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You are in:  Nations > Africa > Ghana
Ghana*Ghana flag
Basic facts
The country 
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Capital: Accra
Area: 238,500 sq km; 92,090 sq miles
Population: 19,271,744 (2000 Estimate)
Urbanisation: Urban 37 per cent (1998 Estimate); Rural 63 per cent (1998 Estimate)


Exports: Cacao, gold, timber, tuna, bauxite, aluminium

Industry: Mining, logging, light manufacturing, aluminium, food processing

Agriculture: The major cash crop is cacao; other principal crops: rice, coffee, cassava, peanuts, maize, shea nuts, timber

Currency: 1 new cedi (C), consisting of 100 pesewas

Natural resources: Gold, timber, industrial diamonds, bauxite, manganese ore, diamonds, manganese, fish, rubber


The people

Ethnic: Black Africans (including Fanti, Ashanti, Ga-Adangbe, Ewe, Hausa, Moshi-Dagomba) 99.8 per cent, Other 0.2 per cent

Language: English (official), Akan, Mole-Dagbani, Ewe, Ga-Adangbe and other African languages. Although there are movements to grant local languages official status, Governments have avoided favouring one of the many ethnic languages over another. As a result, English is still the official language of Ghana and is used in schools, business and Government. English is also typically used to communicate between ethnic groups. Twi, an Akan language with many dialects, is spoken by about two-fifths of the population. Mole-Dagbani, Ewe, Ga-Adangbe, and Hausa are also spoken. Most Ghanaians are at least bilingual.

Religion: Christian 43 per cent, Indigenous beliefs 38 per cent, Muslim 12 per cent, Other 7 per cent


The history

Independence: 6 March 1957 (from the United Kingdom) In 1901 after several years of battles with the Ashanti people of the interior, the whole of present-day Ghana became a British protectorate. Nationalists began to organize in the 1940s and in 1951 the Convention People's Party (CPP), under the leadership of Kwame Nkrumah, won control of the Government. The CPP won further elections in 1954 and 1956 and on 6 March 1957 Ghana became the first black African colony to gain independence from the United Kingdom.

Government: Ghana is now a multi-party democracy. The President is head of state and head of Government and must work with the elected legislature to establish laws. The voting age is 18. Ghana is divided into ten administrative regions.

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*United Republic of Tanzania
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