Ghana( Africa )

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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.
Western Africa, bordering the Gulf of Guinea, between Cote d'Ivoire and Togo
Geographic coordinates:
8 00 N, 2 00 W
total: 238,533 sq km
land: 227,533 sq km
water: 11,000 sq km
Area comparative:
slightly smaller than Oregon
Land boundaries:
total: 2,420 km
border countries: Burkina Faso 602 km, Cote d'Ivoire 720 km, Togo 1,098 km
539 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
tropical; warm and comparatively dry along southeast coast; hot and humid in southwest; hot and dry in north
mostly low plains with dissected plateau in south-central area
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Afadjato 885 m
Natural resources:
gold, timber, industrial diamonds, bauxite, manganese, fish, rubber, hydropower, petroleum, silver, salt, limestone
Land use:
arable land: 20.12%
permanent crops: 11.74%
other: 68.14% (2011)
Irrigated land:
309 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
53.2 cu km (2011)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic or industrial or agricultural):
total: 0.98 cu km/yr (24%/10%/66%)
per capita: 48.82 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards:
dry, dusty, northeastern harmattan winds 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, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, 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 by surface area (8,482 sq km; 3,275 sq mi)
People and Society
noun: Ghanaian(s)
adjective: Ghanaian
Ethnic groups:
Akan 47.5%, Mole-Dagbon 16.6%, Ewe 13.9%, Ga-Dangme 7.4%, Gurma 5.7%, Guan 3.7%, Grusi 2.5%, Mande-Busanga 1.1%, other 1.6% (2010 census)
Asante 14.8%, Ewe 12.7%, Fante 9.9%, Boron (Brong) 4.6%, Dagomba 4.3%, Dangme 4.3%, Dagarte (Dagaba) 3.7%, Akyem 3.4%, Ga 3.4%, Akuapem 2.9%, other (includes English (official)) 36.1% (2000 census)
Christian 71.2% (Pentecostal/Charismatic 28.3%, Protestant 18.4%, Catholic 13.1%, other 11.4%), Muslim 17.6%, traditional 5.2%, other 0.8%, none 5.2% (2010 census)
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, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2014 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 38.6% (male 4,988,823/female 4,943,451)
15-24 years: 18.7% (male 2,403,526/female 2,426,076)
25-54 years: 33.8% (male 4,228,326/female 4,480,090)
55-64 years: 4.8% (male 599,510/female 633,688)
65 years and over: 4.1% (male 489,566/female 565,052) (2014 est.)
Dependency ratios:
total dependency ratio: 71.6 %
youth dependency ratio: 65.6 %
elderly dependency ratio: 5.9 %
potential support ratio: 16.8 (2014 est.)
Median age:
total: 20.8 years
male: 20.4 years
female: 21.3 years (2014 est.)
Population growth rate:
2.19% (2014 est.)
Birth rate:
31.4 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Death rate:
7.37 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Net migration rate:
-2.13 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
urban population: 51.9% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 3.5% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas population:
ACCRA (capital) 2.573 million; Kumasi 2.019 million (2011)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 38.52 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 42.58 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 34.34 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
Maternal mortality rate:
350 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 65.75 years
male: 63.38 years
female: 68.19 years (2014 est.)
Total fertility rate:
4.09 children born/woman (2014 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate:
23.5% (2008)
Health expenditures:
4.8% of GDP (2011)
Physicians density:
0.09 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
Hospital bed density:
0.9 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Drinking water source:
improved: urban: 92.5% of population
rural: 81.3% of population
total: 87.2% of population
unimproved: urban: 7.5% of population
rural: 18.7% of population
total: 12.8% of population (2012 est.)
Sanitation facility access:
improved: urban: 19.9% of population
rural: 8.4% of population
total: 14.4% of population
unimproved: urban: 80.1% of population
rural: 91.6% of population
total: 85.6% of population (2012 est.)
HIV or AIDS adult prevalence rate:
1.4% (2012 est.)
HIV or AIDS people living with HIV or AIDS:
235,800 (2012 est.)
HIV or AIDS deaths:
11,600 (2012 est.)
Obesity adult prevalence rate:
7.5% (2008)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
14.3% (2008)
Education expenditures:
8.1% of GDP (2011)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 71.5%
male: 78.3%
female: 65.3% (2010 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 12 years
male: 12 years
female: 11 years (2012)
Child labor children ages 5-14:
total number: 1,806,750
percentage: 34 % (2006 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
total: 16.6%
male: 16.4%
female: 16.7% (2000)
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Ghana
conventional short form: Ghana
former: Gold Coast
Government type:
constitutional democracy
name: Accra
geographic coordinates: 5 33 N, 0 13 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
10 regions; Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Central, Eastern, Greater Accra, Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Volta, Western
6 March 1957 (from the UK)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 6 March (1957)
several previous; latest drafted 31 March 1992, approved and promulgated 28 April 1992, entered into force 7 January 1993; amended 1996 (2012)
Legal system:
mixed system of English common law and customary law
International law organization participation:
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President John Dramani MAHAMA (since 24 July 2012); Vice President Kwesi Bekoe AMISSAH-ARTHUR (since 6 August 2012); note - President MAHAMA assumed office due to the death of former president John Atta MILLS and subsequently won the December 2012 presidential election; the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President John Dramani MAHAMA (since 24 July 2012); Vice President Kwesi Bekoe AMISSAH-ARTHUR (since 6 August 2012);
cabinet: Council of Ministers; president nominates members subject to approval by Parliament
elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held on 7 December 2012, extended to 8 December because of technical difficulties (next to be held in December 2016)
election results: John Dramani MAHAMA elected president; percent of vote - John Dramani MAHAMA 50.7%, Nana Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO 47.7%, other 1.6%
Legislative branch:
unicameral Parliament (275 seats; members elected by direct, popular vote in single-seat constituencies to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held on 7 and 8 December 2012 (next to be held in December 2016)
election results: percent of vote by party - NPP 47.5%, NDC 46.4%, PNC 0.6%, independent 2.5%, other 3.0%; seats by party - NDC 151, NPP 120, PNC 1, independent 3
Judicial branch:
highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of a chief justice and 12 justices)
judge selection and term of office: chief justice appointed by the president in consultation with the Council of State (a small advisory body of prominent citizens) and with the approval of Parliament; other justices appointed by the president upon the advice of the Judicial Council (an 18-member independent body of judicial, military and police officials, and presidential nominees) and on the advice of the Council of State; justices can retire at age 60, with compulsory retirement at age 70
subordinate courts: Court of Appeal; High Court; Circuit Court; District Court; regional tribunals
Political parties and leaders:
Convention People's Party or CPP [Samia NKRUMAH]
National Democratic Congress or NDC [John Dramani MAHAMA]
New Patriotic Party or NPP [Paul AFOKO]
People's National Convention or PNC [Alhaji Amed RAMADAN]
note - listed are four of the more popular political parties as of December 2012; there are more than 20 registered parties
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Christian Aid (water rights)
Committee for Joint Action or CJA (education reform)
National Coalition Against the Privatization of Water or CAP (water rights)
Oxfam (water rights)
Public Citizen (water rights)
Students Coalition Against EPA [Kwabena Ososukene OKAI] (education reform)
Third World Network (education reform)
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Amma Adamaa Twum AMOAH, Charge d'Affaires (since 11 February 2014)
chancery: 3512 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 686-4520
FAX: [1] (202) 686-4527
consulate(s) general: New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Gene A. CRETZ (since 11 September 2012)
embassy: 24 Fourth Circular Rd., Cantonments, Accra
mailing address: P. O. Box 194, Accra
telephone: [233] 30-2741-000
FAX: [233] 30-2741-389
Flag description:
three equal horizontal bands of red (top), yellow, and green, with a large black five-pointed star centered in the yellow band; red symbolizes the blood shed for independence, yellow represents the country's mineral wealth, while green stands for its forests and natural wealth; the black star is said to be the lodestar of African freedom
note: 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
National symbol(s):
black star; golden eagle
National anthem:
name: "God Bless Our Homeland Ghana"
lyrics/music: unknown/Philip GBEHO
note: music adopted 1957, lyrics adopted 1966; the lyrics were changed twice, once when a republic was declared in 1960 and again after a 1966 coup
Economy overview:
Ghana's economy has been strengthened by a quarter century of relatively sound management, a competitive business environment, and sustained reductions in poverty levels. In late 2010, Ghana was recategorized as a lower middle-income country. Ghana is well-endowed with natural resources and agriculture accounts for roughly one-quarter of GDP and employs more than half of the workforce, mainly small landholders. The services sector accounts for 50% of GDP. Gold and cocoa production and individual remittances are major sources of foreign exchange. Oil production at Ghana's offshore Jubilee field began in mid-December 2010,and is producing close to target levels. Additional oil projects are being developed and are expected to come on line in a few years. Estimated oil reserves have jumped to almost 700 million barrels and Ghana’s growing oil industry is expected to boost economic growth as the country faces the consequences of two years of loose fiscal policy, high budget and current account deficits, and a depreciating currency. President MAHAMA faces challenges in managing a population that is unhappy with living standards and that perceives they are not reaping the benefits of oil production because of political corruption.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$90.41 billion (2013 est.)
$83.79 billion (2012 est.)
$77.64 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):
$45.55 billion (2013 est.)
GDP real growth rate:
7.9% (2013 est.)
7.9% (2012 est.)
15% (2011 est.)
GDP per capita (PPP):
$3,500 (2013 est.)
$3,400 (2012 est.)
$3,200 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
Gross national saving:
21.1% of GDP (2013 est.)
17.9% of GDP (2012 est.)
17.5% of GDP (2011 est.)
GDP composition, by end use:
household consumption: 64.2%
government consumption: 14.2%
investment in fixed capital: 31.7%
investment in inventories: 0.7%
exports of goods and services: 50.2%
imports of goods and services: -61%
(2013 est.)
GDP composition, by sector of origin:
agriculture: 21.5%
industry: 28.7%
services: 49.8% (2013 est.)
Agriculture products:
cocoa, rice, cassava (manioc, tapioca), peanuts, corn, shea nuts, bananas; timber
mining, lumbering, light manufacturing, aluminum smelting, food processing, cement, small commercial ship building, petroleum
Industrial production growth rate:
10.5% (2013 est.)
Labor force:
12.07 million (2013 est.)
Labor force by occupation:
agriculture: 56%
industry: 15%
services: 29% (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate:
11% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
28.5% (2007 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 32.8% (2006)
Distribution of family income Gini index:
39.4 (2005-06)
40.7 (1999)
revenues: $10.56 billion
expenditures: $14.87 billion (2013 est.)
Taxes and other revenues:
23.2% of GDP (2013 est.)
Budget surplus or deficit:
Public debt:
53.1% of GDP (2013 est.)
50% of GDP (2012 est.)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
11% (2013 est.)
9.2% (2012 est.)
Central bank discount rate:
18% (31 December 2009)
17% (31 December 2008)
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
27% (31 December 2013 est.)
22.8% (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of narrow money:
$6.256 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$6.153 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of broad money:
$12.59 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$12.17 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of domestic credit:
$13.31 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$12.56 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$3.465 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$3.097 billion (31 December 2011)
$3.531 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Current account balance:
-$5.149 billion (2013 est.)
-$4.778 billion (2012 est.)
$13.37 billion (2013 est.)
$13.54 billion (2012 est.)
Exports commodities:
oil, gold, cocoa, timber, tuna, bauxite, aluminum, manganese ore, diamonds, horticultural products
Exports partners:
France 13.6%, Italy 12.4%, Netherlands 8.9%, China 7.4%, Germany 4.3% (2012)
$18.49 billion (2013 est.)
$17.76 billion (2012 est.)
Imports commodities:
capital equipment, refined petroleum, foodstuffs
Imports partners:
China 25.6%, Nigeria 11%, US 7%, Netherlands 6.2%, Singapore 4.5%, UK 4.1%, India 4% (2012)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$6.016 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$5.705 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Debt external:
$14.68 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$12.64 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment at home:
Stock of direct foreign investment abroad:
Exchange rates:
cedis (GHC) per US dollar -
2.018 (2013 est.)
1.796 (2012 est.)
1.431 (2010 est.)
1.409 (2009)
1.1 (2008)
Electricity production:
8.213 billion kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity consumption:
5.311 billion kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity exports:
1.036 billion kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity imports:
106 million kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity installed generating capacity:
1.985 million kW (2010 est.)
Electricity from fossil fuels:
40.6% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Electricity from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Electricity from hydroelectric plants:
59.4% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Electricity from other renewable sources:
0% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
Crude oil production:
79,630 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Crude oil exports:
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Crude oil imports:
32,060 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Crude oil proved reserves:
660 million bbl (1 January 2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products production:
22,130 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Refined petroleum products consumption:
61,590 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Refined petroleum products exports:
9,977 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Refined petroleum products imports:
37,240 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Natural gas production:
50 million cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas consumption:
120 million cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas exports:
0 cu m (2011 est.)
Natural gas imports:
830 million cu m (2011 est.)
Natural gas proved reserves:
22.65 billion cu m (1 January 2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
9.005 million Mt (2011 est.)
Telephones mobile cellular:
25.618 million (2012)
Telephone system:
general assessment: primarily microwave radio relay; wireless local loop has been installed; outdated and unreliable fixed-line infrastructure heavily concentrated in Accra
domestic: competition among multiple mobile-cellular providers has spurred growth with a subscribership of more than 80 per 100 persons and rising
international: country code - 233; landing point for the SAT-3/WASC, Main One, and GLO-1 fiber-optic submarine cables that provide connectivity to South Africa, Europe, and Asia; satellite earth stations - 4 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); microwave radio relay link to Panaftel system connects Ghana to its neighbors (2009)
Telephones main lines in use:
285,000 (2012)
Broadcast media:
state-owned TV station, 2 state-owned radio networks; several privately owned TV stations and a large number of privately owned radio stations; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are accessible; several cable and satellite TV subscription services are obtainable (2007)
Internet country code:
Internet users:
1.297 million (2009)
Internet hosts:
59,086 (2012)
10 (2013)
Airports with paved runways:
total: 7
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)
Airports with unpaved runways:
total: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2013)
gas 394 km; oil 20 km; refined products 361 km (2013)
total: 947 km
narrow gauge: 947 km 1.067-m gauge (2008)
total: 109,515 km
paved: 13,787 km
unpaved: 95,728 km (2009)
Merchant marine:
total: 4
by type: petroleum tanker 1, refrigerated cargo 3
foreign-owned: 2 (Brazil 1, South Korea 1) (2010)
Ports and terminals:
major seaport(s): Takoradi, Tema
Military branches:
Ghana Army, Ghana Navy, Ghana Air Force (2012)
Military service age and obligation:
18-26 years of age for voluntary military service, with basic education certificate; no conscription; must be HIV/AIDS negative (2012)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 6,268,191
females age 16-49: 6,194,339 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 4,136,406
females age 16-49: 4,220,761 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 267,896
female: 260,992 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures:
0.27% of GDP (2012)
0.25% of GDP (2011)
0.27% of GDP (2010)
Transnational Issues
Disputes international:
disputed maritime border between Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
refugees (country of origin): 9,567 (Cote d'Ivoire; flight from 2010 post-election fighting); 5,249 (Liberia) (2013)
Trafficking in persons: