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Ghana Military - 2024


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Military and security forces

Ghana Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Air Force (2024)

note: the Ghana Police Service is under the Ministry of the Interior

Military expenditures

0.4% of GDP (2022 est.)
0.5% of GDP (2021 est.)
0.4% of GDP (2020 est.)
0.4% of GDP (2019 est.)
0.3% of GDP (2018 est.)

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 14,000 active personnel (10,000 Army; 2,000 Navy; 2,000 Air Force) (2023)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the military's inventory is a mix older and some newer Russian, Chinese, and Western equipment (2023)

Military service age and obligation

18-27 years of age for voluntary military service, with basic education certificate; no conscription (2023)

Military deployments

875 Lebanon (UNIFIL); 725 (plus about 275 police) South Sudan (UNMISS); 650 Sudan (UNISFA) (2023)

note: since sending a contingent of troops to the Congo in 1960, the military has been a regular contributor to African- and UN-sponsored peacekeeping missions

Military - note

the military’s primary missions are border defense, assisting with internal security, peacekeeping, and protecting the country’s territorial waters, particularly its offshore oil and gas infrastructure; it has benefited from cooperation with foreign partners, such as the UK and the US, and experience gained from participation in multiple international peacekeeping missions; the government in recent years has committed to an increase in funding for equipment acquisitions, including armor, mechanized, and special forces capabilities for the Army, light attack aircraft for the Air Force, and more modern coastal patrol vessels for the Navy; the Army’s primary combat forces include several battalions of light infantry, a motorized rapid reaction/presidential guard battalion, and small regiments of light armored reconnaissance and special forces; the Navy has 2 ocean-going patrol vessels, several coastal patrol craft, and a special forces unit, while the Air Force operates a few ground attack aircraft and multipurpose helicopters
in 2022, Ghana began beefing up its military presence in the north of the country against threats from the terrorist organization Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM), a coalition of al-Qa'ida linked militant groups, which has conducted attacks in the neighboring countries of Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, and Togo; Ghana’s northern frontier with Burkina Faso is also an area with well-established smuggling routes, porous borders, and illegal gold mining; Ghana has also pushed an initiative to bolster security cooperation and intelligence sharing among Gulf of Guinea neighbors and Sahel countries 

the military traces its origins to the Gold Coast Constabulary that was established in 1879 and renamed the Gold Coast Regiment in 1901; the Gold Coast Regiment was part of the West African Frontier Force (WAFF), a multi-regiment force formed by the British colonial office in 1900 to garrison the West African colonies of Gold Coast (Ghana), Nigeria (Lagos and the protectorates of Northern and Southern Nigeria), Sierra Leone, and Gambia; the WAFF served with distinction in both East and West Africa during World War I; in 1928, it received royal recognition and was re-named the Royal West African Frontier Force (RWAFF); the RWAFF went on to serve in World War II as part of the British 81st and 82nd (West African) divisions in the East Africa and Burma campaigns; following independence in 1957, the Gold Coast Regiment formed the basis for the new Ghanaian Army (2023)

NOTE: The information regarding Ghana on this page is re-published from the 2024 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Ghana 2024 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Ghana 2024 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 04 May 24, Copyright © 2024 ITA all rights reserved.