The Republic of Ghana is a country located in West Africa. It is bordered by Côte d'Ivoire(Ivory Coast) to the west, Burkina Fasoto the north, Togoto the east, and the Gulf of Guineato the south.Ghana is a member of the South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation Zone, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Economic Community of West African States, the African Union, and an associate member of La Francophonie. Ghana is the second largest producer of cocoain the world and is home to Lake Volta, the largest artificial lake in the world by surface area.
Ghana favours international and regional political and economic co-operation, and is an active member of the United Nationsand the African Union.
Ghana is Well endowed with natural resources, Ghana has more than twice the per capita output of the poorer countries in West Africa. Known for its goldin colonial times, Ghana remains one of the world's top gold producers. Other exports such as cocoa, oil, timber, electricity, diamond, bauxiteand manganeseare major sources of foreign exchange .
In Ghana an oilfield which is reported to contain up to 3 billion barrels (480,000,000 m3) of light oil was discovered in 2007. Oil exploration is ongoing, and the amount of oil continues to increase. There is expected to be a tremendous inflow of capital into the economy beginning from the first quarter of 2011 when the country starts producing oil to be sold through overseas licensed counter-part in commercial quantities. The oil is expected to account for 6% of the revenue for 2011. The Akosombo Dam, which was built on the Volta River in 1965 provides hydro-electricity for Ghana and its neighboring countries.
Ghana’s labor force in 2008 totaled 11.5 million people. The economy continues to rely heavily on agriculture which accounts for 37.3% of GDPand provides employment for 56% of the work force mainly small landholders. Manufacturing is only a small part of the Ghanaian economy totaling 7.9% of Gross Domestic Productin 2007.Ineffective economic policies of past military governments and regional peacekeeping commitments have led to continued inflationary deficit financing, depreciation of the Cedi, and rising public discontent with Ghana's austerity measures. Even so, Ghana remains one of the more economically sound countries in all of Africa
In July 2007, the Bank of Ghanaembarked on a currency re-denominationexercise, from the Cedi(¢) to the new currency, the Ghana Cedi (GH¢). The transfer rate is 1 Ghana Cedi for every 10,000 Cedis. The new Ghana Cedi is relatively stable and in 2009 generally exchanged at a rate of $1 USD =Gh¢ 1.4.Tourism is a rapidly growing sector particularly among Europeans, Americans, and other internationals connected to the Ghanain diaspora abroad. Ghana's political and economic stability, low crime rate, and wide use of English make the country an attractive entry point to West Africa for foreigners. UNESCOWorld Heritage Sites including Cape Coast Castleand Elmina Castle, national parks such as Kakum National Parkand Mole National Park, as well as cultural celebrations such as Panafestare major centers of tourist activity.
Ghana was recognized for its economic and democratic achievements in 2006, when it signed a 5-year, $547 million anti-poverty compact with the United States' Millennium Challenge Corporation. The compact focuses on accelerating growth and poverty reduction through agricultural and rural development. The compact has three main components: enhancing the profitability of commercial agriculture among small farmers; reducing the transportation costs affecting agricultural commerce through improvements in transportation infrastructure, and expanding basic community services and strengthening rural institutions that support agriculture and agri-business. The compact is expected to contribute to improving the lives of one million Ghanaians.
Ghana's stated goals are to accelerate economic growth, improve the quality of life for all Ghanaians, and reduce poverty through macroeconomic stability, higher private investment, broad-based social and rural development, as well as direct poverty-alleviation efforts. These plans are fully supported by the international donor community.
Key economic challenges include: overcoming infrastructure bottlenecks, especially in energy and water; poor management of natural resources; improving human resource capacity and development; establishing a business and investment climate that encourages and allows private sector-led growth, and privatizing remaining state-owned enterprises, several of which are significant budget liabilities
GDP (2009):$15.51 billion.
Real GDP growth rate (2009): 3.5%.
Per capita GDP (2009): $671.
Inflation rate (consumer prices, Government of Ghana data as of September 2009): 9.44%.
Natural resources: Gold, oil, timber, diamonds, bauxite, manganese, fish.
Agriculture: Products--cocoa, wood manufactures, pineapples, cashews, spices, other food crops, rubber. Land--70% arable and forested.
Business and industry: Types--mining, lumber, light manufacturing, fishing, aluminum, tourism.
Trade (2009): Exports--$5.72 billion: gold, cocoa, timber, industrial diamonds, manganese ore, tuna. Imports--$8.44 billion: petroleum, food, industrial raw materials, machinery, equipment. Major trade partners--Nigeria, China, U.S., U.K., Netherlands, Cote d’Ivoire, France, India.
Fiscal year: Calendar year.
Ghana is a country located on the Gulf of Guinea, only a few degrees north of the Equator, therefore giving it a warm climate. The country spans an area of 238,500 km2 (92,085 sq mi). It is surrounded by Togoto the east, Côte d'Ivoireto the west, Burkina Fasoto the north and the Gulf of Guinea(Atlantic Ocean) to the south. The Prime Meridianpasses through Ghana, specifically through the industrial city of Tema. Ghana is geographically closer to the "centre" of the world than any other country even though the notional centre, (0°, 0°) is located in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 614 km (382 mi) south of Accra, Ghana, in the Gulf of Guinea. The climate is tropical, There are two main seasons in Ghana: the wet and the dry seasons. Northern Ghana experiences its rainy season from March to November while the south, including the capital Accra, experiences the season from April to mid-November. Southern Ghana contains evergreen and semideciduous forests consisting of trees such as mahogany, odumand ebony. It also contains much of Ghana's oil palms and mangroves. Shea trees, baobabsand acaciasare usually found in the Voltaregion and the northern part of the country.
Ghana has a population of about 24 million people, It is home to more than 100 different ethnic groups. The official language is English; however, most Ghanaians also speak at least one local language.
As of 2009, life expectancyat birth is about 59 years for males and 60 years for females with infant mortalityat 51 per 1000 live births. The birth rate is about 4 children per woman. There are about 15 physicians and 93 nurses per 100,000 persons. 4.5% of the country's GDP was spent on health in 2003.
Footballis the most popular sport. The national men's football teamis known as the Black Stars, with the under-20 teamknown as the Black Satellites. Ghana has participated in many championships including the African Cup of Nations, the FIFA World Cupand the FIFA U-20 World Cup. In the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Ghana became the third African country to reach the quarter final stage of the World Cup after Cameroon in 1990 and Senegal in 2002.
Textiles are very important in Ghanaian culture. These cloths are used to make traditional and modern attire. Different symbols and different colors mean different things. The Kente is probably the most famous of all the Ghanaian cloths. Kente is an Ashanti ceremonial cloth hand-woven on a horizontal treadle loom. Strips measuring about 4 inches wide are sewn together into larger pieces of cloths. Cloths come in various colors, sizes and designs and are worn during very important social and religious occasions. In a cultural context, kente is more important than just a cloth.