Country Listing

Ghana Table of Contents



Military costs have fluctuated widely since independence. During the Nkrumah regime, the government maintained a large, relatively well-equipped military for reasons of national prestige. After the 1966 coup, the ruling NLC sought to improve the country's economy by lowering military spending. The NLC, however, was unwilling to reduce military manpower for fear of alienating the armed forces; instead, it saved money by canceling plans to purchase new equipment. To update its military inventory, Ghana strengthened links with nations such as Britain, Canada, and the United States, all of which represented possible sources of military assistance.

Since the downfall of the Nkrumah regime, the level of Ghana's military spending has fluctuated widely, partly because of several major currency devaluations. According to the World Bank, however, Ghana's military spending has declined overall. In 1972 Ghana earmarked about 7.9 percent of total expenditures for defense, a figure that by 1989 was down to 3.2 percent. Since then, defense expenditures have declined even further. In 1992, the most recent year for which reliable figures are available, Ghana allocated about US$105 million for the armed forces, or less than 2 percent of total budgetary expenditures.

Data as of November 1994