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Ghana has 57,610km of roads, 15% of which is paved. Many of the country’s transportation and communication networks are concentrated in the southern regions, although the majority of the northern and central areas are also connected through a major road system. Most services are offered by private companies operating taxis and mini buses, popularly known as “trotros,” both within and between the major urban centres; and two state-owned firms, City Express Bus Company Ltd and the Omnibus Services Authority.
The country has a 953km railway network, connecting Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi, operated by the public sector body Ghana Railway Corporation Limited. It was originally built mainly to link mining centres to the ports, but also provides passenger services. The Volta, Ankobra, and Tano rivers provide 168 km of perennial navigation; and Lake Volta provides 1,125 kilometres of navigable waterways.
Ghana International Airlines (GIA) is the national airline. Its main base is Kotoka International Airport, Accra, 10km to the north of the city. Numerous airlines offer services from the airport around Africa and to select overseas destinations – Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Heathrow and Atlanta. Other regional airports are located at Takoradi, Kumasi, Sunyani and Tamale.
In the World Economic Forum’s World Competitiveness Report (2012-13) Ghana was given a value of 3.9 out of 7 in terms of its infrastructure. This suggests it is slightly less developed than the world average, coming below the world mean of 4.3 and placing 86th out of 144 countries. The country found itself in a similar position in relation to the quality of roads, with a value of 3.5 out of 7, compared to the world mean of 4.9, putting it in 85th place.
The underdeveloped nature of the country’s railway system was reflected in the rankings, scoring only 1.7 out of 7, placing it 104th out of 124. The port infrastructure scored better, with a value of 4.0 in 76th place, although still below the world mean of 4.3. The air transport infrastructure was valued at 4.1, below the mean of 4.6, ranking 97th. The country has 98.6 million scheduled available airline seat kilometres per week, a reasonable statistic regionally, placing 77th overall but 6th amongst the sub-Saharan nations.
The sector is overseen at a federal level by the Ministry of Transport which aims to create a safe, sustainable and cost effective transportation system responsive to the needs of society.
Key public agencies include the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, which is the regulatory agency of the Republic of Ghana for air transportation in the country. A parallel role in the maritime sector is played by the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, which is mandated to develop, manage and operate ports in the country. Alongside this, the Ghana Maritime Authority is responsible for monitoring and regulating the activities of the maritime industry. The interests of shippers are represented by the Ghana Shippers Council.
The Ghana Railway Development Authority promotes the infrastructural development of railways and railway services. The National Road Safety Commission is mandated to plan, promote and coordinate policies.