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  The World Factbook.  2008.
 
Ghana
 
Flag of Ghana                                Map of Ghana
 
Background:Formed from the merger of the British colony of the Gold Coast and the Togoland trust territory, Ghana in 1957 became the first sub-Saharan country in colonial Africa to gain its independence. Ghana endured a long series of coups before Lt. Jerry RAWLINGS took power in 1981 and banned political parties. After approving a new constitution and restoring multiparty politics in 1992, RAWLINGS won presidential elections in 1992 and 1996, but was constitutionally prevented from running for a third term in 2000. John KUFUOR succeeded him and was re-elected in 2004. Kufuor is constitutionally barred from running for a third term in upcoming Presidential elections, which are scheduled for December 2008.
  
Geography
  
Location:Western Africa, bordering the Gulf of Guinea, between Cote d'Ivoire and Togo
Geographic coordinates:8 00 N, 2 00 W
Map references:Africa
Area:total: 239,460 sq km
land: 230,940 sq km
water: 8,520 sq km
Area—comparative:slightly smaller than Oregon
Land boundaries:total: 2,094 km
border countries: Burkina Faso 549 km, Cote d'Ivoire 668 km, Togo 877 km
Coastline:539 km
Maritime claims:territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
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
Elevation extremes:lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Afadjato 880 m
Natural resources:gold, timber, industrial diamonds, bauxite, manganese, fish, rubber, hydropower, petroleum, silver, salt, limestone
Land use:arable land: 17.54%
permanent crops: 9.22%
other: 73.24% (2005)
Irrigated land:310 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:53.2 cu km (2001)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):total: 0.98 cu km/yr (24%/10%/66%)
per capita: 44 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards:dry, dusty, northeastern harmattan winds occur from January to March; droughts
Environment—current issues:recurrent drought in north severely affects agricultural activities; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; poaching and habitat destruction threatens wildlife populations; water pollution; inadequate supplies of potable water
Environment—international agreements:party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation
Geography—note:Lake Volta is the world's largest artificial lake
  
People
  
Population:22,931,299
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2007 est.)
Age structure:0-14 years: 38.2% (male 4,438,308/female 4,329,293)
15-64 years: 58.2% (male 6,661,512/female 6,687,738)
65 years and over: 3.6% (male 380,495/female 433,953) (2007 est.)
Median age:total: 20.2 years
male: 19.9 years
female: 20.4 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate:1.972% (2007 est.)
Birth rate:29.85 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate:9.55 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate:-0.58 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio:at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.025 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.996 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.877 male(s)/female
total population: 1.003 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate:total: 53.56 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 58 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 48.99 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:total population: 59.12 years
male: 58.31 years
female: 59.95 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate:3.89 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS—adult prevalence rate:3.1% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS—people living with HIV/AIDS:350,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS—deaths:30,000 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases:degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and yellow fever
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2008)
Nationality:noun: Ghanaian(s)
adjective: Ghanaian
Ethnic groups:Akan 45.3%, Mole-Dagbon 15.2%, Ewe 11.7%, Ga-Dangme 7.3%, Guan 4%, Gurma 3.6%, Grusi 2.6%, Mande-Busanga 1%, other tribes 1.4%, other 7.8% (2000 census)
Religions:Christian 68.8% (Pentecostal/Charismatic 24.1%, Protestant 18.6%, Catholic 15.1%, other 11%), Muslim 15.9%, traditional 8.5%, other 0.7%, none 6.1% (2000 census)
Languages:Asante 14.8%, Ewe 12.7%, Fante 9.9%, Boron (Brong) 4.6%, Dagomba 4.3%, Dangme 4.3%, Dagarte (Dagaba) 3.7%, Akyem 3.4%, Ga 3.4%, Akuapem 2.9%, other 36.1% (includes English (official)) (2000 census)
Literacy:definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 57.9%
male: 66.4%
female: 49.8% (2000 census)
  
Government
  
Country name:conventional long form: Republic of Ghana
conventional short form: Ghana
former: Gold Coast
Government type:constitutional democracy
Capital:name: Accra
geographic coordinates: 5 33 N, 0 13 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
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: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: President John Agyekum KUFUOR (since 7 January 2001); Vice President Alhaji Aliu MAHAMA (since 7 January 2001); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President John Agyekum KUFUOR (since 7 January 2001); Vice President Alhaji Aliu MAHAMA (since 7 January 2001)
cabinet: Council of Ministers; president nominates members subject to approval by Parliament
elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held 7 December 2004 (next to be held in December 2008)
election results: John Agyekum KUFUOR reelected president in election; percent of vote - John KUFUOR 52.4%, John ATTA-MILLS 44.6%
Legislative branch:unicameral Parliament (230 seats; members are elected by direct, popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 7 December 2004 (next to be held December in 2008)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NPP 128, NDC 94, PNC 4, CPP 3, independent 1
Judicial branch:Supreme Court
Political parties and leaders:Convention People's Party or CPP [Ladi NYLANDER]; Democratic Freedom Party or DFP [Alhaji Abudu Rahman ISSAKAH]; Every Ghanaian Living Everywhere or EGLE; Great Consolidated Popular Party or GCPP [Dan LARTEY]; National Democratic Congress or NDC [Dr. Kwabena ADJEI]; New Patriotic Party or NPP [Peter MAC-MANU]; People's National Convention or PNC [Alhaji Amed RAMADAN]; Reform Party [Kyeretwie OPUKU]; United Renaissance Party or URP [Charles WAYO]
Political pressure groups and leaders:NA
International organization participation:ACP, AfDB, AU, C, ECOWAS, FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM, OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNITAR, UNMEE, UNMIL, UNOCI, UNOMIG, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:chief of mission: Ambassador Dr. Kwame BAWUAH-EDUSEI
chancery: 1156 15th St. NW #905, Washington, DC 20005
telephone: [1] (202) 785-1379
FAX: [1] (202) 785-1430
consulate(s) general: New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:chief of mission: Ambassador Pamela E. BRIDGEWATER
embassy: 24 4th Circular Rd. Cantonments, Accra
mailing address: P. O. Box 194, Accra
telephone: [233] (21) 741-000
FAX: [233] (21) 741-389
Flag description:three equal horizontal bands of red (top), yellow, and green with a large black five-pointed star centered in the yellow 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
  
Economy
  
Economy—overview:Well endowed with natural resources, Ghana has roughly twice the per capita output of the poorest countries in West Africa. Even so, Ghana remains heavily dependent on international financial and technical assistance. Gold and cocoa production, and individual remittances, are major sources of foreign exchange. The domestic economy continues to revolve around agriculture, which accounts for about 35% of GDP and employs about 55% of the work force, mainly small landholders. Ghana opted for debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) program in 2002, and is also benefiting from the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative that took effect in 2006. Thematic priorities under its current Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy, which also provides the framework for development partner assistance, are: macroeconomic stability; private sector competitiveness; human resource development; and good governance and civic responsibility. Sound macro-economic management along with high prices for gold and cocoa helped sustain GDP growth in 2007. Ghana signed a Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact in 2006, which aims to assist in transforming Ghana's agricultural sector.
GDP (purchasing power parity):$31.23 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):$14.89 billion (2007 est.)
GDP—real growth rate:6.2% (2007 est.)
GDP—per capita (PPP):$1,400 (2007 est.)
GDP—composition by sector:agriculture: 37.3%
industry: 25.3%
services: 37.5% (2006 est.)
Labor force:11.29 million (2007 est.)
Labor force—by occupation:agriculture: 56%
industry: 15%
services: 29% (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate:11% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:28.5% (2007 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:lowest 10%: 2.2%
highest 10%: 30.1% (1999)
Distribution of family income—Gini index:39.4 (2005-06)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):11% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):31.3% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget:revenues: $4.347 billion
expenditures: $5.197 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt:48.4% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture—products:cocoa, rice, cassava (tapioca), peanuts, corn, shea nuts, bananas; timber
Industries:mining, lumbering, light manufacturing, aluminum smelting, food processing, cement, small commercial ship building
Industrial production growth rate:7.4% (2007 est.)
Electricity—production:7.042 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity—consumption:6.906 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity—exports:256 million kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity—imports:461 million kWh (2007 est.)
Oil—production:700 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil—consumption:47,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil—exports:8,041 bbl/day (2004)
Oil—imports:45,010 bbl/day (2004)
Oil—proved reserves:16.5 million bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas—production:0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas—consumption:0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas—exports:0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas—imports:0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas—proved reserves:22.81 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:$-1.885 billion (2007 est.)
Exports:$4.194 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports—commodities:gold, cocoa, timber, tuna, bauxite, aluminum, manganese ore, diamonds, horticulture
Exports—partners:Netherlands 11.3%, UK 8.7%, US 6.7%, Spain 5.7%, Belgium 5.2%, France 4.4% (2006)
Imports:$8.073 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports—commodities:capital equipment, petroleum, foodstuffs
Imports—partners:Nigeria 16.7%, China 13%, UK 5.7%, Belgium 4.7%, US 4.7%, South Africa 4.1%, France 4.1% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:$2.837 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt—external:$3.387 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment—at home:$NA
Stock of direct foreign investment—abroad:$NA
Market value of publicly traded shares:$13.01 billion (2007)
Economic aid—recipient:$1.316 billion in loans and grants (2007)
Currency (code):Ghana cedi (GHC)
Exchange rates:cedis per US dollar - 0.95 (2007), 9,174.8 (2006), 9,072.5 (2005), 9,004.6 (2004), 8,677.4 (2003)
Fiscal year:calendar year
  
Communications
  
Telephones—main lines in use:356,400 (2006)
Telephones—mobile cellular:5.207 million (2006)
Telephone system:general assessment: fixed-line infrastructure outdated and unreliable; competition among multiple mobile-cellular providers has spurred growth with subscribership about 25 per 100 persons and rising
domestic: primarily microwave radio relay; wireless local loop has been installed
international: country code - 233; landing point for the SAT-3/WASC fiber-optic submarine cable that provides connectivity to Europe and Asia; satellite earth stations - 4 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); microwave radio relay link to Panaftel system connects Ghana to its neighbors
Radio broadcast stations:AM 0, FM 86, shortwave 3 (2007)
Television broadcast stations:7 (2007)
Internet country code:.gh
Internet hosts:2,899 (2007)
Internet users:609,800 (2006)
  
Transportation
  
Airports:12 (2007)
Airports—with paved runways:total: 7
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2007)
Airports—with unpaved runways:total: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 2 (2007)
Pipelines:oil 13 km; refined products 316 km (2007)
Railways:total: 953 km
narrow gauge: 953 km 1.067-m gauge (2006)
Roadways:total: 42,623 km
paved: 3,267 km
unpaved: 39,356 km (2004)
Waterways:1,293 km
note: 168 km for launches and lighters on Volta, Ankobra, and Tano rivers; 1,125 km of arterial and feeder waterways on Lake Volta (2007)
Merchant marine:total: 3 ships (1000 GRT or over) 5,032 GRT/7,282 DWT
by type: petroleum tanker 1, refrigerated cargo 2
foreign-owned: 1 (Brazil 1) (2007)
Ports and terminals:Tema
  
Military
  
Military branches:Ghanaian Army, Ghanaian Navy, Ghanaian Air Force (2007)
Military service age and obligation:18 years of age for compulsory and volunteer military service (2001)
Manpower available for military service:males age 18-49: 4,808,451
females age 18-49: 4,762,459 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:males age 18-49: 3,011,081
females age 18-49: 2,991,551 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:males age 18-49: 251,056
females age 18-49: 247,777 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures—percent of GDP:0.8% (2006 est.)
  
Transnational Issues
  
Disputes—international:Ghana struggles to accommodate returning nationals who worked in the cocoa plantations and escaped fighting in Cote d'Ivoire
Refugees and internally displaced persons:refugees (country of origin): 38,684 (Liberia), 14,136 (Togo) (2006)
Illicit drugs:illicit producer of cannabis for the international drug trade; major transit hub for Southwest and Southeast Asian heroin and, to a lesser extent, South American cocaine destined for Europe and the US; widespread crime and money laundering problem, but the lack of a well developed financial infrastructure limits the country's utility as a money laundering center; significant domestic cocaine and cannabis use

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