Ghana Travel Information

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Parks and Reserves of Ghana Published by IUCN

Facts About Ghana

Background: 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.
Government type: constitutional democracy
Capital: Accra
Currency: 1 new cedi (C) = 100 pesewas

Geography of Ghana

Location: Western Africa, bordering the Gulf of Guinea, between Cote d'Ivoire and Togo
Geographic coordinates: 8 00 N, 2 00 W
Area:
total: 238,540 sq km
land: 230,020 sq km
water: 8,520 sq km
Land boundaries:
total: 2,093 km
border countries: Burkina Faso 548 km, Cote d'Ivoire 668 km, Togo 877 km
Coastline: 539 km
Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
Climate: tropical; warm and comparatively dry along southeast coast; hot and humid in southwest; hot and dry in north
Terrain: 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: 12%
permanent crops: 7%
permanent pastures: 22%
forests and woodland: 35%
other: 24% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 60 sq km (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: dry, dusty, harmattan winds occur from January to March; droughts
Environment - current issues: recent drought in north severely affecting 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; northeasterly harmattan wind (January to March)

More Geography

People of Ghana

Ghana's population is concentrated along the coast and in the principal cities of Accra and Kumasi. Most Ghanaians descended from migrating tribes that probably came down the Volta River valley at the beginning of the 13th century. Ethnically, Ghana is divided into small groups speaking more than 50 languages and dialects. Among the more important linguistic groups are the Akans, which include the Fantis along the coast and the Ashantis in the forest region north of the coast; the Guans, on the plains of the Volta River; the Ga- and Ewe-speaking peoples of the south and southeast; and the Moshi-Dagomba-speaking tribes of the northern and upper regions. English, the official and commercial language, is taught in all the schools.

Primary and junior secondary school education is tuition-free and mandatory. The Government of Ghana support for basic education is unequivocal. Article 39 of the Constitution mandates the major tenets of the free, compulsory, universal basic education (FCUBE) initiative. Launched in 1996, it is one of the most ambitious pretertiary education programs in West Africa. Since 1987, the Government of Ghana has increased its education budget by 700%. Basic education's share has grown from 45% to 60% of that total.

Population: 21,029,853 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  41.18% 
15-64 years:  55.35% 
65 years and over:  3.47%
Population growth rate: 1.79% 
Birth rate: 28.95 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 10.26 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: -0.83 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 56.54 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  57.24 years
male:  55.86 years
female:  58.66 years 
Total fertility rate: 3.82 children born/woman 
Nationality:
noun: Ghanaian(s)
adjective: Ghanaian
Ethnic groups: black African 99.8% (major tribes - Akan 44%, Moshi-Dagomba 16%, Ewe 13%, Ga 8%), European and other 0.2%
Religions: indigenous beliefs 38%, Muslim 30%, Christian 24%, other 8%
Languages: English (official), African languages (including Akan, Moshi-Dagomba, Ewe, and Ga)
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 64.5%
male: 75.9%
female: 53.5% (1995 est.)

SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Ghana > Map Economy History