General Information about Ghana

The official name is the Republic of Ghana.

Located in West Africa. The area is 239.5 thousand km2, the population is 20.24 million people. (2002). The official language is English. The capital is Accra (1661.4 thousand people, 2003). Public holiday – Independence Day March 6 (since 1957). The monetary unit is the cedi.

Member of the UN (since 1957), IMF (since 1994), AfDB, FAO, AU, UNCTAD, UNESCO, WTO, ECOWAS, etc.

Geography of Ghana

It is located between 3°30 west and 1°30 east longitude and 4°30 and 11°01 north latitude. In the south it is washed by the Gulf of Guinea. The coastline is slightly indented, there are no natural harbors. It borders in the west with Côte d’Ivoire, in the northwest and north with Burkina Faso, in the east with Togo.
Most of Ghana is a plain (150-300 m); coastal lowland (up to 15 km wide) along the coast.

There are deposits (1999): bauxite (800 million tons), manganese ores (60 million tons), iron ores (1.9 billion tons), diamonds (75 million carats), gold (1.5 thousand tons), oil ( 100 million tons), natural gas (200 billion m3). The soils are red-yellow lateritic and red ferruginous lateritic. The climate is equatorial monsoon, in the southwest it is transitional to equatorial. Average monthly temperatures are +23°С in the south, +32°С in the north. Precipitation per year is from 1000 mm in the north to 2000 mm in the southwest.

The largest river is the Volta (1400-1600 km). Significant rivers: Pra (with tributaries of the Opin and Birim),

Ankobra and Tano. The only lake in the country is Bosumtwi (34 km2). Most of the territory is covered by savanna forests and tall grass savannahs. Forests cover approx. 10% area. There are many valuable species of trees: vava, mahogany, sapele, salvage, makore, etc. Shrub vegetation prevails in the coastal strip. Many palm trees (oil, coconut, raffia). Elephants are found in the savannah forests, and lions are found in the savannah. There are buffaloes, hippos, leopards, monkeys, potto lemurs, many herbivores (antelopes, etc.). The world of birds is rich, snakes are numerous (cobra, mamba, etc.). Termites and tsetse fly are widespread.

Population of Ghana

Population growth 1.7% per year (2002). Birth rate 28.08%, mortality 10.31%, infant mortality 55.64 people. per 1000 newborns (2002). Average life expectancy 57.06 years (2002).
Sex and age structure of the population: 0-14 years old – 40.4% (ratio of men and women 1.01); 15-64 years old – 56.1% (0.98); 65 years and older – 3.5% (0.9) (2002). Rural population 63.7%, urban 36.3% (1998). Among the population over 15 years of age, 64.5% are literate (men 75.9%; women 53.5%) (1995).

98.5% of the population are African ethnic groups (1998,%): Akan (44), Mosi (16), Ewe (13) and Ga-adangme (8), etc. Approx. 1.5% are Europeans and other nationalities. Languages – English, Akan (four main literary forms – Twi, Fanti, Akvapim and Akim), Ewe, Sea, Hausa.

Christians – 63%, Muslims – 16%, local traditional beliefs – 21%.

Economics of Ghana

Ghana is an economically underdeveloped agrarian country. GDP $39.4 billion, GDP per capita $1980 (2001). Economically active population 9 million people. (2000). Inflation 25% (2001).
Sectoral structure of the economy in terms of contribution to GDP (2000,%): agriculture – 36, industry – 25, services – 39. In agriculture (1999) 60% are employed, in industry – 15%, in the service sector – 25%.
Electricity generation 5920 million kWh (2000). The main sectors of the mining industry (1999): gold mining (80.5 tons), diamonds (557 thousand carats), natural gas (1.5 million m3), bauxite (375.4 thousand tons), manganese ore (341, 6 thousand tons).

Manufacturing industry: oil refining (gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuel and gas oil), construction (cement production), metallurgy (aluminum smelting), chemical (glass blowing), food (peanut, coconut and palm oil).

In 1996, 1.3 million m3 of industrial wood was harvested. There are 64 sawmills, plywood and furniture factories.

St. 1/2 of cultivated land is planting cocoa beans (one of the largest producers in the world). The main crops (1999, thousand tons): cassava (7235), yams (2720), plantain (1800), taro (1576), corn (1037) and cocoa beans (437.7).

Livestock (1999, thousand heads): 2930 goats, 2658 sheep, 1288 cattle, 331 pigs. The tsetse fly prevents the breeding of cattle and horses in the forest areas of Ghana.

Fish catch (1999, thousand tons): in the Atlantic Ocean 383.6, in inland waters 60.0.

The length of railways is 953 km. The length of the road network is 38.94 thousand km, including 9.346 thousand km of hard roads and 29.594 with unpaved roads (2001). Road vehicles in operation (1996, thousand units): cars – 90, trucks and vans – 45.

There are 12 airports. Kotoko International Airport in Accra. Main ports: Tema, Takoradi. Merchant fleet (1998) – 206 ships with a total displacement of 129.7 thousand tons.

The telephone network is poorly developed and of poor quality. Communication facilities (2001): radios – 12.5 million, televisions – 1.9 million, telephones – 240 thousand lines, cell phones – 120 thousand subscribers, Internet providers – 12 pcs. (2000), Internet users – 200 thousand people. (2002).

In con. 1990s Ghana was visited annually by St. 300 thousand tourists.

The main priorities of modern economic and social policy are: attracting foreign direct investment in export sectors of the economy, creating joint ventures, creating jobs and improving the skills of workers.

The regime of regulation of the exchange rate of the national currency is controlled floating. Foreign exchange reserves – 905.9 million US dollars (1997). Demand deposits in commercial banks 982.53 billion cedi, cash in free circulation 1083.63 billion cedi.

State budget for 2001: revenues $1.6 billion, expenditures $1.98 billion. Public debt $5.96 billion (2001).

In 1992, 31% of Ghana’s population lived below the poverty line. The minimum wage for employees is approx. $1 per day. Unemployment 20% (1997).

In 2000, the volume of exports was 1.94, and imports – 2.83 billion US dollars. Exports (1996): Switzerland (27.9%), UK (21.2%), Netherlands (9.5%), Germany (8.2%). Imports (1997): UK (16.8%), USA (13.4%), Germany (12.7%), Nigeria (10.5%), Japan (6.5%). The main export commodities are gold, cocoa beans, timber, fish, bauxites, aluminium, manganese, diamonds; imported – oil, food, capital.

Science and culture of Ghana

The Ghana Academy of Sciences and Arts and the Council of Scientific and Technical Research function, coordinating the work of research institutes: the National Institute of Health and Medical Research, the Institute of Entomology and Parasitology, the Agricultural Institute, the Cocoa Research Institute, the Construction Research Institute and the forestry laboratory. Institutions of higher education: 38 teacher training schools, 7 colleges, 21 technical colleges and 6 universities (including Ghana University in Accra, University of Science and Science in Kumasi; University College of Education in Cape Coast).

According to searchforpublicschools, a nine-year education is compulsory (from 6 to 16 years). At the age of 6, children enter a 6-year primary school. The secondary school is 6 years old, has 2 levels (3 years of study each).

In 1991, 76% completed elementary school and 37% completed secondary school in the corresponding age group. In 1995, the central government allocated 255,792 million cedi for education (15.1% of the budget expenditure).

The earliest monuments of architecture are fortresses and forts built by Europeans on the coast: the castle in Elmin (1482), Fort Usher in Accra (1605), the fortress in Cape Coast (1655). In northern Ghana, the Asantehene Palace in Kumasi (17th-19th centuries) belonged to local chiefs.

A significant role in the cultural heritage is played by dances, the rhythm and movements of which are canonized. Musical instruments from shock-noise to wind group are used. Traditional art is represented by wooden figurines, akuaba amulet dolls, and ritual clay figures. In painting, the realistic trend prevails with the influence of modernism (F. Nuacone, K. Kotey, G. Ananga). Of the contemporary writers, the most popular are: Amu Jaleto, poetess Kristina Ama Atu Aidu (Commonwealth Literary Prize in 1992), children’s writers S.Ya. Manu and Jane Osafoa Denqui.

Education of Ghana