English-speaking countries – Ghana: The Gold Coast

Ghana has been known as the Gold Coast since the 17th century. British merchants named it “the Gold Coast” because they were impressed with the gold resources in the area.

OVERVIEW

Flag Ghana
Anthem God Bless Our Homeland Ghana
Watch on youtube (with lyrics)
Capital Accra
Largest city Accra
Official language(s) English
Demonym
Ghanaian
Government Constitutional democracy
Area 238,535 km2, 92,098 sq mi
Population ~ 24 million
Currency Ghanaian cedi (GHS)
Internet TLD .gh

GEOGRAPHY

GhanaThe Republic of Ghana is a country located in West Africa that 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.
GhanaAccra is the capital and most populous city of Ghana. It is the administrative, communications, and economic centre of the country. The city has a population of 3,963,264. Other large cities are Kumasi (2,604,909), Tamale (390,730) and Takoradi (260,651).

SOCIETY AND CULTURE

Ghana is an ethnically diverse country; thus, Ghanaian culture is a mixture of all its ethnic groups. It is most evident in Ghanaian cuisine, the arts and clothing. The celebration of festivals in Ghana is an essential part of Ghanaian culture.

Population

Ghana has a population of about 24 million people. It is home to more than 100 different ethnic groups. Fortunately, Ghana has not seen the kind of ethnic conflict that has led to civil war in many other African countries. The ethnic groups in Ghana are the 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%), others (Hausa, Zabarema, Fulani) (1.8%).

Languages

Ghana has 47 ethnic languages. English is the country’s official language andpredominates 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. They are spoken by about 75% of the country’s population. The languages belonging to the Gur subfamily are found predominantly to the north. Nine languages have the status of government-sponsored languages: Akan, specifically Ashanti Twi, Fanti, Akuapem Twi, Akyem, Kwahu, Nzema, Dagaare/Wale, Dagbani, Dangme, Ewe, Ga, Gonja and Kasem.

Religion

Religious tolerance in Ghana is very high. The major Christian celebrations of Christmas and Easter are recognised as national holidays. Religious divisions in Ghana are as follows: Christian 68.8%, Muslim 15.9%, Traditional African beliefs 8.5%. The southern part of the nation is more Christian, while the north is more Islamic.

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS

Ghana was created as a parliamentary democracy at independence in 1957. The 1992 constitution divides powers among a President, Parliament, Cabinet, Council of State, and an independent judiciary. The Government is elected by universal suffrage. The legal system is based on British common law, customary (traditional) law, and the 1992 constitution. Major parties in Ghana are the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the New Patriotic Party the Convention People’s Party. The current president of Ghana is John Atta Mills, a candidate of the NDC.

ECONOMY

Well endowed with natural resources, Ghana has twice the per capita outputof the poorer countries in West Africa. Even so, Ghana remains somewhat dependent on trade and international assistance. About 28% of the population live below the internationalpoverty line of US$1.25 a day. Ghana, known for its gold in colonial times, remains one of the world’s top gold producers. Other exports such as cocoa, timber, electricity, diamond,bauxite, and manganese are major sources of foreign exchange. The economy continues to rely heavily on agriculture.

Taken from and adapted:

Definitions sourced from wiktionary.org

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