Ghana is one of the fastest-growing economies, not only in West Africa but in the world. It has an estimated population of 30.6 million as of 2019, growing at 2.19% per annum. The country’s GDP grew by 6.3% in 2018 and the forecast for 2019 is 7.6%, according to the World Bank. The country achieved lower middle-income status in 2010.
Ghana is a sub-Saharan country located on the Gulf of Guinea between Côte d’Ivoire to the west and Togo to the east. It shares a border with Burkina Faso to the north. The equator is only 750km south of Ghana and the Greenwich Meridian runs through the port city of Tema, 3km east of Accra, the capital city. The country’s land mass is approximately 238,500 sq km.
Accra, the largest city in the country with a population of 2.7 million, is the political and financial Centre of the Republic of Ghana. The Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) has a population of more than 4 million people.
Ghana has a tropical climate, with annual temperatures ranging from 26°C to 35°C. The coastal region has two rainy seasons and the northern part of the country only one. In December/January a dry, dusty wind blows south from the Sahara Desert, signaling the start of what is known as the harmattan season, when visibility is poor due to dust particles in the air.
More than 55 percent of Ghana’s total population live in urban areas. Life expectancy at birth is 66.6. The average annual income of Ghana’s citizens is GHC5,346 (US$971 as of October 2019). There are over 70 ethnic groups in Ghana (nine of them major). Over 76% of the population aged 15 and over can read and write.
LANGUAGE AND RELIGION
English is the official language of Ghana and is the language of instruction in the country’s schools. There are about 80 local languages including Twi, Ashanti, Ewe, Ga and Dagbani. Christians represent 71% of the population (Pentecostal/Charismatic, Protestant, Catholic) while Muslims represent 17%.
Ghana was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to gain its independence from British rule, in 1957. From 1966 to 1992, the country went through a series of civilian and military regimes. In 1992 a new constitution established the 4th Republic, guaranteeing the rule of law and customary freedoms for individuals. It divides powers between a president, a parliament, a cabinet, a council of state and an independent judiciary. The current president, Nana Akufo-Addo, took office in 2017 for a four-year term. The current vice-president is Mahamudu Bawumia. The next presidential elections will be held in December 2020.