Africa :: Ghana

Introduction ::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. Ghana endured a long series of coups before Lt. Jerry RAWLINGS took power in 1981 and banned political parties. After approving a new constitution and restoring multiparty politics in 1992, RAWLINGS won presidential elections in 1992 and 1996 but was constitutionally prevented from running for a third term in 2000. John KUFUOR succeeded him and was reelected in 2004. John Atta MILLS took over as head of state in early 2009, but he died in July 2012 and was succeeded by his vice president John Dramani MAHAMA, who subsequently won a December 2012 special presidential election.

Geography ::Ghana

    Western Africa, bordering the Gulf of Guinea, between Cote d'Ivoire and Togo
    8 00 N, 2 00 W
    total: 238,533 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 82
    land: 227,533 sq km
    water: 11,000 sq km
    slightly smaller than Oregon
    total: 2,094 km
    border countries: Burkina Faso 549 km, Cote d'Ivoire 668 km, Togo 877 km
    539 km
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    continental shelf: 200 nm
    tropical; warm and comparatively dry along southeast coast; hot and humid in southwest; hot and dry in north
    mostly low plains with dissected plateau in south-central area
    lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Mount Afadjato 885 m
    gold, timber, industrial diamonds, bauxite, manganese, fish, rubber, hydropower, petroleum, silver, salt, limestone
    arable land: 20.12%
    permanent crops: 11.74%
    other: 68.14% (2011)
    309 sq km (2003)
    53.2 cu km (2011)
    total: 0.98 cu km/yr (24%/10%/66%)
    per capita: 48.82 cu m/yr (2000)
    dry, dusty, northeastern harmattan winds from January to March; droughts
    recurrent drought in north severely affects agricultural activities; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; poaching and habitat destruction threatens wildlife populations; water pollution; inadequate supplies of potable water
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation
    Lake Volta is the world's largest artificial lake by surface area (8,482 sq km; 3,275 sq mi)

People and Society ::Ghana

    noun: Ghanaian(s)
    adjective: Ghanaian
    Akan 47.5%, Mole-Dagbon 16.6%, Ewe 13.9%, Ga-Dangme 7.4%, Gurma 5.7%, Guan 3.7%, Grusi 2.5%, Mande-Busanga 1.1%, other 1.6% (2010 census)
    Asante 14.8%, Ewe 12.7%, Fante 9.9%, Boron (Brong) 4.6%, Dagomba 4.3%, Dangme 4.3%, Dagarte (Dagaba) 3.7%, Akyem 3.4%, Ga 3.4%, Akuapem 2.9%, other (includes English (official)) 36.1% (2000 census)
    Christian 71.2% (Pentecostal/Charismatic 28.3%, Protestant 18.4%, Catholic 13.1%, other 11.4%), Muslim 17.6%, traditional 5.2%, other 0.8%, none 5.2% (2010 census)
    25,199,609 (July 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected
    0-14 years: 38.7% (male 4,902,094/female 4,858,630)
    15-24 years: 18.8% (male 2,360,293/female 2,382,573)
    25-54 years: 33.7% (male 4,120,921/female 4,363,889)
    55-64 years: 4.7% (male 577,431/female 610,716)
    65 years and over: 4.1% (male 476,297/female 546,765) (2013 est.)
    total dependency ratio: 72.2 %
    youth dependency ratio: 66.2 %
    elderly dependency ratio: 6 %
    potential support ratio: 16.7 (2013)
    total: 20.7 years
    male: 20.3 years
    female: 21.2 years (2013 est.)
    2.19% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 43
    31.7 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 38
    7.53 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    -2.23 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 167
    urban population: 51.9% of total population (2011)
    rate of urbanization: 3.5% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    ACCRA (capital) 2.269 million; Kumasi 1.773 million (2009)
    at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
    21.8
    note: Median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2008 est.)
    350 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    total: 39.7 deaths/1,000 live births
    country comparison to the world: 59
    male: 43.8 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 35.48 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
    total population: 65.32 years
    country comparison to the world: 172
    male: 62.99 years
    female: 67.71 years (2013 est.)
    4.12 children born/woman (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 38
    23.5% (2008)
    5.2% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 130
    0.09 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
    0.9 beds/1,000 population (2011)
    improved:
    urban: 91% of population
    rural: 80% of population
    total: 86% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 9% of population
    rural: 20% of population
    total: 14% of population (2010 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 19% of population
    rural: 8% of population
    total: 14% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 81% of population
    rural: 92% of population
    total: 86% of population (2010 est.)
    1.8% (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    260,000 (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    18,000 (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 16
    degree of risk: very high
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever
    water contact disease: schistosomiasis
    respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
    animal contact disease: rabies
    note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2013)
    7.5% (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    14.3% (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 54
    8.2% of GDP (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 71.5%
    male: 78.3%
    female: 65.3% (2010 est.)
    total: 12 years
    male: 12 years
    female: 11 years (2012)
    total number: 1,806,750
    percentage: 34 % (2006 est.)
    total: 16.6%
    country comparison to the world: 80
    male: 16.4%
    female: 16.7% (2000)

Government ::Ghana

    conventional long form: Republic of Ghana
    conventional short form: Ghana
    former: Gold Coast
    constitutional democracy
    name: Accra
    geographic coordinates: 5 33 N, 0 13 W
    time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    10 regions; Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Central, Eastern, Greater Accra, Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Volta, Western
    6 March 1957 (from the UK)
    Independence Day, 6 March (1957)
    approved 28 April 1992
    mixed system of English common law and customary law
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President John Dramani MAHAMA (since 24 July 2012); Vice President Kwesi Bekoe AMISSAH-ARTHUR (since 6 August 2012); note - President MAHAMA assumed office due to the death of former president John Atta MILLS and subsequently won the December 2012 presidential election; the president is both the chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President John Dramani MAHAMA (since 24 July 2012); Vice President Kwesi Bekoe AMISSAH-ARTHUR (since 6 August 2012); note - President MAHAMA assumed office due to the death of former president John Atta MILLS and subsequently won the December 2012 presidential election
    cabinet: Council of Ministers; president nominates members subject to approval by Parliament
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held on 7 December 2012 (next to be held in December 2016)
    election results: John Dramani MAHAMA elected president; percent of vote - John Dramani MAHAMA 50.7%, Nana Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO 47.7%, other 1.6%
    unicameral Parliament (275 seats; members elected by direct, popular vote in single-seat constituencies to serve four-year terms)
    elections: last held on 7 and 8 December 2012 (next to be held in December 2016)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NPP 47.5%, NDC 46.4%, PNC 0.6%, independent 2.5%, other 3.0%; seats by party - NDC 151, NPP 120, PNC 1, independent 3
    highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of a chief justice and 12 justices)
    judge selection and term of office: chief justice appointed by the president in consultation with the Council of State (a small advisory body of prominent citizens) and with the approval of Parliament; other justices appointed by the president upon the advice of the Judicial Council (an 18-member independent body of judicial, military and police officials, and presidential nominees) and on the advice of the Council of State; justices can retire at age 60, with compulsory retirement at age 70
    subordinate courts: Court of Appeal; High Court; Circuit Court; District Court; regional tribunals
    Convention People's Party or CPP [Samia NKRUMAH]
    Democratic Freedom Party or DFP [Obed Yao ASAMOAH]
    Democratic People’s Party or DPP [T.N. WARD BREW]
    Every Ghanaian Living Everywhere or EGLE [Henry GIDI]
    Great Consolidated Popular Party or GCPP [vacant]
    National Democratic Congress or NDC [Dr. Kwabena ADJEI]
    National Democratic Party or NDP [Nii Armah JOSIAH-AYEH]
    New Patriotic Party or NPP [Jake OBETSEBI-LAMPEY]
    People's National Convention or PNC [Alhaji Amed RAMADAN]
    National Reform Party [Peter KPORDUGBE]
    United Renaissance Party or URP [Kofi WAYO]
    Christian Aid (water rights)
    Committee for Joint Action or CJA (education reform)
    National Coalition Against the Privatization of Water or CAP (water rights)
    Oxfam (water rights)
    Public Citizen (water rights)
    Students Coalition Against EPA [Kwabena Ososukene OKAI] (education reform)
    Third World Network (education reform)
    ACP, AfDB, AU, C, ECOWAS, EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINURSO, MONUSCO, NAM, OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNISFA, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    chief of mission: Ambassador Daniel Ohene AGYEKUM
    chancery: 3512 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 686-4520
    FAX: [1] (202) 686-4527
    consulate(s) general: New York
    chief of mission: Ambassador Gene CRETZ
    embassy: 24 Fourth Circular Rd., Cantonments, Accra
    mailing address: P. O. Box 194, Accra
    telephone: [233] 30-2741-000
    FAX: [233] 30-2741-389
    three equal horizontal bands of red (top), yellow, and green, with a large black five-pointed star centered in the yellow band; red symbolizes the blood shed for independence, yellow represents the country's mineral wealth, while green stands for its forests and natural wealth; the black star is said to be the lodestar of African freedom
    note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia; similar to the flag of Bolivia, which has a coat of arms centered in the yellow band
    black star; golden eagle
    name: "God Bless Our Homeland Ghana"

    lyrics/music: unknown/Philip GBEHO
    note: music adopted 1957, lyrics adopted 1966; the lyrics were changed twice, once when a republic was declared in 1960 and again after a 1966 coup

Economy ::Ghana

    Ghana's economy has been strengthened by a quarter century of relatively sound management, a competitive business environment, and sustained reductions in poverty levels. Ghana is well endowed with natural resources and agriculture accounts for roughly one-quarter of GDP and employs more than half of the workforce, mainly small landholders. The services sector accounts for 50% of GDP. Gold and cocoa production and individual remittances are major sources of foreign exchange. Oil production at Ghana's offshore Jubilee field began in mid-December, 2010, and is expected to boost economic growth. President MAHAMA faces challenges in managing new oil revenue while maintaining fiscal discipline and resisting debt accumulation. Estimated oil reserves have jumped to almost 700 million barrels. Ghana signed a Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact in 2006, which aims to assist in transforming Ghana''s agricultural sector. Ghana opted for debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) program in 2002, and is also benefiting from the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative that took effect in 2006. In 2009 Ghana signed a three-year Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility with the IMF to improve macroeconomic stability, private sector competitiveness, human resource development, and good governance and civic responsibility. Sound macro-economic management along with higher prices for oil, gold and, cocoa helped sustain high GDP growth in 2008-12, despite the general slowdown in the global economy during that same time period.
    $83.74 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    $78.28 billion (2011 est.)
    $68.43 billion (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    $38.94 billion (2012 est.)
    7% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 29
    14.4% (2011 est.)
    8% (2010 est.)
    $3,400 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 174
    $3,200 (2011 est.)
    $2,900 (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    18.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 86
    17.5% of GDP (2011 est.)
    17.2% of GDP (2010 est.)
    household consumption: 60.9%
    government consumption: 13.6%
    investment in fixed capital: 29%
    investment in inventories: 6.9%
    exports of goods and services: 45.9%
    imports of goods and services: -56.2%
    (2012 est.)
    agriculture: 22.7%
    industry: 27.3%
    services: 50% (2012 est.)
    cocoa, rice, cassava (manioc), peanuts, corn, shea nuts, bananas; timber
    mining, lumbering, light manufacturing, aluminum smelting, food processing, cement, small commercial ship building
    7% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    11.79 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    agriculture: 56%
    industry: 15%
    services: 29% (2005 est.)
    11% (2000 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    28.5% (2007 est.)
    lowest 10%: 2%
    highest 10%: 32.8% (2006)
    39.4 (2005-06)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    40.7 (1999)
    revenues: $9.282 billion
    expenditures: $14.13 billion (2012 est.)
    23.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    -12.5% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 210
    49.3% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    41.8% of GDP (2011 est.)
    calendar year
    9.2% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 192
    8.7% (2011 est.)
    18% (31 December 2009)
    country comparison to the world: 8
    17% (31 December 2008)
    22.2% (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    18.2% (31 December 2011 est.)
    $5.771 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 95
    $5.925 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $11.56 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    $11.79 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $12.45 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    $10.6 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $3.097 billion (31 December 2011)
    country comparison to the world: 91
    $3.531 billion (31 December 2010)
    $2.508 billion (31 December 2009)
    -$4.559 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 162
    -$3.675 billion (2011 est.)
    $13.73 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    $12.79 billion (2011 est.)
    oil, gold, cocoa, timber, tuna, bauxite, aluminum, manganese ore, diamonds, horticultural products
    France 13.3%, Italy 12.1%, Netherlands 8.7%, China 7.2%, Germany 4.2% (2012)
    $17.56 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    $15.84 billion (2011 est.)
    capital equipment, petroleum, foodstuffs
    China 25.8%, Nigeria 10.9%, US 7%, Netherlands 6.3%, Singapore 4.5%, UK 4.1%, India 4% (2012)
    $5.705 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 89
    $5.805 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $12.71 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 95
    $11.29 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $NA
    $NA
    cedis (GHC) per US dollar -
    1.796 (2012 est.)
    1.512 (2011 est.)
    1.431 (2010 est.)
    1.409 (2009)
    1.1 (2008)

Energy ::Ghana

Communications ::Ghana

    284,700 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    21.166 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    general assessment: primarily microwave radio relay; wireless local loop has been installed; outdated and unreliable fixed-line infrastructure heavily concentrated in Accra
    domestic: competition among multiple mobile-cellular providers has spurred growth with a subscribership of more than 80 per 100 persons and rising
    international: country code - 233; landing point for the SAT-3/WASC, Main One, and GLO-1 fiber-optic submarine cables that provide connectivity to South Africa, Europe, and Asia; satellite earth stations - 4 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); microwave radio relay link to Panaftel system connects Ghana to its neighbors (2009)
    state-owned TV station, 2 state-owned radio networks; several privately owned TV stations and a large number of privately owned radio stations; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are accessible; several cable and satellite TV subscription services are obtainable (2007)
    .gh
    59,086 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    1.297 million (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 93

Transportation ::Ghana

    10 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 156
    total: 7
    over 3,047 m: 1
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
    914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)
    total: 3
    914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2013)
    gas 394 km; oil 20 km; refined products 361 km (2013)
    total: 947 km
    country comparison to the world: 91
    narrow gauge: 947 km 1.067-m gauge (2008)
    total: 109,515 km
    country comparison to the world: 41
    paved: 13,787 km
    unpaved: 95,728 km (2009)
    1,293 km (168 km for launches and lighters on Volta, Ankobra, and Tano rivers; 1,125 km of arterial and feeder waterways on Lake Volta) (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    total: 4
    country comparison to the world: 131
    by type: petroleum tanker 1, refrigerated cargo 3
    foreign-owned: 2 (Brazil 1, South Korea 1) (2010)
    major seaport(s): Takoradi, Tema

Military ::Ghana

Transnational Issues ::Ghana

    disputed maritime border between Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire
    refugees (country of origin): 5,156 (Liberia) (2012); 8,532 (Cote d'Ivoire; flight from 2010 post-election fighting) (2013)
    illicit producer of cannabis for the international drug trade; major transit hub for Southwest and Southeast Asian heroin and, to a lesser extent, South American cocaine destined for Europe and the US; widespread crime and money laundering problem, but the lack of a well-developed financial infrastructure limits the country's utility as a money laundering center; significant domestic cocaine and cannabis use