Ghana Country Facts

By | June 10, 2024
Ghana
Capital city Accra
Surface 238,535 km²
Population 32,103,000
Road network length 40,186 km
Length of highway network 33 km
First highway 1965
Motorway name Motorway
Traffic drives Right
License plate code GH

Ghana, formally the Republic of Ghana, is a country in western Africa. The country is approximately 6 times the size of the Netherlands and has 32 million inhabitants. The capital is Accra.

Geography

Ghana is located in West Africa, on the Atlantic Ocean. The country borders Côte d’Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north and Togo to the east. The country measures nearly 700 kilometers from north to south and approximately 400 kilometers from west to east. The country consists largely of flat to hilly terrain that is moderately forested but has no large dense jungles. The highest point is the 885 meter high Mount Afadja on the border with Togo. The coastline consists mainly of sandy beaches with lagoons. An important feature of Ghana is Lake Volta, the largest man-made lake in the world. The lake has an area of ​​more than 8,500 km².

The country has a tropical climate with little temperature variation, but with a distinct wet and dry season. The average maximum temperature in Accra varies between 28 and 33 °C. There is an average of 800 mm of precipitation per year, descending to the north. Most precipitation falls in the period from April to June, with significantly less in winter.

Demographics

The country is experiencing strong population growth, from only 5 million inhabitants in 1950 to 19 million in 2000 and 32 million in 2022.  The country has two major cities, the capital Accra with 4.2 million inhabitants and located on the south coast, and the inland city of Kumasi with 3.3 million inhabitants. In addition, there are 12 cities with between 100,000 and 300,000 inhabitants.

There are numerous ethnic groups in Ghana, with the Akan making up almost half of the population. Other groups are smaller. English is the official language of Ghana and is considered the lingua franca. There are 11 indigenous languages ​​that have official status. Akan is the most widely spoken indigenous language. Because Ghana is surrounded by French speaking countries, the knowledge of French in Ghana is quite extensive. Unlike most neighboring countries, Ghana is a predominantly Christian country.

Economy

Ghana is one of the more developed countries in West Africa, with a GDP of approximately $5,000 per capita. The country has a relatively large amount of raw materials, including oil. Ghana also produces relatively much gold, it is the 7th gold producer in the world. Just under half of the population works in agriculture, a sector that is more export-oriented than in other parts of West Africa. Cocoa is an important export product.

History

Ghana was traditionally one of the larger kingdoms in West Africa. From the late Middle Ages, the kingdom of Ashanti in southern Ghana developed. The first Europeans in the area were Portuguese in the 15th century. Due to the mining of gold, the region soon became known as the Gold Coast. From the end of the 16th century, the Dutch also founded settlements there. The gold also attracted many Europeans from Scandinavia. More than thirty European fortresses were built on the Gold Coast. In 1867, the British colony of Gold Coast was established. The British built quite extensive infrastructure for mining and plantations. In 1957 Ghana became the first country in Sub-Saharan Africa to gain independence from the United Kingdom.

Ghana has been politically unstable, with military and civilian governments alternating, but has not seen major conflicts. After a stint with socialism in the 1960s, Ghana has had an alternation of social-democratic, liberal and military governments. Since 1992, no military government has been in power in Ghana. The country is relatively stable and therefore attracts investment and a certain level of prosperity by African standards.

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