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Snapshot of Ghana


of people live below the poverty line


years is the average life expectancy across the country


mothers die from pregnancy related causes per 100,000 births

Ghana was the first sub-Saharan nation to throw off colonial rule and the first to halve its extreme poverty rate. It continues to be a leader in West Africa as more children pursue their education and living conditions improve. Yet growing inequality means that the poorest are falling further behind.

Ghana has changed significantly in the past few decades. More people are moving to live in urban areas; more children have the opportunity to stay in school longer; the economy is diversifying away from subsistence agriculture (although agriculture remains an important source of employment and income) and it continues to grow.

Despite fluctuations in the economy, millions of Ghanaians have risen out of poverty, particularly from extreme poverty. Between 1991 and 2012, the poverty rate dropped from 52 per cent to 21; the extreme poverty rate fell even more sharply, from 37 per cent to nine. The under-5 mortality rate in Ghana has also come down in that time.

But economic conditions have worsened in the past five years and these gains are under threat. A gap is widening between the richest and poorest. Those left in rural areas bear the brunt of low incomes but the people crowding into expanding cities face the problems of rapid urbanisation: greater congestion, dangerous pollution, lack of access to safe drinking water and other basic necessities.

Nana Akufo-Addo won the presidential election in December 2016 and recently declared that his nation would be a “shining example” when it came to meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals and lifting people out of poverty. He also announced 2019 to be the “Year of Return”, marking 400 years since African slaves were taken from their homeland and shipped to the USA—and encouraging the African diaspora to return to Ghana.

At the coming 2020 election, President Akufo-Addo will face off against the opposition party’s John Mahama (himself a former President) for the third consecutive time. A key issue will be who has the stronger plan to restore a faltering economy and help the most vulnerable Ghanaians to overcome the challenges of poverty.

Padmore B Agyapong

Letter from Ghana Country Director, Padmore Baffour Agyapong

Dear Sponsor, I am Padmore Baffour Agyapong. I have been the Country Director of Compassion Ghana for the past six years. My soft spot for the poor and marginalised in our society motivated me to author my maiden book, The Poor in our Midst. Compassion Ghana is 12 years old and currently supporting more than 75,200 children within 280 child development centres. I sincerely wish to express my utmost appreciation to you for sponsoring children in Ghana.

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Ellen’s Change of Heart

Ellen was seven years old when she came to live with Richard and Janet Okine after the death of her father. Her mother, Janet Okine’s niece, was having a hard time looking after her many children alone. The Okines took Ellen into their home to relieve her mother of one child and hopefully give Ellen a better life. But it was not easy. Ellen was a troubled little girl.

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Prayer requests for Ghana

  • Pray for a Fiifi, a 19-year-old who has special learning needs. It is difficult to teach him, so he is not doing well at school. Local staff are contemplating sending him to a specialist school, but it costs a lot of money. Please pray for God to make a way for Fiifi to access the help he needs. Pray for wisdom and discernment for the centre staff and for his carers as they weigh this decision.
  • Marino, a student at the Gomoa Ekwamkrom Child Development Centre (GH0207) wants prayers for a bee-keeping and honey selling venture he is preparing to go into. He needs God’s wisdom and guidance and asks that you pray for him.
  • Praise God! Joseph, who asked for prayer for hernia surgery in May, had a successful surgery on 20 June. He is back home and recovering well. Please continue to pray for his complete healing.
  • Pray against all forms of abuse against the children we serve. Pray for strength and courage for local child development workers to stand for the truth if any form of abuse occurs in their centres. There is a risk that they can be opposed, harassed or even attacked in the community as they take the right action when abuses happen.
  • Please pray for peace and comfort over Jennifer Arhin and her family. They lost their mud home to a heavy downpour in June. The family had to split because no other family could take them all in. The project staff is helping to search for new accommodation. In the meantime, Jennifer and her family have been provided with clothing, bedding and food items.
  • Partnerships with local churches in new areas of the Afram Plains were registered in August. Praise God for His goodness in creating these opportunities! Pray that it will be a successful exercise, that the right children will be registered and that these partnerships and their child development centres will get off to a strong start.
  • And please continue to pray for a stable economy in Ghana and a peaceful election next year in 2020.

Stories from Compassion in Ghana

22 Mar, 2018

15 Powerful Photos that Capture Child Slavery

Millions of children around the world remain trapped in child labour. Ebenezer Agoa was six years old when he was sent to work on Lake Volta: a notorious hotbed of child slavery. Check out 15 powerful photos that capture life on the lake... Read more

01 Nov, 2018

24 Beautiful Photos Of How Sponsored Children Get Your Letters

Ever wondered how many hands, planes, buses, motorbikes or elephants it takes to deliver the letter that you’ve written to your sponsored child? Let’s take a look!.. Read more

12 Apr, 2018

What Possessions Do Children Living in Poverty Treasure Most?

From remote, isolated tribal communities to bustling cities and crowded slums, 10 children in our Child Sponsorship Program share their treasured possessions. These are their beautiful, surprising and funny answers... Read more