Country: Ghana

Ghana,officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located along the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean, in the subregion of West Africa.

Spanning a land mass of 238,535 km2 (92,099 sq mi), Ghana is bordered by the Ivory Coast in the west, Burkina Faso in the north, Togo in the east and the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean in the south. Ghana means “Warrior King” in the Soninke language.

The first permanent state in the territory of present-day Ghana dates back to the 11th century. Numerous kingdoms and empires emerged over the centuries, of which the most powerful was the Kingdom of Ashanti.

 Beginning in the 15th century, numerous European powers contested the area for trading rights, with the British ultimately establishing control of the coast by the late 19th century. Following over a century of native resistance, Ghana’s current borders were established by the 1900s as the British Gold Coast. It became independent of the United Kingdom on 6 March 1957.

Ghana’s population of approximately 30 million spans a variety of ethnic, linguistic and religious groups.According to the 2010 census, 71.2% of the population was Christian, 17.6% was Muslim, and 5.2% practised traditional faiths. Its diverse geography and ecology ranges from coastal savannahs to tropical rain forests.

Ghana is a unitary constitutional democracy led by a president who is both head of stateand head of the government. Ghana’s growing economic prosperity and democratic political system have made it a regional power in West Africa.It is a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States(ECOWAS), Group of 24 (G24) and the Commonwealth of Nations.

Clickable pictures

Capital

and largest city
Accra

5°33′N 0°12′W

Official languages English
Recognised national languages
  • Asante Twi
  • Akuapem Twi
  • Bono
  • Dagaare
  • Dagbani
  • Dangme
  • Ewe
  • Ga
  • Gonja
  • Kasem
  • Mampruli
  • Fante
  • Nzema
  • Wasa
  • Talensi
  • Frafra
  • Kusaal
  • Hausa
  • Ghanaian Sign Language
Ethnic groups

(2010)
  • 47.5% Akans
  • 16.6% Mole-Dagbani
  • 13.9% Ewe
  • 7.4% Ga-Adangbe
  • 5.7% Konkomba
  • 3.7% Guan
  • 2.5% Gurunsi
  • 2.2% kusasi
  • 1.1% Bissa
  • 1.4% Other
Demonym(s) Ghanaian
Government
  • Unitary presidential
  • constitutional republic
• President
Nana Akufo-Addo
• Vice-President
Mahamudu Bawumia
Legislature Parliament
Independence from the United Kingdom
• Dominion
6 March 1957
• Republic
1 July 1960
• Current constitution
28 April 1992
Area
• Total
239,567 km2(92,497 sq mi) (80th)
• Water (%)
4.61 (11,000 km; 4,247 mi2)
Population
• 2016 estimate
28,308,301 (45th)
• 2010 census
24,200,000
• Density
101.5/km2(262.9/sq mi) (103rd)
GDP (PPP) 2019 estimate
• Total
$211.127 billion
• Per capita
$6,998
GDP (nominal) 2018 estimate
• Total
$68 billion
• Per capita
$2,262
Gini (2012) 42.4
medium
HDI (2017) Increase 0.592
medium · 140th
Currency Ghanaian cedi (GHS)
Time zone UTC+0 (GMT)
Driving side right
Calling code +233
ISO 3166 code GH
Internet TLD .gh

 

History

The etymology of the word Ghana means “warrior king” and was the title accorded to the kings of the medieval Ghana Empire in West Africa, but the empire was further north than the modern country of Ghana, in the region of Guinea.

Medieval kingdoms

Ghana was already recognized as one of the great kingdoms in Bilad el-Sudan by the ninth century.

Ghana was inhabited in the Middle Ages and the Age of Discovery by a number of ancient predominantly Akan kingdoms in the Southern and Central territories. This included the Ashanti Empire, the Akwamu, the Bonoman, the Denkyira, and the Mankessim Kingdom.

Although the area of present-day Ghana in West Africa has experienced many population movements, the Akans were firmly settled by the 5th century CE.By the early 11th century, the Akans were firmly established in the Akan state called Bonoman, for which the Brong-Ahafo Region is named.

From the 13th century, Akans emerged from what is believed to have been the Bonoman area, to create several Akan states of Ghana, mainly based on gold trading. These states included Bonoman (Brong-Ahafo Region), Ashanti (Ashanti Region), Denkyira (Western North region), Mankessim Kingdom (Central region), and Akwamu (Eastern region).By the 19th century, the territory of the southern part of Ghana was included in the Kingdom of Ashanti, one of the most influential states in sub-saharan Africa prior to the onset of colonialism.

The Kingdom of Ashanti government operated first as a loose network, and eventually as a centralised kingdom with an advanced, highly specialised bureaucracy centred in the capital city of Kumasi. Prior to Akan contact with Europeans, the Akan people created an advanced economy based on principally gold and gold bar commodities then traded with the states of Africa.

The earliest known kingdoms to emerge in modern Ghana were the Mole-Dagbani states. The Mole-Dagomba came on horseback from present-day Burkina Faso under a single leader, Naa Gbewaa With their advanced weapons and based on a central authority, they easily invaded and occupied the lands of the local people ruled by the Tendamba (land god priests), established themselves as the rulers over the locals, and made Gambaga their capital.

Akan trade with European states began after contact with the Portuguese in the 15th century.Early European contact by the Portuguese people, who came to the Gold Coast region in the 15th century to trade and then established the Portuguese Gold Coast(Costa do Ouro), focused on the extensive availability of gold.

The Portuguese built a trading lodge at a coastal settlement called Anomansah (the perpetual drink) which they renamed São Jorge da Mina.

In 1481, King John II of Portugal commissioned Don Diego d’Azambuja to build the Elmina Castle, which was completed in three years. By 1598, the Dutch had joined the Portuguese in the gold trade, establishing the Dutch Gold Coast (Nederlandse Bezittingen ter Kuste van Guinea) and building forts at Fort Komenda and Kormantsi. In 1617, the Dutch captured the Olnini Castle from the Portuguese, and Axim in 1642 (Fort St Anthony).

Other European traders had joined in gold trading by the mid-17th century, most notably the Swedes, establishing the Swedish Gold Coast (Svenska Guldkusten), and Denmark-Norway, establishing the Danish Gold Coast(Danske Guldkyst or Dansk Guinea).

Portuguese merchants, impressed with the gold resources in the area, named it Costa do Ouro or Gold Coast. Also beginning in the 17th century — in addition to the gold trade — Portuguese, Dutch, English, and French traders also participated in the Atlantic slave trade in this area.

More than thirty forts and castles were built by the Portuguese, Swedish, Dano-Norwegians, Dutch and German merchants; the latter Germans establishing the German Gold Coast (Brandenburger Gold Coast orGroß Friedrichsburg).

In 1874 Great Britain established control over some parts of the country, assigning these areas the status of British Gold Coast.Many military engagements occurred between the British colonial powers and the various Akan nation-states. The Akan Kingdom of Ashanti defeated the British a few times in the 100-year-long Anglo-Ashanti wars but eventually lost with the War of the Golden Stool in the early 1900s.

Transition to independence

Celebrations marking Ghana’s independence on 6 March 1957

In 1947, the newly formed United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) led by “The Big Six” called for “self-government within the shortest possible time” following the Gold Coast legislative election, 1946.Kwame Nkrumah was the first Prime Minister of Ghana and the first President of Ghana and formed the Convention People’s Party (CPP) with the motto “self-government now”.

Nkrumah won a majority in the Gold Coast legislative election, 1951 for the Gold Coast Legislative Assembly in 1952. Nkrumah was appointed leader of the Gold Coast’s government business.The Gold Coast region declared independence from the United Kingdom on 6 March 1957 and established the nation of Ghana.

On 6 March 1957 at 12 am. Nkrumah declared Ghana’s establishment and autonomy. On 1 July 1960, following the Ghanaian constitutional referendum and Ghanaian presidential election, Nkrumah declared Ghana as a republic as the first President of Ghana. 6 March is the nation’s Independence Day and 1 July is now celebrated as Republic Day.

At the time of independence Nkrumah declared, “My first objective is to abolish from Ghana poverty, ignorance, and disease. We shall measure our progress by the improvement in the health of our people; by the number of children in school, and by the quality of their education; by the availability of water and electricity in our towns and villages; and by the happiness which our people take in being able to manage their own affairs.

The welfare of our people is our chief pride, and it is by this that the government will ask to be judged.”. In 1966, a group of military officers overthrew Nkrumah in a coup d’état and placed Ghana under the authority of the National Liberation Council.

The flag of Ghana, consisting of the colours red, gold, green, and a black star, became the new flag in 1957 when Gold Coast gained its name Ghana. It was designed by Theodosia Salome Okoh; the red represents the blood that was shed towards independence, the gold represents the industrial minerals wealth of Ghana, the green symbolises the rich grasslands of Ghana, and the black star is the symbol of the Ghanaian people and African emancipation.

Nkrumah was the first African head of state to promote the concept of Pan-Africanism, which he had been introduced to during his studies at Lincoln University, Pennsylvania in the United States, at the time when Marcus Garvey was becoming famous for his “Back to Africa Movement”. Nkrumah merged the teachings of Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King, Jr. and the naturalised Ghanaian scholar W. E. B. Du Bois into the formation of 1960s Ghana.

Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, as he became known, played an instrumental part in the founding of the Non-Aligned Movement, and in establishing the Kwame Nkrumah Ideological Institute to teach his ideologies of communism and socialism.His life achievements were recognised by Ghanaians during his centenary birthday celebration, and the day was instituted as a public holiday in Ghana (Founder’s Day).

Operation Cold Chop and aftermath

The government of Nkrumah was subsequently overthrown by a coup by the Ghana Armed Forces codenamed “Operation Cold Chop”.

This occurred while Nkrumah was abroad with Zhou Enlai in the People’s Republic of China, on a fruitless mission to Hanoi in Vietnam to help end the Vietnam War. The coup took place on 24 February 1966, led by Col. Emmanuel Kwasi Kotoka. The National Liberation Council (NLC) was formed, chaired by Lt. General Joseph A. Ankrah.

A series of alternating military and civilian governments, often affected by economic instabilities,from 1966 to 1981 ended with the ascension to power of Flight LieutenantJerry John Rawlings of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) in 1981. These changes resulted in the suspension of the Constitution of Ghana in 1981, and the banning of political parties in Ghana.

 The economy soon declined, so Rawlings negotiated a structural adjustment plan changing many old economic policies, and economic growth soon recovered during the mid-1980s. A new Constitution of Ghana restoring multi-party system politics was promulgated in Ghanaian presidential election, 1992; Rawlings was elected as president of Ghana then, and again in Ghanaian general election, 1996.

21st century

Winning the 2000 Ghanaian elections, John Agyekum Kufuor of the New Patriotic Party(NPP) was sworn into office as president of Ghana on 7 January 2001, and attained the presidency again in the 2004 Ghanaian elections, thus also serving two terms (the term limit) as president of Ghana and thus marking the first time under the fourth republic that power was transferred from one legitimately elected head of state and head of government to another.

Kufuor was succeeded to the presidency of the Republic of Ghana by John Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) following the Ghanaian presidential election, 2008, and John Atta Mills was inaugurated as the third president of the fourth republic of Ghana and 11th president of Ghana on 7 January 2009, prior to John Atta Mills being succeeded as president of Ghana by then vice-president of Ghana John Dramani Mahama on 24 July 2012.

Following the Ghanaian presidential election, 2012, John Dramani Mahama became President-elect and was inaugurated as the fourth President of the Fourth Republic of Ghana and seventh President of Ghana on 7 January 2013, to serve one term of office of four-year term as President of Ghana until 7 January 2017,maintaining Ghana’s status as a stable democracy.

As a result of the Ghanaian presidential election, 2016, Nana Akufo-Addo became President-elect and was inaugurated as the fifth President of the Fourth Republic of Ghana and 8th President of Ghana on 7 January 2017, to serve one four-year term of office as President of Ghana, until 7 January 2021.

Ghana is located on the Gulf of Guinea, only a few degrees north of the Equator, therefore giving it a warm climate.

Ghana spans an area of 238,535 km2 (92,099 sq mi), and has an Atlantic coastline that stretches 560 kilometres (350 miles) on the Gulf of Guinea in Atlantic Ocean to its south. It lies between latitudes 4°45’N and 11°N, and longitudes 1°15’E and 3°15’W. The Prime Meridian passes through Ghana, specifically through the industrial port town of Tema.

Ghana is geographically closer to the “centre” of the Earth geographical coordinates than any other country; even though the notional centre, (0°, 0°) is located in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 614 km (382 mi) off the south-east coast of Ghana on the Gulf of Guinea.

Grasslands mixed with south coastal shrublands and forests dominate Ghana, with forest extending northward from the south-west coast of Ghana on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean 320 kilometres (200 miles) and eastward for a maximum of about 270 kilometres (170 miles) with the Kingdom of Ashanti or the southern part of Ghana being a primary location for mining of industrial minerals and timber.

Ghana encompasses plains, waterfalls, low hills, rivers, Lake Volta, the world’s largest artificial lake, Dodi Island and Bobowasi Island on the south Atlantic Ocean coast of Ghana. The northernmost part of Ghana is Pulmakong and the southernmost part of Ghana is Cape Three Points.

Ghana is a unitary presidential constitutional democracy with a parliamentary multi-party system. Ghana alternated between civilian and military governments until January 1993, when the military government gave way to the Fourth Republic of Ghana after presidential and parliamentary elections in late 1992.

The 1992 constitution of Ghana divides powers among a Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces (President of Ghana), parliament (Parliament of Ghana), cabinet (Cabinet of Ghana), council of state (Ghanaian Council of State), and an independent judiciary (Judiciary of Ghana). The Government of Ghana is elected by universal suffrage after every four years.

Nana Akufo-Addo won the Presidency in the Ghanaian general election held on 7 December 2016, defeating incumbent John Mahama. He was sworn in on 7 January 2017.

The 2012 Fragile States Index indicated that Ghana is ranked the 67th least fragile state in the world and the 5th least fragile state in Africa after Mauritius, 2nd Seychelles, 3rd Botswana, and 4th South Africa. Ghana ranked 112th out of 177 countries on the index.

Ghana ranked as the 64th least corrupt and politically corrupt country in the world out of all 174 countries ranked and Ghana ranked as the 5th least corrupt and politically corrupt country in Africa out of 53 countries in the 2012 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index.Ghana was ranked 7th in Africa out of 53 countries in the 2012 Ibrahim Index of African Governance.

The Ibrahim Index is a comprehensive measure of African government, based on a number of different variables which reflect the success with which governments deliver essential political goods to its citizens.Nkrumah was a Ghanaian nationalist leader who led the country from 1957 to 1966.

Nkrumah’s political journey started when he entered Lincoln University in Pennsylvania in 1935. He graduated with master’s degrees from Lincoln University and the University of Pennsylvania.

He formed the Convention Peoples’ Party. The party initiated a “positive action” campaign involving non-violent protests, strikes and non-cooperation with the British authorities. Nkrumah was arrested and sentenced to one year imprisonment during this time.

In the Gold Coast’s February 1951 general election, he was elected to Parliament and released from prison to become leader of government business. He became Prime Minister of the Gold Coast in 1952s leadership was authoritarian but he improved the infrastructure of the country and his Africanisation policies created better career opportunities for Ghanaians. He was deposed in a coup in 1966.

Foreign relations

Since independence, Ghana has been devoted to ideals of nonalignment and is a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement. Ghana favours international and regional political and economic co-operation, and is an active member of the United Nations and the African Union.

Ghana has a strong relationship with the United States. Three recent US presidents–Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama—made diplomatic trips to Ghana. Many Ghanaian diplomats and politicians hold positions in international organisations, including Ghanaian diplomat and former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, International Criminal Court Judge Akua Kuenyehia, and former President Jerry John Rawlings and former President John Agyekum Kuffour, who both served as diplomats of the United Nations.

In September 2010, Ghana’s former President John Atta Mills visited China on an official visit. Mills and China’s former President Hu Jintao, marked the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two nations, at the Great Hall of the People on 20 September 2010.

China reciprocated with an official visit in November 2011, by the Vice-Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China, Zhou Tienongwho visited Ghana and met with Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama.

The Islamic Republic of Iran and the 6thPresident of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met with the 12th President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama on 16 April 2013 to hold discussions with President John Dramani Mahama on strengthening the Non-Aligned Movement and also co–chair a bilateral meeting between Ghana and Iran at the Ghanaian presidential palace Flagstaff House.

The Government of Ghana reciprocated with an official state visiton 5 August 2013 by the Vice-President of Ghana, Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, who met with the Vice-President of Iran, Eshaq Jahangiri on the basis of autarky and possible bilateral trade at the Islamic Republic of Iran’s presidential palace, Sa’dabad Palace.

Law enforcement and police

The Ghana Police Service (GPS) and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) are the main law enforcement agencies of the Republic of Ghana, and are responsible for the detection of crime, maintenance of law and order and the maintenance of internal peace and security.

The Ghana Police Service has eleven specialised police units including a Militarized police Rapid deployment force(RDF) and Marine Police Unit (MPU). The Ghana Police Service operates in 12 divisions: ten covering the ten regions of Ghana, one assigned specifically to the seaport and industrial hub of Tema, and the twelfth being the Railways, Ports and Harbours Division.

The Ghana Police Service’s Marine Police Unit and Division handles issues that arise from the country’s offshore oil and gas industry.

The Ghana Prisons Service and the sub-division Borstal Institute for Juveniles administers incarceration in Ghana.

 Ghana retains and exercises the death penalty for treason, corruption, robbery, piracy, drug trafficking, rape, and homicide.

27 convicts (all men) were sentenced to death in Ghana in 2012 and the Ghana Prisons Service statistics of the total number of convicts sentenced to death in Ghana as of December 2012 was 162 men and 4 women,with a total prison inmate population of 13,983 convicts as of 22 July 2013.

The new sustainable development goals adopted by the United Nations call for the international community to come together to promote the rule of law; support equal access to justice for all; reduce corruption; and develop effective, accountable, and transparent institutions at all levels.”

Ghanaian Drug War and The Narcotic Control Board

Ghana is used as a key narcotics industry transshipment point by traffickers, usually from South America as well as some from other African nations. “West Africa is completely weak in terms of border control and the big drug cartels from Colombia and Latin America have chosen Africa as a way to reach Europe.”

There is not a wide or popular knowledge about the narcotics industry and intercepted narcotics within Ghana itself, due to the industry’s operations and involvement in the underground economy. The social context within which narcotic trafficking, storage, transportation, and repacking systems exist in Ghana and the state’s location along the Gulf of Guinea within the Atlantic Ocean – only a few degrees north of the Equator – makes Ghana an attractive country for the narcotics business.

The Narcotic Control Board (NACOB) has impounded container ships at the Sekondi Naval Base in the Takoradi Harbour. These ships were carrying thousands of kilograms of cocaine, with a street value running into billions of Ghana cedis. However, drug seizures saw a decline in 2011.

Drug cartels are using new methods in narcotics production and narcotics exportation, to avoid Ghanaian security agencies. Underdeveloped institutions, porous open borders, and the existence of established smuggling organisations contribute to Ghana’s position in the narcotics industry.John Atta Mills, president between 2009 and 2012, initiated ongoing efforts to reduce the role of airports in Ghana’s drug trade.

Military

In 1957, the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) consisted of its headquarters, support services, three battalions of infantry and a reconnaissance squadron with armoured vehicles. Ghanaian Prime Minister and President Kwame Nkrumah aimed at rapidly expanding the GAF to support the United States of Africa ambitions. Thus in 1961, 4th and 5th Battalions were established, and in 1964 6th Battalion was established, from a parachute airborne unit originally raised in 1963.

 

Today, Ghana is a regional power and regional hegemon.In his book Shake Hands with the Devil, Canadian Forces commander Roméo Dallaire highly rated the GAF soldiers and military personnel.

The military operations and military doctrineof the GAF are conceptualised on the Constitution of Ghana, Ghana’s Law on Armed Force Military Strategy, and Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre(KAIPTC) agreements to which GAF is attestator. GAF military operations are executed under the auspices and imperium of the Ministry of Defense (MoD) Minister for Defence.

Although Ghana is relatively peaceful and is often considered to be one of the least violent countries in the region, Ghana has experienced political violence in the past and 2017 has thus far seen an upward trend in incidents motivated by political grievances.

In 2017, Ghana signed the UN treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Human rights

Homosexual acts are prohibited by law in Ghana. According to 2013 survey by the Pew Research Center, 96% of Ghanaians believe that homosexuality should not be accepted by society. Sometimes old women in Ghana are accused of witchcraft, particularly in rural Ghana. Issues of witchcraft mainly remain as speculations based on superstitions within families. In some parts of northern Ghana, there exists what is called a witch camp.

This is said to house a total of around 1,000 people accused of witchcraft.The Ghanaian government has announced that it intends to close the camps.

While women in Ghana are given equal rights under the constitution of Ghana, disparities in education, employment, and healthcare for women remain prevalent.

Economy

Ghana is an average natural resource enriched country possessing industrial mineralshydrocarbons and precious metals. It is an emerging designated digital economy with mixed economy hybridisation and an emerging market with 8.7% GDP growth in 2012. It has an economic plan target known as the “Ghana Vision 2020”. This plan envisions Ghana as the first African country to become a developed country between 2020 and 2029 and a newly industrialised country between 2030 and 2039. This excludes fellow Group of 24 member and Sub-Saharan African country South Africa, which is a newly industrialised country. Ghana’s economy also has ties to the Chinese yuan renminbi along with Ghana’s vast gold reserves. In 2013, the Bank of Ghana began circulating the renminbi throughout Ghanaian state-owned banks and to the Ghana public as hard currency along with the national Ghana cedi for second national trade currency. Between 2012 and 2013, 37.9 percent of rural dwellers were experiencing poverty whereas only 10.6 percent of urban dwellers were.Urban areas hold greater opportunity for employment, particularly in informal trade, while nearly all (94 percent) of rural poor households participate in the agricultural sector.

The state-owned Volta River Authority and Ghana National Petroleum Corporation are the two major electricity producers. The Akosombo Dam, built on the Volta River in 1965, along with Bui Dam, Kpong Dam, and several other hydroelectric dams provide hydropower. In addition, the Government of Ghana has sought to build the second nuclear power plant in Africa.

The Ghana Stock Exchange is the 5th largest on continental Africa and 3rd largest in sub-saharan Africa with a market capitalisation of GH¢ 57.2 billion or CN¥ 180.4 billion in 2012 with the South Africa JSE Limited as first. The Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) was the 2nd best performing stock exchange in sub-saharan Africa in 2013.

Ghana also produces high-quality cocoa.It is the 2nd largest producer of cocoa globally,and was projected to become the world’s largest producer of cocoa in 2015.

Ghana is classified as a middle income country. Services account for 50% of GDP, followed by manufacturing (24.1%), extractive industries (5%), and taxes (20.9%).

Manufacturing

The Ghana economy is an emerging digital-based mixed economy hybrid with an increasing primary manufacturing and export of digital technology goods along with assembling and exporting automobiles and ships, diverse resource rich exportation of industrial minerals, agricultural products primarily cocoa, petroleum and natural gas and industries such as information and communications technology primarily via Ghana’s state digital technology corporation Rlg Communications which manufactures tablet computers with smartphones and various consumer electronics

Petroleum and natural gas production

Ghana produces and exports an abundance of hydrocarbons such as sweet crude oil and natural gas.

The 100% state-owned filling station company of Ghana, Ghana Oil Company (GOIL) is the number 1 petroleumand gas filling station of Ghana and the 100% state-owned state oil company Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) oversees hydrocarbon exploration and production of Ghana’s entire petroleum and natural gas reserves.

Ghana aims to further increase output of oil to 2.2 million barrels (350,000 m3) per day and gas to 34,000,000 cubic metres (1.2×109 cu ft) per day.

Ghana’s Jubilee Oilfield which contains up to 3 billion barrels (480,000,000 m3) of sweet crude oil was discovered in 2007, among the many other offshore and inland oilfields in Ghana.

Ghana is believed to have up to 5 billion barrels (790,000,000 m3) to 7 billion barrels (1.1×109 m3) of petroleum in reserves, which is the fifth largest in Africa and the 21st to 25th largest proven reservesin the world.

It also has up to 1.7×1011 cubic metres (6×1012 cu ft) of natural gas in reserves, which is the sixth largest in Africa and the 49th largest natural gas proven reserves in the world.

Oil and gas explorationoff Ghana’s eastern coast on the Gulf of Guinea is ongoing, and the amount of both crude oil and natural gas continues to increase. The Government of Ghana has drawn up plans to nationalise Ghana’s entire petroleum and natural gas reserves to increase government revenue.

Industrial minerals mining

Known for its industrial minerals, Ghana is the world’s 7th largest producer of gold; producing over 102 metric tons of gold and the 10th largest producer of gold in the world in 2012; producing 89 metric tons of gold.

Ghana is the 2nd largest producer of gold on the Africa continent behind South Africa.Ghana has the 9th largest reserves, and is the 9th largest producer, of diamonds in the world. Industrial minerals and exports from South Ghana are gold, silver, timber, diamonds, bauxite, and manganese.

The Government of Ghana has drawn up plans to nationalise Ghana’s entire mining industry to increase government revenues.

 

Real estate

The real estate and housing market of Ghana has become an important and strategic economic sector, particularly in the urban centres of south Ghana such as Accra, Kumasi, Sekondi-Takoradi and Tema.
 Kumasi is growing at a faster rate than Accra, and there is less competition in its real estate market. The gross rental income tax of Ghana is withheld at 10%, capital gains are taxed at 15% with a 5% gift tax imposed on the transfer of properties and Ghana’s real estate market is divided into 3 areas: public sector real estate development, emerging private sector real estate development, and private individuals. 
The activities of these 3 groups are facilitated by the Ghanaian banks and the primary mortgage market which has demonstrated enormous growth potential. Recent developments in the Ghanaian economy has given birth to a boom in the construction sector, including the housing and public housing sector generating and injecting billions of dollars annually into the Ghanaian economy.
 The real estate market investment perspective and attraction comes from Ghana’s tropical location and robust political stability. An increasing number of the Ghanaian populace are investing in properties and the Ghana government is empowering the private sector in the real estate direction.

Trade and exports

In July 2013, International Enterprise Singapore opened its 38th global office in Accra, to develop trade and investment on logistics, oil and gas , aviation, transportation and consumer sectors.

 Singapore and Ghana also signed four bilateral agreements to promote public sector and private sector collaboration, as Ghana aims to predominantly shift its economic trade partnership to East Asia and Southeast Asia.

The economic centre is IE Singapore’s second office in Africa, coming six months after opening in Johannesburg, South Africa in January 2013. Ghana’s labour force in 2008 totalled 11.5 million Ghanaian citizens.

Tema Harbour is Africa’s largest manmade harbour and Takoradi Harbour along with Tema harbour in Ghana handles goods and exports for Ghana.

They are also traffic junctions where goods are transhipped; the Tema harbour handles the majority of the nation’s export cargo and most of the country’s chief exports is shipped from Takoradi harbour. The Takoradi harbour and Tema harbour are operated by the state-owned Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority.

Electricity generation sector

Shortages of electricity have led to dumsor (persistent, irregular and unpredictable electric power outages), increasing the interest in renewables.

Economic transparency

According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index of 2013, out of 177 countries, Ghana ranked 63rd with Cuba and Saudi Arabia. Ghana had a score of 46 on a scale where a 0–9 score means highly corrupt, and a 90–100 score means very clean.

This was based on perceived levels of public sector corruption.Previously in 2012, the country ranked 64 and scored 45. Thus, Ghana’s public sector scored lower in 2013 than in 2012, according to CPI’s scores.

Local reports have claimed that Ghana loses US$4.5 billion annually from nominal gross domestic product (Nominal GDP) growth as a result of economic corruption and economic crime by the incumbent National Democratic Congress (NDC) government of Ghana led by John Dramani Mahama.

 It is also said Ghana has lost an additional US$2.5 billion from nominal gross domestic product(Nominal GDP) growth between the months of January 2013 to October 2013 through economic corrupt practices under the Mahama administration.

The incumbent president is however seen to be fighting corruption by some government members, and a fellow politician of an opposition party, after ordering investigations into scandals. Nonetheless others believe his actions are not sufficient in some cases.

John Addo Kufuor, son of former President John Agyekum Kufuor, and Kojo Annan, son of former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, have been named in association with the Panama Papers.

National symbols

The coat of arms depicts two animals: the tawny eagle (Aquila rapax, a very large bird it that lives in the savannas and deserts;35% of Ghana’s landmass is desert, 35% is forest, 30% is savanna) and the lion (Panthera leo, a big cat); a ceremonial sword, a heraldic castle on a heraldic sea, a cocoa tree and a mine shaft representing the industrial mineral wealth of Ghana, and a five-pointed black star rimmed with gold representing the mineral gold wealth of Ghana and the lodestar of the Ghanaian people. It also has the legend Freedom and Justice.

The flag of Ghana consists of three horizontal bands (strips) of red (top), gold (middle) and green (bottom); the three bands are the same height and width; the middle band bears a five-pointed black star in the centre of the gold band, the colour red band stands for the blood spilled to achieve the nation’s independence: gold stands for Ghana’s industrial mineral wealth, and the color green symbolises the rich tropical rainforests and natural resources of Ghana.

Tourism

 The attractions and major tourist destinations of Ghana include a warm, tropical climate year-round, diverse wildlife, waterfalls such as Kintampo waterfalls and the largest waterfall in west Africa, Wli waterfalls, Ghana’s coastal palm-lined sandy beaches, caves, mountains, rivers, and reservoirs and lakes such as Lake Bosumtwiand the largest man-made lake in the world by surface area, Lake Volta, dozens of forts and castles, World Heritage Sites, nature reserves and national parks.

The World Economic Forum statistics in 2010 showed that out of the world’s favourite tourist destinations, Ghana was ranked 108th out of 139 countries The country had moved two places up from the 2009 rankings.

In 2011, Forbes magazine, published that Ghana was ranked the eleventh most friendly country in the world. The assertion was based on a survey in 2010 of a cross-section of travellers.

Of all the African countries that were included in the survey, Ghana ranked highest Tourism is the fourth highest earner of foreign exchange for the country.In 2017, Ghana ranks as the 43rd–most peaceful country in the world.

To enter Ghana, it is necessary to have a visa authorised by the Government of Ghana. Travelers must apply for this visa at a Ghanaian embassy; this process can take approximately two weeks. By law, visitors entering Ghana must be able to produce a yellow fever vaccination certificate.

According to Destination Pride – a data-driven search platform used to visualize the world’s LGBTQ+ laws, rights and social sentiment – Ghana’s Pride score is 22 (out of 100).

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