Formerly known as the Gold Coast due to the high amount of gold reserves found throughout the country, in the sub-region of West Africa lies Ghana. Ghana gained independence from Britain in 1957, becoming the first sub-Saharan nation to break free from colonial rule.Gold, cocoa and oil helped fuel an economic boom and in 2011 and Ghana became the fastest growing economy in the world.Until recently Ghana was seen as a model for African growth but since 2013, its economy has endured a growing deficit, high inflation, and a weakening currency, resulting in its seeking an IMF bailout. Ghana is Africa’s second-biggest gold producer (after South Africa) and second-largest cocoa producer. It is also rich in diamonds, manganese ore, bauxite, and oil. Ghana has been a World Trade Organisation member since the first of January 1995The relationship between trade, environment and development is not a simple one. Trade my have both negative and in some cases positive effects on the environment and development. Trade can bring pressure on environmental standards in terms of demand for better environmental performance, as well as demand to lower environmental standards by foreign purchasers or multinationals with direct investments.Closed or protected markets also have a negative influence on the environment and impair sustainable development by protecting polluting domestic industries and denying export opportunities in developing countries to sell into the protected market.What is called ‘the magnifier effect’ also contributes to damage to the environment, not by trade itself, but through trade acting as a magnifier of existing inadequacies of environmental policy. For example: if producers are held accountable and forced to pay the social costs of emitting effluents which pollute the air and the environment, it would be a perfect environmental policy. However when these prices are attached to emission fees, charges, taxes etc., manufacturers choose the cheaper and harmful options. Palm oil is used over soybean oil by processors, rivers are used as dumping grounds for effluent over processes which produce no effluent by manufacturers as it is cheaper and more profitable to them. But what about the environment? Environmental resources will be overused by producers due to being underpriced, resulting in inefficient outcome.Ghana has been involved in all the phases of Africa’s economic development. During the thirteenth century Ghana became largely involved in long-distance trade due to its gold reserves. Trans-Saharan trade was one of the most wide ranging trading networks and involved an exchange of European, North African and Saharan goods in exchange for the products of the African savannas and forests; such as gold, kola nuts and slaves.Although Africa had been exporting raw materials in exchange for imports such as salt and foreign metals for centuries, the early sixteenth century changed the ways of African export production through the introduction of the Atlantic slave trade.