Ghana is a West African country. Located in the Gulf of Guinea, it covers an area of 239 460 km2. Ghana has borders with Côte d’Ivoire to the west, Togo to the east and Burkina Faso to the north, bathed in the south by the Gulf of Guinea. The main cities are Accra, the capital, with 1 719 100 residents (2004), Kumasi (663 100 residents), Tamale (290 300 residents), Tema (26 300 residents), Takoradi (1 719 100 residents) and Sekonde (84 400 residents).
Ghana is predominantly marked by extensive plains and more arid plateaus in the far north of the country, but covered by savannas immediately to the south. Tropical forests develop further south, thanks to the greater amounts of precipitation. It has a high number of lakes, including Lake Volta, with 8500 km2, artificially created by the Akozombo dam, on the Volta River, in the interior of the country.
The climate is dry tropical in the North and humid tropical in the South (where there are two rainy seasons: from May to July and from October to November).
Ghana is a country rich in natural resources, with gold mining (45% of total exports), diamonds, manganese and bauxite, lime and iron stone reserves, marine oil and natural gas reserves, salt, wood tropical forests and huge water resources for the production of electricity. Agriculture, which occupies about 59% of the active population, is the most important economic activity. In some areas it is an activity practiced with very modern techniques and using machinery, as in industrialized countries. But its greatest asset is the production of cocoa, since, in addition to occupying more than half of the arable land, it represents 40% of total export earnings, which also include products such as sugar, coffee and tropical fruits.
Ghana has experienced strong industrial growth since the late 1970s and early 1980s, fueled by foreign capital, which has favored the tobacco, textiles, beverages, footwear and wood and wood products industries. With regard to fishing activity, with the exception of tuna, it is basically intended for domestic consumption. Currently, tourism is the country’s 3rd source of foreign exchange. Ghana’s main trading partners are the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Italy and France.
Environmental indicator: the value of carbon dioxide emissions, per capita (metric tons, 1999), is 0.3.
In 2006, there were 22 409 572 residents, with a population density of 87.82 residents/km2. It is one of the countries with strong demographic growth that will double the population in 23 years. The birth and death rates are respectively 30.52% and 9.72%. Average life expectancy is 58.87 years. The value of the Human Development Index (HDI) is 0.567 and the value of the Gender-adjusted Development Index (IDG) is 0.564 (2001). The main ethnic groups are the Akan (52%), the Mossi (16%), the Ewe (12%) and the Ga-Adangme (8%). In religious terms, traditional beliefs (38%), Muslims (30%) and Catholics (12%) predominate. The official language is English.
The country has its origins in the former empire of Ghana (7th century – 13th century), which was 800 kmnorthwest of the current territory and which was the first major commercial empire in West Africa, dedicated mainly to the gold trade and winning this, the name of Gold Coast. It was, in fact, the gold that aroused the interest of Portuguese navigators and explorers – the first Europeans to reach this geographical point, in 1471. The reinforcement of the Portuguese presence was made through the construction of the Fortress of Elmina in 1482, but, from From the 17th century, with the increase in slave trade, traders from France, England, Denmark and the Netherlands began to dominate the gold and slave trade routes. In 1874, the then Gold Coast became an English colony, and in 1901 it became part of the Ashanti territories (Central Ghana). In 1957 it became the first independent state of colonial Black Africa, and from then on it included part of the territories of Togo. The main protagonist of the independence movement was Kwame Nkrumah, the first president and responsible for the renaming of the country from Gold Coast to Ghana. However, until the current regime was imposed in 1982, Ghana suffered five coups d’état: in 1966, the coup that overthrew Kwame Nkrumah and in 1972, 1978, 1979 and 1981 (the latter under the leadership of Jerry Rawlings). A Provisional National Defense Council was formed under the presidency of Rawlings, who would be elected President of the Republic in 1992, already under a new Constitution that established a multiparty political system. For Ghana democracy and rights, please check getzipcodes.
However, in February 1994, Ghana suffered a severe setback when there were ethnic clashes between the Konkomba (migrants from Tongo) and the Nanumba, in Napayili, in the north of the territory. Peace would be signed on June 9, not without first Rawlings remodeling his office. These ethnic conflicts would serve as a pretext for Rawlings to withdraw Ghana from the peacekeeping force of the Economic Community of West African States (of which he became president) located in Liberia.
- Countryaah.com: Offers a full list of airports in the country of Ghana, sorted by city location and acronyms.
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Provides most commonly used abbreviations and initials containing the country name of Ghana. Listed by popularity.
Ghana – InfoPlease.com Map
Find key cities and villages and view borders of neighboring countries with this color graphical map of Ghana.
Ghana – Merriam-Webster Altas
Mini-atlas from the editors of this major publishing house offers a detailed graphical map of Ghana.
Ghana – National Geographic Map Machine
Peruse a scalable map of this African country created with the combination of satellite imagery and map editing.
Ghana – University of Texas Library
Political maps of the African country feature the locations of the capital and the major roads. Also features shaded-relief maps.
MSN Encarta Maps – Ghana
Access both a blue outline map and a detailed political map of this northwestern African country.