Facts About : 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 won the 2008 presidential election and took over as head of state, but he died in July 2012 and was constitutionally succeeded by his vice president, John Dramani MAHAMA, who subsequently won the December 2012 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
    land: 227,533 sq km
    water: 11,000 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 82
    slightly smaller than Oregon
    total: 2,420 km
    border countries (3): Burkina Faso 602 km, Cote d'Ivoire 720 km, Togo 1,098 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
    agricultural land: 69.1%
    arable land 20.7%; permanent crops 11.9%; permanent pasture 36.5%
    forest: 21.2%
    other: 9.7% (2011 est.)
    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 (manmade reservoir) 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 1.1%, other 1.4% (2010 est.)
    Asante 16%, Ewe 14%, Fante 11.6%, Boron (Brong) 4.9%, Dagomba 4.4%, Dangme 4.2%, Dagarte (Dagaba) 3.9%, Kokomba 3.5%, Akyem 3.2%, Ga 3.1%, other 31.2%
    note: English is the official language (2010 est.)
    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 est.)
    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 (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 49
    0-14 years: 38.38% (male 5,076,131/female 5,027,960)
    15-24 years: 18.69% (male 2,449,026/female 2,472,756)
    25-54 years: 33.95% (male 4,338,197/female 4,598,796)
    55-64 years: 4.84% (male 619,516/female 654,720)
    65 years and over: 4.14% (male 505,056/female 585,491) (2015 est.)
    population pyramid: 
    total dependency ratio: 73%
    youth dependency ratio: 67.2%
    elderly dependency ratio: 5.9%
    potential support ratio: 17% (2015 est.)
    total: 20.9 years
    male: 20.5 years
    female: 21.4 years (2015 est.)
    2.18% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    31.09 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 38
    7.22 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    -2.02 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 167
    urban population: 54% of total population (2015)
    rate of urbanization: 3.4% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    Kumasi 2.599 million; ACCRA (capital) 2.277 million (2015)
    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: 0.94 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
    note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2014 est.)
    total: 37.37 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 41.39 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 33.23 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    total population: 66.18 years
    male: 63.76 years
    female: 68.66 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 172
    4.06 children born/woman (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    19.5% (2013)
    5.4% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    0.1 physicians/1,000 population (2010)
    0.9 beds/1,000 population (2011)
    urban: 92.6% of population
    rural: 84% of population
    total: 88.7% of population
    urban: 7.4% of population
    rural: 16% of population
    total: 11.3% of population (2015 est.)
    urban: 20.2% of population
    rural: 8.6% of population
    total: 14.9% of population
    urban: 79.8% of population
    rural: 91.4% of population
    total: 85.1% of population (2015 est.)
    1.47% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    250,200 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    9,200 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    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)
    10.9% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    13.4% (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 55
    8.1% of GDP (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 76.6%
    male: 82%
    female: 71.4% (2015 est.)
    total: 12 years
    male: 12 years
    female: 11 years (2012)
    total number: 1,806,750
    percentage: 34% (2006 est.)
  • 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)
    several previous; latest drafted 31 March 1992, approved and promulgated 28 April 1992, entered into force 7 January 1993; amended 1996 (2012)
    mixed system of English common law and customary law
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    birthright citizenship: no, unless at least one parent or grandparent was a citizen of Ghana
    dual citizenship recognized: yes
    residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
    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 the presidency after the death of President John Atta MILLS and subsequently won the December 2012 presidential election; the president is both 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)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers; nominated by the president, approved by Parliament
    elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 8 December 2012 (next to be held in December 2016)
    election results: John Dramani MAHAMA elected president; percent of vote - John Dramani MAHAMA (NDC) 50.7%, Nana Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO (NPP) 47.7%, other 1.6%
    description: unicameral Parliament (275 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 4-year terms)
    elections: last held on 7 - 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 150, NPP 120, PNC 1, independent 3, other 1
    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]
    National Democratic Congress or NDC [John Dramani MAHAMA]
    New Patriotic Party or NPP [Paul AFOKO]
    People's National Convention or PNC [Alhaji Amed RAMADAN]
    note: listed are four of the more popular political parties as of December 2012; there are more than 20 registered parties
    Christian Aid (water rights)
    Committee for Joint Action or CJA (social and economic issues)
    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 (social and economic issues)
    chief of mission: Ambassador Martha Ama Akyaa POBEE (since 31 July 2015)
    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 A. CRETZ (since 11 September 2012)
    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: national colors: red, yellow, green, black
    name: "God Bless Our Homeland Ghana"
    lyrics/music: unknown/Philip GBEHO
    note: music adopted 1957, lyrics adopted 1966; the lyrics were changed twice, in 1960 when a republic was declared and after a 1966 coup
  • Economy :: GHANA

  • Ghana's economy was strengthened by a quarter century of relatively sound management, a competitive business environment, and sustained reductions in poverty levels, but in recent years has suffered the consequences of loose fiscal policy, high budget and current account deficits, and a depreciating currency. Ghana has a market-based economy with relatively few policy barriers to trade and investment in comparison with other countries in the region. Ghana is well-endowed with natural resources. Agriculture accounts for nearly one-quarter of GDP and employs more than half of the workforce, mainly small landholders. The services sector accounts for about half of GDP. Gold and cocoa exports, and individual remittances, are major sources of foreign exchange. Expansion of Ghana’s nascent oil industry has boosted economic growth, but the recent oil price crash has reduced by half Ghana’s 2015 anticipated oil revenue. Production at Jubilee, Ghana's offshore oil field, began in mid-December 2010 and currently produces roughly 110,000 barrels per day. The country’s first gas processing plant at Atubao is also producing natural gas from the Jubilee field, providing power to several of Ghana’s thermal power plants. As of 2015, the biggest single economic issue is the lack of consistent electricity. While the MAHAMA administration is taking steps to improve the situation, it will be the third or fourth quarter of 2015 before any relief is visible. Ghana signed a $920 million extended credit facility with the IMF in April, 2015 to help it address its growing economic crisis. The IMF fiscal targets will require Ghana to reduce the fiscal deficit by cutting subsidies, decreasing the bloated public sector wage bill, strengthening revenue administration, and increasing revenues. The challenge for Ghana will come as the MAHAMA Administration approaches the 2016 election cycle facing public dissatisfaction in the midst of economic austerity.
    $108.3 billion (2014 est.)
    $103.9 billion (2013 est.)
    $96.84 billion (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 80
    $38.65 billion (2014 est.)
    4.2% (2014 est.)
    7.3% (2013 est.)
    8% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 61
    $4,100 (2014 est.)
    $4,000 (2013 est.)
    $3,700 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 176
    15.5% of GDP (2014 est.)
    14.9% of GDP (2013 est.)
    16.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    household consumption: 61.3%
    government consumption: 17.7%
    investment in fixed capital: 23.6%
    investment in inventories: 1.4%
    exports of goods and services: 42.1%
    imports of goods and services: -46.2%
    (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 22%
    industry: 28.4%
    services: 49.6% (2014 est.)
    cocoa, rice, cassava (manioc, tapioca), peanuts, corn, shea nuts, bananas; timber
    mining, lumbering, light manufacturing, aluminum smelting, food processing, cement, small commercial ship building, petroleum
    1% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 154
    11.25 million (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    agriculture: 44.7%
    industry: 14.4%
    services: 40.9% (2013 est.)
    5.2% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 118
    24.2% (2013 est.)
    lowest 10%: 2%
    highest 10%: 32.8% (2006)
    42.3 (2012-13)
    41.9 (2005-06)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    revenues: $8.226 billion
    expenditures: $11.63 billion (2014 est.)
    23.2% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    -9.6% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 200