towards the ratification of certain key international instruments for the protection of cultural assets, such as the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage; the 2005 Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions; the 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property; the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects; and the 1971 Universal Copyright Convention. Regarding the latter, strategies to strengthen the creative industries in the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (2010-2013) include reinforcing means to protect intellectual property rights.

At the national level, a score of 0.82/1 indicates that many national efforts have been made to implement the international obligations that Ghana has agreed to at the country level. For example, the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana incorporates many critical elements such as the recognition of cultural diversity, multiculturalism, and the right to an education that fully respects cultural identity (Art. 25, 26, 28, 37, 38, 39). However, similar to the international level, room for improvement still remains as several key items continue to be missing from the national legislation and regulatory frameworks. For example, although a framework law on culture exists, no sectoral laws exist for books and publishing. In the same vein, the lack of regulations dealing with cultural patronage, public subsidies, tax exemptions and incentives designed to specifically benefit the culture sector, also reveals some deficiencies that fall short of the strategy to facilitate access to financing for the Ghanaian creative industries in order to boost economic development, as stipulated in the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (2010-2013).



The final result of 1/1 reflects that national authorities have taken great efforts to create a comprehensive policy and institutional framework to promote the culture sector as part of development, by establishing targeted policies and mechanisms and by having an adequate political and administrative system to implement the legal instruments seen above.  

Overall, Ghana has an extensive cultural policy and institutional framework for the protection and promotion of culture, cultural rights and cultural diversity. At the national level, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts represents the interest of culture on the Cabinet of Ministers. In addition, a Parliamentary Select Committee on Culture, Youth and Sports provides for the consideration of culture at the national legislature, and various decentralized regional/district authorities ensure the promotion of the sector at the local levels. The National Commission on Culture is entrusted with promoting national culture, supervising the implementation of programmes for the preservation and promotion of Ghana’s traditions and values, and driving policy, which has resulted in the 2004 Cultural Policy of Ghana. Finally, culture has been recognized in national development plans such as the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA) (2010-2013) and the National Tourism Development Plan (2013-2027).
However, in spite of Ghana’s perfect score, enhancement of the framework could still be achieved. In regards to culture’s integration in development, the GSGDA (2010-2013) admits the weaknesses of the 2004 Cultural Policy and calls for reviewing the policy to ensure it takes into account the complete strategic role of culture in development, assisting to mainstream culture in the national development agenda. Similarly, in spite of various actors’ responsibilities to promote Ghana’s culture, values and traditions, the GSGDA (2010-2013) indicates that in the current policy framework there remains inadequate recognition of the role of traditional authorities in national planning, as well as weak support mechanisms for the chieftancy institutions and a need to strengthen the national and regional House of Chiefs.



Article 35 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana proclaims “the State shall promote just and reasonable access by all citizens to public facilities and services.” In regards to public facilities dedicated to culture, the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA) (2010-2013) recognizes that well-equipped cultural centres for the development of culture are not adequately provided across all regions and districts. To address this obstacle, the GSGDA adopts the strategy of creating spaces for the exhibition of art work, and completing the development of fully-functional centres for national culture in all regional and district capitals in order to effectively promote access to cultural activities across the country. However, the current distribution of cultural infrastructure in Ghana underlines the ongoing inequality in access to facilities and cultural activities.

On a scale from 0 to 1, Ghana’s result for this indicator is 0.46, 1 representing the situation in which selected cultural infrastructures are equally distributed amongst regions according to the relative size of their population. The score of 0.46 thus reflects that across the 10 regions of Ghana, there is an unequal distribution of cultural facilities.

When looking at the figures for the three different categories of infrastructures, Ghana scores 0.38/1 for Museums, 0.51/1 for Exhibition Venues Dedicated to the Performing Arts and 0.49/1 for Libraries and Media Resource Centers. This suggests that the most equal distribution of access exists for Libraries and Exhibition Venues, and that the most unequal distribution for Museums. All regions have access to at least one Library, though the distribution relative to population size varies greatly from the Volta region having 9 such facilities (15%) with only 4% of the population, to the Northern region having only 3 Libraries (5%) but 10% of the population. Furthermore, although the Greater Accra Region benefits from a higher concentration of cultural infrastructures that is proportional to its population size, others such as the Brong Ahafo and Northern regions have no Museums, the Upper East region has no Exhibition Venues, and the Upper West region has neither Museums nor Exhibition Venues. Building cultural infrastructures and increasing equality of access across all 10 regions could increase opportunities to take part in cultural and creative activities, as well as promote the development of the creative industries by providing infrastructure for the production and consumption of cultural goods and services. This is a crucial and common challenge among all the countries that have implemented the CDIS, as the average score for this indicator is 0.43/1.



The final result of 0.93/1 indicates that comprehensive opportunities exist for dialogue and representation of both cultural professionals and minorities in regards to the formulation and implementation of cultural policies, measures and programmes that concern them. Such opportunities for participation in cultural governance exist at the national as well as regional and local levels.

Regarding the participation of minorities, although no bodies exclusive to the issues of culture exist, the national and regional Houses of Chiefs and Traditional Councils, seen as a mediating framework for the participation of minorities and indigenous peoples, treat culture as a transversal issue and are responsible for engaging with other government authorities regarding issues that concern the indigenous peoples that they represent. Art. 270 of the 1992 Consitution guarantees this form of representation, and the 2004 National Cultural Policy affirms that in its functions “the House has thus become a forum for projecting interethnic understanding and national unity" (Article 4.1.4). Nevertheless, as revealed by the policy and institutional framework indicator of this dimension, the influential role of these traditional authorities may still be seen as inadequate in regards to cultural aspects of national planning and additional support mechanisms may be necessary.

Regarding the participation of cultural professionals, according to the National Cultural Policy, the National Commission on Culture is to recognize civil society organizations, including artistic groups and associations, and seek their participation in the implementation of policies and programmes (Art. 4). Though ad hoc in nature, 4 such meetings were held in 2013 with the Ghana Culture Forum, a membership based forum of cultural practitioners, activists and organisations. In addition, at the metropolitan, municipal and district levels, the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Committees of Culture are permanent in nature and meet monthly.




In 2007, 75.8% of the people of Ghana agreed that they do not find people of a different culture as undesirable neighbours. This indicator provides an assessment of the degree of tolerance and openness to diversity, thus providing insight into the levels of interconnectedness within a given society. It is a composite result of respondents’ replies regarding neighbours falling under 3 categories: people of a different race, immigrants/foreign workers, and people of a different religion.

A result of 75.8% indicates a relatively positive level of tolerance and that the values, attitudes and convictions of three-fourths of Ghanaians favor the acceptance of other cultures. Slight variations in the results appear across age groups and sexes. While 76.6% of men responded favourably, 74.9% of women showed acceptance of other cultures. The lowest level of tolerance was recorded for respondents between the ages 15-29—74.6%, while respondents ages 30-49 and 50 and above responded 77% and 76.6% respectively.  Such figures fall just below the average final result of the countries having implemented the CDIS, which is situated at 81.97%.

These results suggests a cultural system of values is in place that thrives on diversity, fosters tolerance, and encourages an interest in new or different traditions, thus creating a social environment favorable to development.



In 2007, 8.5% of Ghanaians agreed that most people can be trusted. Within the context described above, this indicator further assesses the level of trust and sense of solidarity and cooperation in Ghana, providing insight into its social capital. A result of 8.5% indicates a low level of trust and solidarity as the average of the countries having implemented the CDIS is situated at 19.2%. Furthermore, though all groups of the population show low levels of trust, there are significant variations in the results across age groups. Only 6.9% of people ages 15-29 agree that most people can be trusted, compared to 9% of the people ages 30-49 and 12.4% of the people 50+, suggesting an increasing trend with age.

Regardless, all of these figures remain rather low, and when combined with the indicator presented above, these figures suggest that there remains an obstruction to fostering trust in the fabric of Ghana’s society in spite of the basis for tolerance being in place. This indicates that to further nurture social capital and meet human development objectives, building on culture’s potential to reinforce the feelings of mutual cooperation and solidarity could be pursued. Cross-analysis with the Governance and Education dimension indicators suggests that possible means to enhance culture’s potential to foster mutual understanding, solidarity and cooperation include increasing opportunities for accessing cultural activities via public infrastructures, as well as through the promotion of diversity by way of language, arts and cultural education.



Ghana’s final result is 7.14/10, 10 representing the situation in which individuals believe that there is ‘a great deal of freedom of choice and control’ and 1 being ‘no freedom of choice and control.’ The score of 7.14/10 indicates that the majority of Ghanaians feel that they have a relatively high degree of control over their lives and are free to live the life they choose, according to their own values and beliefs. By assessing this freedom, this indicator evaluates the sense of empowerment and enablement of individuals for deciding and orienting their development. While the median response for the population is 7.14, variations can be seen according to sex and age. The median response was 6.94 for women and 7.28 for men.

These results suggest a rather high level of individual agency in Ghana, above the average results for all countries having implemented the CDIS, which is situated at 6.7/10. This indicates that for the majority of citizens, Ghana provides the necessary enabling political, economic, social and cultural context for individual well-being and life satisfaction and builds common values, norms and beliefs which succeed in empowering them to live the life they wish. The ongoing variations in the sense of self-determination across genders should be considered when analyzing the indicators of the Gender Equality dimension.



Article 2 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana states that “every person in Ghana, whatever... gender shall be entitled to the fundamental human rights and freedoms.” The Constitution also proclaims “the State shall afford equality of economic opportunities to all citizens; and, in particular, the State shall take all necessary steps so as to ensure the full integration of women into mainstream economic development of Ghana.” (Art. 27.3). In addition, the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs is currently in the process of drafting a National Gender Policy, in order to improve existing policies that have not been updated in over a decade and more effectively end ongoing gender gaps to build a society without discrimination.

Within this context, the result of 0.34/1 reflects the significant remaining disparities in gender equality objective outputs and the needed efforts of the Ghanaian government in order to elaborate and implement laws, policies and measures intended to support the ability of women and men to enjoy equal opportunities and rights. Ghana’s result suggests that the government’s actions are not currently as effective as those of other countries as the average result for test phase countries of the CDIS is situated at 0.64/1.

A detailed analysis of the four areas covered by the indicator reveals major gaps where additional investments are needed to improve gender equality basic outputs. While a comparison of the labour force participation rates for men and women reveals little divergence, greater differences in opportunities can be noted regarding the average number of years of education for individuals 25 years old and above. Men benefit from an average of 8.1 years of education, while women only average 5.9 years. Significant progress also remains concerning the adoption and implementation of targeted gender equity legislation. While legislation is in place to protect women against rape and domestic violence, only limited legislation exists regarding sexual harassment and no quota systems are in place to assist in promoting women’s participation in politics. In regards to the latter, the most significant gap is observed regarding the outcomes of political participation. Indeed, in 2012, women only represented 8% of parliamentarians.

In conclusion, even though gender equality is reflected as an objective in national legislation, much progress remains to be achieved. Policies require people, and a further look at the subjective indicator below suggests not only a need to continue to pursue more effective legislation, policies and mechanisms, but also a need to address deep-set cultural values. Resistance due to embedded cultural values can undermine the feasibility of objectives and the sustainability of performance outcomes.



In 2007, 45.7% of Ghanaians positively perceived gender as a factor for development, according to their responses to questions regarding three key domains that parallel the objective indicator for this dimension- employment, political participation and education. The final result is a composite indicator, which suggests that slightly more than half of the population of Ghana continue to view gender as irrelevant or a negative factor for development. Individuals’ perceptions on gender equality are strongly influenced by cultural practices and norms, thus Ghana’s result suggests that gender-biased social and cultural norms remain dominant.

However, the perception of gender equality greatly varied according to the domain of the question asked. When asked if “When jobs are scarce, men should have more right to a job than women,” only 37.4% of respondents did not agree. This means that 62.6% of the population agrees that men have priority in regards to employment. This figure is surprisingly high in comparison to the marginal gap recorded for labour force participation rates between males and females. Unsurprisingly, the most unfavourable perceptions were recorded in regards to political participation. When asked if “Men make better political leaders than women,” only 21.7% of the population responded no. Thus, nearly four-fifths of the population agrees that men are better political leaders. The most favourable perceptions were recorded regarding education. When asked if “University is more important for a boy than for a girl,” 78.1% of respondents did not agree, suggesting that education is a domain in which gender equality is likely to be perceived as a positive factor for development. While the relatively high figure regarding the poor perception of women’s role in political participation correlates with the objective outputs observed, the latter figure on education is inconsistent with the still significant gap regarding men and women’s education.

>> This cross-analysis of the subjective and objective indicators reveals low results overall, both regarding objective outputs and perceptions, as well as inconsistencies in regards to the population’s relatively positive attitudes and values concerning education and the ongoing gaps in actual years of education for men and women. These results suggest a need for both greater advocacy efforts targeting attitudes, as well as improved policies and mechanisms to proactively address key issues such as political participation and education. Since cultural values and attitudes strongly shape perceptions towards gender equality, it is critical to prove that gender equality can compliment and be compatible with cultural values and attitudes, and be an influential factor in the retransmission of cultural values for building inclusive and egalitarian societies, and for the respect of human rights.



19 FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION: 72/100 (2012)

The freedom of expression is firmly anchored in the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, which has an entire chapter dedicated to the independence and freedom of the media (Chapter XII).

Ghana’s score of 72/100 indicates that their print, broadcast, and internet-based media is currently ‘free’, falling just above the benchmark of ‘free’ media. This score illustrates the efforts made to support an enabling environment in Ghana for free media to operate and in which freedom of expression is respected and promoted. Such an environment is a condition for fostering the free flow of ideas, knowledge, information and content, for building knowledge societies, and enhancing creativity, innovation and cultural diversity.

In addition to the rights and freedoms secured in the Constitution, other landmark achievements undertaken by the civil society have also contributed to the advancement of media freedoms. For example, the work of advocacy groups like Media Foundation for West Africa have helped to engender an enabling environment for the flourishing of the freedom of speech and a pluralist media regime.

An additional subjective indicator similarly reveals that a majority of 78% of Ghanaians agreed that they are free to say what they think (79% of men and 77% of women), thus reinforcing the assessment that Ghanaians enjoy the freedom of expression.


20 ACCESS AND INTERNET USE: 14.1% (2011)

In 2011, only 14.1% of the national population used the Internet in Ghana. When compared to the regional average for all of Sub-Saharan Africa (48 countries), 12.56%, Ghana’s results are slightly above this regional average. Promoting the use of ICTs in all sectors is an objective of the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (2010–2013). In 2008, only 4.3% of the population used the Internet, indicating a substantial increase in just 3 years time.

Digital technologies, in particular the Internet, play a key role in boosting the economy and encouraging new forms of access, creation, production, and the dissemination of ideas, information and cultural content. Though growing, Ghana’s result remains rather low and may reflect the need to increase investments in the development of infrastructures, policies and measures that facilitate the use of new technologies in order to further boost the growth of access and use of ICTs. The country may need to address issues such as pricing, bandwidth, skills, public facilities, content and applications targeting low-end users in order to bring more people online.



In Ghana, approximately 24.7% of the broadcasting time for television fiction programmes on public free-to-air television is dedicated to domestic fiction programmes.  During the observed period, 87% of all fictional content was aired in the national language- English; no programmes were aired in any of the 11 government supported local or regional languages.

In contrast, the 2004 Cultural Policy aims for 70% of programmes on national television to be of Ghanaian origin and that “television shall be used to project Ghanaian arts, culture and value systems; enhance national consciousness and self-reliance by making its programme content from indigenous resources, [and] making its programme content relevant to Ghanaian realities, history and aspirations” (Chapter VII). Public broadcasting has major implications for the development of the domestic audio-visual industry, as well as for the flourishing of local cultural expressions and creative products.

Results that do not meet the nationally defined objectives may reflect that in spite of the aspirations of the culture sector, low levels of public support for the dissemination of domestic content (including co-productions) produced by local creators and cultural industries may persist. Cross-analysis with the indicators of the Governance, Education and Economy dimensions reveal that though sectoral laws for film and television are in place, there are only limited opportunities to conduct studies in the field of film and image, as well as limited formal employment. Enhancing the effective implementation of existing policies could further facilitate the sector by increasing education opportunities, encouraging co-productions and increasing levels of public support to stimulate local production and the distribution of creative content.




Article 39.4 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana declares, “the State shall endeavour to preserve and protect places of historical interest and artifacts.” The 2004 Cultural Policy goes further to proclaim, “through State and private initiative, Ghana shall develop its heritage and cultural assets and promote their use and appreciation.” Within this context, Ghana’s result of 0.53/1 is an intermediate result regarding the establishment of a multidimensional framework for the protection, safeguarding and promotion of heritage sustainability. The degree of commitment and action taken by Ghanaian authorities is mixed and varies according to the component of the framework. While many public efforts have been dedicated to raising-awareness and creating a national registry for tangible heritage, persisting gaps call for additional actions to improve the framework regarding the updating of registries, the inventorying of elements of intangible heritage, mechanisms for community involvement, and stimulating support amongst the private sector.

Ghana scored 0.26/1 for registration and inscriptions, indicating that while efforts have resulted in national and international registrations of Ghanaian sites of tangible heritage and protected cultural property, increased focus should be placed on updating national registries and expanding recognition to intangible cultural heritage. While Ghana has a national registry for tangible heritage and an inventory of protected cultural property, no database of stolen cultural objects or inventory of intangible heritage yet exists, and existing registries have not been updated since 1999.

Ghana scored 0.59/1 for the protection, safeguarding and management of heritage, indicating that there are several policies and measures in place to prevent illicit-trafficking, regulate archeological excavations and prepare for disaster management, but that no recent concrete policies or measures have been adopted for protecting tangible or intangible heritage, or to involve communities in the processes of identification, registration or inventorying.  Though actions taken to prevent illicit-trafficking, such as the delivery of certificates for export, are to be applauded as Ghana has yet to ratify the 1970 UNESCO Convention or the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention, there continues to be no specialized police unit to enforce the prevention of illicit-trafficking of cultural objects or efforts to involve communities in these actions. Other gaps include the publication of regularly updated management plans for major heritage sites and the inclusion of heritage in national development plans.

Ghana scored 0.73/1 for the transmission and mobilization of support, which reflects the recent efforts taken to raise awareness of heritage’s value and its threats amongst the population. In addition to signage at heritage sites and differential pricing, awareness-raising measures have included workshops for teachers and school programmes, as well as media campaigns led by the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board. While much has been done to educate the public, little has been done to gain the support of the civil society and private sector. Additional efforts to involve the civil society in heritage protection, conservation, and transmission, as well as explicit agreements with tour operators are two means to be further explored.