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Ghana: The Military and the Economy
Country Study > Chapter 5 > National Security > The Military and the Economy


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

Last Updated: November 1994

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Ghana was first published in 1994. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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