Ghana

If you are a interested in spending carefree weeks in our country, you will miss none of the essential ingredients: a buoyant tropical setting, abundant sunshine throughout the year, sandy palm-fringed and unpopulated beaches, fine hotels, good food and probably the friendliest people on earth.

If you love adventure, you will have many choices: come cross the bar with our intrepid fisherman at sea or make a canoe trip that you will never forget. You can even pretend to be Robinson and wait on a lonely sandbank. Meantime, you could take occasional dips into the tepid ocean, savour fresh coconut and do some fishing: herring, barracuda, tuna, blue marlin. We’ve got them all.

If it must be a tour into nature, welcome to any of our numerous National Parks and Nature Reserves: Ankasa, Kakum, Mole, Boabeng-Fiema, Shai. Whichever one you visit, you will come back with a whole new outlook of life.

And if you are for heritage and society, Ghana will give you a perfect, rare blend: a moving historical past and a vivid culture. Ghana has the world’s highest concentration of slave castles and forts. Every bigger town on her littoral has a well-preserved stone witness to bring the painful past back to memory.

When all of this proves too much to stomach, forget about it, put on your dance shoes and come dance with us. We have the capacity to transform both happy and unhappy events into happy occasions. We love drumming and dancing. And this is why we have more than thousand festivals.

Population of Ghana

Population: 23,382,848 (July 2008 est.)

Age structure: 0-14 years: 38.8% (male 4,395,744/female 4,288,720)

15-64 years: 57.7% (male 6,450,828/female 6,483,781)

65 years and over: 3.5% (male 371,428/female 419,071)

Median age: 19.9 years

Growth rate: 2.07%

Infant mortality: 55.02 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 58.87 years

Male: 58.07 years

Female: 59.69 years

Fertility rate: 3.99 children born/woman

Nationality: noun: Ghanaian(s)

Adjective: Ghanaian

Ethnic groups: black African 98.5% (major tribes - Akan 44%, Moshi-Dagomba 16%, Ewe 13%, Ga 8%, Gurma 3%, Yoruba 1%), European and other 1.5% (

Religions: Christian 63%, Muslim 16%, indigenous beliefs 21%

Languages: English (official), African languages (including Akan, Moshi-Dagomba, Ewe, and Ga)

Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write

Total population: 74.8%

Male: 82.7%

Female: 67.1%

 

The Economy

Ghana, rich in agricultural resources, timber, gold and other valuable minerals, abundant with educated skilled and enterprising people, blessed with a stable form of government and dedicated to the principles of free enterprise, has long been seen as one of Africa’s most promising countries.

The main exports - gold, cocoa, diamonds, timber, manganese and bauxite - known as “traditional” items, are now increasingly supplemented by processed and semi-processed industrial and agricultural products with tourism as the third largest foreign currency earner after cocoa and gold.

Well endowed with natural resources, Ghana has roughly twice the per capita output of the poorest countries in West Africa. Even so, Ghana remains heavily dependent on international financial and technical assistance. Gold and cocoa production, and individual remittances, are major sources of foreign exchange. The domestic economy continues to revolve around agriculture, which accounts for about 35% of GDP and employs about 55% of the work force, mainly small landholders. Ghana opted for debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) program in 2002, and is also benefiting from the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative that took effect in 2006. Thematic priorities under its current Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy, which also provides the framework for development partner assistance, are: macroeconomic stability; private sector competitiveness; human resource development; and good governance and civic responsibility. Sound macro-economic management along with high prices for gold and cocoa helped sustain GDP growth in 2007. Ghana signed a Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact in 2006, which aims to assist in transforming Ghana's agricultural sector.

GDP: $31.13 billion (2007 est.)

GDP growth rate: 4.3%

GDP per capita: $2,500

GDP composition by sector: agriculture: 36.6%

Industry: 24.6%

Services: 38.7%

Inflation rate: 15.1%

Labour force: 10.62 million

Labour force - by occupation: agriculture 60%, industry 15%, services 25%

Unemployment: 20%

Budget: revenues: $3.216 billion

Expenditures: $3.506 billion

Electricity production by source: fossil fuel: 5%

Hydro: 95%

Other: 0%

Industries: mining, lumbering, light manufacturing, aluminum smelting, food processing

Agriculture: cocoa, rice, coffee, cassava (tapioca), peanuts, corn, shea nuts, bananas; timber

Exports: gold, cocoa, timber, tuna, bauxite, aluminum, manganese ore, diamonds

Export partners: Netherlands 12.8%, UK 8.2%, US 6.5%, Belgium 6%, France 5.5%, Germany 4.5%

Imports: capital equipment, petroleum, foodstuffs

Import partners: Nigeria 14%, China 12.5%, US 6.2%, UK 5.5%, Netherlands 4.2%, South Africa 4.2%
Currency: cedi (GHC)

 

Geography of Ghana

Location: Western Africa, bordering the Gulf of Guinea, between Cote d'Ivoire and Togo

Coordinates: 8 00 N, 2 00 W

Area: total: 239,460 sq km

Land: 230,940 sq km

Water: 8,520 sq km

Area comparative: slightly smaller than Oregon

Land boundaries: total: 2,094 km

Border countries: Burkina Faso 549 km, Cote d'Ivoire 668 km, Togo 877 km

Coastline: 539 km

Maritime claims: contiguous zone: 24 NM

Territorial sea: 12 NM

Continental shelf: 200 NM

Exclusive economic zone: 200 NM

Climate: tropical; warm and comparatively dry along southeast coast; hot and humid in southwest; hot and dry in north

Terrain: mostly low plains with dissected plateau in south-central area

Elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

Highest point: Mount Afadjato 880 m

Natural resources: gold, timber, industrial diamonds, bauxite, manganese, fish, rubber, hydropower

Natural hazards: dry, dusty, northeastern harmattan winds occur from January to March; droughts

Environment current issues: recurrent drought in north severely affects agricultural activities; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; poaching and habitat destruction threatens wildlife populations; water pollution; inadequate supplies of potable water

Geography - note: Lake Volta is the world's largest artificial lake

 

Government

Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Ghana

Former: Gold Coast

Government type: constitutional democracy

Capital: Accra

Administrative divisions: 10 regions; Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Central, Eastern, Greater Accra, Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Volta, Western

Independence: 6 March 1957 (from UK)

National holiday: Independence Day, 6 March (1957)

Constitution: approved 28 April 1992

Legal system: based on English common law and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Cabinet: Council of Ministers; president nominates members subject to approval by Parliament

Elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms (eligible for a second term)

Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament (230 seats; note - increased from 200 seats in last election; members are elected by direct, popular vote to serve four-year terms).

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

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