Country Information on Ghana

  • Capital: Accra
  • Dimension: approx. 238.537 km² 
  • Population: 28.8 million inhabitants (2017)
  • Population density: 120 inhabitants per km²
  • Religions: Christians 30%, Tribal Religions 40%, Muslims 30%
  • Official Languages: 79 languages, Official language English
  • Currency: 1 New Cedi = 100 Pesewa
  • Type of government: Presidential Democracy
  • National Day: 6 March (Independence Day)
  • Climate: tropical humid, hot
  • Unemployment rate: 11.9% (2015)

Dimensions of the country

Ghana covers an area of 238.537 km². The Atlantic coast of Ghana is 543 km long. The country is mostly flat with about 50 % of its area beneath 150 meters altitude. The country borders the Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Togo. Accra (2.029.143 inhabitants) and Kumasi with 1.171.311 inhabitants, are the only cities with a population of more than a million people.

Population

Ghana has a population of 28.8 million people. The yearly population growth rate is currently 2.18 %. Its high infant mortality is continuously declining. The average life expectancy is about 57 years; alphabetization is 82 % for men and 66 % for women. The country's population is culturally and ethnically very divers. The largest ethnic groups are: 

  • Akan (approx. 44%)
  • Dagbone-Dagomba (16%)
  • Ewe (13%)
  • Ga-Adangme (8%)
  • Gurma (6%)
  • European and other, e.g. Chinese, Libanese (1,5%)

Religion

About one third of the population is Christian, 20 % belong to the Protestant church, and 10 % are Catholic. Furthermore, there are a lot of believers in natural religions. They make up approx. 40 % of the population. 30 % are Muslims. But neither many Christians nor Muslims see a problem in practicing their traditional belief as well. Therefore the borders between the various Ghanaian religions are not always very strict.  

Languages

The official language in Ghana is English, but there are 79 different languages. Some of the most common are:

  • Akan (8.300.000 Speakers)
  • Ewe (2.250.000 Speakers)
  • Abron (1.050.000 Speakers)
  • Farefare (820.000 Speakers)
  • Dagbani (800.000 Speakers)
  • Dangme (800.000 Speakers)
  • Ga (600.000 Speakers)
  • Konkomba (500.000 Speakers)

Many Ghanaians are brought up multi-lingual and can often speak three to five languages. A lot of the local languages spoken by very few people are almost extinct.

Climate

Climate is tropical and humid. There are no four season, but only rain and dry seasons. The rainy season is from March to October and it's dry between November and February. There are differences between the tropical forest areas of the South and the dry North of the country. Temperatures are between 28 degrees and 32 degrees Celsius the whole year round.

History

  • 150,000 to 20,000 years ago, today's area of ​​Ghana was first populated by humans
  • 4000 to about 2700 years ago, this area was shaped by the Kintampo culture with a complex economy
  • in the 9th and 10th centuries immigration of large groups coming from the north and northeast
  • Approximately 1600 AD Ascension of the Ashanti kingdom, which defeated the later British colonial masters until the beginning of the 20th century
  • Since the 17th century there were many fortified settlements of various European powers on the Gold Coast
  • 1874 The coastal strip of Ghana (Gold Coast) becomes the crown colony of the British
  • During the World War II, more than 40,000 soldiers fought on the Allied side
  • 1947 Formation of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC)
  • 1948 unrest in Accra and temporary imprisonment of the secretary Kwame Nkrumah and other leaders of the UGCC
  • 1952 Nkrumah becomes Prime Minister of the Gold Coast after the election victory of his party CPP (Convention People's Party)
  • 1954 Integration of the Northern Territories into the Gold Coast colony
  • March 6, 1957 Ghana (Gold Coast and Ashantiland) became the first independent African country under Prime Minister Nkrumah
  • 1966, 1972, 1978 and 1979 military coups that led to corruption and arbitrariness in the 1970s
  • 1981 to 1992 dictatorship under Jerry Rawlings, who gave Ghana 1992 a democratic constitution
  • In 1993 and 1996 Rawlings won the elections and continued as elected president
  • 2000-2016 John Agyekum Kufuor ruled after Rawlings was not allowed to compete for the third time
  • Since 2017 Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is ruling the country 

Economy and Politics

Ghana shows approaches to industrialization in which, however, still mainly agriculture is operated. About 60% of the population work in agriculture, especially fishing. Agriculture accounted for 36% of the gross national product in 2002.

Although the economic situation is considered stable due to large debt relief, Ghana remains one of the poorest countries in the world. The proportion of people living on less than one US $ a day is about 45% (2003).

Ghana is rich in mineral resources. Thus, e.g. Gold accounts for 32% of the country's total exports. In addition, Ghana produces oil, diamonds, bauxite, manganese and limestone. Agricultural exports are mainly cocoa, sugar cane, coffee, tea and rubber. Ghana is also the third largest supplier of hardwood and other wood throughout Africa.

In the future, tourism in Ghana will play an increasingly important role. Worth seeing are mainly the beaches, national parks, traditional festivals and the historic forts of the Europeans.

Political Situation

  • 1957 Creation of the first independent republic in tropical Africa
  • After various phases of democracy and military coups, the fourth republic has been in the form of a presidential republic in the Commonwealth since January 7, 1993
  • There are a total of 10 registered parties, the two largest are the current ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC)
  • Current President in Nana Akufo-Addo
  • The Chiefs (traditional tribal chiefs) are represented in some control organs of Ghana and have above all on the local level large power influence
  • Member of the United Nations and the Commonwealth of Nations since 1957
  • 1963 founding member of the OAE, the predecessor organization of the African Union