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Ghana Flag

Capital City: Accra

Border countries: Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Togo

Internet Links

Official Sites of Ghana

Ghana Castle


Embassy of Ghana

Map of 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.

Geography Ghana

Location:  Western Africa, bordering the Gulf of Guinea, between Cote
d'Ivoire and Togo

Geographic coordinates:  8 00 N, 2 00 W

Map references:  Africa

Area:  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

Coastline:  539 km

Maritime claims:  contiguous zone: 24 NM territorial sea: 12 NM
continental shelf: 200 NM exclusive economic zone: 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 880 m

Natural resources:  gold, timber, industrial diamonds, bauxite, manganese,
fish, rubber, hydropower

Land use:  arable land: 16% permanent crops: 7% other: 77% (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

Population:  20,244,154 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:   58.51 years (2002 est.)  male: 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.)

Nationality:  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)

Religions:  indigenous beliefs 21%, Muslim 16%, Christian 63%

Languages:  English (official), African languages (including Akan,
Moshi-Dagomba, Ewe, and Ga)

Literacy:  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:   Republic of Ghana conventional short form: Government
type:  constitutional democracy

Capital:  Accra

Administrative divisions:  10 regions; Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Central,
Eastern, Greater Accra, Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Volta, Western

Independence:  6 March 1957 (from UK)

National holiday:  Independence Day, 6 March (1957)

Constitution:  new constitution approved 28 April 1992

Legal system:  based on English common law and customary law; has not
accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:  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:
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:  NA

International organization participation:  ABEDA, ACP, AfDB, C, CCC, ECA,
IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU,

Diplomatic representation in the US:   Ambassador Alan J. KYEREMATEN
consulate(s) general:  3512 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008

Diplomatic representation from the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
Nancy J. POWELL embassy: 6th and 10th Lanes, 798/1 Osu, Accra mailing
address: P. O. Box 194, Accra telephone: [233] (21) 776601, 776602 FAX:
[233] (21) 775747

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. Ghana opted for debt relief under the Heavily Indebted
Poor Country (HIPC) program in 2002.

GDP:  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:  31.4% (1992 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: 2.4%
highest 10%: 29.5% (1998)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:  39.6 (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.)

Budget:  revenues: $1.603 billion expenditures: $1.975 billion, including
capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)

Industries:  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: 30.41% hydro: 69.59%
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

Exports:  $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

Imports:  $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)

Currency:  cedi (GHC)

Currency code:  GHC

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:  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)

Radios:  12.5 million (2001)

Television broadcast stations:  10 (2001)

Televisions:  1.9 million (2001)

Internet country code:  .gh

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  12 (2000)

Internet users:  200,000 (2002)

Transportation Ghana

Railways:  total: 953 km narrow gauge: 953 km 1.067-m gauge; undergoing
major rehabilitation (2001 est.)

Highways:   9,346 km (including 30 km of expressways) unpaved: Waterways:
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

Pipelines:  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.)

Airports:  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 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:  total: 5 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 914 to
1,523 m: 2 under 914 m: 2 (2001)

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:  none

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

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002

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