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: people settled in today's Ghanaian territory for the first time
  • 4000 to approx. 2700 years ago the area was shaped by the Kintampo culture with a complex form of economy
  • 9th and 10th century: Immigration of large groups from the North and Northeast. 
  • ­approx. 1600 A.D. Rise of the Ashanti Kingdom which was later only defeated by the British Colonial rulers at the beginning of the 20th century.
  • Since the 17th century there were a lot of settlements of different European powers on the Gold Coast
  • 1874 The coast of Ghana (Gold Coast) becomes a British Crown Colony
  • During WW II more than 40,000 soldiers fight on the Allies' side
  • 1947 Foundation of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC)
  • 1948 Riots in Accra and arrest of the secretary Kwama Nkrumah and other leaders of the UGCC for some time.
  • 1952 Nkrumah is elected Prime Minister of the Gold Coast after his party CPP (Convention People’s Party) wins the election
  • 1954 Integration of the Northern Territories into the Gold Coast Colony
  • 6 March 1957 Ghana becomes independent under Prime Minister Nkrumah(Gold Coast and Ashanto territory)as the first African country
  • 1966, 1972, 1978 and 1979 Military Coups leading to corruption and arbitrariness in the 70ies.  
  • 1981 to 1992 Dictatorship of Jerry Rawlings, who gives Ghana a democratic constitution in 1992
  • 1993 and 1996 Rawlings wins the elections and keeps on ruling as elected president
  • 2000-2016 John Agyekum Kufuor has been in power after Rawlings was not allowed a third run
  • Since 2017 Nana Addo Bankwa Akufo-Addo is in power

 

Economy and Politics

Ghana is in the beginning stages of industrialization with agriculture still being the main source of income. About 60% of the population works in the agricultural sector, especially in fishing. Agriculture had a 36 % part in the gross national product in 2002.

Ghana is still one of the poorest countries in the world, despite the economic situation being considered stable, partly because a high debt relief. Approx. 45 % of the population has less than one USD per day to survive. (2003)

Ghana has a lot of natural resources. Gold, for example, has a 32% part in the total export of the country. Additionally, oil, diamonds, Bauxite, manganese and lime stone are produced in Ghana. Primarily agricultural export goods are primarily cacao, sugar cane, coffee, tea and caoutchouc. Ghana is also the third biggest supplier of hardwood and other types of wood in Africa. 

Tourism will become more and more important for Ghana in the future. The beaches, national parks, traditional festivals and the historic castles of the Europeans are particular worth seeing.


Political Situation:

  • 1957 Formation of the first independent republic in tropical Africa
  • After various stages of democracy and military coups a fourth Republic in the form of a Presidential Republic in the Commonwealth was established on 7 January 1993
  • There are a total of 10 registered parties; the two biggest are the current governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and its opposition, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) 
  • Current President in his last term is John Agyekum Kufuer until December 2008
  • Chiefs (traditional tribal chiefs) have seats in some of the Ghanaian controlling bodies and still have a lot of influence on regional levels in particular
  • Since 1957: Member state of the United Nations and the Commonwealth of Nations
  • 1963 Founding member of the OAE, the predecessor of the African Union