By the mid-eighties, the government of Ghana was engaged in all sectors of the economy (about 350 state-owned enterprises).
Apart from owning development corporations in all ten regions, it wholly owned several enterprises in the manufacturing, mining and services sectors, and had gone into joint ventures with many other private firms and persons.
It also owned several boards and commissions, which were performing services in competition with or which could have been easily provided by the private sector.
The SOE reform agenda entailed two principal components: divestiture, which involved transfer of ownership of assets or management of enterprises to the private sector; and liberalisation, which implied exposing enterprises to more competition.
By end of 2000 nearly 300 SOEs had been privatized and by end of 2003 18 more had been divested.
Despite ongoing privatization, state-owned enterprises continue to play a significant role in the economy, notably in the electricity, petroleum, and transport sub sectors.