Ghana

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This article is about the modern country of Ghana. For the Ghana Empire (c. 790–1076) northwest of modern Ghana, see Ghana Empire. For other uses, see Ghana (disambiguation).
Republic of Ghana
Flag Coat of arms
Motto: "Freedom and Justice"
Anthem: 
Location of  Ghana  (dark blue)– in Africa  (light blue & dark grey)– in the African Union  (light blue)
Location of  Ghana  (dark blue)

– in Africa  (light blue & dark grey)
– in the African Union  (light blue)

Capital
Accra Metropolitan Assembly logo.jpg
Accra
5°33′N 0°12′W / 5.550°N 0.200°W / 5.550; -0.200
Official languages English (official) 67.1%[2][3]
Indigenous language
Ethnic groups (2010[3][4])
Demonym Ghanaian
Government Unitary presidential
constitutional democracy
 -  President John Dramani Mahama
 -  Vice-President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur
Legislature Parliament
Independence from the United Kingdom
 -  Declared 6 March 1957 
 -  Realm 6 March 1957 – 1 July 1960 
 -  Republic 1 July 1960 
 -  Current constitution 28 April 1992 
Area
 -  Total 238,535 km2 (82nd)
92,099 sq mi
 -  Water (%) 4.61 (11,000 km2 / 4,247 mi2)
Population
 -  2014 estimate Increase 27 million[5]
 -  2010 census 24.2 million[6]
 -  Density 101.5/km2 (103rd)
258.8/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2013 estimate
 -  Total $103 billion[7] (70th)
 -  Per capita $3,974[8] (126th)
GDP (nominal) 2013 estimate
 -  Total $50 billion[9] (75th)
 -  Per capita $1,902[9] (126th)
Gini (2009) positive decrease 19.2[10]
low
HDI (2013) Steady 0.573[11]
medium · 138th
Currency Ghana cedi (GH₵) (GHS)
Time zone GMT (UTC+0)
Drives on the right
Calling code +233
ISO 3166 code GH
Internet TLD .gh
Map of the Gulf of Guinea showing Ghana and its 2,093 kilometre international borders.

Ghana (Listeni/ˈɡɑːnə/), officially called the Republic of Ghana, is a sovereign multinational state and unitary presidential constitutional democracy, located along the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean, in the subregion of West Africa. Ghana is the 82nd largest country in the world and 33rd largest country on continental Africa by land mass, and Ghana has a land mass of 238,535 km2, with 2,093 kilometres of international land borders. The country is bordered by the Ivory Coast in the west, Burkina Faso in the north, Togo in the east and the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean in the south. The word Ghana means "Warrior King".[12]

Ghana is a constitutional democracy divided into ten administrative regions, and the world's 56th−most inhabited nation with a population of approximately 27 million as of 2014.[5] Ghana's varied geography includes savannas, woodlands, forests, a coastal line, springs, cave systems, mountains, estuaries, wildlife parks, and nature reserves.[13][14][15] The coast of Ghana stretches 560 kilometres (350 miles) and includes a rich assortment of culturally significant castles, forts, ports and harbours.[15] Prior to colonisation by the British empire in the early-20th century, Ghana was the site of numerous kingdoms and empires; the most powerful being the Akan Kingdom of Ashanti.[16] In 1957, it became the first African nation to declare independence from European colonisation.[17][18][19] This made Ghana a symbol of black achievement and helped to inspire other African nations to seek independence. It also had a major influence on Pan-Africanism and the Black Pride movements in the United States of America.[20][21]

Ghana is the 7th-best governed country, 5th-most stable country and rated thirteenth-highest HDI on continental Africa. Ghana's economy is the 6th-largest on the Africa continent by purchasing power parity and Nominal GDP and is one of the fastest growing in the world.[22] In terms of purchasing power parity per capita income, Ghana has the highest per capita income in the subregion of western Africa and Ghana has the tenth−highest per capita income on continental Africa. Ghana is one of only five countries in Africa with a free press.

Ghana has been a significant petroleum and natural gas producer since December 2010, and one of the world's largest gold and diamond producers, and is projected to be the largest producer of cocoa in the world as of 2015.[23][24] Ghana is home to Lake Volta, the largest artificial lake in the world by surface area.[25] Ghana's sweet crude oil reserves, ranks at 5th on continental Africa and 21st–25th globally and Ghana's natural gas reserves, ranks at 6th on continental Africa and 49th globally.[26] Ghana ranks as the 58th most peaceful country in the world.[27] Ghana is a regional power in West Africa and on continental Africa,[28] a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement, and a member of both the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Group of 24 (G24).[29]

Etymology[edit]

1925 map of pre–existing Ghana

The etymology of the word Ghana means "Warrior King" and was the title accorded to the kings of the medieval Ghana Empire in West Africa, although this empire was further north than the modern-day country of Ghana in Guinea region.[30]

The name "Ghana" was the source of the name "Guinea" (via French Guinoye) used to refer to the West African coast off Ghana (as in Gulf of Guinea).[31]

Ghana was adopted as the legal name for the area comprising four separate parts, which immediately before independence enjoyed distinct constitutional positions:[32]

The minister responsible for shepherding through the independence legislation Charles Arden-Clarke Lord Listowel explained that the name was chosen "in accordance with local wishes".[33]

History[edit]

Main article: History of Ghana

Prehistory[edit]

16th – 17th century Akan Terracotta, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Prehistory Ghana was inhabited in the Middle Ages and the Age of Discovery by a number of ancient predominantly Akan kingdoms in the Southern and Central territories. This included the Ashanti Empire, the Akwamu, the Bonoman, the Denkyira, and the Mankessim Kingdom.[34] There is archaeological evidence showing that humans have lived in present-day Ghana since the Bronze Age.[35] However, until the 11th century, the majority of modern Ghana's territorial area was largely unoccupied and uninhabited by humans.[36] Although the area of present-day Ghana in West Africa has experienced many population movements, the Akans were firmly settled by the 5th century BC.[37][38] By the early 11th century, the Akans were firmly established in the Akan state called Bonoman, for which the Brong-Ahafo region is named.[38][39]

From the 13th century, Akans emerged from what is believed to have been the Bonoman area, to create several Akan states of Ghana, mainly based on gold trading.[40] These states included Bonoman (Brong-Ahafo Region), Ashanti (Ashanti Region), Denkyira (Central region), Mankessim Kingdom (Western region), and Akwamu (Eastern region and Greater Accra Region).[38] By the 19th century; the territory of the southern part of Ghana was included in the Kingdom of Ashanti, one of the most influential states in sub-saharan Africa prior to the onset of colonialism.[38]

Detailed 1850 map showing the Akan Kingdom of Ashanti within the Guinea region and surrounding regions in West Africa.

The Kingdom of Ashanti government operated first as a loose network, and eventually as a centralised kingdom with an advanced, highly specialised bureaucracy centred in the capital city of Kumasi.[38] It is said that at its peak, the King of Ashanti, Asantehene could field 500,000 troops – although actual fighting strength was less than potential strength; it had strong degree of military influence over all of its neighbours within West Africa.[41][42] Prior to Akan contact with Europeans, the Akan Ashanti people created an advanced economy based on principally gold and gold bar commodities then traded with the states of Africa.[38] [43]

The earliest known kingdoms to emerge in modern Ghana were the Mole-Dagbani states.[38] The Mole-Dagombas came on horse-backs from present day Burkina Faso under a single leader, Naa Gbewaa.[44] With their advance weapons and the presence of a central authority they easily invaded and occupied the lands of the local people ruled by the Tendamba (land god priests), established themselves as rulers over them and made Gambaga their capital.[45] The death of Naa Gbewaa caused civil war among his children, some of whom broke off and founded separate states including Dagbon, Mamprugu, Mossi and Wala.[46][47]

Pre–Republicanism[edit]

Chronicles of Pre-Republicanism (c. 15th century–6 March 1957), including Gold Coast legislative election, 1956.

Akan trade with European states began after contact with Portuguese in the 15th century.[48] Early European contact by the Portuguese people, who came to the Gold Coast region in the 15th century to trade then established the Portuguese Gold Coast (Costa do Ouro), focused on the extensive availability of gold.[49] The Portuguese first landed at a south coastal city, and named the place Elmina as the Portuguese Gold Coast's capital city.[49] In 1481, King John II of Portugal commissioned Diogo d'Azambuja to build Elmina Castle, which was completed in three years.[49] By 1598, the Dutch people had joined the Portuguese people in gold trading, establishing the Dutch Gold Coast (Nederlandse Bezittingen ter Kuste van Guinea) and building forts at Komeda and Kormantsi.[50] In 1617, the Dutch captured the Olnini Castle from the Portuguese, and Axim in 1642 (Fort St Anthony).[50] Other European traders had joined in gold trading by the mid-17th century, most notably the Swedish people, establishing the Swedish Gold Coast (Svenska Guldkusten), and the Danish people, establishing the Danish Gold Coast (Danske Guldkyst or Dansk Guinea).[51] Portuguese merchants, impressed with the gold resources in the area, named it Costa do Ouro or Gold Coast.[51]

More than thirty forts and castles were built by the Portuguese, Swedish, Danish, Dutch and German merchants; the latter German people establishing the German Gold Coast (Brandenburger Gold Coast or Groß Friedrichsburg).[52] In 1874 Great Britain established control over some parts of the country assigning these areas the status of British Gold Coast.[53] Many military engagements occurred between the British colonial powers and the various Akan nation-states and the Akan Kingdom of Ashanti defeated the British a few times in a warfare against the United Kingdom that lasted for 100 years, but eventually lost with the War of the Golden Stool in the early 1900s.[54][55][55][56]

In 1947, the newly formed United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) by The Big Six called for "self-government within the shortest possible time" following the Gold Coast legislative election, 1946.[51][57] Dr.h.c. Kwame Nkrumah is the first Prime Minister of Ghana and President of Ghana and formed the Convention People's Party (CPP) with the motto "self-government now".[51] The first Prime Minister of Ghana and President of Ghana Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah won a majority in the Gold Coast legislative election, 1951 for the Gold Coast Legislative Assembly in 1952, Nkrumah was appointed leader of the Gold Coast's government business.[51] The Gold Coast region declared independence from the United Kingdom on 6 March 1957 and established the nation of Ghana.[17][18][19]

Republicanism[edit]

The commencing chronicles of Ghana on 6 March 1957 and Kwame Nkrumah establishment of Ghanaian Republicanism, including Ghanaian presidential election, 1960.

On 6 March 1957 at 12 a.m Kwame Nkrumah declared Ghana's establishment and autonomy as the first Prime Minister of Ghana and on 1 July 1960, following the Ghanaian constitutional referendum, 1960 and Ghanaian presidential election, 1960 Nkrumah declared Ghana as a republic as the first President of Ghana.[51]

The flag of Ghana, consisting of the colours red, gold, green, and the black star, became the new flag in 1957.[58] Designed by Theodosia Salome Okoh, the red represents the blood that was shed towards independence, the gold represents the industrial minerals wealth of Ghana, the green symbolises the rich grasslands of Ghana, and the black star is the symbol of the Ghanaian people and African emancipation.[59]

Kwame Nkrumah, first Prime Minister of Ghana, and then President of Ghana, was the first African head of state to promote Pan-Africanism, an idea he came into contact with during his studies at Lincoln University, Pennsylvania in the United States, at the time when Marcus Garvey was becoming famous for his "Back to Africa Movement".[51] Nkrumah merged the teachings of Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King, Jr. and the naturalised Ghanaian scholar W. E. B. Du Bois into the formation of 1960s Ghana.[51]

Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, as he became known, played an instrumental part in the founding of the Non-Aligned Movement and his life achievements were recognised by Ghanaians during his centenary birthday celebration, and the day was instituted as a public holiday in Ghana (Founder's Day).[60]

Operation Cold Chop and aftermath[edit]

Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and his government was subsequently overthrown by a GAF military operation codenamed "Operation Cold Chop" coup while Nkrumah was abroad with Zhou Enlai in the People's Republic of China for a fruitless mission to Hanoi in Vietnam to help end the Vietnam War on 24 February 1966 by GAF led by Field marshal Akwasi Afrifa.[61] It turned out later that, unhappy with Nkrumah's strengthening ties with the Soviet Union, People's Republic of China and other communist states,[61] the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the United States had been kept updated about preparations for GAF military operation "Operation Cold Chop" and may have helped create difficulties for the Nkrumah government to facilitate this.[62][63]

A series of alternating military and civilian governments from 1966 to 1981 ended with the ascension to power of Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings of the Provisional National Defense Council (NDC) in 1981.[64] These changes resulted in the suspension of the Constitution of Ghana in 1981, and the banning of political parties in Ghana.[65] The economy suffered a severe decline soon after, Kwame Darko negotiated a structural adjustment plan changing many old economic policies, and economic growth soon recovered from the mid–2000s.[65] A new Constitution of Ghana restoring multi-party system politics was promulgated in Ghanaian presidential election, 1992; Rawlings was elected as president of Ghana then, and again in Ghanaian general election, 1996.[66]

21st century[edit]

Winning the 2000 Ghanaian elections, John Agyekum Kufuor of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) was sworn into office as president of Ghana in January 2001, and attained the presidency again in the 2004 Ghanaian elections, thus also serving two term of office term limit as president of Ghana and thus marking the first time under the fourth republic of Ghana that power had been transferred to one legitimately elected head of state and head of government to another.[66]

Kufuor was succeeded to the presidency of the Republic of Ghana by John Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) following the Ghanaian presidential election, 2008 and John Atta Mills was inaugurated as the third president of the fourth republic of Ghana and eleventh president of Ghana on 7 January 2009,[67] prior to John Atta Mills being succeeded as president of Ghana by then vice-president of Ghana John Dramani Mahama on 24 July 2012.[68]

Following the Ghanaian presidential election, 2012 John Dramani Mahama became supreme commander-in-chief and John Dramani Mahama was inaugurated as the 4th President of the Fourth Republic of Ghana and 12th President of Ghana on 7 January 2013 to serve a one term of office of 4-years term length as supreme commander-in-chief and president of Ghana until 7 January 2017,[69] and securing Ghana's status as a stable democracy.[66]

Historical timeline[edit]

John Dramani Mahama John Atta Mills John Kufuor Jerry Rawlings Hilla Limann Jerry Rawlings Fred Akuffo Ignatius Acheampong Edward Akufo-Addo Nii Amaa Ollennu Akwasi Afrifa Joseph Arthur Ankrah Kwame Nkrumah

Geography[edit]

Main article: Geography of Ghana

Ghana is located on the Gulf of Guinea, only a few degrees north of the Equator, therefore giving it a warm climate.[70] Ghana spans an area of 238,535 km2 (92,099 sq mi), and has an Atlantic coastline that stretches 560 kilometres (350 miles) on the Gulf of Guinea in Atlantic Ocean to its south.[70] lies between latitudes and 12°N, and longitudes 4°W and 2°E; and the Prime Meridian passes through Ghana, specifically through the industrial port town of Tema.[70] Ghana is geographically closer to the "centre" of the Earth than any other country in the World; even though the notional centre, (0°, 0°) is located in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 614 km (382 mi) off the south-east coast of Ghana on the Gulf of Guinea.[71]

Grasslands mixed with south coastal shrublands and forests dominate Ghana, with forest extending northward from the south-west coast of Ghana on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean 320 kilometres (200 miles) and eastward for a maximum of about 270 kilometres (170 miles) with the Kingdom of Ashanti or the southern part of Ghana being a primary location for mining of industrial minerals and timber.[70]

Ghana encompasses plains, waterfalls, low hills, rivers, Lake Volta, the world's largest artificial lake, Dodi Island and Bobowasi Island on the south Atlantic Ocean coast of Ghana.[72] The northernmost part of Ghana is Pulmakong and the southernmost part of Ghana is Cape Three Points.[70]

Climate[edit]

Main article: Climate of Ghana

The climate of Ghana is tropical and there are two main seasons: the wet season and the dry season.

Rivers[edit]

Main article: Rivers of Ghana

Ghana has a vast river system with an array of tributaries.

Panorama and landscape view of Lake Volta in Volta Basin and Eastern Region of Ghana. Lake Volta by artificial surface area is the largest reservoir in the world. Lake Volta drains into the Gulf of Guinea on the Atlantic Ocean. Volta River has three main tributaries—the Black Volta, White Volta and Red Volta.

Wildlife[edit]

Ghana has a beautiful array of wildlife that can be seen at zoos and national parks in the country.

Government[edit]

Further information: Government of Ghana and Politics of Ghana
Parliament House of Ghana seat of the Government of Ghana, the Supreme Court of Ghana and Judiciary of Ghana buildings, Osu Castle is the defacto residence of presidency and the Flagstaff House is the official residence and presidential palace. First President of the Republic of Ghana Nkrumah and Supreme Commander-in-Chiefs of the 4th Republic of Ghana Rawlings; Kufuor; Mills and Mahama.

Ghana is a unitary presidential constitutional democracy with a parliamentary multi-party system and former alternating military occupation. Following alternating military and civilian governments in January 1993, the Ghana military government gave way to the Fourth Republic of Ghana after presidential elections and parliamentary elections in late 1992. The 1992 constitution of Ghana divides powers among a supreme commander-in-chief (President of Ghana), parliament (Parliament of Ghana), cabinet (Ministers of the Ghanaian Government), council of state (Ghanaian Council of State), and an independent judiciary (Judiciary of Ghana). The Government of Ghana is elected by universal suffrage.[73] The Electoral Commission of Ghana announced that former Vice-President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama won the Ghana presidential election, 2012 on 7 December 2012 and John Dramani Mahama was sworn in as the reigning President of Ghana on 7 January 2013 serving a 4-years term length that expires approximately on Saturday 7 January 2017 amidst announcement of electoral fraud.[69]

The 2012 Failed States Index indicated that Ghana is ranked the 67th least failed state in the world and the 5th least failed state in Africa after Mauritius, 2nd Seychelles, 3rd Botswana, and 4th South Africa. Ghana ranked 112th out of 177 countries on the index.[74] Ghana ranked as the 64th least corrupt and politically corrupt country in the world out of all 174 countries ranked and Ghana ranked as the 5th least corrupt and politically corrupt country in Africa out of 53 countries in the 2012 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index.[75][76] Ghana was ranked 7th in Africa out of 53 countries in the 2012 Ibrahim Index of African Governance. The Ibrahim Index is a comprehensive measure of African government, based on a number of different variables which reflect the success with which governments deliver essential political goods to its citizens.[77]

Foreign relations[edit]

Since independence, Ghana has been devoted to ideals of nonalignment and is a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement. Ghana favours international and regional political and economic co-operation, and is an active member of the United Nations and the African Union.[78]

Ghana has a great relationship with the United States, all of the last three U.S presidents- Bill Clinton, George W Bush, and Barack Obama- have made diplomatic trips to Ghana. Many Ghanaian diplomats and politicians hold positions in international organisations. These include Ghanaian diplomat and former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, International Criminal Court Judge Akua Kuenyehia, former President Jerry John Rawlings and former President John Agyekum Kuffour who have both served as diplomats of the United Nations.[73]

In September 2010, Ghana's former President John Atta Mills visited China on an official visit. Mills and China's former President Hu Jintao, marked the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two nations, at the Great Hall of the People on 20 September 2010.[79] China reciprocated with an official visit in November 2011, by the Vice-Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China, Zhou Tienong who visited Ghana and met with Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama.[80]

The Islamic Republic of Iran and the 6th President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met with the 12th President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama on 16 April 2013 to hold discussions with President John Dramani Mahama on strengthening the Non-Aligned Movement and also co–chair a bilateral meeting between the two countries Ghana and Iran at the Ghanaian presidential palace Flagstaff House.[81][82][83][84][85] Government of Ghana reciprocated with an official state visit on 5 August 2013, by the Vice-President of Ghana, Kwesi Amissah-Arthur whom met with the Vice-President of Iran, Eshaq Jahangiri on the basis of autarky and possible bilateral trade at the Islamic Republic of Iran's presidential palace, Sa'dabad Palace.[86]

Law enforcement and police[edit]

Further information: Law enforcement in Ghana

The Ghana Police Service (GPS) and the Criminal Investigative Department (CID) are the main law enforcement agencies of the Republic of Ghana and responsible for the detection of crime, maintenance of law and order and the maintenance of internal peace and security.[87] The Ghana Police Service has eleven specialised police units including a Rapid deployment force (RDF) and Marine Police Unit (MPU).[88][89] The Ghana Police Service operates in twelve divisions: ten covering the ten regions of Ghana, one assigned specifically to the seaport and industrial hub of Tema, and the twelfth being the Railways, Ports and Harbours Division.[89] The Ghana Police Service's Marine Police Unit and Division handles issues that arise from the country's offshore oil and gas industry.[89]

The Ghana Prisons Service and the sub-division Borstal Institute for Juveniles administers incarceration in Ghana.[90] Ghana retains and exercises the death penalty for treason, corruption, robbery, piracy, drug trafficking, rape, and homicide.[91][92] 27 convicts (all men) were sentenced to death in Ghana in 2012 and the Ghana Prisons Service statistics of the total number of convicts sentenced to death in Ghana as at December 2012 was 162 men and 4 women,[91] with a total prison inmate population of 13,983 convicts as at 22 July 2013.[93]

The Narcotic Control Board[edit]

Ghana is among the sovereign states of West Africa used by drug cartels and drug traffickers (shown in orange).

Ghana has been used as a key narcotics industry transshipment point by traffickers.[94] There is not wide popular knowledge about the narcotics industry and intercepted narcotics in Ghana due to the involvement of the black market.[citation needed] The social context within which narcotic trafficking, storage, transportation, and repacking systems exist in Ghana and the state's location along the Gulf of Guinea within the Atlantic Ocean – only a few degrees north of the Equator – makes Ghana an attractive country for the narcotics business.[94][95]

The Narcotic Control Board (NACOB), in collaboration with an internal counterpart, has impounded container ships at the Sekondi Naval Base within the Takoradi Harbour. These ships were carrying millions of kilograms of cocaine, with a street value running into billions of Ghana cedis. However, drug seizures saw a decline in 2011.[94][95]

Drug cartels are using new methods in narcotics production and narcotics exportation, to avoid Ghanaian security agencies.[94][95] Underdeveloped institutions, porous open borders, and the existence of established smuggling organisations contribute to Ghana's position in the narcotics industry.[94][95] John Atta Mills, president between 2009 and 2012, initiated ongoing efforts to reduce the role of airports in Ghana's drug trade.[94]

Military[edit]

Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) Military Technologies

In 1957, the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) consisted of its headquarters, support services, three battalions of infantry and a reconnaissance squadron with armoured vehicles.[96] Ghanaian Prime Minister and President Kwame Nkrumah aimed at rapidly expanding the GAF to support the United States of Africa ambitions. Thus in 1961, 4th and 5th Battalions were established, and in 1964 6th Battalion was established, from a parachute airborne unit originally raised in 1963.[97]

Today, Ghana is a regional power and regional hegemony.[28] In his book Shake Hands with the Devil, Canadian Forces commander Roméo Dallaire highly rated the GAF soldiers and military personnels.[96]

The military operations and military doctrine of the GAF are conceptualised on the Constitution of Ghana, Supreme Commander-in-Chief of Ghana's Law on Armed Force Military Strategy, and Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) agreements to which GAF is attestator.[98][99][100] GAF military operations are executed under the auspices and imperium of the Ministry of Defense (MoD) Minister for Defence.[98][101]

Weapons of mass destruction and tactical nuclear weapons[edit]

Ghana maintains several research reactors ready on standby for the processing of Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) into Tactical nuclear weapons (TNW).[102] The "Kwabenya Nuclear Plant of Ghana" contains Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) sufficient to make a Weapon of mass destruction (WMD).[103] According to an article published by renowned political scientist, bioterrorism and nuclear weapons specialist Graham T. Allison for Boston Globe; Ghana has enough Enriched uranium to produce a Weapon of mass destruction (WMD).[103] Entitled "We're still vulnerable", Graham T. Allison speculates that; the orphaned research reactor "Kwabenya Nuclear Plant of Ghana" at Kwabenya, Greater Accra contains Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) sufficient to make a number of nuclear weapons such as Tactical nuclear weapons (TNW).[103]

Administrative divisions[edit]

Ghana is divided into 10 administrative regions, sub-divided into 275 districts:[104][105][106]

Regions of Ghana Area (km²) Regional capitals
Ashanti Region 24,389 Kumasi
Ashanti Region Brong-Ahafo Region Central Region, Ghana Eastern Region, Ghana Greater Accra Region Northern Region, Ghana Upper East Region Upper West Region Volta Region Western Region, GhanaA clickable map of Ghana exhibiting its ten regions.
About this image

Ghana regional map
Ghana Topography.png
Ghana topographytopographic map
Ghana sat.png
Ghana satellite image from outer space
Brong-Ahafo Region 39,557 Sunyani
Central Region 9,826 Cape Coast
Eastern Region 19,323 Koforidua
Greater Accra Region 3,245 Accra
Northern Region 70,384 Tamale
Upper East Region 8,842 Bolgatanga
Upper West Region 18,476 Wa
Volta Region 20,570 Ho
Western Region 23,941 Sekondi-Takoradi
Largest cities
Aerial View of Kumasi in 2003.jpg Independence Square, Accra, Ghana.JPG Sekondi-Takoradi Shores.jpg
Kumasi Accra Sekondi-Takoradi
Ten largest cities
Rank City Region Population Rank City Region Population
1 Kumasi Flag of Ashanti Region.png Ashanti 3,779,979 6 Cape Coast Flag of Central Region (Ghana).gif Central 897,968
2 Accra Flag of Greater Accra Region.gif Greater Accra 2,995,493 7 Obuasi Flag of Ashanti Region.png Ashanti 879,847
3 Sekondi-Takoradi Flag of Western Region (Ghana).gif Western 1,895,247 8 Koforidua Flag of Eastern Region (Ghana).gif Eastern 866,696
4 Tamale Northern 1,764,634 9 Tema Flag of Greater Accra Region.gif Greater Accra 428,742
5 Sunyani Flag of Brong-Ahafo Region.gif Brong-Ahafo 998,897 10 Techiman Flag of Brong-Ahafo Region.gif Brong-Ahafo 394,448
Source: Ghana Statistical Service, Department of Census and Statistics

Transportation[edit]

Main article: Transport in Ghana

Transport and modes of transport in Ghana is accomplished by road transport (bus-based mass transit system), rail transport (high-speed rail), air transport (civil aviation) and water transport (ferry).

Economy[edit]

Key sectors[edit]

Economy of Ghana Vision 2020 logo: Ghana to become a developed country from the years 2020–2029 then Ghana immediately become a newly industrialised country from the years 2030–2039 onwards.

Ghana is a wealthy natural resource enriched country possessing a great abundance of industrial minerals, hydrocarbons and a vast array of Precious metals. It is an emerging designated digital economy with mixed economy hybridisation and an emerging market with 8.7% GDP growth in 2012. It has an economic plan target known as the "Ghana Vision 2020". This plan envisions Ghana as the first African country to become a developed country between 2020 and 2029 and a newly industrialised country between 2030 and 2039. This excludes fellow Group of 24 member and Sub-Saharan African country South Africa, which is a newly industrialised country.[107] The economy of Ghana is tied to the Chinese Yuan Renminbi along with Ghana's vast gold reserves. In 2013, the Bank of Ghana began circulating the Renminbi throughout Ghanaian state-owned banks and to the Ghana public as hard currency along with the national Ghana cedi for second national trade currency.[108]

The state-owned Volta River Authority and Ghana National Petroleum Corporation are the two major electricity producers.[109] The Akosombo Dam, built on the Volta River in 1965, along with Bui Dam, Kpong Dam, and several other hydroelectric dams provide hydropower.[110][111][112] In addition, the Government of Ghana has sought to build the second nuclear power plant in Africa.

The Stock exchange of Ghana (Ghana Stock Exchange) is the 5th largest on continental Africa and 3rd largest in sub-saharan Africa with a market capitalisation of GH¢ 57.2 billion or CN¥ 180.4 billion in 2012 with the South Africa JSE Limited as first.[113] The Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) was the 2nd best performing stock exchange in sub-saharan Africa in 2013.[114]

Ghana also produces the "finest cocoa" on Earth,[23] and Ghana is the designated 2nd largest producer of cocoa in the world,[23][115] and Ghana will become the designated largest producer of cocoa in the world in 2015.[24]

Ghana is classified as a middle income country.[9][116] Services account for 50% of GDP, followed by manufacturing (24.1%), extractive industries (5%), and taxes (20.9%).[109]

Manufacturing[edit]

The Ghana economy is an emerging digital-based mixed economy hybrid similarly to that of Taiwan with an increasing primary manufacturing and exportation of digital technology goods along with assembling and exporting automobiles and ships, diverse resource rich exportation of industrial minerals, agricultural products primarily cocoa, petroleum and natural gas,[117] and industries such as information and communications technology primarily via Ghana's state digital technology corporation Rlg Communications which manufactures tablet computers with smart phones and various consumer electronics.[109][118]

Petroleum and natural gas production[edit]

Ghana produces and exports an abundance of hydrocarbons such as sweet crude oil and natural gas.[22][119] The 100% state-owned filling station company of Ghana, Ghana Oil Company (GOIL) is the number 1 petroleum and gas filling station of Ghana and the 100% state-owned state oil company Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) administrates hydrocarbon exploration and production of Ghana's entire petroleum and natural gas reserves and Ghana aims to further increase output of oil to 2.2 million barrels per day and gas to 1.2 billion cubic feet per day.[120]

Ghana's Jubilee Oilfield which contains up to 3 billion barrels (480,000,000 m3) of sweet crude oil was discovered in 2007, among the many other offshore and inland oilfields in Ghana.[121] Ghana is believed to have up to 5 billion barrels (790,000,000 m3) to 7 billion barrels (1.1×109 m3) of petroleum in reserves,[122] which is the fifth largest in Africa and the 21st to 25th largest proven reserves in the world and Ghana has up to 6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in reserves,[26] which is the sixth largest in Africa and the 49th largest natural gas proven reserves in the world. Oil and gas exploration off Ghana's eastern coast on the Gulf of Guinea is ongoing, and the amount of both crude oil and natural gas continues to increase. The Government of Ghana has drawn plans to nationalise Ghana's entire petroleum and natural gas reserves for greater revenues for the Government of Ghana.[123]

Industrial minerals mining[edit]

Known for its industrial minerals, Ghana is the world's 7th largest producer of gold; producing over 102 metric tons of gold and the 10th largest producer of gold in the world in 2012; producing 89 metric tons of gold and Ghana is the designated 2nd largest producer of gold on the Africa continent behind the designated first South Africa.[124] Ghana has the 9th largest reserves of diamonds in the world and Ghana is the 9th largest producer of diamonds in the world with Brazil having the 10th largest reserves of diamonds in the world and being the 10th largest producer of diamonds in the world.[125] Industrial minerals and exports from South Ghana are gold, silver, timber, diamonds, bauxite, and manganese; South Ghana also has a great deposit of barites; basalts; clays; dolomites; feldspars; granites; gravels; gypsums; iron ores; kaolins; laterites; limestones; magnesites; marbles; micas; phosphates; phosphorus; rocks; salts; sands; sandstones; silver; slates; talcs; and uranium that are yet to be fully exploited.[126] The Government of Ghana has drawn plans to nationalise Ghana's entire mining industry for greater revenues for the Government of Ghana.[127][128]

Real estate[edit]

A middle-class luxury villa house with swimming pool development in East Ridge

The real estate and housing market of Ghana has become an important and strategic economic sector, particularly in the urban centres of south Ghana such as Accra, Kumasi, Sekondi-Takoradi and Tema.[129][130][131] Kumasi is growing at a faster rate than Accra, and there is less competition in its real estate market.[129] The gross rental income tax of Ghana is withheld at 10%, capital gains are taxed at 15% with a 5% gift tax imposed on the transfer of properties and Ghana's real estate market is divided into 3 areas: public sector real estate development, emerging private sector real estate development, and private individuals.[129][130] The activities of these 3 groups are facilitated by the Ghanaian banks and the primary mortgage market which has demonstrated enormous growth potential.[130][130] Recent developments in the Ghanaian economy has given birth to a boom in the construction sector, including the housing and public housing sector generating and injecting billions of dollars annually into the Ghanaian economy.[129][130] The real estate market investment perspective and attraction comes from Ghana's tropical location and robust political stability.[129][130] An increasing number of the Ghanaian populace are investing in properties and the Ghana government is empowering the private sector in the real estate direction.[129][130]

Trade and exports[edit]

Ghana Export Treemap by Product (2012)[132]
1st image: Booming Economy, Container ships and Merchant ships being loaded and unloaded at Intermodal freight transport of Tema Harbour.
2nd image: The Takoradi Harbour seaport was established in 1928 and is Ghana's main export outlet. Ghana maintains one of the worlds fastest growing and expanding shipping industry.

In July 2013, International Enterprise Singapore Singapore opened its 38th global office in Accra, Ghana to develop trade and investment on logistics, oil and gas, aviation, transportation and consumer sectors.[133] Singapore and Ghana also signed four bilateral agreements to promote public sector and private sector collaboration, as Ghana aims to predominantly shift its economic trade partnership to East Asia and Southeast Asia.[133] The economic centre is IE Singapore's second office in Africa, coming six months after opening in Johannesburg, South Africa in January 2013.[133] Ghana's labour force in 2008 totalled 11.5 million Ghanaian citizens.[134][135] Tema Harbour is Africa's largest manmade harbour and Takoradi Harbour along with Tema harbour in Ghana handles goods and exports for Ghana, they are also a traffic junctions, where goods are transhipped, the Tema harbour handles the majority of the nation's export cargo and most of the country's chief exports is shipped from Takoradi harbour.[136][137] The Takoradi harbour and Tema harbour are operated by the state-owned Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority.[136][137]

Economic transparency[edit]

According to Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index of 2013, out of 177 countries, Ghana ranked 63rd with Cuba and Saudi Arabia. Ghana had a score of 46 on a scale where a 0–9 score means highly corrupt, and a 90–100 score means very clean. This was based on perceived levels of public sector corruption.[138] Previously in 2012, the country ranked 64 and scored 45. Thus, Ghana's public sector scored lower in 2013 than in 2012, according to CPI's scores.

Local reports have claimed that Ghana loses US$4.5 billion every year (annually) from nominal gross domestic product (Nominal GDP) growth as a result of economic corruption and economic crime by the incumbent National Democratic Congress (NDC) government of Ghana led by John Dramani Mahama.[139] It is also said Ghana has lost an additional US$2.5 billion from nominal gross domestic product (Nominal GDP) growth between the months of January 2013 to October 2013 through economic corrupt practices under the Mahama administration.[140]

The incumbent president is however seen to be fighting corruption by some government members,[141] and a fellow politician of an opposition party,[142] after ordering investigations into scandals. Nonetheless others believe his actions aren't satisfactory in some cases.[143]

Science and technology[edit]

Innovations and HOPE City[edit]

Hope City is a technology park to be built and based in Ghana.[144] Hope City is being undertaken by Ghanaian information and communications technology company Rlg Communications.[145] Hope City is an acronym for Home, Office, People and Environment.[145] The Hope City project is expected to be completed in 2016 and is estimated to cost $US 10 billion in construction;[145] and one of its towers will become Africa's tallest building.[145] Hope City will host a cluster of buildings and telecommunications facilities to serve as an Information and communications technology Park.[144][145]

Space programs and space CanSat[edit]

The Ghana Space Science and Technology Centre (GSSTC) and Ghana Space Agency (GhsA) oversees the space exploration and space programs of Ghana and GSSTC and GhsA officials are to have a national security observational satellite launched into orbit in 2015.[146][147] The CanSat satellite technology and space program is spearheaded by the All Nations University (ANU) in Koforidua and CanSat as envisioned can be used in predicting weather, monitoring natural resources, and national security.[147] The CanSat Space satellite is to be launched into orbit in 2015.[147]

Ghana's annual space exploration expenditure has been 1% of its gross domestic product (GDP) for support research in science and technology and in 2012 Ghana was elected to chairman the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (Comsats) and Ghana has a joint effort in space exploration with South Africa's South African National Space Agency (SANSA).[146]

Cybernetics and Cyberwarfare[edit]

See also: Sakawa

The use of Computer technology for teaching and learning began to receive government of Ghana's attention from the late 1990s.[148] The Information and communications technology in education policy of Ghana requires the use of Information and communications technology for teaching and learning at all levels of the education of Ghana system.[148] The Ministry of Education (MOE) supports institutions in teaching of Information and communications technology literacy.[148] Majority of secondary, and some basic schools of Ghana have computer laboratories.[148]

Ghana's intention of becoming the information technology hub of West Africa has led the government of Ghana to enact cyber crime legislation and enhance cyber security practices.[149] Acting on that goal, in 2008 Ghana passed the Electronic Communications Act and the Electronic Transactions Act, which established the legal framework for governing information technology.[149] In November 2011, the Deputy Minister for Communications and Technology announced the development of a national cyber security strategy, aimed at combating cyber crime and securing critical infrastructure.[149] In June 2012, the National Information Technology Agency (NITA) announced a national Computer emergency response team "strategy" designed to co-ordinate government response to cyberattacks, both internal and external.[149] The Agency also establish Computer emergency response teamS for each municipal, metropolitan, and district assembly to improve co-ordination and information-sharing on cyberspace threats.[149] Ghana is ranked 2nd on continental Africa and 7th on Earth in cyber warfare, cyberterrorism, cyber crime or internet crime.[150]

Education[edit]

Main article: Education in Ghana

Overview[edit]

Educational attainment of non-student Ghanaians above 15 years old from 2010‒2012[3]
Highest qualification Percentage
No education (2012)
  
6.8%
Primary school (2012)
  
10%
Female Secondary school (2010)
  
53%
Male Secondary school (2010)
  
40.5%
Post-secondary diploma (2012)
  
18.8%
Degree (2012)
  
24.4%

Ghanaian Education system is divided in three parts: "Basic Education", secondary cycle and tertiary Education. "Basic Education" lasts 11 years (Age 4‒15), is free and compulsory.[151] It is divided into Kindergarten (2 years), Primary School (2 module of 3 years) and Junior High school (3 years). The Junior High School (JHS) ends on the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).[151][152] Once the BECE achieved, the pupil can pursue into secondary cycle.[153] Hence, the pupil has the choice between general Education (assumed by Senior High School) and vocational Education (assumed by technical Senior High School, Technical and vocational Institutes, completed by a massive private and informal offer). Senior High School lasts three years and ends on the West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). The WASSCE is needed to join a University Bachelor's Degree Program.[154] Polytechnics are opened to vocational students, from SHS or from TVI.[155] A Bachelor's Degree usually lasts 4 years, can be followed by a 1 or 2-year Master's Degree, which can be concluded in 3 years by a Phd.[156] A Polytechnic lasts 2 or 3 years.[155] Ghana also possesses numerous colleges of education.[157] The Ghanaian education system from Kindergarten up to an undergraduate degree level takes 20 years.[158]

The academic year usually goes from August to May inclusive.[159] The school year in Primary Education lasts 40 weeks in Primary School and SHS, and 45 weeks in JHS.[160]

Enrollment[edit]

Ratio of females to males in education system.
Females and males out of education system.

With over 95% of its children in school, Ghana currently has one of the highest school enrolment rates in all of Africa.[161][162] The ratio of females to males in the total education system was 96.38%, in 2011.[163]

Foreign students[edit]

Ghana's education system annually attracts a high-number of foreign students particularly in the university sector.[164] One noted product of the Ghana education system is Robert Mugabe who completed both his elementary school education and high school education at the prestigious Achimota School.[165]

Funding of education[edit]

The government largely funds basic education comprising public primary schools and public junior high schools. Senior high schools are highly subsidised by the government. At the higher education level, the government funds more than 80% of resources provided to public universities, polytechnics and teacher training colleges.

Provision of educational material[edit]

As part of the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education, Fcube, the government supplies all basic education schools with all their textbooks and other educational supplies like exercise books. Senior high schools are also provided with all their textbook requirement by the government. Private schools acquire their educational material from private suppliers. Ghana has the largest bookshop in Africa, EPP Books Services located at the University of Ghana.

Kindergarten and education structure[edit]

Education structure of Ghana

The female and male ages 15–24 years literacy rate in Ghana was 81% in 2010, with males at 82%,[166] and females at 80%.[167]

Ghanaian children begin their education at the age of three or four starting from kindergarten (nursery school and preschool), then to elementary school (primary school), high school (junior high school and senior high school) and finally university. The average age at which a Ghanaian child enters primary school is 6 years.[161]

Ghana has a free education 6-year primary school education system beginning at age six,[168] and, under the educational reforms implemented in 1987 and reformed in 2007, they pass on to a 3-year junior high school system. At the end of the third year of junior high, there is a mandatory "Basic Education Certificate Examination". Those continuing must complete the 4-year senior high school program (which has been changed to three years) and take an admission exam to enter any university or tertiary programme. The Ghanaian education system from nursery school up to an undergraduate degree level takes 20 years.[158]

In 2005, Ghana had 12,130 primary schools, 5,450 junior secondary schools, 503 senior secondary schools, 21 public training colleges, 18 technical institutions, two diploma-awarding institutions and 6 universities.[169][170]

In 2010, there were relatively more females (53.0%) than males (40.5%) with Primary school and JSS (Junior Secondary School) / JHS (Junior High School) as their highest level of education.[3]

Elementary[edit]

The Ghanaian Ministry of Education and the Ghanaian National Accreditation Board provide Free education at Elementary school (Primary school Education) level, and most Ghanaians have relatively easy access to High school Education (Junior high school Education and Senior high school Education).[168] These numbers can be contrasted with the single university and handful of secondary and primary schools that existed at the time of independence in 1957. Ghana's spending on education has varied between 28–40% of its annual budget in the past decade. All teaching is done in English, mostly by qualified Ghanaian educators.[158]

The courses taught at the primary or basic school level include English, Ghanaian language and culture, mathematics,

environmental studies, social studies, Mandarin and French as an OIF associated-member; as further languages are added,[171] integrated or general science, pre-vocational skills and pre-technical skills, religious and moral education, and physical activities such as Ghanaian music and dance, and physical education.[158]

High school[edit]

The senior high level school curriculum has core subjects and elective subjects of which students must take four the core subjects of English language, mathematics, integrated science (including science, agriculture and environmental studies) and social studies (economics, geography, history and government).[158]

The high school students also choose 4 elective subjects from 5 available programmes: agriculture programme, general programme (arts or science option), business programme, vocational programme and technical programme.[158] Apart from most primary and secondary schools which choose the Ghanaian system of schooling, there are also international schools such as the Takoradi International School, Tema International School, Galaxy International School, The Roman Ridge School, Lincoln Community School, Faith Montessori School, American International School, Association International School, New Nation School, SOS Hermann Gmeiner International College and International Community School, which offer the International Baccalaureat, Advanced Level General Certificate of Education and the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE).[169]

University[edit]

Further information: List of universities in Ghana
Front view of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) North Campus in Winneba.
Ghana University students at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, February 2011.
Main entrance to the University of Ghana's Balme Library in Accra.

There are eight national public universities in Ghana, the University of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, University of Cape Coast, University of Education, University for Development Studies, University of Mines and Technology, University of Energy And Natural Resources and University of Health and Allied Sciences.[172] Ghana also has a growing number of accredited private universities including Ghana Telecom University College, Ashesi University College, Methodist University College Ghana, Central University College, Regent University College of Science and Technology, Valley View University and Zenith University College.[173]

The oldest university in Ghana; the University of Ghana, was founded in 1948. It had a total of 29,754 students in 2008. Its programmes in the Arts, Humanities, Business, and the Social Sciences, as well as Medicine are one of the best in the country. Many top universities from all over the world, including, Harvard University, Cornell University and Oxford University have special study abroad programs with Ghanaian schools and provided their students the opportunity to study abroad at Ghanaian universities. New York University has a campus in Accra.[174]

The University of Ghana has seen a shift of its traditionally best students to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.[175] Since Ghana's independence, the country has been one of the most educational in sub-saharan Africa. Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has been chancellor of the University of Ghana since 2008.[175]

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology; the second university to be established in Ghana, is the premier university of science and technology in Ghana and West Africa.[158]

Demographics[edit]

Main article: Demographics of Ghana
Further information: Ghanaian people
Three Ghanaian citizens: Kofi Annan, Abedi Pele and Flight lieutenant Rawlings.

The vast majority of Ghana's inhabiting population is Black Africans. 98% percent to be exact.[176][177][178] Ghana is a multiethnic country with 75 ethnic groups and over 100 linguistic groups.[179] The largest is the Akan people. Ghana's territorial area within West Africa was unoccupied and uninhabited by humans until the 10th century BC.[36] By the 10th century A.D. Akans had established Bonoman (Brong Ahafo region) and were joined by the current West African settlers and inhabitants in the 16th century A.D.

In 2010 the inhabiting population of Ghana was 71.2% Christian;[180] (28.3% are Pentecostal, 18.4% Protestant and 13.1% Catholic).[181] In 2010, 17.6% of the inhabiting population of Ghana were Muslims,[182] (51% Sunni, 16% Ahmadiyya and 8% Shia).[181][183] Out of Ghana's 2013 population of 20 million, Ghana's Muslims account for 18 percent.[180]

As of the year 2014, there are 375,000 registered legal skilled workers (permanent residents) or foreign workers/students (i.e. Ghana Card holders) inhabitants with an annually 1.5 million transited airport layovers. In its first post-colonial census in 1960, Ghana had a population of 6.7 million.[184] The median age of Ghanaian citizens is 30 years old and the average household size is 3.6 persons. The Government of Ghana states that the official language of Ghana is English,[2] and is spoken by 67.1% of the inhabiting population of Ghana.[3]

Population[edit]

In 2010, most of the 24.2 million inhabitants were predominantly citizens of the Akan territories or Kingdom of Ashanti (4.7 million in Ashanti, 2.3 million in Brong-Ahafo, 2.2 million in Central, 2.6 million in Eastern, 2.3 million in Western, and 4 million in the seat of government in Greater Accra geographically and legally part of Eastern then administered separately on 23 July 1982).[181] As of 2010, 4.1 million persons reside in the Kingdom of Dagbon (2.4 million in Northern, 1 million in Upper East, and 0.7 million in Upper West).[181]

As of 2010, 2.1 million persons reside in Volta.[181]

Language[edit]

Akan greeting phrases; "akɔaba" (welcome) and "ɛte sɛn" (how are you) in Ashanti Twi.

There are over one hundred ethnic languages spoken in Ghana. Eleven of these languages have the status of government-sponsored languages: four are Akan ethnic languages (Akuapem Twi, Asante Twi, Mfantse and Nzema), two are Mole-Dagbani ethnic languages (Dagaare and Dagbanli). The rest are Ewe, Dangme, Ga, Gonja, and Kasem.[185][186]

About 80% of Ghanaians speak an Akan language as a first language and second language.[187][188] The Akan language; Ashanti Twi is officially recognised for literacy,[187] and it is also most used indigenous language in Ghana.[187]

Legal immigration[edit]

Main article: Immigration to Ghana

Due to a recent foreign legal immigration into Ghana of skilled workers there is a small population of Chinese/Malaysians, Indians, Arabs/Middle Easterners and Europeans.

Illegal immigration[edit]

In 2010, the Ghana Immigration Service reported that there was a large number of Economic migrants and Illegal immigrants inhabiting Ghana 14.6% (or 3.1 million) of Ghana's 2010 population (predominantly Nigerians, Burkinabe citizens, Togolese citizens, and Malian citizens). In 1969, under the "Ghana Aliens Compliance Order" (GACO) enacted by the Prime Minister of Ghana Kofi Abrefa Busia;[189] Government of Ghana with BGU (Border Guard Unit) deported over 3 million aliens and illegal immigrants in 3 months as they made up 20% of the inhabiting population at the time.[189][190] In 2013, there was a mass deportation of illegal miners, more than four thousand of whom were Chinese nationals.[191][192]

Fertility rate[edit]

Fertility rate of Ghana declined from 3.99 (2000) to 3.28 (2010) with 2.78 in urban region and 3.94 in rural region.[193]

Universal health care and health care provision[edit]

Main articles: NHIS and Health in Ghana
Further information: Eye care in Ghana and Optometry in Ghana
Ghanaian Surgeons, Physicians, and Nurses performing health care provision for Ghanaian National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) patients at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra, Greater Accra and at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ashanti.

Ghana has a universal health care system strictly designated for Ghanaian nationals, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).[194] Health care is very variable throughout Ghana and in 2012, over 12 million Ghanaian nationals were covered by the National Health Insurance Scheme (Ghana) (NHIS).[195] Urban centres are well served, and contain most of the hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies in Ghana. There are over 200 hospitals in Ghana and Ghana is a destination for medical tourism.[196] In 2013, life expectancy at birth had increased to 66 years with males at 66 years and females at 67 years,[197] and in 2013 infant mortality decreased to 39 per 1,000 live births.[198] The total fertility rate has dramatically declined to 2.12 children per woman among Ghanaian nationals. There was an estimation of 15 physicians and 93 nurses per 100,000 persons in 2010.[199] 5.2% of Ghana's GDP was spent on health in 2010,[200] and all Ghanaian citizens have the right to access primary health care.[201] Ghana's universal health care system has been described as the most successful healthcare system on the Africa continent by the renowned business magnate and tycoon Bill Gates.[201]

Culture[edit]

Main article: Culture of Ghana

Ghanaian culture is a diverse mixture of the practices and beliefs of all the different Ghanaian people groups

Food and drink[edit]

Main article: Ghanaian cuisine

Ghanaian cuisine and gastronomy is diverse, and includes an assortment of soups and stews with varied seafoods and most Ghanaian soups are prepared with vegetables, meat, poultry or fish.[202] Fish is important in the Ghanaian diet with tilapia, roasted and fried whitebait, smoked fish and crayfish all being common components of Ghanaian dishes.[202] Banku is a common Ghanaian starchy food made from ground corn (maize),[202] and cornmeal based staples, dokonu (kenkey) and banku are usually accompanied by some form of fried fish (chinam) or grilled tilapia and a very spicy condiment made from raw red and green chillies, onions and tomatoes (pepper sauce).[202] Banku and tilapia is a combo served in most Ghanaian restaurants.[202] Fufu is the most common exported Ghanaian dish in that it is a delicacy aross the African diaspora.[202]

Literature[edit]

The Ghanaian national literature radio program and accompanying publication Voices of Ghana was one of the earliest on the African continent. The most prominent Ghanaian authors are novelists; J. E. Casely Hayford, Ayi Kwei Armah and Nii Ayikwei Parkes, who gained international acclaim with the books, Ethiopia Unbound (1911), The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born (1968) and Tail of the Blue Bird (2009), respectively.[203] In addition to novels, other literature arts such as Ghanaian theatre and poetry have also had a very good development and support at the national level with prominent Ghanaian playwrights and poets Joe de Graft and Efua Sutherland.[203]

Adinkra[edit]

Main article: Adinkra

During the 13th century, Ghanaians developed their unique art of adinkra printing. Hand-printed and hand-embroidered adinkra clothes were made and used exclusively by the then Ghanaian royalty for devotional ceremonies. Each of the motifs that make up the corpus of adinkra symbolism has a name and meaning derived from a proverb, a historical event, human attitude, ethology, plant life-form, or shapes of inanimate and man-made objects. These are graphically rendered in stylised geometric shapes. The meanings of the motifs may be categorised into aesthetics, ethics, human relations, and concepts.[203]

Traditional clothing[edit]

Main article: Kente cloth
Akan Kente cloth color and pattern variations.

Along with the Adinkra cloth Ghanaian's use many different cloth fabrics for their traditional attire.[204] The different ethic groups have their own individual cloth. The most well known is the Kente cloth.[204] Kente is a very important Ghanaian national costume and clothing and these cloths are used to make traditional and modern Ghanaian Kente attire.[204] Different symbols and different colours mean different things.[204] Kente is the most famous of all the Ghanaian cloths.[204] Kente is a ceremonial cloth hand-woven on a horizontal treadle loom and strips measuring about 4 inches wide are sewn together into larger pieces of cloths.[204] Cloths come in various colours, sizes and designs and are worn during very important social and religious occasions.[204] In a cultural context, kente is more important than just a cloth and it is a visual representation of history and also a form of written language through weaving.[204] The term kente has its roots in the Akan word kɛntɛn which means a basket and the first kente weavers used raffia fibres to weave cloths that looked like kenten (a basket); and thus were referred to as kenten ntoma; meaning basket cloth.[204] The original Akan name of the cloth was nsaduaso or nwontoma, meaning "a cloth hand-woven on a loom"; however, "kente" is the most frequently used term today.[204]

Music and dance[edit]

Main articles: Music of Ghana, Azonto and Kpanlogo
Traditional Adowa dance form and music performance.

The music of Ghana is diverse and varies between different ethnic groups and regions. Ghanaian music incorporates several distinct types of musical instruments such as the talking drum ensembles, Akan Drum, goje fiddle and koloko lute, court music, including the Akan Seperewa, the Akan atumpan, the Ga kpanlogo styles, and log xylophones used in asonko music.[205] The most well known genres to have come from Ghana are African jazz which was created by Ghanaian artist Kofi Ghanaba.[206] and its earliest form of secular music is called highlife.[205] Highlife originated in the late 19th century and early 20th century and spread throughout West Africa.[205] In the 1990s a new genre of music was created by the youth incorporating the influences of highlife, Afro-reggae, dancehall and hiphop.[205] This hybrid was called Hiplife.[205] Ghanaian artists such as R&B and soul singer Rhian Benson and Sarkodie have had international success.[207][208]

Ghanaian dance is as diverse as its music, and there are traditional dances and different dances for different occasions.[209] The most known Ghanaian dances are those for celebrations. Some of these dances include Adowa, Kpanlogo, Azonto, Klama, and Bamaya.[209]

Film[edit]

Popular actors of Ghanaian ancestry; Van Vicker, and international actors Boris Kodjoe and Idris Elba.

Ghana has a budding and thriving film industry. Ghana's film industry dates as far back as 1948 when the Gold Coast Film Unit was set up in the Information Services Department.[210] Some internationally recognised films have come from Ghana. In 1970, I Told You So was one of the first Ghanaian films to received international acknowledgement and great reviews by The New York Times.[211] It was followed by the 1973 Ghanaian and Italian production The African Deal also known as "Contratto carnale" featuring Bahamian American actor Calvin Lockhart.[212] 1983's Kukurantumi: the Road to Accra, a Ghanaian and German production directed by King Ampaw was written about by famous American film critic Vincent Canby.[213] In 1987, Cobra Verde another Ghanaian and German production directed by Werner Herzog received international acclamation and in 1988, Heritage Africa won more than 12 film awards.

In recent times there has been some collaboration between Ghanaian and Nigerian crew and cast with a number of productions being turned out. Many Ghanaian films are co-produced with Nollywood, the Nigerian film industry and some are distributed by Nigerian marketers. Also, Nigerian filmmakers usually feature Ghanaian actors and actresses in their movies and Ghanaian filmmakers feature Nigerian actors and actresses in theirs. Nadia Buari, Yvonne Nelson, Lydia Forson and Jackie Appiah all popular Ghanaian actresses and Van Vicker and Majid Michel both popular Ghanaian actors, have starred in many Nigerian movies. As a result of these collaborations, Western viewers oftentimes confused Ghanaian movies with Nollywood and count their sales as one; however, they are two independent industries that sometimes share the colloquial Nollywood. In 2009, Unesco described Nollywood as being the second-biggest film industry in the world after Bollywood.[214]

Media[edit]

Main article: Media of Ghana
Ghana mass media, news and information provided by television

The media of Ghana is one of the most free in Africa. Chapter 12 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana guarantees freedom of the press and independence of the media, while Chapter 2 prohibits censorship.[215] Post independence, the government and media often had a tense relationship, with private outlets closed during the military governments and strict media laws that prevent criticism of government.[216] The media freedoms were restored in 1992, and after the election in 2000 of John Agyekum Kufuor the tensions between the private media and government decreased. Kufuor was a supporter of press freedom and repealed a libel law, though maintained that the media had to act responsibly.[217] The Ghanaian media has been described as "one of the most unfettered" in Africa, operating with little restriction on private media. The private press often carries criticism of government policy.[218]

Sports[edit]

The Ghanaian national football team squad that was crowned Champions of the 1965 African Cup of Nations in the year 1965 with the Trophy of the Africa Cup of Nations.
Black Stars goal celebration; football is the most popular sport in Ghana.

Association Football is the most spectated sport in Ghana and the national men's football team is known as the Black Stars, with the under-20 team known as the Black Satellites.[219] Ghana has participated in many championships including the African Cup of Nations with 4 titles, the FIFA World Cup twice and the FIFA U-20 World Cup with 1 title.[219] In the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Ghana became the third African country to reach the quarter-final stage of the World Cup after Cameroon in 1990 and Senegal in 2002.[220] Ghana national U-20 football team, known as the Black Satellites, is considered to be the feeder team for the Ghana national football team. Ghana is the first and only country on the Africa continent to be crowned FIFA U-20 World Cup Champions,[219] and two-time runners up in 1993 and 2001. The Ghana national U-17 football team known as the Black Starlets are two-time FIFA U-17 World Cup champions in 1991 and 1995, two-time runners up in 1993 and 1997.[221]

Ghanaian football teams Asante Kotoko SC and Accra Hearts of Oak SC are the 5th and 9th best football teams on the Africa continent and have won a total of five Africa continental association football and Confederation of African Football trophies; Ghanaian football club Asante Kotoko SC has been crowned two-time CAF Champions League winners in 1970, 1983 and five-time CAF Champions League runners up, and Ghanaian football club Accra Hearts of Oak SC has been crowned 2000 CAF Champions League winner and two-time CAF Champions League runners up, 2001 CAF Super Cup champions and 2004 CAF Confederation Cup champions.[222] The International Federation of Football History and Statistics crowned Asante Kotoko SC as the African club of the 20th century.[222] There are several club football teams in Ghana that play in the Ghana Premier League and Division One League, both administered by the Ghana Football Association.[223]

Ghanaian winter sports olympic team at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Ghana competed in the Winter Olympics in 2010 for the first time, Ghana qualified for the 2010 Winter Olympics, scoring 137.5 International Ski Federation points, within the qualifying range of 120–140 points.[224] Ghanaian skier, Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong, nicknamed "The Snow Leopard", became the first Ghanaian to take part in the Winter Olympics, at the 2010 Winter Olympics held in Vancouver, Canada,[225] taking part in the slalom skiing.[226]

Ghana finished 47th out of 102 participating nations, of whom 54 finished in the Alpine skiing slalom.[227][228] Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong broke on the international skiing circuit, being the second black African skier to do so.[229]

Ghanaian athletes have won a total of four Olympics medals in thirteen appearances at the Summer Olympics, three in boxing, and a bronze medal in association football, and thus became the first country on the Africa continent to win a medal at association football.[230]

The country has also produced quite a few quality boxers, including Azumah Nelson a three-time world champion and considered as Africa's greatest boxer,[231][232] Nana Yaw Konadu also a three-time world champion,[232] Ike Quartey,[232] and Joshua Clottey.[232]

Cultural heritage and architecture[edit]

There are two types of Ghanaian traditional construction; The series of adjacent buildings in an enclosure around a common are common and the traditional round huts with grass roof.[233] The round huts with grass roof architecture are situated in the northern regions of Ghana (Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions), while the series of adjacent buildings are in the southern regions of Ghana (Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Central, Eastern, Greater Accra and Western regions).[233] Ghanaian postmodern architecture and high-tech architecture buildings are predominant in the Ghanaian southern regions, while the Ghanaian heritage sites are most evident by the more than thirty forts and castles built in Ghana. Some of these forts are Fort William and Fort Amsterdam. Ghana has museums that are situated inside castles, and two are situated inside a fort.[234] The Military Museum and the National Museum organise temporary exhibitions.[234] Ghana has museums that show a in-depth look at specific Ghanaian regions, there are a number of museums that provide insight into the traditions and history of their own geographical area in Ghana.[234] The Cape Coast Castle Museum and St. Georges Castle (Elmina Castle) Museum offer guided tours. The Museum of Science and Technology provides its visitors with a look into the domain of Ghanaian scientific development, through exhibits of objects of scientific and technological interest.[234]

National symbols[edit]

The coat of arms depicts two animals: the Tawny Eagle (Aquila rapax, a very large bird that lives in the savannas and deserts; 35% of Ghana's landmass is desert, 35% is forest, 30% is savanna) and the lion (Panthera leo, a big cat); a ceremonial sword, an heraldic castle on an heraldic sea, a cocoa tree and a mine shaft representing the industrial mineral wealth of Ghana, and a five-pointed black star rimmed with gold representing the mineral gold wealth of Ghana and the lodestar of the Ghanaian people.[235] It also has the legend Freedom and Justice.[235]

The flag of Ghana consists of three horizontal bands (strips) of red (top), gold (middle) and green (bottom); the three bands are the same height and width; the middle band bears a five-pointed black star in the centre of the gold band, the colour red band stands for the blood spilled to achieve the nation's independence: gold stands for Ghana's industrial mineral wealth, and the color green symbolises the rich tropical rainforests and natural resources of Ghana.[58][235]

Tourism[edit]

Main article: Tourism in Ghana

In 2011, 1,087,000 tourists visited Ghana.[236]

Tourist arrivals to Ghana include South Americans, Asians, Europeans.[237] Ghana's all year round tropical warm climate along with its many wildlifes; exotic waterfalls such as Kintampo Waterfalls and the largest waterfall in west Africa, Tagbo Falls; Ghana's coastal palm-lined sandy beaches; caves; mountains, rivers; meteorite impact crater and reservoirs and lakes such as Lake Bosumtwi or Bosumtwi meteorite crater and the largest lake in the world by surface area, Lake Volta; dozens of castles and forts; UNESCO World Heritage Sites; nature reserves and national parks are major tourist destinations in Ghana.[237]

The World Economic Forum statistics in 2010 showed that Ghana was 108th out of 139 countries as world's favourite tourism destinations.[238] The country had moved two places up from the 2009 rankings. In 2011, Forbes Magazine, published that Ghana was ranked the eleventh most friendly country in the world. The assertion was based on a survey in 2010 of a cross-section of travellers. Of all the African countries that were included in the survey Ghana ranked highest.[238] Tourism is the fourth highest earner of foreign exchange for the country.[238] In 2013, Ghana ranks as the 61st–most peaceful country in the world.[27]

To enter Ghana, it is necessary to have a visa authorised by the Government of Ghana, except for certain business incubators and business magnates who are on business trips.[239]

Panorama view of Kakum National Park, located in the coastal environs of the Central region on the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean, covers an area of 375 square kilometres (145 sq mi). Established in 1931 as a Game reserve and Nature reserve, it was gazetted as a national park only in 1992 after an initial survey of avifauna was conducted. The national park is covered with tropical rainforest.[240][241][242] Kakum National Park is the only national park in Africa with a canopy walkway, which is 350 metres (1,150 ft) long and connects seven canopy tree tops which provides access to the rainforests.[241][243]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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Further reading[edit]

  • Arhin, Kwame, The Life and Work of Kwame Nkrumah (Africa Research & Publications, 1995)
  • Babatope, Ebenezer, The Ghana Revolution: From Nkrumah to Jerry Rawlings (Fourth Dimension Publishing, 1982)
  • Birmingham, David, Kwame Nkrumah: Father Of African Nationalism (Ohio University Press, 1998)
  • Boafo-Arthur, Kwame, Ghana: One Decade of the Liberal State (Zed Books Ltd, 2007)
  • Briggs, Philip, Ghana (Bradt Travel Guide) (Bradt Travel Guides, 2010)
  • Clark, Gracia, African Market Women: Seven Life Stories from Ghana (Indiana University Press, 2010)
  • Davidson, Basil, Black Star: A View of the Life and Times of Kwame Nkrumah (James Currey, 2007)
  • Falola, Toyin and Salm, Stephen J, Culture and Customs of Ghana (Greenwood, 2002)
  • Grant, Richard, Globalizing City: The Urban and Economic Transformation of Accra, Ghana (Syracuse University Press, 2008)
  • Hadjor, Kofi Buenor, Nkrumah and Ghana (Africa Research & Publications, 2003)
  • Hasty, Jennifer, The Press and Political Culture in Ghana (Indiana University Press, 2005)
  • James, C.L.R., Kwame Nkrumah and the Ghana Revolution (Allison & Busby, 1977)
  • Kuada, John and Chachah Yao, Ghana. Understanding the People and their Culture (Woeli Publishing Services, 1999)
  • Miescher, Stephan F, Making Men in Ghana (Indiana University Press, 2005)
  • Milne, June, Kwame Nkrumah, A Biography (Panaf Books, 2006)
  • Nkrumah, Kwame, Ghana : The Autobiography of Kwame Nkrumah (International Publishers, 1971)
  • Utley, Ian, Ghana – Culture Smart!: the essential guide to customs & culture (Kuperard, 2009)
  • Various, Ghana: An African Portrait Revisited (Peter E. Randall Publisher, 2007)
  • Younge, Paschal Yao, Music and Dance Traditions of Ghana: History, Performance and Teaching (Mcfarland & Co Inc., 2011)
  • Laura Burke, Armando García Schmidt (2013). "Ghana: Staying on Track in a Challenging Environment", in: Bertelsmann Stiftung (ed.): Winning Strategies for a Sustainable Future. Reinhard Mohn Prize 2013. Verlag Bertelsmann Stiftung, Gütersloh. pp. 127–147. ISBN 978-3-86793-491-6. 

External links[edit]

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