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Ghana’s history is full of political upheaval and military coups. However, since the country gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1957, it has been widely seen as a model of prosperity and peace in a troubled region. In 1992, the first presidential and parliamentary elections based on a multi-party system were held in the country. Ghana is populated by many ethnic groups composed of multiple clans. The frictions between them make the country vulnerable to ethnic, religious and economic conflicts.1 Moreover, Ghana faces organised crime and insecurity across its borders. Transnational criminal networks and armed groups fuel illicit arms trafficking and threaten the security of the country.2

The country’s guiding gun control legislation includes the Arms and Ammunitions Act of 1962. Ghana has signed and ratified the Arms Trade Treaty.3 The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD); the UN Development Programme (UNDP); and the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) have supported the implementation of a weapons and ammunition management baseline assessment in the country.4


1 Eric G. Berman and Nicolas Florquin, Armed and Aimless : Armed Groups, Guns, and Human Security in the ECOWAS Region (Geneva: Small Arms Survey, 2005),

2 Fiona Mangan and Matthias Nowak, The West Africa–Sahel Connection Mapping Cross-border Arms Trafficking (Geneva: Small Arms Survey, 2019),

3 Philip Alpers, Irene Pavesi and Michael Picard, Ghana – Gun Facts, Figures and the Law (, Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, 2022),

4 “Ammunition Management Activity Platform (A-MAP),” GICHD, 2022,

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Further information

Accidental explosions

Since the Small Arms Survey began collecting data in 1979, one accidental explosion has been reported in Ghana.

Table 1. Accidental explosions in Ghana (1979–2021)








State (military)



Source: “Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites (UEMS) Database,” Small Arms Survey, updated December 15, 2021,

Cases of diversion

Insufficient information on cases of diversion in Ghana.


Insufficient information on the disposal of ammunition in Ghana.


To further enhance safe and secure ammunition management, the following needs have been identified for Ghana:

  • Development or refinement of standards and procedures on stockpile management, particularly the development of standard operating procedures on stockpile management for various institutions mandated to bear small arms and light weapons; and
  • Capacity development for the destruction of surplus stockpiles, particularly strengthening officials’ capacities in modern methods of destruction.


Source: Ghana, National Report on the Implementation of the Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons (PoA) and the International Tracing Instrument (ITI) (New York: Permanent Mission of Ghana to the UN, 2022),

Published Date: Monday 21 of August 2023