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Ghana

Ghana Guide. Ghana Country Profile.

Country Profile: Ghana.

Fact: The word Ghana means “Warrior King” and is derived from the ancient Ghana Empire.

The Republic of Ghana is located in West Africa, bordered by Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south.

Well endowed with natural resources, Ghana has more than twice the per capita output of the poorer countries in West Africa. Known for its gold in colonial times, Ghana remains one of the world’s top gold producers. Other exports such as cocoa, oil, timber, electricity, diamond, bauxite, and manganese are major sources of foreign exchange.

An oilfield which is reported to contain up to 3 billion barrels (480,000,000 m3) of light oil was discovered in 2007. Oil exploration is ongoing, and the amount of oil continues to increase. There is expected to be a tremendous inflow of capital into the economy beginning from the first quarter of 2011 when the country starts producing oil to be sold through overseas licensed counter-part GAZPROM in commercial quantities. Also the refining and sale of oil resources discovered off the Ghana coast licensed to oil giant GAZPROM has begun being monitored by the Ghana National Petroleum Company. The oil is expected to account for 6% of the revenue for 2011.

:: Background of 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.

:: Background of 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.

:: 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: 238,533 sq km
land: 227,533 sq km
water: 11,000 sq km

Area – comparative: slightly smaller than Oregon
Land boundaries: 2,094 km
Coastline: 539 km

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 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 885 m

Natural resources: gold, timber, industrial diamonds, bauxite, manganese, fish, rubber, hydropower, petroleum, silver, salt, limestone

Land use:
arable land: 17.54%
permanent crops: 9.22%
other: 73.24% (2005)
Irrigated land: 310 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources: 53.2 cu km (2001)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
tota:l 0.98 cu km/yr (24%/10%/66%)
per capita: 44 cu m/yr (2000)
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 of Ghana ::

Population: 24,339,838
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 2010 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 37.2% (male 4,494,633/female 4,394,074)
15-64 years: 59.2% (male 7,065,273/female 7,086,023)
65 years and over: 3.5% (male 389,886/female 457,923) (2010 est.)

Median age:
total: 21.1 years
male: 20.8 years
female: 21.3 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.855% (2010 est.)
Birth rate: 28.09 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)
Death rate: 8.93 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.61 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.)
Urbanization:
urban population: 50% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 3.5% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 49.89 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 53.38 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 46.29 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 60.55 years
male: 59.36 years
female: 61.78 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.57 children born/woman (2010 est.)
HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate: 1.9% (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS: 260,000 (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS – deaths: 21,000 (2007 est.)

Nationality: noun: Ghanaian(s) adjective: Ghanaian
Ethnic groups: Akan 45.3%, Mole-Dagbon 15.2%, Ewe 11.7%, Ga-Dangme 7.3%, Guan 4%, Gurma 3.6%, Grusi 2.6%, Mande-Busanga 1%, other tribes 1.4%, other 7.8% (2000 census)
Religions: Christian 68.8% (Pentecostal/Charismatic 24.1%, Protestant 18.6%, Catholic 15.1%, other 11%), Muslim 15.9%, traditional 8.5%, other 0.7%, none 6.1% (2000 census)

Languages: 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 36.1% (includes English (official)) (2000 census)
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 57.9%
male: 66.4%
female: 49.8% (2005 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 10 years
male: 10 years
female: 9 years (2008)
Education expenditures: 5.4% of GDP (2008)