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Flag of Ghana
Map of 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. A long series of coups resulted in the suspension of the constitution in 1981 and the banning of political parties. A new constitution, restoring multiparty politics, was approved in 1992. Lt. Jerry RAWLINGS, head of state since 1981, won presidential elections in 1992 and 1996, but was constitutionally prevented from running for a third term in 2000. He was succeeded by John KUFUOR, who defeated former Vice President Atta MILLS in a free and fair election.
Geography Ghana
Western Africa, bordering the Gulf of Guinea, between Cote d'Ivoire and Togo
Geographic coordinates:
8 00 N, 2 00 W
Map references:
total: 239,460 sq km
land: 230,940 sq km
water: 8,520 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Oregon
Land boundaries:
total: 2,094 km
border countries: Burkina Faso 549 km, Cote d'Ivoire 668 km, Togo 877 km
539 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 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
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Afadjato 880 m
Natural resources:
gold, timber, industrial diamonds, bauxite, manganese, fish, rubber, hydropower
Land use:
arable land: 16.26%
permanent crops: 9.67%
other: 74.07% (2001)
Irrigated land:
110 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
dry, dusty, northeastern harmattan winds occur from January to March; droughts
Environment - current issues:
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
Environment - international agreements:
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
Geography - note:
Lake Volta is the world's largest artificial lake
People Ghana
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 and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 38% (male 3,988,800; female 3,904,989)
15-64 years: 58.3% (male 6,030,151; female 6,071,725)
65 years and over: 3.7% (male 359,042; female 402,325) (2004 est.)
Median age:
total: 20 years
male: 19.8 years
female: 20.3 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.36% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
24.9 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
10.67 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
-0.64 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 52.22 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 49.25 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
male: 55.1 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 56.27 years
male: 55.36 years
female: 57.22 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
3.17 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
3.1% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
350,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
30,000 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
typhoid fever, malaria, yellow fever, schistosomiasis
overall degree of risk: very high (2004)
noun: Ghanaian(s)
adjective: Ghanaian
Ethnic groups:
black African 98.5% (major tribes - Akan 44%, Moshi-Dagomba 16%, Ewe 13%, Ga 8%, Gurma 3%, Yoruba 1%), European and other 1.5% (1998)
Christian 63%, Muslim 16%, indigenous beliefs 21%
English (official), African languages (including Akan, Moshi-Dagomba, Ewe, and Ga)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
female: 67.1% (2003 est.)
male: 82.7%
total population: 74.8%
People - note:
there are 9,500 Liberians, 2,000 Sierra Leoneans, and 1,000 Togolese refugees residing in Ghana (2002)
Government Ghana
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Ghana
conventional short form: Ghana
former: Gold Coast
Government type:
constitutional democracy
Administrative divisions:
10 regions; Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Central, Eastern, Greater Accra, Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Volta, Western
6 March 1957 (from UK)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 6 March (1957)
approved 28 April 1992
Legal system:
based on English common law and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President John Agyekum KUFUOR (since 7 January 2001); Vice President Alhaji Aliu MAHAMA (since 7 January 2001); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President John Agyekum KUFUOR (since 7 January 2001); Vice President Alhaji Aliu MAHAMA (since 7 January 2001); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Council of Ministers; president nominates members subject to approval by Parliament
elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms; election last held 7 and 28 December 2000 (next to be held NA December 2004)
election results: John Agyekum KUFUOR elected president in runoff election; percent of vote - John KUFUOR 56.4%, John Atta MILLS 43.6%
Legislative branch:
unicameral Parliament (200 seats; members are elected by direct, popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 7 December 2000 (next to be held NA December 2004)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NPP 100, NDC 92, PNC 3, CPP 1, independents 4
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court
Political parties and leaders:
Convention People's Party or CPP [Nii Noi DOWUONA, general secretary]; Every Ghanaian Living Everywhere or EGLE [Owuraku AMOFA, chairman]; Great Consolidated Popular Party or GCPP [Dan LARTY]; National Convention Party or NCP [Sarpong KUMA-KUMA]; National Democratic Congress or NDC [Dr. Huudu YAHAYA, general secretary]; New Patriotic Party or NPP [Samuel Arthur ODOI-SYKES]; People's Convention Party or PCP [P. K. DONKOH-AYIFI, acting chairman]; People's Heritage Party or PHP [Emmanuel Alexander ERSKINE]; People's National Convention or PNC [Edward MAHAMA]; Reform Party [Kyeretwie OPUKU, general secretary]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Alan J. KYEREMATEN
consulate(s) general: New York
FAX: [1] (202) 686-4527
telephone: [1] (202) 686-4520
chancery: 3512 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Mary Carlin YATES
embassy: 6th and 10th Lanes, 798/1 Osu, Accra
mailing address: P. O. Box 194, Accra
telephone: [233] (21) 775-347, 775-348
FAX: [233] (21) 701-813
Flag description:
three equal horizontal bands of red (top), yellow, and green with a large black five-pointed star centered in the yellow band; 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
Economy Ghana
Economy - overview:
Well endowed with natural resources, Ghana has roughly twice the per capita output of the poorer countries in West Africa. Even so, Ghana remains heavily dependent on international financial and technical assistance. Gold, timber, and cocoa production are major sources of foreign exchange. The domestic economy continues to revolve around subsistence agriculture, which accounts for 35% of GDP and employs 60% of the work force, mainly small landholders. Ghana opted for debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) program in 2002. Policy priorities include tighter monetary and fiscal policies, accelerated privatization, and improvement of social services. Receipts from the gold sector should help sustain GDP growth in 2004. Inflation should ease, but remain a major internal problem.
purchasing power parity - $44.44 billion (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
4.7% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $2,200 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 35.4%
industry: 25.4%
services: 39.2% (2004 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
24.5% of GDP (2004 est.)
Population below poverty line:
31.4% (1992 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.2%
highest 10%: 30.1% (1999)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
40.7 (1999)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
26.7% (2004 est.)
Labor force:
10 million (2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 60%, industry 15%, services 25% (1999 est.)
Unemployment rate:
20% (1997 est.)
revenues: $1.943 billion
expenditures: $2.192 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products:
cocoa, rice, coffee, cassava (tapioca), peanuts, corn, shea nuts, bananas; timber
mining, lumbering, light manufacturing, aluminum smelting, food processing
Industrial production growth rate:
3.8% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production:
8.801 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 5%
hydro: 95%
other: 0% (2001)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
8.835 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
300 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
950 million kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
7,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
38,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
8.255 million bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
11.89 billion cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance:
$110 million (2004 est.)
$2.642 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:
gold, cocoa, timber, tuna, bauxite, aluminum, manganese ore, diamonds
Exports - partners:
Netherlands 11.2%, UK 10.7%, France 7.7%, Germany 6.2%, Japan 5.2%, Italy 4.6%, Turkey 4.4%, US 4.3% (2003)
$3.24 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports - commodities:
capital equipment, petroleum, foodstuffs
Imports - partners:
Nigeria 13.2%, China 9.3%, UK 7.2%, US 6.1%, Germany 4.8%, France 4.5%, South Africa 4% (2003)
Reserves of foreign exchange & gold:
$1.469 billion (2004 est.)
Debt - external:
$7.398 billion (2004 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$6.9 billion (1999)
cedi (GHC)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
cedis per US dollar - NA (2003), 7,932.7 (2002), 7,170.76 (2001), 5,455.06 (2000), 2,669.3 (1999)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Ghana
Telephones - main lines in use:
302,300 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
799,900 (2003)
Telephone system:
general assessment: poor to fair system; Internet accessible; many rural communities not yet connected; expansion of services is underway
domestic: primarily microwave radio relay; wireless local loop has been installed
international: country code - 233; satellite earth stations - 4 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); microwave radio relay link to Panaftel system connects Ghana to its neighbors; fiber optic submarine cable (SAT-3/WASC) provides connectivity to Europe and Asia
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 0, FM 49, shortwave 3 (2001)
12.5 million (2001)
Television broadcast stations:
10 (2001)
1.9 million (2001)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
407 (2004)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
12 (2000)
Internet users:
170,000 (2002)
Transportation Ghana
total: 953 km
narrow gauge: 953 km 1.067-m gauge (2003)
total: 39,409 km
paved: 11,665 km
unpaved: 27,744 km (1999 est.)
1,293 km
note: 168 km for launches and lighters on Volta, Ankobra, and Tano rivers; 1,125 km of arterial and feeder waterways on Lake Volta (2003)
refined products 74 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Takoradi, Tema
Merchant marine:
total: 8 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 19,086 GRT/26,185 DWT
foreign-owned: Brazil 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1, Spain 1 (2003 est.)
by type: petroleum tanker 3, refrigerated cargo 5
12 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 7
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2003 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 2 (2003 est.)
Military Ghana
Military branches:
Army, Navy, Air Force
Military manpower - military age:
18 years of age (2004 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 5,391,378 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 2,994,600 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 244,809 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$44 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
0.6% (2003)
Transnational Issues Ghana
Disputes - international:
Ghana must still deal with refugees and returning nationals escaping rebel fighting in Cote d'Ivoire
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
refugees: 42,466 (Liberia) (2004)
Illicit drugs:
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 corruption have made money laundering a problem, but the lack of a well-developed financial infrastructure limits the country's utility as a money-laundering center

This page was last updated on 30 November, 2004