[Country map of Ghana]



Location: Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Cote d'Ivoire and Togo

Map references: Africa

total area: 238,540 sq km
land area: 230,020 sq km
comparative area: slightly smaller than Oregon

Land boundaries: total 2,093 km, Burkina 548 km, Cote d'Ivoire 668 km, Togo 877 km

Coastline: 539 km

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

International disputes: none

Climate: tropical; warm and comparatively dry along southeast coast; hot and humid in southwest; hot and dry in north

Terrain: mostly low plains with dissected plateau in south-central area

Natural resources: gold, timber, industrial diamonds, bauxite, manganese, fish, rubber

Land use:
arable land: 5%
permanent crops: 7%
meadows and pastures: 15%
forest and woodland: 37%
other: 36%

Irrigated land: 80 sq km (1989)

current issues: recent drought in north severely affecting agricultural activities; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; poaching and habitat destruction threatens wildlife populations; water pollution; inadequate supplies of potable water
natural hazards: dry, dusty, harmattan winds occur from January to March; droughts
international agreements: party to - Biodiversity, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified - Climate Change, Desertification, Marine Life Conservation

Note: Lake Volta is the world's largest artificial lake; northeasterly harmattan wind (January to March)


Population: 17,763,138 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 46% (female 4,030,154; male 4,069,945)
15-64 years: 51% (female 4,638,451; male 4,494,533)
65 years and over: 3% (female 276,186; male 253,869) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 3.06% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 43.57 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 12.02 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: -0.94 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 81.7 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 55.85 years
male: 53.88 years
female: 57.88 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6.09 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Ghanaian(s)
adjective: Ghanaian

Ethnic divisions: black African 99.8% (major tribes - Akan 44%, Moshi-Dagomba 16%, Ewe 13%, Ga 8%), European and other 0.2%

Religions: indigenous beliefs 38%, Muslim 30%, Christian 24%, other 8%

Languages: English (official), African languages (including Akan, Moshi-Dagomba, Ewe, and Ga)

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1990 est.)
total population: 60%
male: 70%
female: 51%

Labor force: 3.7 million
by occupation: agriculture and fishing 54.7%, industry 18.7%, sales and clerical 15.2%, services, transportation, and communications 7.7%, professional 3.7%


conventional long form: Republic of Ghana
conventional short form: Ghana
former: Gold Coast

Digraph: GH

Type: constitutional democracy

Capital: Accra

Administrative divisions: 10 regions; Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Central, Eastern, Greater Accra, Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Volta, Western

Independence: 6 March 1957 (from UK)

National holiday: Independence Day, 6 March (1957)

Constitution: new constitution approved 28 April 1992

Legal system: based on English common law and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state and head of government: President Jerry John RAWLINGS (since 3 November 1992) election last held 3 November 1992 (next to be held November 1996); results - opposition boycotted the election, the National Democratic Congress won 198 of the total 200 seats and 2 seats were won by independents
cabinet: Cabinet; president nominates members subject to approval by the Parliament

Legislative branch: unicameral
National Assembly: elections last held 29 December 1992 (next to be held December 1996); results - opposition boycotted the election; the National Democratic Congress won 198 0f 200 total seats and independents won 2

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders: National Democratic Congress, Jerry John RAWLINGS; New Patriotic Party, Albert Adu BOAHEN; People's Heritage Party, Alex ERSKINE; various other smaller parties


Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Ekwow SPIO-GARBRAH
chancery: 3512 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 686-4520
FAX: [1] (202) 686-4527
consulate(s) general: New York

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador Kenneth L. BROWN (scheduled to leave in June 1995)
embassy: Ring Road East, East of Danquah Circle, Accra
mailing address: P. O. Box 194, Accra
telephone: [233] (21) 775348, 775349, 775297, 775298
FAX: [233] (21) 776008

Flag: three equal horizontal bands of red (top), yellow, and green with a large black five-pointed star centered in the gold band; uses the popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia; similar to the flag of Bolivia, which has a coat of arms centered in the yellow band


Overview: Well endowed with natural resources, Ghana is relatively well off, having twice the per capita output of the poorer countries in West Africa. Heavily reliant on international assistance, Ghana has made steady progress in liberalizing its economy since 1983. Overall growth continued at a rate of approximately 5% in 1994, due largely to increased gold, timber, and cocoa production - major sources of foreign exchange. The economy, however, continues to revolve around subsistence agriculture, which accounts for 45% of GDP and employs 55% of the work force, mainly small landholders. Public sector wage increases, regional peacekeeping commitments, and the containment of internal unrest in the underdeveloped north have placed substantial demands on the government's budget and have led to inflationary deficit financing and a 27% depreciation of the cedi in 1994.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $22.6 billion (1994 est.)

National product real growth rate: 5% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $1,310 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 25% (1993 est.)

Unemployment rate: 10% (1991)

revenues: $1.05 billion
expenditures: $1.2 billion, including capital expenditures of $178 million (1993)

Exports: $1 billion (f.o.b., 1993 est.)
commodities: cocoa 40%, gold, timber, tuna, bauxite, and aluminum
partners: Germany 31%, US 12%, UK 11%, Netherlands 6%, Japan 5% (1991)

Imports: $1.7 billion (c.i.f., 1993 est.)
commodities: petroleum 16%, consumer goods, foods, intermediate goods, capital equipment
partners: UK 22%, US 11%, Germany 9%, Japan 6%

External debt: $4.6 billion (December 1993 est.)

Industrial production: growth rate 3.4% in manufacturing (1993); accounts for almost 15% of GDP

capacity: 1,180,000 kW
production: 6.1 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 323 kWh (1993)

Industries: mining, lumbering, light manufacturing, aluminum, food processing

Agriculture: accounts for almost 50% of GDP (including fishing and forestry); the major cash crop is cocoa; other principal crops - rice, coffee, cassava, peanuts, corn, shea nuts, timber; normally self-sufficient in food

Illicit drugs: illicit producer of cannabis for the international drug trade; transit hub for Southwest and Southeast Asian heroin destined for Europe and the US

Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $455 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $2.6 billion; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $78 million; Communist countries (1970-89) $106 million

Currency: 1 new cedi (C) = 100 pesewas

Exchange rates: new cedis per US$1 - 1,046.74 (December 1994), 936.71 (1994), 649.06 (1993), 437.09 (1992), 367.83 (1991), 326.33 (1990)

Fiscal year: calendar year


total: 953 km; note - undergoing major renovation
narrow gauge: 953 km 1.067-m gauge (32 km double track)

total: 32,250 km
paved: concrete, bituminous 6,084 km
unpaved: gravel, crushed stone, improved earth 26,166 km

Inland waterways: Volta, Ankobra, and Tano Rivers provide 168 km of perennial navigation for launches and lighters; Lake Volta provides 1,125 km of arterial and feeder waterways

Pipelines: none

Ports: Takoradi, Tema

Merchant marine:
total: 3 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 27,427 GRT/35,894 DWT
ships by type: cargo 2, refrigerated cargo 1

total: 12
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 2
with paved runways under 914 m: 2
with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m: 2
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 2


Telephone system: 42,300 telephones; poor to fair system; telephone density - 2.4/1,000 persons
local: NA
intercity: primarily microwave radio relay
international: 1 Atlantic Ocean INTELSAT earth station

broadcast stations: AM 4, FM 1, shortwave 0
radios: NA

broadcast stations: 4 (translators 8)
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, Police Force, Palace Guard, Civil Defense

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 3,975,767; males fit for military service 2,217,032; males reach military age (18) annually 170,723 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $108 million, 1.5% of GDP (1993)