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President: John Evans Atta Mills(2009-2012)

Current government officials

Land area: 88,811 sq mi (230,020 sq km); total area: 92,456 sq mi (239,460 sq km)

Population (2007 est.): 22,931,299 (growth rate: 2.0%); birth rate: 29.9/1000; infant mortality rate: 53.6/1000; life expectancy: 59.1; density per sq mi: 258

Capital and largest city (2003 est.): Accra, 2,825,800 (metro. area), 1,661,400 (city proper)

Other large cities: Kumasi, 645,100; Tamale, 279,600

Monetary unit: Cedi

Languages: English (official), African languages (including Akan, Moshi-Dagomba, Ewe, and Ga)

Ethnicity/race: black African 98.5% (major tribes: Akan 44%, Moshi-Dagomba 16%, Ewe 13%, Ga 8%, Gurma 3%, Yoruba 1%), European and other 1.5% (1998)

Religions: Christian 63%, indigenous beliefs 21%, Islam 16%
Literacy rate: 75% (2003 est.)
Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2007 est.): $31.23 billion; per capita $1,400. Real growth rate: 6.2%. Inflation: 11%. Unemployment: 11% (2000 est.). Arable land: 18%. Agriculture: cocoa, rice, coffee, cassava (tapioca), peanuts, corn, shea nuts, bananas; timber. Labor force: 11.29 million (2007 est.); agriculture 60%, industry 15%, services 25% (1999 est.). Industries: mining, lumbering, light manufacturing, aluminum smelting, food processing, cement, small commercial ship building. Natural resources: gold, timber, industrial diamonds, bauxite, manganese, fish, rubber, hydropower, petroleum, silver, salt, limestone. Exports: $4.194 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.): gold, cocoa, timber, tuna, bauxite, aluminum, manganese ore, diamonds. Imports: $8.073 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.): capital equipment, petroleum, foodstuffs. Major trading partners: Netherlands, UK, France, U.S., Belgium, Spain, South Africa, Nigeria, China (2006).

Member of Commonwealth of Nations

Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 356,400 (2006); mobile cellular: 5.207 million (2006). Radio broadcast stations: AM 0, FM 49, shortwave 3 (2007). Television broadcast stations: 7 (2007). Internet hosts: 2,899 (2007). Internet users: 609,800 (2006).

Transportation: Railways: total: 953 km (2006). Highways: total: 42,623 km; paved: 3,267 km; unpaved: 39,356 km (2004). Waterways: 1,293 km; note: 168 km for launches and lighters on Volta, Ankobra, and Tano rivers; 1,125 km of arterial and feeder waterways on Lake Volta (2003). Ports and harbors: Takoradi, Tema. Airports: 12 (2007).

International disputes: Ghana struggles to accommodate returning nationals who worked in the cocoa plantations and escaped rebel fighting in Côte d'Ivoire.

Major sources and definitions
Flag of Ghana

A West African country bordering on the Gulf of Guinea, Ghana is bounded by Côte d'Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. It compares in size to Oregon, and its largest river is the Volta.

Constitutional democracy.
Several major civilizations flourished in the general region of what is now Ghana. The ancient empire of Ghana (located 500 mi northwest of the contemporary state) reigned until the 13th century. The Akan peoples established the next major civilization, beginning in the 13th century, and then the Ashanti empire flourished in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Called the Gold Coast, the area was first seen by Portuguese traders in 1470. They were followed by the English (1553), the Dutch (1595), and the Swedes (1640). British rule over the Gold Coast began in 1820, but it was not until after quelling the severe resistance of the Ashanti in 1901 that it was firmly established. British Togoland, formerly a colony of Germany, was incorporated into Ghana by referendum in 1956. Created as an independent country on March 6, 1957, Ghana, as the result of a plebiscite, became a republic on July 1, 1960.

Premier Kwame Nkrumah attempted to take leadership of the Pan-African Movement, holding the All-African People's Congress in his capital, Accra, in 1958 and organizing the Union of African States with Guinea and Mali in 1961. But he oriented his country toward the Soviet Union and China and built an autocratic rule over all aspects of Ghanaian life. In Feb. 1966, while Nkrumah was visiting Beijing and Hanoi, he was deposed by a military coup led by Gen. Emmanuel K. Kotoka.

A series of military coups followed, and on June 4, 1979, Flight Lt. Jerry Rawlings overthrew Lt. Gen. Frederick Akuffo's military rule. Rawlings permitted the election of a civilian president to go ahead as scheduled the following month, and Hilla Limann, candidate of the People's National Party, took office. Rawlings's three-month rule was one of Ghana's bloodiest periods, with executions of numerous government officials and business leaders. Two years later Rawlings staged another coup, charging the civilian government with corruption. As chairman of the Provisional National Defense Council, Rawlings scrapped the constitution, instituted an austerity program, and reduced budget deficits over the next decade. He then returned the country to civilian rule and won the presidency in multiparty elections in 1992 and again in 1996. Since then, Ghana has been widely viewed as one of Africa's most stable democracies. In Jan. 2001, John Agyekum Kufuor was elected president. In 2002, he set up a National Reconciliation Commission to review human rights abuses during the country's military rule. He was reelected in Dec. 2004.

Ghana is the most peaceful Country in Africa.


Airport Name: Kotoka International Airport Accra-Ghana



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