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Republic of Ghana
Republic of Ghana
Flag of Ghana
Coat of arms of Ghana
flag coat of arms
Motto : Freedom and Justice
_ _ _
official language English
capital city Accra
form of government and government presidential republic
Head of state , at the same time head of government President
Nana Akufo-Addo
surface 238,537 km²
population 30.79 million (2021 census)
population density 129 inhabitants per km²
population development   +2.18% (2016)
gross domestic product
  • total (nominal)
  • Total ( PPP )
  • GDP/pop. (nominal)
  • GDP/pop. (PPP)
Human Development Index 0.611 ( 138th ) (2019)
currency Cedi (GHS)
independence 6 March 1957
(by the United Kingdom )
national anthem God Bless Our Homeland Ghana
national holiday March 6 (Independence Day)
time zone UTC±0
License Plate GH
ISO 3166 GH , GHA, 288
Internet TLD .gh
telephone area code +233
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Ghana [ ˈgaːna ] is a country in West Africa bordering the Ivory Coast , Burkina Faso , Togo and to the south the Gulf of Guinea as part of the Atlantic Ocean . Its area is almost as large as that of the United Kingdom , with whose history it is closely linked through the colonial era . Historically, the name Ghana was intended to be associated with the Empire of Ghana , the first large empire in West Africa to be identified by name. The capital of Ghana is the metropolis Accra , the second megacity is Kumasi .

Completed in 1966, the Volta Reservoir is the country's largest inland lake and is still the world's largest artificial body of water. With the construction of the Akosombo Dam, the Nkrumah government pursued the plan to secure the energy supply for the economic development and industrialization of Ghana. Ghana is important in the global economy due to its wealth of raw materials. Gold , which also gave the former colony the name " Gold Coast ", is Ghana's most important export good. About a third of the export earnings and 93 percent of the production of the mining sector is related to the extraction of gold.


Road map of Ghana
Wide sandy beaches without natural harbors are characteristic of Ghana's coast

Overall, Ghana has a flat relief that only reaches heights of 900 meters in a few places. About half of the country lies below an altitude of 150 meters. The coast has a length of 543 kilometers. The country is geographically divided into coastal plains, rainforest and savannah. In addition to the geographical structure, Ghana can also be divided according to the surface structure into the five natural areas Low Plains , Ashanti Highlands , Akwapim-Togo Range , Volta Basin and High Plains .

From the coastal lowland, the Low Plains, which is divided into the coastal plain with wide sandy beaches and mangrove areas and a flat land between the fifth and sixth degree of latitude, the western land rises to the highlands of Ashanti , which has an average altitude of 450 meters above sea level achieved. To the east of the highlands is the Volta Basin, which with a total of 87,000 km² is also the largest natural area. In the north, the High Plains complete the country. The areas are already part of the greater landscape of Sudan . The Akwapim-Togo range is a mountain range and natural area that begins near Accra and extends into Togo . Here are the highest mountains in the country.

About two thirds of Ghana's area, around 158,000 km², is drained by the Volta , which is dammed up in its lower reaches by the Akosombo Dam to form the world's largest artificial body of water. A large number of river systems, which flow into the Atlantic, also originate from the highlands of Ashanti.

The species-rich animal and plant world has increasingly been placed under protection in the past. More and more of these refuges are being developed for tourism . The income from this branch of the economy should also make an important contribution to the preservation of biodiversity as eco -tourism. The remaining rainforest is very rich in species and the year-round constant temperature and high humidity promote plant growth.


Kumasi climate diagram

Ghana is a tropical country, so it has no seasons, but an alternation between rainy and dry seasons. Days and nights of almost the same length determine life. The climate in the humid south with its evergreen rainforest areas can be roughly distinguished from the drier north with its tree savannah, shrub savannah and grass savannah in the northernmost part. The harmattan , a trade wind blowing from the northeast , determines the dry season between November and February. The rains in the rainy season are brought by the West African monsoon . Most of the precipitation falls at over 2000 mm per year in the extreme south-west of the country on the coast.

Annual rainfall is around 1000 mm in the north and up to 2200 mm in the western part of the coast near the town of Axim ; near Accra it barely reaches 800 mm (for comparison: this roughly corresponds to Germany's long-term annual average). Only in the hot and humid southwest grows evergreen rainforest, which changes into rain-green tropical forest . The forest stands are threatened by the progressive clearing. Inland follow wet savannah and dry savannah .


Mount Afadjato seen from Liati Wote village

The Akwapim-Togo Range is a hilly and slightly mountainous foothills of the Togo-Atakora Mountains in the countries of Togo and Benin . This mountain range begins near Accra and then stretches along the border with neighboring country Togo for a while before finally crossing the border. There are also waterfalls in the numerous gorges. The mountain slopes and hilltops are partly of volcanic origin and consistently covered with rainforest.

The highest peak in the country is Mount Afadjato at 885 meters high near the village of Liati Wote just on the border with Togo. The second highest mountain in Ghana is Mount Dzebobo at 876 meters, located north of Mount Afadjato, also directly on the border with Togo. Both mountains are part of the Akwapim-Togo range.

Akwawa is the fourth highest mountain in Ghana.

bodies of water

At the lower Volta
Lake Bosumtwi in the Ashanti region

The huge Volta reservoir is located in the center of the state and with a size of 8,502 km² it is about 15 times larger than Lake Constance with 536 km² and would cover more than half of Schleswig-Holstein (15,799 km²). It essentially feeds on the Black Volta (Mouhoun) and the White Volta , Afram , Daka and Oti . After passing the Akosombo Dam, the river then known as the Volta empties into the Atlantic Ocean in a wide river delta . Together with the tributaries of the Red Volta (Nazinon), Nasia and Kulpawn , the Volta River is the largest connected body of water.

About a million years old , Lake Bosumtwi , which originated from the impact of a meteorite , has no inflow or outflow. For the traditional population it is of great religious importance.

Lesser-known rivers include the Pra , Bia , Ankobra , and Tano , which flow directly into the Atlantic. The tributaries of the Pra are the Anum , Offin and Birim ; together with the Pra, they form the second most important drainage system in Ghana. The Pra is only navigable in its estuary because the upper reaches are characterized by rapids.

Other smaller rivers include the Laboni , Obosum , Sisili , Senne , Tain and Todzie .

natural space


Three distinct biomes predominate in Ghana . The tropical rain forest and the moist forest are located in the southwest of the country, the north and the middle part of the country are characterized by the moist savannah, which is divided into tree and grass savannah. In addition, a narrow strip of the coast still exists as a coastal savannah. The most lush vegetation in the country can be found in the evergreen tropical rainforest.

The rainforest originally covered an area of ​​85,000 km² and is home to a diverse range of plants and animals. Due to the different ecosystems , there are no typical flora or fauna in the country. The individual habitats differ greatly. Nature is lush in the savannah with its typical inhabitants, the rainforest with its wealth of species and the Volta Delta as a sanctuary for a large number of migratory birds and native species.

Due to the different forms of vegetation and the greater human population density, the wildlife of West Africa is not comparable to East Africa. There are no large herds of animals like in the East African national parks.


The bottle gourd is the fruit of the gourd tree
African baobab or baobab

Many plant and animal species occur in Ghana. Ghana's tropical rainforest in particular makes a major contribution to the country's biodiversity. The area of ​​tropical rainforest was 85,000 km² in the last century. Within the last 50 years, the area has shrunk by more than half to 40,000 km². Every year, the country records a forest loss of 1.7 percent. Clearing and the export of precious wood are the main reasons for this very rapid decrease in forest area. An exact enumeration of the plants living in the rainforest is difficult to make, since scientists suspect that there are still unknown species there.

The evergreen rainforest is covered by tall trees that can grow up to 50 meters high, three meters thick and 300 years old. These are also species that play a major role in Ghana's wood export economy: Valuable hardwoods are provided by mahogany species such as azobe , sapele and the African mahogany, also known as khaya , as well as several species of the African walnut tree. Other tree species are Odum, Wawa (sometimes also called Samba, the trade name of the wood is Abachi ), Bombax and Afrormosia . Various fig trees such as Ficus spp. reach the size of a medium-sized German beech in the rainforests of Ghana. Various epiphytic plants such as orchid species but also lianas show a great variety of species. Common useful plants are the African cola tree, the calabash tree ( bottle gourd Crescentia cujete ) or the Brazilian rubber tree .

Around 1200 different types of palm trees are found all over the country. The Cuban royal palm ( Roystonea regia ) is used as an avenue tree in cities , as these provide shade and can reach a height of up to 25 meters. The Malagasy traveller's tree , a popular decorative plant in front of public buildings or in gardens in Ghana, is often confused with a palm tree.

Originally from the Pacific Ocean, the coconut palms have considerable utility for humans and were therefore introduced to Ghana. Many coconut products such as coconut milk , coconut fat , but also bast and leaves for roof constructions and mats are harvested from the coconut palm. The native oil palm ( Elaeis guineensis ) is very widespread as a plantation tree. Palm oil is pressed from the red fruits of the oil palm. In West Africa, this is very important in the local cuisine.

The most diverse crops are produced within the framework of plantation management. Most of these plantations can be found on the now cleared area of ​​the former rainforest. Pineapples , bananas , plantains , avocados , papayas , guavas , oranges , and other citrus fruits are grown here. Many spice plants, such as spice vanilla , are also cultivated in Ghana.

In addition to the tree species and useful plants, many decorative plants from all over the world can be found in Ghana. Hibiscus , flame tree and fuchsias are just a few.

Grasses are typical savannah plants, but the characteristic plant of the savannahs of Ghana is a tree: the solitary African baobab tree stands out due to its thick trunk and is recognizable from afar. The native shea tree , also known as the shea butter tree, also grows in the savannah . The shea butter obtained from the seeds is an important export product for Ghana and is used in the production of cosmetics and food.

In addition to mangrove forests , the coast is also characterized by various types of palm trees.


Ghana's wildlife is very rich in species. In addition to tropical bird species such as parrots , hornbills , eagles , woodpeckers , guinea fowl and pigeons , which are native to the rainforest, the native bird world is expanded by a large number of migratory birds . Various species of water birds can be found in the Volta Delta, but also in the water landscapes of the lagoons and along the many rivers.

Numerous species of mammals are native to Ghana. Several antelope species such as roan antelope , kob and bongo , leopard , civet , elephant , buffalo , hippopotamus , warthog live mainly in the savannah.

There are many different species of monkeys. Chimpanzees live in the rainforests of the southwest , such as in the Ankasa Conservation Area. The Roloway monkey , which is also rare, also occurs in Ankasa and Bia and also lives on Monkey hill in Takoradi . Vervet monkeys are much more common and can be found in many protected areas. One of the most easily spotted forest species, the Monamer cats live in e.g. in the reserves of Tafi-Atome and Buabeng-Fiema . Geoffroy's colobus monkeys are also regularly seen in Buabeng-Fiema . Baboons are particularly found in Mole National Park and the Shai Hills .

Reptiles are found in all walks of life. Small geckos and lizards live partially in people's homes, iguanas , monitor lizards , snakes and crocodiles in the country's waters.

Ghana has an exceptionally large diversity of insect species . Termite mounds dot the landscape. Some of the mosquitoes and horseflies that are present transmit diseases, such as the Anopheles malaria mosquito . The tsetse fly , which transmits African trypanosomiasis , the sleeping sickness that is also dangerous for humans, is more at home in the savannah areas.

In the Atlantic off the coast of Ghana are some of the most fishy areas on earth. Important fish species are barracuda , herring , mackerel , sharks , tuna , squid , perch , but also marine animals such as lobster , crayfish and crabs as well as mussels and snails are at home.

Some animal species that live in the tropical rainforests are classified as endangered or threatened with extinction. An unknown number of animal species are already thought to have disappeared, such as Miss Waldron's red colobus , formerly native to the tropical rainforests of Ivory Coast, Ghana and Sierra Leone, which was last sighted in the 1970s.

The West African Primate Conservation Action (WAPCA) was founded as an international association of eleven European zoological gardens in order to prevent other species from becoming extinct. The Conservation des espèces et des populationes animales (CEPA) and the Zoological Society for Species Protection (ZGAP) are also significantly involved in this campaign. Zoos and associations work to protect the highly endangered Roloway monkeys and white- naped mangabeys . Both species are among the 25 most endangered primate species worldwide.

Accra Zoo owns some of these animals for captive breeding. On June 29, 2006, a pair of white crested males had their first offspring there.


Royal palms at the entrance of Aburi Botanic Gardens in Ghana

Awareness of the sustainable use of the country's natural resources has only recently increased. The Ghanaian economy, particularly mining in Ghana , has caused at times significant environmental damage in the country. The policies of President John Agyekum Kufuor 's government increasingly addressed environmental issues, but environmental awareness among the population is rather low. In addition to mining, forestry plays a decisive role in the country's environmental balance, which is to be rated rather negatively. The annual decrease in the forest is estimated at 1.7 percent, whereby primary forest is also affected. The lack of state organization for waste disposal is another major problem, especially in the metropolises. Only about 5 percent of waste in Ghana is reused or recycled. In addition, a large proportion of illegally imported e-waste from Europe ends up in the e- waste processing facility in Agbogbloshie in Accra, where it is partially incinerated, releasing highly toxic fumes.

In the Ghanaian government, environmental protection is not the responsibility of a ministry, but is divided between the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry with responsibility for soils and forests and the Ministry of Environment and Science with responsibility for the preparation, monitoring and enforcement of international agreements and the development of environmental policy.

natural disasters

Major natural disasters are rather rare. But there are regular problems with the sometimes heavy rainfall. After the dry season , which lasted several months , the soil can only slowly absorb water again. The heavy tropical rains are of great violence. In the partially dried-up river beds, torrential floods arise in a very short time. Even normal roads will soon turn into shallow but fast-flowing rivers. In the first few weeks of the rainy season , people are often surprised by these masses of water, which smaller bridges cannot withstand. People die in the floods almost every year.

The southern part of the country in particular has repeatedly been hit by major earthquakes over the past few centuries . In the years 1615, 1636, 1862, 1906, 1939, 1964, 1969 and most recently in 1997, strong earthquakes were recorded near the coast, which also claimed several lives. In 1615 an earthquake near today's Takoradi destroyed the entire settlement of Takoradi. On December 18, 1636, an earthquake occurred in the far west of the country, in the area around Axim , which caused very strong shaking in the East Nzema district. In a large radius, the area's buildings were almost completely destroyed. Many miners died in a gold mine in Aboasi . The 1862 earthquake had its epicenter near what is now the capital, Accra. Many stone buildings, including the colonial forts, including the current seat of government at Osu Castle , were badly damaged. Less damage was caused by the 1906 earthquakes , although damage to buildings was also reported from Accra. The strongest earthquake to date occurred near Accra on June 22, 1939. This earthquake caused severe damage to buildings, seventeen people died and 133 people were injured, some seriously. There was about a million pounds of property damage . The earthquake measured 6.5 on the Richter scale. Recent earthquakes, although less severe, caused widespread panic among the population.

nature reserves

Rainforest in Kakum National Park seen from the Canopy Walkway, a canopy tour

In almost all parts of the country nature reserves have been set up, which differ considerably in size and purpose. There are four different types of nature reserves:

On the one hand, national parks have been designated in order to show nature worth preserving to as large an audience as possible and to get people interested in protecting it. The most famous national parks are the Mole National Park in northern Ghana and the Kakum National Park due to its proximity to the historically and therefore touristically interesting cities of Cape Coast and Elmina .

The primary purpose of wildlife sanctuaries is to increase the population of native wildlife species. Some species have already fallen victim to human hunting. Bush meat, i.e. wild animal meat, is very popular throughout the country. There are definitely differences between the individual ethnic groups.

Other protected areas (Strict Nature Reserves) have been designated to save animal species that are threatened with extinction. These protected areas can only be visited with a special permit. This permit is usually only issued for research purposes.

Forest reserves were set up expressly to save the rainforest, in which no clearing may take place. In these forest reserves, possibilities should be examined and shown how sustainable forest management can be practiced. In the forest reserves, a balanced vegetation should create a broader basis for forestry . Illegal logging and smuggling are a problem. Uncontrolled logging continues to endanger the rainforest.

In addition to the national parks, there is a botanical garden in Aburi , north of Accra in the Akuakim Mountains, which was established in 1890 by the British colonial rulers as an agricultural research station. Tropical plants that did not originally occur in Ghana also grow here.


Population data (2019)
Life expectancy 62.4 years
birth rate 30.8 per 1000 inhabitants
fertility rate per woman 3.8
infant mortality 49 per 1000 live births
infant mortality 34 per 1000 live births
growth of population 2.18%
Population under 15 years old 37.4%
Population over 65 years of age 3.1%
Population pyramid 2016: Ghana has the typical population structure of a developing country
Population development in millions of inhabitants

The inhabitants of Ghana are now correctly referred to as Ghanaians , the term Ghanaians is outdated . The average life expectancy in 2019 was 64.1 years - the second highest in West Africa - with high child and infant mortality being one of the main reasons for the low value compared to the western world. Due to improved medical care and educational work in the field of hygiene, the rate of child mortality is falling continuously.

The population structure represents the classic population pyramid. 37.4% of the population is under 15 years old. Annual population growth is 2.2%, the lowest population growth of any country in southern West Africa.

Compared to neighboring countries (especially in the north), Ghana has achieved a higher level of prosperity. That is why some tens of thousands of refugees from Togo , Burkina Faso , Liberia , Niger and Nigeria live there.

There is a pronounced migration movement from the countryside to the cities. However, there is an ever-increasing unemployment rate, especially among young people. Young men in particular are therefore migrating abroad with the aim of finding work in Europe or North America . Some families collect money to be able to send a young family member abroad so that he or she can support the extended family from there.

year resident
1950 5.0 million
1984 ( census ) 12.3 million
2000 (census) 18.8 million
2010 (census) 24.7 million
2020 31.0 million


Ghana's population grew rapidly, more than doubling between 1990 and 2020. The table shows the results of the last censuses from 1984, 2000 and 2010 as well as the estimates for the years 1950 and 2020.

For the year 2050, according to the UN's average population forecast, a population of over 52 million is expected.

ethnic groups

Ghana is a multi-ethnic state that is heterogeneously composed of almost as many ethnic groups as language groups. The population of the different ethnic groups ranges from a few hundred to a few million people.

portion ethnicity
47.5% akan
16.6% Mole-Dagbani
13.9% Eve
7.4% Ga-Dangme
5.7% Gurma
2.5% Hello
1.1% Mande
1.4% other ethnicities

In the meantime, marriages between members of different ethnic groups are becoming more and more common, so that the smaller ethnic groups are slowly merging into the larger ones and the boundaries between the individual ethnic groups are becoming increasingly blurred. This fact makes an exact assignment to the individual ethnic groups difficult and leads to widely differing information in different sources.

The most important ethnic group are the Akan (around 47.5 percent), the most well-known subgroup of which are the Ashanti . Minorities are the Mole-Dagbani (16.6 percent), the Ewe (13.9 percent), the Ga - Adangme (7.4 percent) and the Gurma (5.7 percent). About 1.4 percent of the population comes from Europe or is of other ethnic origins such as Chinese or Lebanese .


With 79 different languages ​​and idioms, the variety of languages ​​is quite large. The official language is English .

language speaker
akan 8,300,000
Eve 2,250,000
subscribe 1,050,000
fare 820,000
Dagbani 800,000
dangme 800,000
ga 600,000
concomba 500,000
Hausa 202,000

Most Ghanaians grow up multilingual even before they go to school and then also learn the locally dominant language group Akan (80 percent) and/or English (70 percent) at school. It is not uncommon for Ghanaians to speak three to five languages ​​fluently. Many of Ghana's languages ​​are under threat as the number of speakers continues to decline. The main causes are the greater social prestige of individual languages ​​(e.g. the Akan language Fante as a language of commerce), inter-ethnic marriages and the migration of speakers to large cities where children adopt the majority language. In addition, French is being given more and more importance by the government, especially in the education system. Ghana has been an associate member of the International Organization of Francophonie (OIF) since 2006.


According to the 2010 census, about 71.2 percent of the population in Ghana belong to Christian churches, the majority of them Protestant denominations (18 percent) and Charismatic or Pentecostal churches (28.3 percent), the rest to the Roman Catholic Church (13.1 percent); other Christian denominations make up 11.4 percent. About 17.6 percent are attributed to Islam and about 5.2 percent belong to traditional religions , most notably the Akan religion and the Ga religion . 0.8 percent belong to other faiths and 5.3 percent are non-denominational .

The boundaries between the different religions are not precisely defined, as traditional beliefs have mixed with Christian mainstreams and sects. Many Christian or Muslim Ghanaians see no contradiction to their religion in the visit of a “fetish priest”. All major Christian holidays are national holidays, as is the Islamic Festival of Sacrifice and the Festival of Breaking the Fast at the end of Ramadan . Individual ethnic groups also celebrate festivals that correspond to their traditional religion.

structure and migration

Most Ghanaians live in large families , which on the one hand provide support for relatives and help with problems, on the other hand many relatives have to give up to half of their wages to the family. However, these structures are increasingly softening in the cities, so that some children there are no longer cared for by their parents.

There is a strong southward migration across the country. Youth from the central region are moving to Accra and Tema to find work, while youth from the northern areas are seeking refuge in cities like Kumasi and Sunyani . Since their level of education is usually low and the job offer is limited, many of these young people end up on the streets. According to Welthungerhilfe, around 30,000 children and young people are homeless in Accra alone.

In 2017, 1.2% of the population was foreign-born. Most migrants are from Togo (90,000), Nigeria (70,000) and Burkina Faso (60,000).

Social situation


Healthcare is based on two pillars. On the one hand, the state and international health organizations are trying to organize better conditions for public health, and on the other, traditional medicine plays a major role. Child mortality is falling, maternal care is improving and the number of vaccinations has now reached 80 percent of the population. Between 1992 and 2002, the Ghanaian government invested around 7 percent of total public spending in healthcare.

Up until the 1980s, the health care system had little appearance in politics behind the political and economic issues. The situation in the healthcare system is improving as a result of rethinking politics and the strong deployment of international aid workers.

Development of life expectancy in Ghana

year life expectancy
in years
year life expectancy in
1960 45.8 1990 56.8
1965 47.8 1995 57.5
1970 49.3 2000 57.0
1975 50.8 2005 58.7
1980 52.3 2010 60.6
1985 54.1 2015 62.4


In addition to the usual medical requirements, Ghana also has to deal with the problem of tropical diseases. Malaria , cholera , typhoid , tuberculosis , yellow fever , and hepatitis A and hepatitis B are some of the most common diseases. Schistosomiasis and poliomyelitis are also a major problem. However, the Guinea worm ( dracunculiasi , also called Medina worm), which used to be widespread and feared here , no longer seems to pose a particular threat to the population. In 1974, 75 percent of all diseases were said to be directly related to unclean water. Malaria is one of the leading causes of death in the country. About 40 percent of hospital stays are caused by malaria. When it comes to infant mortality, malaria is responsible for a quarter of all deaths.

Cases of meningococcal meningitis are reported in the north-east of the country during the dry season between December and April . About 1.9 percent of all adults were infected with HIV in 2007 .

health data

Basically, Ghana is not a country that suffers from a lack of food due to drought or other problems. However , the unequal distribution of food is a problem . In 2000 , around 20 percent of children under the age of five were suffering from malnutrition . However, this number has decreased significantly in recent years. In 1985, about 35 percent of children of the same age were still malnourished.

Mortality per 1000 births
year in infants in children under 5
1978 104 172
1988 86 138
1998 68 107
2008 51 75
2018 35 48

The under-five mortality rate has decreased significantly over the past 20 years. In 1988, for every 1000 births, 79.2 boys and 79.4 girls died. By 1993, the number had dropped to 63.4 for boys and 62.2 for girls. In 2003, 44.2 boys and 52.3 girls died for every 1000 children.

The number of vaccinations has also increased significantly in recent years. In 2004, approximately 80 percent of children were vaccinated against diphtheria and polio . Maternal mortality has fallen since 1990 from about 740 per 100,000 births to about 540 per 100,000 births, with the number of births monitored by medical personnel increasing only slightly from about 40 percent in 1986 to about 47 percent in 2004.

Nationwide, about 25.2 percent of women regulated their pregnancies by some method of birth control in 2005, with the condom as a birth control method accounting for about 12.7 percent in 2003.

In 2001, about 200,000 children lived in orphanages where both parents or at least one parent died of AIDS .


educational data
Literacy rate (2018) 79%
Primary school enrollment rate (2005) 65% boys, 65% girls
secondary school (2005) 39% boys, 35% girls
Average length of education (2019) 7.3 years

Since Ghana's independence, the country's range of educational opportunities has been continuously expanding. Between 1992 and 2002, the Ghanaian government invested around 7 percent of total public spending in education. Schooling has been compulsory for nine years since 1957, starting at the age of six. In the year of independence, only about 450,000 elementary school students were admitted to the schools. School education now reaches almost every village, the teachers are sometimes students or high school graduates who complete their national service , a kind of social year, in a village school.

From the beginning, the education system was based on the structures of the former colonial power Great Britain . It wasn't until 1986, during Jerry Rawlings ' presidency , that the system was changed. Compulsory education consists of six years of primary school followed by three years of junior secondary school. It is only upon successful completion of Junior Secondary School that a student can begin higher education in Senior Secondary School , which lasts a further three years, completes with the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) (also: Advanced Level Certificate ) and graduates justified. Alternatively, a student can attend a technically oriented school whose qualification is most comparable to the German Fachabitur. This means that a student can obtain the university entrance qualification after twelve years at the earliest.

More and more value is being placed on the training of teachers, starting with the employees in kindergartens and elementary schools . For example, the training of a regular primary school teacher takes three years.

Especially in the north and in the larger cities, Koran schools have also established themselves among the Islamic part of the population.

Distance learning is also offered for high school graduates who, due to personal or practical circumstances, cannot regularly attend lectures at the universities.

In 2018, the adult literacy rate was 79%.



The ancient city of Gana was in the north of what is now the Republic of Ghana. Ghana was the Arabic spelling of the African name Gana, the meaning of which is unknown. Archaeologists have searched the vast expanses of West Africa for their exact location in vain. Many stories tell of their wealth, the power of their kings and the beauty of their buildings. Other stories deal with the cause of their fall. One of them follows.

The city of New Wagadoo, now called Wa-Gana, was the capital of 80 chiefs. But when the king died, leaving only one daughter, these 80 chiefs became independent. Princess Tu-Bari was a woman of unsurpassable beauty and promised marriage to the man who would subdue the 80 rebellious chiefs. Many princes, having heard of her beauty, tried their luck, but none succeeded. Finally, the king of Gana named Samba (strong) appeared. He defeated the 80 rebellious chiefs one by one and sent each of them to Queen Annalia to submit to her. When the last chief surrendered, Annalia agreed to a marriage to Samba, who became king of Gana and Wa-Gana. A few years later, a devastating drought broke out in the country and famine was imminent. The drought was caused by a dragon named Isa Bere that lived in the mountains of Futa Jallon and drained the Niger River. King Samba had to go and fight the dragon. His famous bard Tarafe, who was the first to sing Annalia's glory, accompanied him.

King Samba fought the dragon for eight years and broke 800 spears on its scale skin. Finally, he struck the dragon's heart with his long sword, whereupon the monster died and the Niger, the sacred river Jolliba, flowed again. Tarafe sang a song of praise for the sword. King Samba loved the mountains and forested slopes and decided to stay there. Ancient Gana fell into disrepair during his absence.

Prehistory and Archaeology

It is believed that the area of ​​present-day Ghana was first settled by humans sometime between 150,000 and 20,000 years ago. These first inhabitants were members of the Sango or Sangoan culture - named for the first sites found in Sango Bay on the Ugandan side of Lake Victoria - a culture that can be characterized by the transition from the Older to the Younger Paleolithic . However, the onset of a period of extreme drought that began about 25,000 years ago and lasted until about 13,000 years ago prompted the people of the Sangoan culture to leave the increasingly inhospitable plains. The oldest pottery finds in what is now Ghana have been dated to be around 5,800 years old. In general, the date of the appearance of pottery is equated with the beginning of food production by agriculture, although evidence of the early period of pottery presence is as yet lacking.

Between about 3800 and about 2000 years ago, the climate in West Africa and west-central Africa experienced an intense dry phase with strong winds. At that time, another prehistoric cultural stage, the Kintampo culture , existed in the area of ​​present-day Ghana on the northern edge of the rainforest belt from about 4000 years ago to about 2700 years ago . The Kintampo culture had a very complex form of economy, which was characterized by a mixture of agricultural forestry and food-producing animal husbandry in the savannah. The keeping of sheep and goats for the period 3750 to 3550 years ago can be proven with certainty, cattle were probably also kept in the late period. The rain forest, which was becoming thinner and thinner due to the drought, and the sudden increase in the appearance of the oil palm, which provided food, fiber and building material, probably promoted the development process of agricultural forest land management. Nevertheless, at the height of the dry phase, people seem to have left the increasingly unfriendly areas again.

The population class in Ghana and Togo that is considered autochthonous today are essentially groups that, beginning in the 9th and 10th centuries, migrated in large groups from the north or north-east to the areas south of the savannah belt of Togo and Ghana. This migratory movement was triggered by a climate change that was linked to changes in the vegetation of the savannah areas. But the strengthening of Old Gana and the forerunner states of the Mali Empire also contributed to the triggering of the migration movement, as well as a certain compulsion for more segmentation within the social order, which ultimately increased the pressure for a voluntary separation from the previous people's association. Major movements took place in the Volta Basin between the 11th and 15th centuries. But these immigrant groups did not migrate over large areas, but more or less gradually penetrated into neighboring areas, from which they were again pushed into areas further south by the insertion of other peoples from the north.

Middle Ages and early modern times

The modern state of Ghana takes its name from the ancient kingdom of Ghana , which was geographically a few thousand kilometers to the north-west and bears no ethnic or historical connection to the present-day state of Ghana. In the pre-colonial period, there were several large empires or federations on the territory of today's state. The first of these states, the kingdoms of the Dagomba , Mamprusi or Gonja , arose in the savannah region of northern Ghana and were culturally influenced by the Mossi kingdom further north and thus by Islam . The power of their cavalry armies ended at the rainforest belt. Akan peoples , coming from the north, settled in the rainforest zone around 1300 AD and founded various smaller empires. Around 1600, the rise of the Ashanti Empire to the dominant power in all of today's Ghana began there in central Ghana. The Ashanti Federation was one of the few African empires that could take on the British colonial troops by the end of the 19th century and defeated them in several wars. It was not finally conquered by the British colonial rulers until the beginning of the 20th century. In the south of the country, the Ashanti Empire was competed with by the British-affiliated Fanti states, which formed the Fanti Confederation at the end of the 19th century .

Cape Coast Castle

Since the 17th century, the fortified settlements of European powers (Portuguese, English, Dutch, Brandenburgers, Swedes, Danes) have lined up on the Gold Coast in greater density than in any other area of ​​Africa. For example, Groß Friedrichsburg in Princes Town was a Brandenburg - Prussian fortress in the 17th century .

Crown Colony Gold Coast

Ashanti Battle of July 11, 1824

Around 1820 the Colonial Office took over the British trading posts on the Gold Coast. A treaty was struck between the British and the Fanti people to defend themselves against the Ashanti from the interior. In 1874 the British declared the coastal strip a crown colony . The Ashanti region in the interior of the country and the so-called "Northern Territories" were finally annexed in 1901 and administered directly by the governor in Accra. Some coastal towns were granted indigenous councils as early as the mid-19th century . In 1925, under Governor Gordon Guggisberg , there was a constitutional reform. Indirect rule was introduced in Ashantiland and the Northern Territories . The traditional heads there were directly subordinate to the governor in Accra. In the actual colony on the coast, a legislative council with 29 members was introduced, in which nine Africans were represented for the first time. For Ghana, colonization not only meant bad things, because the standard of living improved significantly after cocoa cultivation began at the beginning of the 20th century. Something similar can also be seen after the Second World War. Overall, Ghana's standard of living was higher in those times than after it became independent.

Over 40,000 soldiers from the Gold Coast took part in World War II on the side of the British Empire . Most of these were used in Southeast Asia .

way to independence

The Burns Constitution of 1946 gave the Northern Territories and Ashanti Land seats on the Legislative Council. This further strengthened the position of the traditional chiefs.

In 1947 the United Gold Coast Convention Party (UGCC) was formed, and Kwame Nkrumah was appointed secretary. He and other UGCC leaders were temporarily detained a year later after riots in Accra . This year can be seen as a turning point in Ghanaian history.

In the two years that followed, the national movement around Kwame Nkrumah – who had meanwhile separated from the UGCC and founded the Convention People's Party (CPP) – made a name for itself. They organized boycotts and strikes and demanded the right of self-determination (“Self-Government Now!”) from Great Britain . In 1950 Nkrumah was imprisoned by the British. Nevertheless, the CPP was able to win a major victory in the upcoming elections. She also won the elections the following year with an overwhelming majority. Nkrumah was released by Governor Charles Noble Arden-Clarke (1949-1957) and promptly accepted into government. He had been prime minister since 1952.

Active and passive women's suffrage was introduced under British administration in 1954 . In practice, even after gaining the right to limited self-government (except in the north) in 1951, the complicated electoral regulations hampered Danquah and only Mabel Dove Danquah managed to be elected to the colonial legislature in 1954.

regaining independence

On March 6, 1957, the British Crown Colony of Gold Coast and British Togoland became independent under the name of Ghana. In May 1956, in British Togoland, i.e. that part of the former German colony of Togo that had been under British administration since the end of the First World War, a majority voted in a referendum in favor of joining the new state.

March 6 was deliberately chosen as the day of the Declaration of Independence, since on March 6, 1844, the Fanti Federation had agreed to a treaty with the British that made the Federation a British protectorate. Ashantiland and the Northern Territories were finally annexed by Great Britain in 1901.

However, after regaining independence, ties with Great Britain were not severed. Ghana was the first black African country to become a full member of the Commonwealth of Nations – from 1957 to 1960 as the Commonwealth Realm , since then as a republic.

Women 's suffrage was confirmed at independence in 1957.

time of the military coups

The Ghana Navy patrol boats GNS Anzone (P 30) and GNS Achimota (P 28) in October 2005

In 1966, 1972, 1978 and 1979 the military staged coups . Even the military governments could not master the difficulties. Under the rule of Ignatius Kutu Acheampong 's kleptocratic military junta , the country fell even further into a debt trap. Corruption and arbitrariness determined the country's politics in the 1970s. In 1981 , after returning power to a democratically elected government, Air Force Captain Jerry Rawlings staged a second coup and initially ruled dictatorially. A West African Union agreed with Burkina Faso in 1985 failed in 1987. During his rule, Rawlings helped Ghana regain economic stability with the help of the World Bank and the IMF , among other things.

democratic development

In 1992, Jerry Rawlings gave Ghana a democratic constitution guaranteeing free elections , freedom of speech and the press, the right to physical integrity and equality before the law. The one-party system was abolished. The human rights laid down by the UNO were also recognised. After the 1993 and 1996 elections, Rawlings continued to rule as President-elect. After Rawlings was constitutionally barred from standing for a third term in the 2000 elections, John Agyekum Kufuor (NPP) won the election against former Vice President John Atta Mills (NDC). Kufuor was confirmed in office in the December 2004 elections. In 2008, free democratic elections were held again. For constitutional reasons, President Kufuor could no longer stand for election. Nana Akufo-Addo won the first ballot on December 7 , but missed an absolute majority. In the runoff that followed, NDC politician Atta-Mills won 50.23 percent of the vote, while Akufo-Addo only got 49.77 percent, according to the Election Commission in early January 2009. On July 24, 2012, John Atta Mills died unexpectedly in Accra. The previous Vice President John Dramani Mahama took the oath of office as successor on the same day. In December 2012, Mahama was confirmed in office with 50.7 percent of the vote, his challenger Akufo-Addo received 47.8 percent of the vote. A total of seven presidential candidates ran in the elections on December 7, 2016, including former President John Mahama and opposition candidate Nana Akufo-Addo. Akufo-Addo received 53.85 percent of the vote, while Mahama got 44.40 percent. This was the first time in Ghana's history that an incumbent president lost his office in a democratic election. On January 7, 2017, Akufo-Addo was sworn in as President.


Index name index value World Rank interpretation aid year
Fragile States Index 64.2 out of 120 108 of 178 Country stability: warning
0 = very sustainable / 120 = very alarming
democracy index   6.50 out of 10   59 of 167 Incomplete democracy
0 = authoritarian regime / 10 = complete democracy
Freedom in the World 82 out of 100 --- Freedom status: free
0 = not free / 100 = free
Press Freedom Index   21.33 out of 100   30 out of 180 Satisfactory situation for press freedom
0 = good situation / 100 = very serious situation
Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI)   43 out of 100   75 out of 180 0 = very corrupt / 100 = very clean 2020
The Black Star Arch in Accra is the national symbol of Ghana's independence
Presidential election poster of John Atta-Mills, President of Ghana from 2009 to 2012

Political system

Ghana was the first African country to gain independence from Great Britain on March 6, 1957. Since then there have been various phases of democracy and military coups. Since January 7, 1993, the fourth republic, previously considered stable, has existed in the form of a presidential republic in the Commonwealth with a unicameral parliament. Since the 2012 elections, the number of seats in parliament has increased from 230 to 275. The judiciary is strictly separated from the other two branches of the state. First-past- the -post system favors the two major parties in the country, which hold almost all seats in parliament and regional bodies. Although Ghana is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations , the country is organized as a presidential republic .

Parliament and the President are directly elected by the people for a four-year term. The seat of the president is the former slave castle Osu Castle on the coast of the capital Accra.

In addition to comprehensive human rights, Ghana's constitution guarantees the population, in particular, the freedom to assemble and found parties and trade unions. A large number of parties, which, according to the constitution, have to represent national and not local interests or the interests of individual ethnic groups, were founded in the past. Ten parties are currently registered. The Trade Union Congress (TUC) brings together 16 individual trade unions in Ghana .

Ghana is divided into 16 regions, which have their own jurisdiction, regional government and administration. These regions are divided into 216 smaller districts, which in their area contribute to the distribution of power in the country through locally based administrative units and can also take better account of the large ethnic breadth of the population in small units. The House of Chiefs is responsible for legislation at the regional level. The so-called " chiefs " (Chiefs) represent their respective line of descent analogous to the organizational system of the pre-colonial Ashanti Empire . These chiefs have a lot of power at the local level and have the role of arbitrators. The role of chiefs is enshrined in the 1992 constitution.

In the 2019 Democracy Index of the British magazine The Economist , Ghana ranks 55th out of 167 countries and is considered an "incomplete democracy". In the Freedom in the World 2020 country report by the US non-governmental organization Freedom House , the country's political system is rated as "free". The country is rated as the freest in Africa.

Political parties

In 2003 there were officially ten registered parties, four of which were elected to the 275-seat unicameral parliament in the 2013 general election. The strongest party was the National Democratic Congress (NDC) party with 146 seats, while the strongest opposition party was the New Patriotic Party (NPP) with 121 seats; The People's National Convention (PNC) and the Convention People's Party (CPP) each had 1 seat , and there were three non-party members of parliament. In the elections on December 7, 2016, the NPP won 169 seats and the NDC 106 seats. Other parties are no longer represented in Parliament. The constitution expressly designates the parties as forming opinions and wills within the framework of the political process.

human rights

The 2009 annual report of the human rights organization Amnesty International criticizes, among other things, that criminal justice works too slowly and prisons are overcrowded. The report also mentions the fact that no steps have been taken to abolish the death penalty . According to Amnesty International, thousands of people are victims of forced evictions or were threatened with forced evictions in Ghana every year .

According to a study published by the University of Chicago at the end of 2020, more than 1.5 million minors are engaged in child labor in Ghana and the Ivory Coast alone in cocoa production .

Discrimination and violence against women is the order of the day, although new laws should actually help to improve the situation. It is estimated that every third woman was affected by domestic violence. The law against domestic violence, which has been in force since 2007, has apparently not yet had any effect. Female genital mutilation is also used .

In Ghana, the problem of “home slavery” stands out. In some areas of Ghana, because of their parents' indebtedness, girls in particular are taken as pawns by wealthy people or exploited with the promise of education and jobs.

Homosexuality among men is illegal and will be prosecuted. People who belong to sexual minorities ( LGBT ) are massively discriminated against, humiliated and sometimes blackmailed by the police. Gay men are often subjected to sexual and other physical abuse in prisons.

According to a US State Department report published in 2009, there is societal discrimination against people with disabilities. There is also social discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS. The report also mentions trafficking in women and children, ethnic discrimination, politically and ethnically motivated violence, and child labour, including forced child labour.

Nevertheless, European observers attest that the country has a relatively high level of respect for human rights compared to neighboring countries.

foreign policy

The current foreign policy is based on the western states, especially on the USA . Ghana is very important in West Africa and is seen as a stabilizing factor. The governments of Ghana have repeatedly supported international humanitarian and military operations in the past. There is a long-term membership in many international organizations. Since 1957, the country has been a member of the United Nations , of which former Secretary -General Kofi Annan is a Ghanaian by birth, and in the Commonwealth of Nations. Ghana was one of the founding members of the OAE, the predecessor organization of the African Union , in 1963 . Other memberships include the EC-ACP Agreement between the EU and some African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, the World Trade Organization , the West African Economic Community ECOWAS , UNESCO , the World Health Organization , the International Labor Organization , the Food and Agriculture Organization and the International Monetary Fund .

The country has participated in many United Nations peacekeeping missions, including in Africa in Burundi , Ivory Coast , the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda, Kosovo and Lebanon .


Ghana has its own armed forces with a total of around 14,000 soldiers. The armed forces are divided into the army , navy and air force . There is no legal conscription. The Ghanaian military has been involved in several military coups in the three decades following Ghana's independence .

Accra is the seat of the Ministry of Defense and the headquarters of the Armed Forces Military Command. At Accra Airport , a military section is used by the Air Force. Military bases and military airfields are located in Tamale and Takoradi. A supply unit was set up in Kumasi. The naval units protect the inland waters (Volta Sea) and the fishing interests and military zones in the Atlantic.

The weapons inventory of the Ghanaian Armed Forces is a mix of Russian, Chinese and Western equipment. The top suppliers of armaments since 2010 are China, Germany, Spain and Russia. At 0.4% of economic output, government spending on the military is at a very low level (151st place in 2019).

Ghana is a member of the United Nations and has been involved in UN peacekeeping missions for several decades. The Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center (KAIPTC) was set up near Accra and serves to educate and train peacekeeping personnel. Every year, people from the military, the police or the judiciary from Ghana and other West African countries are trained here for the implementation of peacekeeping missions, with trainers from Germany also being used.

administrative division

Ahafo Region Ashanti Region Bono Region Bono East Region Central Region Eastern Region Greater Accra Region North East Region Northern Ghana Oti Region Savannah Region Upper East Region Upper West Region Volta Region Western Region Western North Regionmap
About this picture

Since February 2019, Ghana has been divided into 16 regions , each with a “Regional Minister” at the top.

region capital city Area (km²) Population 2019
Ahafo Goaso 5.193 599,900
Ashanti Kumasi 24,389 5,792,200
bono Sunyani 11.107 1,142,500
Bono East Techman 23,257 1,108,200
Central Cape Coast 9,826 2,563,200
Eastern Koforidua 19,323 3,244,800
Greater Accra Accra 3,245 4,943,100
north east Nalerigu 9,074 575,600
Northern tamale 25,448 1,905,600
Oti Dambai 11,066 742,700
savannah damongo 35,862 581,400
Upper East Bolgatanga 8,842 1,273,700
UpperWest wha 18,476 849,100
Volta ho 9,504 1,865,300
Western film Sekondi Takoradi 13,847 2,165,200
Western North Wiawso 10,074 928,000

The individual regions are in turn subdivided into smaller districts, the so-called districts . Initially there were 110 districts, but this number was increased to 260 (as of 2019) in an administrative reform.

Biggest cities

The largest cities in Ghana were (according to census data):

city 1984 census 2000 census 2010 census region
Accra 867,459 1,659,136 2,070,463 Greater Accra Region
Kumasi 489,586 1.171.311 2,035,064 Ashanti region
tamale 135,952 293,879 371,351 Northern region
Takoradi 61,484 175,438 311.206 western region
Ashaiman 50,918 150,312 190,972 Greater Accra Region
theme 100,052 141,479 139,784 Greater Accra Region
Teshie 59,552 not specified not specified Greater Accra Region
Cape Coast 57,224 118.105 169,894 Central region
second 55,712 114.157 228,342 western region
Obuasi 60,617 115,564 143,644 Ashanti region
Due to the lack of registration and the fact that censuses do not take place regularly, the current population figures are only projections. The last census took place in 2010.

Accra is the largest city in the country and also the capital with the seat of government. The coastal city of Accra is a melting pot of almost every ethnic group represented in Ghana, as well as numerous foreigners.

Market in Kumasi, Ashanti region

Located about 220 km inland from the coast, Kumasi is not only the second largest city in the country, but also the capital of the largest ethnic group, the Ashanti . The more than 300-year-old Kumasi is one of the most traditional cities in the country and is also called Gardentown by the Ghanaians because of its green spaces and street greening . As the administrative capital of the Ashanti region, Kumasi is an important cultural, commercial and administrative center for the entire country. Kumasi is home to the Asantehene , the traditional - and still influential - chief of the Ashanti.

Tamale , the capital of the Northern Region , is by far the largest city in the entire north. Unlike Accra and Kumasi, whose population consists mainly of followers of Christian faiths, Tamale is predominantly Muslim.

The cities of Sekondi and Takoradi are often referred to as one city, as they have now almost grown together. The city centers are barely ten kilometers apart. One also speaks of the "twin city" Sekondi-Takoradi . The only two overseas ports in the country are in Takoradi and in Tema (near Accra). Its growth is based on the industry settling here and the constant immigration of people in search of work.

The city of Ashaiman was just a small fishing village 60 years ago. In particular, its development has to do with the construction of the city of Tema, which was planned entirely from an economic point of view, as an overseas port. Many people chose Ashaiman as a place to live with cheaper rents due to its proximity to both Tema and the capital Accra. This place attracts rural migrants in search of work and affordable housing.


basic data

Economic data (2016)
GDP $65.56 billion
real GDP growth 3.3%
proportion of agriculture 19.5%
proportion of industry 24.0%
share of services 37.5%
employment agriculture 56.4%
average unemployment 6.8% (2019)
inflation avg. 17.8%
foreign trade import volume $12.75 billion
foreign trade export volume $11.06 billion
Per capita energy consumption in kg ÖE (2004) 386
Emission per capita in t of CO 2 (2003) 0.4
forest increase/decrease −1.7%
Fishing is an important economic factor in Ghana. Traditional fishing boats are complemented by industrial boats.

The gross national product was 43.264 billion euros in 2016 and was ranked 86th worldwide according to the IMF.

Despite the beginnings of industrialization, Ghana is an agricultural country overall. In 2015, agriculture contributed 21.1 percent to the gross national product . About 56 percent of the population works in agriculture and fishing, mostly as part of subsistence farming , i.e. as self-sufficient.

The overall economic situation has stabilized somewhat since 2001. In 2004, the government joined the World Bank and International Monetary Fund debt relief program for the most indebted countries. It reached the so-called completion point under the expanded HIPC initiative for debt relief for the most heavily indebted developing countries. Ghana was largely released from its debts by a wide variety of multilateral and bilateral creditors (Ghana's total relief amounted to 7.4 billion US dollars). Germany fully forgiven the debt with a nominal value of US$1.49 million in trade receivables and US$169 million in financial cooperation.

The economic policy is considered conclusive. In 2003, 45 percent of the population had an income of less than one US dollar per day. From 2002 to 2013, however, per capita gross domestic product increased six-fold from USD 312 to USD 1,858. Less than 30 percent of the population is considered poor; there is a growing middle class. The 2016 Human Development Index ranks Ghana 139th out of 187 countries. In the World Bank report " Doing Business 2010 ", which measures the investment climate in 181 countries, Ghana is ranked 92nd, down five places compared to the previous year. The average growth rate in recent years (until 2014) was 6 to 7 percent.

In the Global Competitiveness Index , which measures a country's competitiveness, Ghana ranks 111 out of 137 countries (as of 2017–2018). In the 2017 ranking according to the Economic Freedom Index , Ghana is ranked 118th out of 180. According to Transparency International 's 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index , Ghana was ranked 81st out of 180 countries along with India , Morocco and Turkey , with 40 out of a maximum of 100 points.

economic relations

The Ghanaian-German investment protection agreement has been in force since November 23, 1998 . In addition, a double taxation agreement was signed on August 2, 2004, which came into force on December 14, 2007.

In 2008 Germany and Ghana had a trade volume of around 291 million  euros . In a comparison between Germany's exports of 192.9 million euros to Ghana and the corresponding imports of 98.3 million euros, there is a trade surplus in Germany's favor of around 94.6 million euros.

There is a German Chamber of Commerce Abroad , which is based in Accra as a delegation of German business in Ghana . The focus of her work is the supply of energy, especially renewable energies. To this end, it has organized the West African Clean Energy and Environment Exhibition and Conference (WACEE) every November since 2009.

raw materials

Gold Production of Ghana 1985–1994
year Ghana Africa, total world, total
[Metric tons] [Ghana's share in %]
1985 12.0 1.74 0.77
1986 11.5 1.66 0.70
1987 11.7 1.74 0.68
1988 12.1 1.76 0.63
1989 15.3 2.27 0.74
1990 17.3 2.56 0.81
1991 27.3 3.96 1.26
1992 33.3 4.66 1.48
1993 41.4 5.67 1.79
1994 44.5 6.37 1.94
Cocoa production in Ghana: drying the beans on a drying rack in the sun. Including fermentation of the fresh beans wrapped in banana leaves

Until the development of the Californian gold fields in 1850, the Gold Coast was one of the major gold producers in the world. Despite the rather modest share of world gold production, gold is still a very important commodity for today's Ghana, as gold exports account for around 32 percent of Ghana's total exports.

Other mineral raw materials of today's Ghana are petroleum , diamonds (largely industrial diamonds ), bauxite , manganese and limestone . In 2007, natural gas deposits were discovered off the coast of Ghana, and in 2008 oil, which has been produced since 2010. With the funding, budgetary discipline also slacked off. In addition, the price of oil fell sharply in 2014, so that the proceeds are just enough to pay a quarter of the interest payments on the national debt.

Agricultural goods destined for export are in particular cocoa , sugar cane , coffee , tea and rubber . These agricultural products are grown in large plantations in monocultures. The colonial masters laid the foundations for this branch of the economy. These raw materials are now converted into higher-value goods and imported again, e.g. B. instant coffee, tea bags, chocolate, sugar cubes, car tires. After the Ivory Coast, Ghana is the second largest producer of cocoa (20 percent). There are about one million cocoa farmers and three million harvest workers . Wild rubber (1880–1890) and the cocoa industry (agriculture, trade, transport of the beans) were the main drivers of higher purchasing power even before 1900. The Eastern Province of the Gold Coast Colony was the earliest and largest cocoa producer at the time, but Ashanti cocoa exports increased rapidly by 1917.

In the past, there has been a constant shift away from traditional products in favor of other agricultural products. Pineapples , tobacco , bananas , palm kernel oil , dried coconut fiber, kola nuts , shea butter and cotton are now also being produced in agriculture . Meat processing gained increasing importance.

The country is the third largest supplier of hardwood and other wood products in Africa and Germany's largest supplier of wood products. 23 types of precious wood are felled, including mahogany , kokrodua , utile , also called Sipo mahogany, and sapele . It is forbidden to export unprocessed wood. This ban is intended to support the domestic timber industry. In 1999, around 475,000 tons of wood and wood products were exported, and this industry accounted for 10 percent of total export sales.

Fishing as a traditional industry is increasingly under threat. Fish stocks are declining in coastal waters and partly also in the high seas . There is a modern deep-sea fleet in the fishing ports of Sekondi-Takoradi and Tema. However, the country's fish markets are mostly supplied by fishing cooperatives, and this fish trade has now become a women's domain. Fish is also exported to neighboring West African countries. Mainly herring , barracuda , tuna, mackerel and sharks are caught.

Salt is extracted from seawater desalination plants. This raw material is becoming increasingly important in the export economy. About 600,000 tons are exported annually.

The main imports are machinery, transport equipment, fuel and food, especially meat and rice.


In 2010 there was a production capacity of 6.489 billion kilowatt hours of electrical energy and a requirement of 7.095 billion kilowatt hours. Most of the electricity comes from hydroelectric power plants (5.57 billion kWh, such as the Akosombo Dam), the rest from mostly oil-fired thermal power plants . The state-owned Volta River Authority generates and transmits most of the electricity, along with the Takoradi International Company and smaller producers. Distribution and billing are the responsibility of the two state-owned companies, Electricity Company of Ghana and Northern Electricity Department . After the 2006/2007 electricity crisis, which was triggered by a severe drought, the government made efforts to expand its hydroelectric, oil and gas-fired power plant capacity. In 2007 there was discussion about building a nuclear power plant with a capacity of 400 MW by 2018. A $600 million dam was built by China at the southern end of Bui National Park . The turbines of the Bui Dam have a total capacity of 400 MW. The hydroelectric power plant went into operation in 2013.

Nigerian gas, which is to be delivered via the West African gas pipeline, would be used to supply the gas-fired power plants. The supply of gas is not guaranteed, as shown by the example of the 560 MW Sunon Asogli gas power plant built by Chinese investors (1st stage 200 MW has been completed since 2009; 2nd stage is currently under construction), which due to a lack of gas cannot be operated as planned in could be put into operation.

Surplus energy was for a time exported from Ghana to neighboring Ivory Coast , Burkina Faso and Mali . However, as in 2006/2007, Ghana has been stuck in a severe energy crisis since 2014. Due to the strong economic growth in recent years and because of the above-average level of electrification for Africa as well as transmission losses in the inefficient power grid, the energy requirement exceeds production by around 50 percent. The exploitation of the natural gas reserves was delayed. Gold mines , the beverage industry and animal carcass processing are particularly affected, with layoffs due to the energy shortage. The state power producer, the Volta River Authority, is heavily in debt.


So far, only about a quarter of the economic volume can be attributed to industry. In order to reduce the dependence on imports for more highly processed goods, attempts have been and are being made to further expand the industrial sector. The spectrum of light industry extends from breweries to textile companies and food processing companies. The locations of heavy industry can be found particularly in the greater Accra area. Steel , aluminum (from the raw material bauxite ), cement and oils are produced here. Around 15 percent of those employed now work in industry.

The tourism sector in Ghana
year foreign
Government revenue
from tourism
1990 145,000 $181 million
1992/93 about 210,000 $288 million
1997 325,434 $266 million
2002 482,434
2003 $216 million
2005 428,533 $836 million
2008 698,069 $1,403 million
2015 897,000 $870 million


Labadi Beach

One sector that is becoming increasingly important to Ghana's economic future is tourism . In terms of its development, in 1996 the Ghanaian government initiated a 15-year Integrated National Tourism Development Plan to try to increase the number of tourists visiting Ghana each year to 1 million by 2020. Ghana's tourist attractions are the beaches of the Atlantic coast, nature parks and wildlife sanctuaries, traditional festivals and the old European forts on the coast. Especially among African Americans, Ghana is of great tourist importance due to the history of the slave trade. Especially in the coastal area, a notable tourism industry with small and medium-sized hotel complexes has already emerged. The bed capacity is around 10,000 beds and is constantly increasing. Main tourist centers are the regions around Accra for beach tourism, Elmina and Cape Coast due to the historical past and Kumasi . In addition, however, z. B. the Volta Delta is preferably visited by water sports enthusiasts and ornithologists. Ecotourism is becoming increasingly important in Ghana.

foreign trade

Ghana mainly exports raw materials and agricultural products, while at the same time mainly industrial goods are imported. In 2015, Ghana's main suppliers were China (32.6% of imports), Nigeria (14.1%), the Netherlands (5.5%) and the United States (5.5%). The country exported mainly to India (27.4% of exports), Switzerland (11.8%), China (10.2%) and France (5.5%). Ghana had a foreign trade deficit of around 6% of gross domestic product.

state budget

In 2016, the state budget included expenditures equivalent to 11.55 billion US dollars . This was offset by revenues of the equivalent of 9.06 billion US dollars. This results in a budget deficit of 5.7 percent of GDP . Public debt was $31.3 billion in 2016, or 72.4 percent of GDP (compared to just 26 percent before the 2007 financial crisis). In February 2020, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced during a state visit to Bern (Switzerland) that Ghana intends to do without development aid in the future.

Expenditures in the 2009 state budget
Area million GH¢ million USD % of household % of GDP
Bless you 921.9 636.2 9:41 4.26
education 1693.7 1168.8 17.30 7.83
military 159.0 109.7 1.62 0.73
energy 317.2 218.9 3.24 1.47
water 285.9 197.3 2.92 1.32
transport 386.3 266.6 3.95 1.79
total 9793.1 6758.1 100,00 45.80


For a West African country, the country has a well-developed transport network with all known means of transport.

road traffic

Volta Bridge near Atimpoku for road and pedestrian use

The road network has been expanded to over 109,515 kilometers so far. Of these, around 13,787 kilometers are asphalted, but of varying quality and in some cases in need of renewal. The most important roads are the coastal road, which connects Accra with Togo on the one hand and with Ivory Coast on the other . All cities on the coast are connected via this. Furthermore, as a north-south axis, a main route has been routed via Kumasi and another north-south axis via the Volta River in order to integrate the areas east of Lake Volta into the infrastructure .

A very well developed toll motorway connects Accra and the main port of Tema.

The road network is mainly used by private cars and minibuses called Tro-Tro , but also buses and trucks, less often by two-wheelers. Even in the cities, bicycles are rarely found, despite the high cost of fuel. However, bicycles have become widespread in the northern areas.

In recent years, city streets and main thoroughfares have often been completely congested at rush hour. The vast majority of cars are old, used cars that have already been discarded in Europe and America. Several companies (e.g. STC) offer transit trips to the country's largest cities in relatively modern intercity buses. However, failures are also to be expected here, since the number of buses does not meet current requirements.

For large parts of the population, the Tro-Tro minibus is the main means of transport. These tro-tros hold twelve to 35 people and come in all shapes and colors. Often the vehicle is adorned with a motto on the front of the windshield or on the back, which is often of a religious nature or is simply the name of the vehicle. Tro-Tros are inner-city means of transport, but also travel overland routes. Almost every village can be reached by Tro-Tros at least once a day. Routes to neighboring countries are also used. Tro-Tros have collection points within cities and there are transfer points across the country. A Tro-Tro usually starts when all seats are occupied. Distributed along the route Tro-Tros usually have no other fixed stops. If you want to get in, give the driver a sign and will be taken if there are free seats.

Individual means of mass transport are also the numerous taxis, recognizable by the orange glued or painted fenders, which are found almost exclusively in the cities, but also make cross-country trips if this is individually agreed.

Various rental car providers are mainly represented in hotels, each taxi can also be used as a rental car together with the driver, as long as an acceptable price has been negotiated with the driver.

air traffic

With the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana has an international airport, which is also served by major airlines such as Turkish Airlines , KLM , British Airways , Emirates , TAP Portugal , Iberia , Alitalia , Royal Air Maroc and Afriqiyah Airways . In addition to international passenger transport, a significant part of freight traffic is handled here. The airport is to be developed into an important regional hub in the next few years.

The Kotoka International Airport in Accra was completely renovated and modernized a few years ago.

Two companies have resumed domestic air services since 2003. The country has a total of nine public airports, which are spread across the country and are mainly used for domestic traffic and the transport of goods. The following cities have an airport:

A Boeing 757 operated by Ghana International Airlines

The development of a new national airline is planned with the support of Air Mauritius , Ethiopian Airlines or Africa World Airlines (as of November 2017).

ship traffic

The main flow of goods abroad and to Ghana is through the ports at Tema and Sekondi-Takoradi . In August 2002, a modern container terminal with a handling capacity of 40,000 containers per year was built in Tema, the economically more important of the two ports . The construction of this container terminal cost ten million US dollars.

In addition to the large Atlantic ports, Lake Volta with its inland ports is of not inconsiderable importance. Goods and people are transported in all directions on the waters of Lake Volta. Boat traffic on Lake Volta is also important for tourism . Ports on Lake Volta are Kpandu , Kete Krachi , Yeji and Yapei (Tamale Port).

Ferry services operate on Lake Volta, often transporting people and light goods several times a day.

rail transport

A legacy from the colonial era whose fate is still uncertain is the railway network, which is operated by the Ghana Railway Corporation . The railways were laid in colonial times to transport raw materials and goods from all over the southern country to Accra, which at the time was the main trading center for goods of all kinds. Essentially, a triangular rail network has emerged, spanning between Sekondi , Kumasi and Accra.

The first tracks were laid between Sekondi and Tarkwa in 1907 and extended to Kumasi via Dunkwa, Obuasi and Bekwai in the following years. From Kumasi, the railway line was expanded from 1922 in many years of work via Konongo, Nkawkaw and Koforidua to Accra. Eventually, Accra's coastal line inland, passing through the villages of Akoroso, Achiasi, Foso and Twifo-Praso just north of Tarkwa, was connected to the first line between Sekondi and Kumasi.

In recent years, the maintenance of the rail network has been neglected, so that in 2006 only the route between Kumasi and Sekondi-Takoradi is regularly used. The train runs every two days between these two cities; that means one day he goes from Kumasi to Sekondi-Takoradi and the other day back again.

There are currently plans to expand the rail network. Overall, it is about the development, restoration and extension of a 1500 km long route area, which runs in the first stage from Tema to Paga through Accra, Ejisu, Nkoranza, Techniman and Tamale and over 350 km from Tema to Kumasi. The track gauge is to be changed from Kapspur , 1067 mm to standard gauge , 1435 mm, which means that the speed can be increased from 56 km/h to 160 km/h. The permissible axle load is to be increased to 16 tons on the western railway line, 14 tons on the eastern railway line and 25 tons on the central railway line. The project is to be carried out as a public-private partnership with the Chinese NIT Holdings Limited. The project period is scheduled from the fourth quarter of 2007 to 2013/2014. After 35 years, the entire rail network is to be handed over to the state of Ghana for the symbolic price of one dollar. NIT Holdings Limited states a budget of six billion US dollars. The feasibility study for this project was carried out by the Deutsche Bahn subsidiary DE-Consult. In the budget plans of the State of Ghana for 2009, it is noted that the feasibility study for the Western Corridor (Western Railway Line, Port of Takoradi) will be completed in 2009. In 2008 the feasibility study for the section of the western corridor from Tema via Akosombo to Buipe was completed.


Telecom overview
Total telephone lines (2004) 313,300
Total mobile phones (2008) 10,242,916
television sets in total 2,670,000
Total radios 12,500,000
computers total 94,000
Total internet users (2016) 7,958,000

The spread of telecommunications and computers is characterized by a strong urban-rural divide. There are public Internet cafes in cities and in the country. Private Internet access is also rare in the city. Most companies have at least Internet access and are equipped with computers in the cities.

One often sees small wooden houses in the streets, in which a public telephone connection has been laid, which an operator offers for a fee to make connections or receive calls almost day and night. This is usually not a payphone, but a normal telephone, for the use of which the fee is due according to the duration. As a rule, only national calls to mobile or landline networks are possible from these telephone booths, but these telephone booths with international connections are also available nationwide. There are also numerous payphones in the cities.

A mobile phone network has existed in Ghana since 1992, when Mobitel began operating a corresponding network. Until 1997, basic telecommunications services were provided by the state monopoly Ghana Posts and Telecom Corporation (GPTC) . A communications law was passed in Ghana in 1995, paving the way for the establishment of a new fixed-line dual-line network in early 1997. At the same time, a second operator, ACG (now Westel Telecom ), was admitted in 1995. A few years later, Celtel Ghana and Scancom merged in response to these two rival companies. At the time, Ghana Telecom and Westel had been authorized by the state to set up mobile phone services, which were first offered as a service between late 1999 and early 2000. In the meantime, GPTC (meanwhile renamed Ghana Telecom ) has been privatised, with Telecom Malaysia ( G-Com of Malaysia ) holding the majority of the shares in 2000, with 30 percent of the shares . Both operators held 20-year licenses for the main telephone services in 2000. Formerly Onetouch is a mobile division of Ghana Telecom , offered by Areeba Ghana (formerly Spacefon ). The national and international connections are realized by GS Telecom Ghana , which is an offshoot of the Canadian GS Telecom . In 2008, the communications group Vodafone took over a large part of Ghana Telecom and its mobile communications division. The company now operates under the name Vodafone Ghana. Since then, there has been increased investment in the expansion of mobile communications networks. The acquisition made wireless internet services available in much of the country that had previously been cut off from the internet.

Fixed-line telephony is possible almost everywhere in the urban areas of southern Ghana. Capital Telecom , a company founded in 1994 and fully state-owned, has been offering telecommunications services here since February 1997. Ghana's telecommunications sector is regulated by the National Communications Authority , established in 1996 .

Internet providers in 2000 were Ghana Network Computersystems (NCS) , Africa Online and Internet Ghana Limited . Internet use is primarily practiced at universities and by the younger generation. In 2016, 28.4% of the population used the internet.

culture and society

Oware, national game in Ghana

In addition to the multitude of different languages , there is a diversity of cultures. The state structure is based on a multi-ethnic interaction of the most diverse cultures that have grown together to form a people.

In addition to the Ghanaian ethnic groups, a large number of minorities from other, primarily African, ethnic groups in the neighboring countries live in Ghana. Also around 6000 Europeans and some Asians, mostly Chinese, live mostly in Accra and the other larger cities along the coast.

However, the majority of Ghanaians belong to the large, heterogeneous group of Akan . The Akan are traditionally organized in a matriarchal way, which was originally reflected in inheritance law. Thus, when a family man died, it was not his widow and/or his children who inherited his property, but his nephews, i.e. the children of the deceased’s sister. This traditional pattern is becoming less and less recognized. Famous elements of the Akan culture are, for example, the kente fabrics, the Adinkra clothing or the Ashanti gold weights .

Women take a self-confident, formative position in Ghanaian culture. Over 80 percent of Ghanaian women have a successful job alongside their more traditional role in the family. It is not uncommon for women to work for themselves as traders, seamstresses or cooks in one of the many street kitchens.

Oware is a board game known worldwide, which is also one of the oldest known games and is played by Ghanaians from an early age. Since the game can also be played in hollows in the ground or on drawn paper circles if necessary, it is very popular and has become a national game. In Ghana, in addition to the simple Oware board shape, there is also a game board reminiscent of an Ashanti throne.

Significant artifacts of Ghanaian culture can be seen at the National Museum in Accra. In addition to a valuable collection of Ashanti gold weights, valuable kente fabrics are also on display here. The Prempeh II Jubilee Museum and the Manhiya Palace, the former royal palace of the Asantehene , are also important exhibition sites for the cultural history of the Ashanti in Kumasi . In Cape Coast , the Cape Coast Castle Museum hosts one of the world's most comprehensive slavery exhibits. This former military castle was a collection point for slaves before they were shipped to America, who passed through the infamous "Door of no Return".


The importance of the media in Ghana was limited for a long time, especially since the print media could hardly be used due to the high illiteracy rate. Reporters Without Borders ranked Ghana ninth among all countries in the world in its 2011 “ Press Freedom Index ”, making Ghana the highest-ranked non-European country. According to the report by the organization Reporters Without Borders, Ghana has a diverse media landscape and criticism of the government is possible.

In 2006, the National Media Commission (NMC) put the number of newspapers in the entire country at 450. However, this figure varies greatly. Especially in the run-up to elections, many new newspapers and magazines appear, which are often discontinued afterwards. At the end of 2009, a total of nine daily newspapers were published.

newspaper edition
Daily Graphics 100,000
Ghanaian Times 80,000
Chronicle 45,000
Daily Guide 22,000
Daily Democrat 5,000
Daily Dispatch 5,000
New Crusading Guide 5,000
Daily Post 5,000
Daily Searchlight 1,500

Ghanaian Times and Daily Graphic are government-owned national newspapers. A larger spectrum exists in the independent daily, multi-day and weekly press of varying quality. Almost all newspapers and magazines are published in English. Exceptions are the Pioneer and Nsɛmpa, which also publish articles in Akan as regional newspapers for the Ashanti region . The Ghana News Agency (GNA) was founded in 1957 as the first sub-Saharan news agency.

In the past, the national radio stations were of particular importance. Already in the days of Kwame Nkrumah and in the wake of the military coups in the country, issues of national importance were broadcast over the radio. For example, Col. Emmanuel Kotoka announced the successful coup against Nkrumah on Accra radio station GBC on February 24, 1966. Regarding the radio stations, it is noteworthy that in the last few years, particularly regional or local radio stations have emerged that serve the non-English-speaking area. While in the past broadcasts tended to be in English or an Akan dialect , there are now radio stations in all of Ghana's commonly spoken languages. In Accra alone , around 29 radio stations are currently active.

In addition to the Ghanaian radio stations, the BBC, RFI and Deutsche Welle also have their own slot. Due to the now large range of radio stations, program directors are constantly looking for new niches in the program.

Watching TV is a popular pastime in Ghana. In addition to the state broadcaster Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), there is a growing market in Ghana for various private broadcasters such as Metro TV, TV Africa, TV3, Private TV channel, Crystal TV (Kumasi), Multichoice Satellite TV and for five cable television providers (MNET Cable, TV channel, V-NET Cable TV channel, Fantazia Cable TV channel, DSTV and Cable Gold). It was not until the first half of the 1990s that further television stations were founded in Ghana as part of the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of the press, alongside GBC, which had been the only broadcasting station up to that point.


Cassava, rhizomes after harvest

The national cuisine is diverse and uses almost everything edible that the country has to offer. As a type of meat, in addition to beef , sheep , poultry and goat meat, bush meat (wild meat), which is common in Ghana, is another part of the diet, especially in rural areas. Pork was of little importance in the past. However, for several decades, pig farming has been expanding in southern Ghana as pork production is cheaper than beef production . However, for religious reasons, this food is not used by the large number of the Muslim population, especially in northern Ghana. The abundance of fish in Lake Volta and its tributaries, as well as the country's coastal location to one of the regions on earth with the most fish, the Gulf of Guinea, means that fish is particularly popular. In addition, a species of wild animal known as grasscutter or cane rat in English and Rohrratten in German is often eaten . There are also attempts to breed the animals in cages.

Yams recorded in London-Brixton

Fish and meat are very important parts of the culinary culture, but they are relatively expensive to buy in the markets. Therefore, the basis of every meal is the filling carbohydrate suppliers such as rice , corn , millet , semolina , cassava , yams , taro , sweet potatoes and plantains . Noodles are rather unpopular and, unlike the foods mentioned above, are only brought into the country through imports. Ghana currently produces far less rice than it uses itself. As an imported good, it is something special for many families. Cassava, yams or sweet potatoes are often grown directly by the rural population and are used for self-sufficiency. Bread was first introduced as a staple food by the British as part of the colonization of Ghana at the time of the Crown Colony Gold Coast. Therefore, only two types of bread are known, sugar bread, a kind of milk roll in a larger format and tea bread, a kind of baguette; both are breads made only from wheat flour. Dairy products are very expensive due to their short shelf life, and cheese is largely unknown. Fresh milk is common in rural areas due to livestock farming. The milk is used immediately. Imported margarine is often used instead of butter. Condensed milk has found widespread use. Powdered milk is also popular. With the Milo powder, a kind of chocolate is drunk on the basis of hot water.

fruits of the okra
papaya fruit

For many meals, people prefer vegetables such as onions , tomatoes , aubergines , gardeneggs, also known as gardeneggs or African aubergines, beans , avocados , carrots , okra , and spinach .

Ghanaians prefer warm meals and traditionally do not have breakfast right after getting up. The first meal is eaten mid-morning, which is often followed by leftovers from the previous day's dinner or freshly made hot beans , porridge , or omelettes .

As a snack, rarely also as a dessert, the diverse fruits are used in Ghana. Apples are a popular import, but tropical fruits grow along the roads, in many gardens, plantations and forests. Bananas , papayas , pineapples , mangoes , oranges , tangerines , melons , breadfruit , guavas , lemons , oranges and grapefruits are available for purchase in many places directly from roadside vendors or are carried by vendors on the street upside down in a basket or in a basket Bowl transported and offered for sale.

Sauces or soups, which are eaten in large quantities, are popular with every meal in Ghana. These sauces or soups consist of a wide variety of herbs, spices and vegetables. The food is usually very spicy. At least ten different types of chili are used for this purpose , which are mainly used fresh in the food. They are less common in dried form.

Typical dishes include jollofreis , kelawele , banku , kenkey , gari , and the national dish, fufu . Shito is a sauce similar to pesto that is used in a variety of ways and often in quick dishes.


A characteristic musical genre is Highlife , which has been popular since the 1940s and has become popular again in recent years. The many local radio stations can be heard every day in the two main means of transport, the taxis and the trotros (minibuses). At weddings, baptisms and death ceremonies, music and dance play an important role in a convivial and hospitable get-together.

Traditional music

African news drum

The art of drumming is highly valued, especially in the villages and at traditional festivals in the cities. Traditional music is also often danced to, such as the dances Bosoe , Adowa , Agbadza , Taka , Kpanlogo .

In the north, flute music developed among the shepherds. Atenteben is a bamboo longitudinal flute.

Traditional Ghanaian music uses its own musical instruments. In the north, for example, the balafon or xylophone are played, while in the south rhythm instruments such as cymbals , rattles, the axatse rattle , the double bell gankogui and drums can be found.

Drum music and drum construction are an essential part of traditional music. Drums have been integrated into many important areas of life throughout history. Thus drums were used in wars to cheer on one's own people and to attune to the events. Long before the telephone, they also served as a medium for messages and communication over long distances. At social occasions such as festivals and holidays, enthronement, initiation rites and religious events, but also at family festivals and celebrations such as weddings or funerals, drummers played and still play a role. Through this wide range of uses of the drum, a drummer achieved a certain status in traditional Ghanaian society. The position of a drummer, even if only in the family circle at a festival, is respected and respected.

Drum making has a long, honorable tradition. A large number of different drums can be found, some of which only perform certain functions or are only played on certain occasions. The donno drum is a drum that can be played from either side. The player holds the instrument under his arm and can vary the tension of the drum heads with the pressure of his arm. The well-known speaking drum called atumpan is covered with elephant skin and may only be manufactured by specialists. The drum etwiay was traditionally used in battles or to announce the king, intended to mimic the hissing of a leopard. An exhibition of these drums and other specimens can be seen at the National Museum in Accra.

Modern music

Modern music still has traditional influences. After independence, the music genre High Life developed . It is a form of dance and music played on daily radio shows, clubs and bars. High Life combines traditional influences with instruments brought to Ghana by the colonial power England. The early forms borrowed and developed relevant elements from jazz, as well as using instruments such as saxophones , drums , trumpet and bass . Later, more percussion instruments were added.

Since the 1990s, the typical Ghanaian variant Hiplife (also: Hip Life) has emerged from Western pop music. This is done with the support of mixing consoles and computers. Gospel music is also very important in Ghana.

In the High Life genre, Ofori Amponsah caused quite a stir in 2006. He won the title of Best Artist of 2006, as well as Best Song and Best Album (Otoolege) titles . Castro won Best Hiplife Artist. The Gospel Song of the Year 2006 Metease is by Nobel Nketia .

Traditional clothing

Man at a traditional kente loom, in the background kente fabrics

In addition to the music, the colorful clothing of the Ghanaians is a radiant delight. Irrespective of their religion, women often wear elaborately wrapped headgear made of the same fabric as their dresses for fashion reasons. Solid color prints are an absolute rarity. At social events, such as a wedding or funeral, it is common for the host (e.g. the bride) to choose a fabric and for the invited guests to have a dress made from that fabric by the many local seamstresses, both traditional and fashionable . Men traditionally wear a wrapped robe made from a single piece of cloth, resembling a Roman toga .

Kente is a typical Ghanaian weaving art in bright colors. Many of the traditional clothes, especially of the Ashanti people , are made from these woven fabrics . Traditional tribal chiefs, in particular, often wear kente fabric as an expression of their national pride.

Literature in Ghana

Ghanaian authors are particularly well known in the English-speaking world, as some work as professors in the USA, for example Abena Busia , who specializes in Afro-American literature at the American Rutgers University , or Michael Dei-Anang , who not only taught in the USA , but also for his links to Kwame Nkrumah 's regime following its fall.

Among the writers are names such as Ama Ata Aidoo , who has also gained notoriety in Germany through the translation of her work Die Zweitfrau . Jojo Cobbinah became known for his travel guides and newspaper articles about Ghana.

Efua Dorkenoo is an author whose 1994 work Cutting The Rose: Female Genital Mutilation the Practice and its Prevention was included in the list of Africa's 100 Best Books of the 20th Century.

The children's book author Meshack Asare , often translated into German, has become internationally known and has won important awards, such as Tawai Goes to Sea , which was awarded the title of Best Picture Book from Africa by UNESCO .


Sport in Ghana is organized by the Ghana Olympic Committee , established in 1952 and recognized by the IOC in the same year .

National sport is football , association is the Ghana Football Association (GFA), founded in 1957. The Ghanaian national team has been African champions four times and in 2006 it took part in a football World Cup for the first time . The Black Stars made it straight into the round of 16. They were defeated there by five-time world champions Brazil. In 2009, Ghana won the U-20 World Cup in Egypt by beating Brazil on penalties in the final. Many Ghanaian footballers played and still play in the German Bundesliga, some of whom now also have German citizenship; Gerald Asamoah has played for the German national team several times in recent years. The best known in Ghana is Abédi Pelé , who won the European Cup with Olympique Marseille and played in the Bundesliga in Germany.

Ghana hosted the Africa Cup of Nations from 20 January 2008 to 10 February 2008 , where they finished third.

Ghana took part in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens with 31 athletes, but they could not win a medal. Also in 2008 in Beijing none of the nine participants was able to win a medal. Ghanaian athletes have won one silver and three bronze medals in Olympic history.

At the 2010 World Cup in South Africa , the national team became the third African football team (along with Cameroon at the 1990 World Cup and Senegal at the 2002 World Cup) to reach the quarter-finals, where they lost to Uruguay on penalties.

The World Heritage Fort Elmina

world heritage

The colonial-era forts and castles at both the Volta Estuary and Accra and along the entire coast of the Central and Western Regions were inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1979; the traditional buildings of the largest Ghanaian ethnic group, the Ashanti, followed in 1980. The Bia Tawaya National Park was designated a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1983 .

public holidays

A number of national holidays as well as the main Christian and Islamic festivals are celebrated across the country. If these days fall on a Sunday, they are then "celebrated" on the following working day. There are also a large number of regional and traditional festivals.

date Surname German name Remarks
fixed holidays
January 1st New Year's day New Year's Day
6th March Independence Day Independence Day national holiday
1st of May labor day Labor Day national holiday
25. May union day Africa day national holiday
July 1 Day of Republic day of the Republic national holiday
1st Friday in December Farmer's Day National Farmers Day national holiday
25 December Christmas Day christmas holiday Christian holiday
December 26th Boxing Day christmas holiday Christian holiday
December 31 Revolution Day revolution day
moveable holidays
October 22, 2006 Koriteh End of Ramadan ('Īd al-fitr) muslim holiday
January 1, 2007 Eid al-Adha Festival of Sacrifice muslim holiday
March 31, 2007 Prophet's Birthday Birthday of Prophet Muhammad (Mawlid an-Nabi) muslim holiday
April 6, 2007 good friday Good Friday Christian holiday
April 9, 2007 Easter Monday easter monday Christian holiday
October 13, 2007 Koriteh End of Ramadan ('Īd al-fitr) muslim holiday
December 20, 2007 Eid al-Adha/Eid-e Ghorban Islamic Festival of Sacrifice / Mount Arafat Day muslim holiday

Ghana hosts the biannual Panafest Pan African Festival (2007, 2009) and NAFAC ( National Festival of Arts and Culture ) (2006, 2008). Panafest is a celebration of solidarity between African peoples and is celebrated in Accra and Cape Coast . This festival is a cultural highlight. NAFAC has been held in a different regional capital of Ghana in the years between Panafest since 1992.

See also

Portal: Ghana  – Overview of Wikipedia content related to Ghana


web links

Wiktionary: Ghana  – explanations of meaning, word origin, synonyms, translations
Commons : Ghana  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikimedia Atlas: Ghana  Geographical and Historical Maps
Wikivoyage: Ghana  – Travel Guide

supporting documents

  1. Population of regions of Ghana according to census results and latest official projections. Retrieved January 24, 2021 .
  2. [1]
  3. World Economic Outlook of the International Monetary Fund .
  4. Table: Human Development Index and its components . In: United Nations Development Program (ed.): Human Development Report 2020 . United Nations Development Programme, New York 2020, ISBN 978-92-1126442-5 , pp. 345 (English, [PDF]).
  5. German Embassy Accra (PDF file) ( memento of the original from October 23, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@2Template:Webarchiv/IABot/
  6. Philip Briggs: Ghana the Bradt Travel Guide. Fourth Edition, 2007, ISBN 1-84162-205-2 .
  7. WAPCA Online
  8. German representation in Accra
  9. Environmental report of the German Embassy in Ghana (PDF file)
  10. Fischer World Almanac 2006; WHO World Health Report 2006
  11. Pollution from rubbish, environmental report of the German embassy Accra (PDF file)
  12. Paulina Ekua Amponsah: Seismic Activity in south eastern Ghana ( Memento of March 26, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) In: . March 5, 2002 (English).
  13. World Population Prospects 2019, Volume II: Demographic Profiles. United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, accessed 24 January 2021 .
  14. ^ a b World Population Prospects - Population Division - United Nations. Retrieved December 30, 2017 .
  15. Ghanaians (and not the 'Ghanese') Duden-Newsletter of June 16, 2006
  16. World Population Prospects 2019, Volume II: Demographic Profiles. United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, accessed 24 January 2021 .
  17. World Population Prospects 2019, Volume II: Demographic Profiles. United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, accessed 24 January 2021 .
  18. World Population Prospects 2019, Volume II: Demographic Profiles. United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, accessed 24 January 2021 .
  19. Population of regions of Ghana according to census results and latest official projections. Retrieved January 24, 2021 .
  20. World Population Prospects 2019, Volume II: Demographic Profiles. United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, accessed 24 January 2021 .
  21. le français, enjeu du XXI siecle La francophonie from March 2009 (PDF file)
  22. 2010 Population and Housing Census. Summary Report of Final Results. ( Memento of 25 September 2013 at Internet Archive ) Ghana Statistical Service, Accra, May 2012, p. 40 (PDF file)
  23. Welthungerhilfe Project Information Ghana
  24. Migration Report 2017. (PDF) UN, accessed 30 September 2018 (English).
  25. Origins and Destinations of the World's Migrants, 1990-2017 . In: Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project . February 28, 2018 ( [accessed September 30, 2018]).
  26. Life expectancy at birth, total (years) | Data. Retrieved August 7, 2017 (US English).
  27. on diseases in Ghana (PDF file)
  28. a b c d World Bank on health care in Ghana (PDF; 119 kB)
  29. UN Inter-Agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation: Retrieved April 20, 2021 .
  30. a b Human Development Reports. United Nations Development Program accessed 24 January 2021 .
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Coordinates: 8°  N , 1°  W