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Ghana

Ghana
Republic of Ghana HDI (2007) Currency Time zone Summer (DST) Drives on the
Flag

▲ 0.553 (medium) (136th) Ghanaian cedi (GHS) GMT (UTC0) GMT (UTC0) right .gh 233

Internet TLD Calling code

Motto: "Freedom and Justice" Anthem: God Bless Our Homeland Ghana[1]

Capital (and largest city) Official languages Demonym Government President Vice-President

Accra
5°33′N 0°15′W / 5.55°N 0.25°W / 5.55; -0.25

English Ghanaian Constitutional presidential republic John Atta Mills John Dramani Mahama from the United Kingdom 6 March 1957 1 July 1960 28 April 1992 238,535 km2 (81st) 92,098 sq mi 3.5 23,000,000[2] (48th) 93/km2 (103rd) 215/sq mi 2008 estimate $34.259 billion[3] $1,720 2008 estimate $17.124 billion $815

Independence Declared Republic Constitution Area Total Water (%)

The Republic of Ghana is a country in West Africa. It borders Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south. The word Ghana means "Warrior King,"[4] and was the source of the name "Guinea" (via French Guinoye) that is used to refer to the West African coast (as in Gulf of Guinea). Ghana was inhabited in pre-colonial times by a number of ancient kingdoms, including the Ga-Daŋmes on the eastern coast, inland Empire of Ashanti and various Fante states along the coast and inland. Trade with European states flourished after contact with the Portuguese in the 15th century, and the British established a crown colony, Gold Coast, in 1874.[5] Upon being the first Sub-Saharan African nation to achieve independence from the United Kingdom in 1957,[6] the name Ghana was chosen for the new nation to reflect the ancient Empire of Ghana that once extended throughout much of western Africa. In the Ashanti language it is spelled Gaana.

History
The modern Republic of Ghana is named after the medieval West African Ghana Empire, which ruled territory in the area of modern Mauritania, Mali and Senegal c. 790-1076.[7] Geographically, the old Ghana was approximately 500 miles (800 km) north and west of modern Ghana, and it controlled territories in the area of the Sénégal river and east towards the Niger rivers, in modern Senegal, Mauritania and Mali.

Population 2008 estimate Density GDP (PPP) Total Per capita GDP (nominal) Total Per capita

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Ghana

Elmina Castle by more than 30 forts and castles built by Dutch, British and Danish merchants. The Gold Coast became the highest concentration of European military architecture outside of Europe. By the latter part of the 19th century, the Dutch and the British were the only traders left, and after the Dutch withdrew in 1874, Britain made the Gold Coast a protectorate. Following conquest by the British in 1896, until independence in March 1957, the territory of modern Ghana was organized as the Gold Coast, under British colonial rule. For most of central sub-Saharan Africa, agricultural expansion marked the period before 500. Farming began earliest on the southern tips of the Sahara, eventually giving rise to village settlements. Toward the end of the classical era, larger regional kingdoms had formed in West Africa, one of which was the Kingdom of Ghana, north of what is today the nation of Ghana. After its fall at the beginning of the 13th century, Akan migrants moved southward then founded several nation-states including the first great Akan empire of the Bono, which is now known as the Brong Ahafo region in Ghana. Later Akan groups such as the Ashanti federation and Fante states are thought possibly to have roots in the original Bono settlement at Bono manso. Much of the area was united under the Empire of Ashanti by the 16th century. The Ashanti government operated first as a loose network and eventually as a centralized kingdom with an advanced, highly-specialized bureaucracy centered in Kumasi. The first contact between the Ghanaian peoples, the Fantes on the coastal area, and Europeans occurred in 1482. The Portuguese

Map of Ghana Historically, modern Ghanaian territory was the core of the Empire of Ashanti, which was one of the most advanced states in subSaharan Africa in the 18-19th centuries, before colonial rule. It is said that at its peak, the King of Ashanti could field 500,000 troops. Early European contact by the Portuguese, who came to Ghana in the 15th Century, focused on extensive availability of gold, which the Sahelian kingdoms had also traded for in the Medieval period for trade north with the Islamic world. British merchants named the area the Gold Coast, later the name given to the English colony, while French merchants, impressed with the trinkets worn by the coastal people, named the area to the west "Côte d’Ivoire," or Ivory Coast. In 1481, King John II of Portugal commissioned Diogo d’Azambuja to build Elmina Castle, which was completed the next year. Their aim was to trade in gold, ivory and slaves, consolidating their burgeoning power in the region. By 1598, the Dutch had joined them, and built forts at Komenda and Kormantsi. In 1637, they captured Elmina Castle from the Portuguese and Axim in 1642 (Fort St Anthony). Other European traders joined in by the mid 17th century, largely English, Danes and Swedes. The coastline was dotted

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first landed at Elmina, a coastal city inhabited by the Fanti nation-state in 1482. During the next few centuries parts of the area were controlled by British, Portuguese, and Scandinavian powers, with the British ultimately prevailing. These nation-states maintained varying alliances with the colonial powers and each other, which resulted in the 1806 Ashanti-Fante War, as well as an ongoing struggle by the Empire of Ashanti against the British. Moves toward regional de-colonization began in 1946, and the area’s first constitution was promulgated in 1951. Formed from the merger of the British colony Gold Coast, the Empire of Ashanti and the British Togoland trust territory by a UN sponsored plebiscite, Ghana became the first democratic sub-Sahara country in colonial Africa to gain its independence in 1957. Kwame Nkrumah, LIE founder and first president of the modern Ghanaian state, was not only an African anti-colonial leader but also one with a dream of a united Africa which would not drift into neo-colonialism. He was the first African head of state to espouse PanAfricanism, an idea he came into contact with during his studies at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania (United States), at the time when Marcus Garvey was becoming famous for his "Back to Africa Movement." He merged the dreams of both Marcus Garvey and the celebrated African-American scholar W.E.B. Du Bois into the formation of the modern day Ghana. Ghana’s principles of freedom and justice, equity and free education for all, irrespective of ethnic background, religion or creed, borrow from Kwame Nkrumah’s implementation of Pan-Africanism.

Ghana
the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency;[8][9] that assertion remains generally unproven. A series of subsequent coups ended with the ascension to power of Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings in 1981. These changes resulted in the suspension of the constitution in 1981 and the banning of political parties. A new constitution, restoring multi-party politics, was promulgated in 1992, and Rawlings was elected as president in the free and fair elections of that year and again won the elections 1996 to serve his second term. The constitution prohibited him from running for a third term. 2007 marked Ghana’s Golden Jubilee, celebrating fifty years of independence since 6 March 1957. In 2009 John Atta Mills took office as president, the second time power in the country had been transferred from one legitimately elected leader to another, securing Ghana’s status as a stable democracy.[10]

Regions of Ghana

Regions and districts
Memorial to Kwame Nkrumah in Accra. The leader of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah, was overthrown by a military coup in 1966. It has been argued that this was supported by Ghana is a divided into 10 regions, subdivided into a total of 138 districts. The regions are: • Ashanti • Greater • Upper • Brong Accra West Ahafo • Northern • Volta

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• Central • Eastern • Upper East • Western

Ghana
parliamentary elections in 1992; New Patriotic Party, major opposition party; People’s National Convention, led by former president Hilla Limann; and (new) People’s Convention Party, successor to Kwame Nkrumah’s original party of same name.[11] Foreign Relations: Since independence, Ghana has been fervently devoted to ideals of nonalignment and Pan-Africanism, both closely identified with first president, Kwame Nkrumah. Ghana favors international and regional political and economic cooperation, and is an active member of United Nations and Organization of African Unity. Ghanaian politician Kofi Annan was elected UN Secretary General in 1997 and left office on the 1st of January 2007. In 1994 President Rawlings was elected chairman of Economic Community of West African States.[11]

Government and politics
Government: Ghana was created as a parliamentary democracy at independence in 1957, followed by alternating military and civilian governments. In January 1993, military government gave way to Fourth Republic after presidential and parliamentary elections in late 1992. The 1992 constitution divides powers among a president, parliament, cabinet, Council of State, and an independent judiciary. The Government is elected by universal suffrage.[11] Administrative Divisions: There are ten administrative regions which are divided into 110 districts, each with its own District Assembly. Below districts are various types of councils, including fifty eight town or area councils, 108 zonal councils, and 626 area councils. 16,000 unit committees on lowest level.[11]

Economy
Well endowed with natural resources, Ghana has twice the per capita output of the poorer countries in West Africa. Even so, Ghana remains somewhat dependent on international financial and technical assistance as well as the activities of the extensive Ghanaian diaspora. Gold, timber, cocoa, diamond, bauxite, and manganese exports are major sources of foreign exchange.[12] An oilfield which is reported to contain up to 3 billion barrels (480,000,000 m3) of light oil was discovered in 2007.[13] Oil exploration is ongoing and, the amount of oil continues to increase.[14] The domestic economy continues to revolve around subsistence agriculture, which accounts for 50% of GDP and employs 85% of the work force,[12] mainly small landholders. On the negative side, public sector wage increases and regional peacekeeping commitments have led to continued inflationary deficit financing, depreciation of the Cedi, and rising public discontent with Ghana’s austerity measures. Even so, Ghana remains one of the more economically sound countries in all of Africa. The country has since July, 2007, embarked on a currency re-denomination exercise, from Cedi (¢) to the new currency, the Ghana Cedi (GH¢). The transfer rate is 1 Ghana Cedi for every 10,000 Cedis. The Bank of Ghana has embarked upon an aggressive media campaign to educate the public about what re-denomination entails. The new

Accra Conference Centre Judicial System: The legal system is based on Ghanaian common law, customary (traditional) law, and the 1992 constitution. Court hierarchy consists of Supreme Court of Ghana (highest court), Court of Appeal, and High Court of Justice. Beneath these bodies are district, traditional, and local courts. Extrajudicial institutions include public tribunals. Since independence, courts are relatively independent; this independence continues under Fourth Republic. Lower courts are being redefined and reorganized under the Fourth Republic.[11] Politics: Political parties became legal in mid-1992 after ten-year hiatus. Under the Fourth Republic, major parties are National Democratic Congress, led by Jerry John Rawlings, which won presidential and

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Ghana

Makola Market, Accra Ghana Cedi is now exchanging at a rate of $1 USD =Gh¢ 0.93 Value Added Tax is a consumption tax administered in Ghana. The tax regime which started in 1998 had a single rate but since September 2007 entered into a multiple rate regime. In 1998, the rate of tax was 10% and amended in 2000 to 12.5%. However with the passage of Act 734 of 2007, a 3% VAT Flat Rate Scheme (VFRS) began to operate for the retail distribution sector. This allows retailers of taxable goods under Act 546 to charge a marginal 3% on their sales and account on same to the VAT Service. It is aimed at simplifying the tax system and increasing compliance.

Satellite image of Ghana, generated from raster graphics data supplied by The Map Library

Geography

Ghana’s highest point is Mount Afadjato, seen here from the village of Liati Wote of Ghana-Tema; so it is said that Ghana is geographically closer to the "centre" of the world than any other country. The coastline is mostly a low, sandy shore backed by plains and scrub and intersected by several rivers and streams. Formerly, a tropical rainforest belt, broken by heavily forested hills and many streams and rivers, extended

Aburi hills Ghana is a country located on the Gulf of Guinea, only a few degrees north of the Equator, therefore giving it a warm climate. The Greenwich Meridian also passes through Ghana, specifically through the industrial city

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
City Accra Kumasi Tamale Sekondi-Takoradi Tema Teshie Cape Coast Obuasi northward from the coast, but most of the rainforest was felled in the twentieth century, leaving scattered remnants, principally in the southwest, some of which are under protection. North of this belt, the land is covered by low bush, park-like savannah, and grassy plains. The climate is tropical. The eastern coastal belt is warm and comparatively dry (see Dahomey Gap); the southwest corner, hot and humid; and the north, hot and dry. Lake Volta, the world’s largest artificial lake, extends through large portions of eastern Ghana. Population 2,096,653 1,604,909 390,730 260,651 229,106 154,513 154,204 147,613

Ghana

Osu, Ghana Ghana has many aspects of traditional African religion integrated into it.

Demographics

Population of major cities

Languages
More than 250 languages and dialects are spoken in Ghana. English is the country’s official language and predominates government and business affairs. It is also the standard language used for educational instruction. Native Ghanaian languages are divided into two linguistic subfamilies of the Niger-Congo language family. Languages belonging to the Kwa subfamily are found predominantly to the south of the Volta River, while those belonging to the Gur subfamily are found predominantly to the north. The Kwa group, which is spoken by about 75% of the country’s population, includes the Akan, Ga-Dangme, and Ewe languages. The Gur group includes the Gurma, Grusi, and Dagbani languages.[16] Nine languages have the status of government-sponsored languages: Akan, Dagaare/Wale, Dagbani, Dangme, Ewe, Ga,

Kumasi The major ethnic groups are Akan 49.3%, Mole-Dagbon 15.2%, Ewe 11.7%, Ga-Dangme 7.3%, Guan 4%, Gurma 3.6%, Gurunsi 2.6%, Mande-Busanga 1%, other tribes 1.4%, other (Hausa, Zabarema, Fulani) 1.8% (2000 census). According to the 2000 government census, religious divisions are as follows: Christian 69%, Muslim 16%, African beliefs 15%.[15] The Christianity and Islam practiced in

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Ghana
responsibly.[19] The Ghanaian media has been described as "one of the most unfettered" in Africa, operating with little restriction on private media. The private press often carries criticism of government policy.[20] The media were vigorous in their coverage of the 2008 Ghanaian presidential election, and the Ghanaian Journalists Association (GJA) praised John Atta Mills on his election, hoping to foster a good media-government relationship.[21]

Education

A street seller in Accra. Gonja, Kasem, and Nzema. Though not an official language, Hausa is the lingua-franca spoken among Ghana’s Muslims, who comprise about 14% of the population.

Media
The media of Ghana is one of the most free in Africa, and had previously undergone a series of government overthrows by military leaders and periods of severe restriction. Chapter 12 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana guarantees freedom of the press and independence of the media, while Chapter 2 prohibts censorship.[17] Post independence, the government and media often had a tense relationship, with private outlets closed during the military coups and strict media laws that prevent criticism of government.[18] The media freedoms were restored in 1992, and after the election in 2000 of John Kufuor the tensions between the private media and government decreased. Kufuor was a supporter of press freedom and repealed a libel law, though maintained that the media had to act A Dora textile group in Nsawam Presently, Ghana has 18,530 primary schools, 8,850 junior secondary schools, 900 senior secondary schools, 28 training colleges, 20 technical institutions, 4 diplomaawarding institutions, 6 public universities and over 10 private universities. Most Ghanaians have relatively easy access to primary and secondary education. These numbers can be contrasted with the single university and handful of secondary and primary schools that existed at the time of independence in 1957. Ghana’s spending on education has varied between 28 and 40 percent of its annual budget in the past decade.

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Organization Heritage Foundation/The Wall Street Journal Reporters Without Borders Transparency International United Nations Development Programme Vision of Humanity World Economic Forum Survey Index of Economic Freedom Worldwide Press Freedom Index Corruption Perception Index Human Development Index Global Peace Index Ranking

Ghana

91 out of 157[22] 31 out of 173[23] 69 out of 179[24] 135 out of 177[25] 40 out of 121[26]

Global Competitiveness Report not ranked[27]

All teaching is done in English, Ghana’s official language. Ghana has a 6-year primary education system beginning at the age of six, and, under the educational reforms implemented in 1987, they pass on to a 3-year junior secondary system all making up the basic education and then afterwards a three year senior secondary system. The new educational reforms programme which was introduced in 2007 has now replaced the previous system. Now the junior secondary school is now junior high school (JHS). At the end of the 3rd year of JHS, there is a Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE). Those continuing must complete the 4-year senior high school (SHS) program and take an admission exam to enter university. School enrollment totals over 2 million: 1.3 million primary; 550,000 middle; 300,000 secondary; 84,280 technical; 18,000 teacher training, and 89,000 in university. The shortage of places in post-secondary education is acute; one out of nine senior secondary graduates finds a place in a technical, teacher-training, or four-year university program.

References

International rankings See also
• • • • • • • • Commonwealth of Nations List of Ghana-related articles List of Ghana-related topics List of international rankings Outline of Africa Outline of geography Outline of Ghana United Nations

[1] http://www.emefa.myserver.org/ Ghana.mp3 [2] The World Factbook [3] "Ghana". International Monetary Fund. http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/ 2009/01/weodata/ weorept.aspx?sy=2006&ey=2009&scsm=1&ssd=1& Retrieved on 2009-04-22. [4] Jackson, John G. Introduction to African Civilizations, 2001. Page 201. [5] MacLean, Iain. Rational Choice and British Politics: An Analysis of Rhetoric and Manipulation from Peel to Blair, 2001. Page 76. [6] Peter N. Stearns and William Leonard Langer. The Encyclopedia of World History: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern, Chronologically Arranged, 2001. Page 1050. [7] http://encarta.msn.com/ encyclopedia_761570799/Ghana.html Encarta article on Ghana "the new state took its name from that of the medieval empire of Ghana" is third line down from the top. [8] Interview with John Stockwell in Pandora’s Box: Black Power (Adam Curtis, BBC Two, 22 June 1992) [9] http://www.state.gov/www/about_state/ history/vol_xxiv/s.html, http://www.state.gov/www/about_state/ history/vol_xxiv/s.html, http://www.ghanaweb.com/ GhanaHomePage/history/ cia_nkrumah.php, http://www.ghanaweb.com/ GhanaHomePage/features/ artikel.php?ID=75990, On Nkrumah assassination by CIA: Gaines, Kevin (2006) American Africans in Ghana,

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Black expatriates and the Civil Rights era, The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill. [10] "Thousands celebrate as new president takes office". The Guardian. 8 January 2009. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/ 2009/jan/08/world-news-in-brief. [11] ^ "Government and Politics". A Country Study: Ghana (La Verle Berry, editor). Library of Congress Federal Research Division (November 1994). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.[1] [12] ^ The World Factbook [13] [2] [14] RIGZONE - Kosmos Makes Second Oil Discovery Offshore Ghana [15] 2007 Report on International Religious Freedom - Ghana [16] LaVerle Berry, ed (1995). Ghana: A Country Study. Federal Research Division, Library of Congress. pp. 81–82. ISBN 0844408352. http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ frd/cs/ghtoc.html. [17] Constitution of Ghana, Government of Ghana. [18] Anokwa, K. (1997). In Press Freedom and Communication in Africa. Erbio, F. & Jong-Ebot, W. (Eds.) Africa World Press. ISBN 978-0865435513. [19] Ghanian Media, Press Reference. [20] BBC Country Profile: Ghana, BBC News. [21] GJA congratulates President Atta Mills, Joy Radio, January 11, 2009. [22] "Heritage Foundation - 2007 Index of Economic Freedom". Official Website for the Index. The Wall Street Journal and The Heritage Foundation. http://www.heritage.org/research/ features/index/countries.cfm. Retrieved on 2007-02-24. "The highest form of economic freedom provides an absolute right of property ownership, fully realised freedoms of movement for labour, capital, and goods, and an absolute absence of coercion or constraint of economic liberty beyond the extent necessary for citizens to protect and maintain liberty itself. In other words, individuals are free to work, produce, consume, and invest in any way they please, and that freedom is both protected by the state and unconstrained by the state." [23] "Reporters Without Borders - Worldwide Press Freedom Index 2008". Annual

Ghana
Worldwide Press Freedom Index. Reporters sans frontières. http://www.rsf.org/ article.php3?id_article=29031. Retrieved on 2009-01-12. [24] "Corruption Perception Index 2007". Official Website. Transparency International e.V. http://www.transparency.org/ policy_research/surveys_indices/cpi/ 2007. Retrieved on 2007-12-11. [25] "Human Development Report 2006" (pdf). Annual Report. United Nations Development Programme. http://hdr.undp.org/hdr2006/statistics/ documents/hdi2004.pdf. Retrieved on 2007-02-24. [26] "Global Peace Index Rankings". Global Peace and Sustainability. Economist Intelligence Unit, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney, Australia and some Peace Institutes and Think Tanks. http://www.visionofhumanity.com/ rankings/. Retrieved on 2007-05-30. [27] "Table 1: Global Competitiveness Index rankings and 2005 comparisons" (pdf). World Economic Forum - Global Competitiveness Report 2006 - 2007. World Economic Forum. http://www.weforum.org/pdf/ Global_Competitiveness_Reports/ Reports/gcr_2006/gcr2006_rankings.pdf. Retrieved on 2007-02-24.

External links
Government • Ghana official Website • The Parliament of Ghana official site • National Commission on Culture official site • Chief of State and Cabinet Members General information • Country Profile from BBC News • Ghana from Encyclopaedia Britannica • Ghana entry at The World Factbook • Ghana from UCB Libraries GovPubs • Ghana at the Open Directory Project • Wikimedia Atlas of Ghana News media • Ghana Broadcasting Corporation Tourism • Ghana Tourism Official Ghana Tourism Website • Ghana travel guide from Wikitravel

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• Ghana photos at Bigfoto.com • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ President_of_Ghana

Ghana

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghana" Categories: African Union member states, Economic Community of West African States, English-speaking countries and territories, Ghana, Liberal democracies, Members of the Commonwealth of Nations, States and territories established in 1957 This page was last modified on 20 May 2009, at 01:34 (UTC). All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. (See Copyrights for details.) Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a U.S. registered 501(c)(3) taxdeductible nonprofit charity. Privacy policy About Wikipedia Disclaimers

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