Ghana Country Overview

Ghana (Republic of Ghana). An African country, it limits to the north and northwest with Burkina Faso, to the east with Togo, to the south with the Gulf of Guinea, and to the west with Ivory Coast. Former British colony known as the Gold Coast, the country gets its name from the former empire of Ghana, from which the ancestors of the current residents are believed to have emigrated.


According to, Ghana was the first sub- Saharan African nation to achieve independence (1957).

Among the Europeans who soon challenged the presence of the Netherlands, the British stood out, who established forts at Kormantine and Cape Coast.

The resulting rivalry between the two powers culminated in a war, in which the Dutch won. However, companies sponsored by the British government continued to develop a flourishing slave trade around 1750. The Danes established fortresses at Christiansborg and elsewhere, but by the late 18th century the British ruled the region.

In 1821, fourteen years after the abolition of the slave trade, the British settlements became state dependencies. The British bought the Danish forts in 1850, and in 1871 the Dutch were also transferred to them. The coastal area, which was already completely under British control, was designated a British colony in 1874, under the name of the Gold Coast.

At the beginning of the 19th century the Ashanti tribes had invaded the coastal territory inhabited by the Fanti, thereby posing a threat to British interests, sparking a series of clashes between the Ashantis and the British that continued sporadically until the end of the century. The colony’s borders were established in 1901, at the same time that the northern and Ashanti territories were annexed to the colony. A part of German Togo was added in 1922. Three years later the first elections for a legislative council took place.

As of World War II, the political development of the country began. The British had to face a growing agitation in favor of national independence, thus increasing the pressures for self-government.

Thus the British Parliament accepted the Act of Independence of Costa de Oro, which was renamed Ghana in January of 1957, and March 6 of that year the National Assembly of Ghana issued a declaration of independence. Two days later, the newly independent country joined the United Nations (UN).

Main cities

Accra is the largest city and commercial center, as well as the capital. Kumasi is the capital of the Ashanti region ; Sekondi-Takoradi has an artificial port that was the first to be built in the country with modern facilities. Other big cities are Tamale, Tema, Cape Coast.



Ghana’s climate is tropical, but there are large variations in temperature and rainfall depending on distance from the coast and altitude.

With the exception of the two northern districts, the rainy season takes place from April to June and from September to November. However, in the north it begins in March and ends in September. Annual rainfall ranges from 1,015 mm in the north to about 2,030 mm in the southeast.

The harmattan, a dry desert wind, blows from the northeast from December to March, lowering the humidity and leading to warm days and cool nights in the north. In the south, the effects of harmattan are felt in January.

In most areas, the highest temperatures occur in March, and the lowest in August. The annual temperature is about 26.1 ° C on average.


Most of Ghana’s natural vegetation has been destroyed by fire slashing to obtain new agricultural land, but many trees such as kapok, African mahogany and cedar remain in the southern tropical forests ; two thirds of the northern part of the country is covered by savanna.


Animal life has also been severely depleted, especially in the south, but it is still relatively diverse, encompassing leopards, hyenas, lemurs, buffalo, elephants, antelopes and monkeys. You can find many species of reptiles such as the cobra, python and horned viper.

Social development


The official language is English, commonly used in schools, but in 1962 the government selected nine Ghanaian languages, in addition to English and French, for use in educational institutions: Akuapem-Twi, Asante-Twi, Dagbani, Dangbe, ewe, fanti, ga, kasem and nizima.


The population is 23,382,848 residents, with a population density of 101 residents / km². The most densely populated areas of the country are the coastal areas, the Ashanti region in the south central part, and the two main cities, Accra and Kumasi.

70% of the total population lives in the southern half of the country. The most numerous peoples belong to the Akan family: the Fanti, who live on the coast, and the Ashanti, who live in central Ghana; The Nzima and Ahanta live in the southwest; the plains of Accra are inhabited by the Ga; most of the residents of the northern region belong to the moshi-dagomba group of peoples of the Volta or to the gonja group.


The most characteristic traditional activities of Ghana are goldsmithing and colorful textiles, in particular kente weavings, locally known as nwentoma, which are made from a fabric composed of a weave of interspersed stripes. The colors used have strong symbolism. Clothes designed with it are highly prized as handicrafts and have an international market. The first preserved pieces date from the 12th century.


The literary tradition of northern Ghana is heavily influenced by Islam, and that of the south by Catholic missionaries. Thanks to the European influence, several linguistic groups developed systems based on the Latin alphabet. However, most Ghanaian publications are in English.

Some notable Ghanaian writers, poets, and scholars are:

  • Kofi Awoonor.
  • Ama Ata Aidoo.
  • Anton Wilhelm Master
  • Anthony Appiah.
  • Ayi Kwei Armah.
  • Ottobah Cugoano.
  • Amma Darko.


More than 20% of the population practice traditional religions.

The Christian population, made up of about 63% of the total population, is concentrated in the coastal region and includes Catholics, Anglicans, Methodists, and Presbyterians. Muslims (about 16% of the total) are found mostly in the northern part of the country.


Among the traditional Ghanaian constructions, the Ashanti stand out, as well as the forts and castles built on the coast by the Portuguese between Keta and Beyin. Those places are on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The Laranbanga Mosque, made of clay in 1421, is the oldest building in the country.


Banana, red beans, peanuts, cassava, rice, tomato and fish are the most common ingredients in Ghanaian cuisine. Some typical components are fufu, which is a mashed banana with yucca or yam; the kenkey, that is to say fermented balls of cornflour, steamed and wrapped in leaves of the same plant; and kokonte and banku, which are cooked cassava and fermented corn pastes, respectively.


The most popular sport is soccer. His National Team [1] . She has been one of the protagonists of the African Cup of Nations whose final she has played seven times, winning it in 1963, 1965, 1978 and 1982. It has been its organizing country in 1963, 1978, 2000 (together with Nigeria) and 2008. It has also achieved outstanding participations in world championships in the category of minors.


Ghana has 977 km of railway lines. The main line forms a triangle linking Sekondi-Takoradi, Accra and Kumasi.

The country has 47,787 km of roads, of which 18% are paved. The two largest ports in the country, Tema and Sekondi-Takoradi, are artificial. The international airport is in Kotoka (near Accra). The other four national airports are located in Sekondi-Takoradi, Kumasi, Sunyani and Tamale, with other runways in small settlements. International airlines have regular flights to Accra. Ghana Airways provides both domestic and international services.

Ghana Country Overview

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