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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 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:
contiguous zone: 24 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
continental shelf: 200 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: 15.82%
permanent crops: 7.47%
other: 76.71% (1998 est.)
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, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, 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 2002 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 40.4% (male 4,116,600; female 4,063,654)
15-64 years: 56.1% (male 5,625,397; female 5,723,786)
65 years and over: 3.5% (male 338,352; female 376,365) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.7% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
28.08 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
10.31 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
-0.74 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.9 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
55.64 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 57.06 years
female: 58.51 years (2002 est.)
male: 55.66 years
Total fertility rate:
3.69 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
3.6% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
340,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
33,000 (1999 est.)
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)
indigenous beliefs 21%, Muslim 16%, Christian 63%
English (official), African languages (including Akan, Moshi-Dagomba, Ewe, and Ga)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
male: 75.9%
female: 53.5% (1995 est.)
total population: 64.5%
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)
new constitution 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 36% of GDP and employs 60% of the work force, mainly small landholders. Excessively expansionary monetary and fiscal policy prior to the 2000 elections led to accelerating inflation in early 2001. A depressed cocoa market and continued weak growth in non-traditional exports led to disappointing growth in 2001. The late 2002 crisis in Cote d'Ivoire has boosted cocoa prices markedly. It remains to be seen if this portends a long-term shift in the cocoa market. Ghana opted for debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) program in 2002.
purchasing power parity - $39.4 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
3% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $1,980 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 36%
industry: 25%
services: 39% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
31% (1992 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 30% (1998)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
40 (1998)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
25% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
9 million (2000 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 60%, industry 15%, services 25% (1999 est.)
Unemployment rate:
20% (1997 est.)
revenues: $1.603 billion
expenditures: $1.975 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)
mining, lumbering, light manufacturing, aluminum smelting, food processing
Industrial production growth rate:
3.8% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production:
5.92 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 30%
hydro: 70%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
5.484 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
422 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
400 million kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
cocoa, rice, coffee, cassava (tapioca), peanuts, corn, shea nuts, bananas; timber
$1.94 billion f.o.b. (2000)
Exports - commodities:
gold, cocoa, timber, tuna, bauxite, aluminum, manganese ore, diamonds
Exports - partners:
Togo, UK, Italy, Netherlands, Germany, US, France (1998)
$2.83 billion f.o.b. (2000)
Imports - commodities:
capital equipment, petroleum, foodstuffs
Imports - partners:
UK, Nigeria, US, Germany, Italy, Spain (1998)
Debt - external:
$5.96 billion (2001 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$6.9 billion (1999) (1999)
cedi (GHC)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
cedis per US dollar - 7,195 (January 2002), 7,170.76 (2001), 5,455.06 (2000), 2,669.30 (1999), 2,314.15 (1998), 2,050.17 (1997)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Ghana
Telephones - main lines in use:
240,000 (2001)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
150,000 (2001)
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: satellite earth stations - 4 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); microwave radio relay link to Panaftel system connects Ghana to its neighbors
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 Service Providers (ISPs):
12 (2000)
Internet users:
200,000 (2002)
Transportation Ghana
total: 953 km
narrow gauge: 953 km 1.067-m gauge; undergoing major rehabilitation (2001 est.)
total: 38,940 km
paved: 9,346 km (including 30 km of expressways)
unpaved: 29,594 km (2001)
1,293 km
note: Volta, Ankobra, and Tano Rivers provide 168 km of perennial navigation for launches and lighters; Lake Volta provides 1,125 km of arterial and feeder waterways
0 km
Ports and harbors:
Takoradi, Tema
Merchant marine:
total: 7 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 16,450 GRT/22,097 DWT
ships by type: petroleum tanker 2, refrigerated cargo 5
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Brazil 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1, Spain 1 (2002 est.)
12 (2001)
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 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 2 (2002)
Military Ghana
Military branches:
Army, Navy, Air Force, National Police Force
Military manpower - military age:
18 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 5,045,355 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 2,799,292 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 213,237 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$35.2 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
0.7% (FY01)
Transnational Issues Ghana
Disputes - international:
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 19 March 2003