Ghana Country Facts


Country: Republic of Ghana (formerly Gold Coast)

Background/History: “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 won the 2008 presidential election and took over as head of state, but he died in July 2012 and was constitutionally succeeded by his vice president, John Dramani MAHAMA, who subsequently won the December 2012 presidential election.” (CIA-World Fact Book 2016)

Geography: Ghana is in Western Africa and is bordered by Burkina Faso to the north; Togo to the east; the Atlantic Ocean – Gulf of Guinea to the south; and Cote d’Ivorie to the west. There is a narrow, grassy plain that stretches inland from the coast. The south and west are covered by dense rainforest. To the north are forested hills, savannah, and open woodland. In the east there are the Akuapim Togo hills. The Black and White Volta rivers enter Ghana from Burkina Faso and merge in the largest man-made lake in the world, Lake Volta.

Area: 238,533 sq km; slightly smaller than Oregon.

Climate: Tropical. It is warm and comparatively dry along the southeast coast while it is hot and humid in the north and southwest. There are two rainy seasons in Ghana: from March to July and from September to October.

Population: 26,908,262 (July 2016 est.)

Population Growth Rate: 2.18% (2016 est.)

Fertility Rate: 4.03 children born/woman (2016 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate: 36.3 deaths/1,000 live births

Life Expectancy at Birth: 66.6 years

HIV/AIDS Adult Prevalence Rate: 1.61% (2015 est.)

Literacy: 76.6% (age > 15) (2015 est.)

Language: English is the official language. Local Ghanaian languages are widely spoken, including Akan, Ewe, Fante, Ga, Moshi-Dagomba and Twi.

Capital: Accra

Government: Presidential Republic

Religion: Christian 71%, Muslim 18%, indigenous beliefs 5%

Currency: Cedi (GHC)

GDP-per capita: $4300 (in 2015 US dollars) (2015 est)

Labor Force: agriculture 44.7%, industry 14.4%, services 40.9% (2013 est.)

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

Agriculture Products: cocoa, rice, coffee, cassava (tapioca), peanuts, corn, shea nuts, bananas; timber


(Information obtained from the World Fact Book 2016 and other sources)