Dwelling on Africa: Country Report “Ghana”

Ghana Flag
Ghana Flag

Ghana, formerly known as the Gold Coast, is a country in western Africa just north of the Equator. Situated between Cote d’Ivoire and Togo, and bordered by Burkina Faso in north and by the Gulf of Guinea (Atlantic Ocean) in south.

The country covers an area of 238,533 km², making it slightly smaller than the UK, or also slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Oregon.

Ghana’s terrain offers mostly low plains with some scattered hills criss-crossed by rivers, and there is Lake Volta, the world’s largest artificial lake.

Mount Afadja (or Mount Afadjato) is Ghana’s highest peak with just 885 m (2,904 ft). The hill is located in the Agumatsa Range. Main rivers are the Black Volta, the Red Volta and the White Volta, they merge into one river Volta, which has been dammed at Akosombo to form Lake Volta, the world’s largest artificial lake.

Ghana’s population of almost 28.3 million inhabitants (in 2016) is divided into some 75 ethnic groups. The most densely populated parts of the country are the coastal areas, the Ashanti region around Kumasi, the Ashanti capital. Capital and largest city is Accra. Spoken languages are English (official), and Akan (Twi–Fante), and about seventy more West African languages.

Background at Ghana

Formed from the merger of the British colony of the Gold Coast and the Togoland trust territory, Ghana in 1957 became the first sub-Saharan country in colonial Africa to gain its independence. A long series of coups resulted in the suspension of the constitution in 1981 and a ban on political parties. A new constitution, restoring multiparty politics, was approved in 1992. Lt. Jerry RAWLINGS, head of state since 1981, won presidential elections in 1992 and 1996, but was constitutionally prevented from running for a third term in 2000. John KUFUOR, who defeated former Vice President Atta MILLS in a free and fair election, succeeded him.

Business & Economy in Ghana

Ghana is Africa’s second-biggest gold producer and second-largest cocoa producer. The country is rich in diamonds and oil, but Ghana is locked in a dispute with Cote d’Ivoire over ownership of maritime oil fields, a final ruling from an international court is expected in 2017. The country has a negative trade balance, it imports more than it exports. Top exports of Ghana are gold, cocoa products and crude petroleum.

Geography of Ghana

Location: Western Africa, bordering the Gulf of Guinea, between Cote d’Ivoire and Togo.
Area: 238,391 km² (92,100 sq. mi.)
Terrain: Plains and scrubland, rainforest, savanna.
Climate:Tropical; warm and comparatively dry along southeast coast; hot and humid in southwest; hot and dry in north.

People of Ghana

Nationality: Ghanaian(s).
Population: 28.3 million (2016).
Ethnic Groups: Akan, Ewe, Ga, Moshi-Dagomba.
Languages: English (official), Akan (which includes Asante Twi, Akwapim Twi, Akyem, and Fanti) 49%, Mole-Dagbani 16%, Ewe 13%, Ga-Adangbe 8%, Guan 4%, others 10%.
Religions: Christian 69%, Muslim 15%, traditional and indigenous beliefs 9%.
Literacy: %70

Natural Resources of Ghana

Gold, timber, diamonds, bauxite, manganese, fish.

Agricultural Products of Ghana

Cocoa, rice, coffee, cassava (tapioca), peanuts, corn, shea nuts, bananas; timber

Industries in Ghana

Mining, lumbering, light manufacturing, aluminum smelting, food processing, cement, small commercial ship building.

Exports – Commodities in Ghana

Oil, gold, cocoa, timber, tuna, bauxite, aluminum, manganese ore, diamonds, horticultural products.

Exports Partners of Ghana

India 25.2%, Switzerland 12.2%, China 10.6%, France 5.7% (2015).

Imports – Commodities in Ghana

Capital equipment, refined petroleum, foodstuffs.

Imports – Partners of Ghana

China 32.6%, Nigeria 14%, Netherlands 5.5%, USA 5.4% (2015).

Currency of Ghana

Cedi (GHC)


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