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Republic of Ghana
Republic of Ghana
Flag of Ghana
Ghana's coat of arms
flag coat of arms
Motto : Freedom and Justice
( English for freedom and justice )
Official language English
Capital Accra
Form of government republic
Government system Presidential Democracy
Head of state , also head of government President
Nana Akufo-Addo
surface 238,537 km²
population 28,834,000 (as of 2017)
Population density 120 inhabitants per km²
Population development   + 2.18% (2016)
gross domestic product
  • Total (nominal)
  • Total ( PPP )
  • GDP / inh. (nominal)
  • GDP / inh. (KKP)
  • $ 65,518 million ( 74th )
  • $ 191,862 million ( 69. )
  • 2,217 USD ( 141. )
  • 6,492 USD ( 134. )
Human Development Index 0.592 ( 140th ) (2017)
currency Cedi (GHS)
independence March 6, 1957
(from the UK )
National anthem God Bless Our Homeland Ghana
National holiday March 6th (Independence Day)
Time zone UTC ± 0
License Plate GH
ISO 3166 GH , GHA, 288
Internet TLD .gh
Telephone code +233
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Ghana [ ˈgaːna ] is a state in West Africa that borders 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 colonial history it is closely linked. With the name Ghana a connection with the empire of Ghana , the first verifiable large empire in West Africa, was to be established. The capital of Ghana is the metropolis Accra , the second megacity is Kumasi .

The Volta reservoir , which was completed in 1966, is the largest inland lake in the country and to this day the largest artificial body of water on earth. With the construction of the Akosombo Dam, the Nkrumah government pursued the plan to secure the energy supply for Ghana's economic development and industrialization. Ghana is of global economic importance due to its wealth of natural resources. Gold , which gave the former colony the name “ Gold Coast ”, is Ghana's most important export. About a third of export earnings and 93 percent of production in the mining sector are related to gold mining .


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 is below a height of 150 meters. The coast has a length of 543 kilometers. The country is geographically divided into coastal plain, rainforest and savanna. In addition to the geographical breakdown, Ghana can also be divided according to the surface structure into the five natural areas Low Plains , Highlands of Ashanti , Akwapim-Togo chain , Volta Basin and High Plains .

From the coastal lowlands , which is divided into the coastal plain with wide sandy beaches and mangrove areas and a flat land between the fifth and sixth parallel, the western country rises to the highlands of Ashanti , which on average is 450 meters above sea level reached. 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 Sudan landscape . The Akwapim-Togo chain is a mountain range and a natural area that begins near Accra and leads into Togo . Here are the highest mountains in the country.

Around two thirds of the area of ​​Ghana, around 158,000 km², is drained via the Volta , which is dammed in its lower reaches by the Akosombo Dam to form the largest artificial body of water on earth. A large number of river systems that flow into the Atlantic also arise from the highlands of Ashanti.

The species-rich flora and fauna have been increasingly 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 preserving biodiversity as ecotourism . The remaining rainforest is very species-rich and the year-round constant temperature and high humidity promote plant growth.


Climate diagram Kumasi

Ghana is a tropical country, so it has no seasons, but an alternation between rainy and dry seasons. Almost equally long days and nights 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 come from the West African monsoons . Most of the precipitation falls with over 2000 mm per year in the extreme southwest of the country on the coast.

The annual rainfall is around 1000 mm in the north and up to 2200 mm in the western part of the coast near the city of Axim . At Accra it barely reaches 800 mm. Only in the hot and humid south-west does evergreen rainforest grow, which turns into rain-green tropical forest . The forest stands are threatened by the ongoing clearing. Inland follow wet savannah and dry savannah .


Mount Afadjato as seen from Liati Wote village

The Akwapim-Togo chain is a hilly and slightly mountainous branch of the Atakora mountain range in the countries of Togo and Benin . This mountain range begins near Accra and then stretches along the border to neighboring Togo for a while until it finally crosses the border. There are also waterfalls in the numerous gorges. The mountain slopes and mountain tops are partly of volcanic origin and overgrown with rainforest throughout.

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

The Akwawa is the fourth highest mountain in Ghana.


At the lower volta

The huge Volta reservoir is located in the center of the country and, with a size of 8,502 km², 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 the Akosombo dam has passed, the river, then known as the Volta, flows into a wide river delta in the Atlantic Ocean . Together with the Red Volta (Nazinon), Nasia and Kulpawn tributaries , the Volta River is the largest contiguous water system.

The approximately one million year old Bosumtwisee , whose origin goes back to the impact of a meteorite , has no inflows and outflows. It is of great religious importance for the traditional population.

Lesser known rivers are 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 by ships in its mouth area because the upper reaches are characterized by rapids.

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

Natural space


Three different biomes predominate in Ghana . The tropical rainforest and the wet forest are located in the southwest of the country, the north and the central part of the country are characterized by the wet savannah, which is divided into tree and grass savannah. In addition, a narrow strip of the coast also exists as coastal savannah. The country's most lush vegetation is found in the evergreen tropical rainforest.

The rainforest originally consisted of 85,000 km² and is home to a species-rich flora and fauna. Due to the different ecosystems, there are no typical flora or fauna in the country. The individual habitats differ greatly. In the savannah with its typical inhabitants, the rainforest with its biodiversity and the Volta Delta as a refuge for a multitude of migratory birds and native species, nature is lush.

Due to the different types of vegetation and the greater human population density, the fauna of West Africa cannot be compared with 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
baobab or baobab

Many plant and animal species are found 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. The country records a forest decrease of 1.7 percent every year. Clearance and the export of precious woods are the main reasons for this very rapid decline in forest area. It is difficult to make a precise list of the plants that live in the rainforest, since scientists suspect that there are still unknown species there.

The evergreen rainforest is covered by tall giant trees that can be up to 50 meters high, three meters thick and 300 years old. These are also species, which play a major role in the Ghanaian timber exports: valuable hardwoods provide mahogany species as Azobé , Sapele and also African mahogany called Khaya and several species of African walnut tree. Other tree species are Odum, Wawa (is also sometimes 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. Different epiphytes such as orchid species but also lianas show a great diversity of species. Common crops are the African cola , the calabash tree ( bottle gourd Crescentia cujete ) and the Brazilian rubber tree .

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

The originally Pacific coconut palms have a considerable utility value for humans and were therefore introduced into Ghana. Many coconut products such as coconut milk , coconut fat , but also raffia and leaves for roof structures 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, which has a high priority in the typical cuisine of West Africa.

The most diverse crops are produced in the context of plantation management. Most of these plantations can be found on the now cleared area of ​​the former rainforest. Here are pineapples , bananas , plantains , avocados , papayas , guavas , oranges and other citrus fruits grown. Many aromatic plants, such as spiced 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 Ghana's savannahs is a tree: the single African baobab tree stands out due to its thick trunk and can be recognized 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 of Ghana and is used for the production of cosmetics and food.

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


The animal world of Ghana is very species-rich. 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 . In the Volta Delta, but also in the water landscapes of the lagoons and along the many rivers, various water bird species occur.

Numerous species of mammals are native to Ghana. Several species of antelope such as roan antelope , kob and bongo , leopards , civets , elephants , buffalo , hippos , warthogs live mainly in the savannah.

There are many different species of monkeys. Chimpanzees live in the rainforests in the southwest , for example in the Ankasa Conservation Area. The also rare Roloway monkey can be found in Ankasa and Bia ; it also lives on Monkey Hill in Takoradi . Vervet monkeys are much more common and can be found in many protected areas. Monkey cats are the easiest forest species to spot and live among the rest of the world. a. in the reservations of Tafi-Atome and Buabeng-Fiema . Geoffroy's colobus monkeys can also be seen regularly in Buabeng-Fiema . Baboons are particularly common in Mole National Park and the Shai Hills .

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

Ghana has an extremely large variety of insects . Termite mounds shape the landscape. Some of the mosquitoes and horseflies that are found carry diseases, such as the mosquito Anopheles malaria . The tsetse fly , which transmits African trypanosomiasis , the sleeping sickness, which is also dangerous for humans, is more at home in the savannah areas .

In the Atlantic off the coast of Ghana there are some of the most fish-rich areas on earth. Important fish species are barracudas , herring , mackerel , sharks , tuna , octopus , perch , but also marine animals such as lobsters , lobsters and crabs as well as mussels and snails are native.

Some animal species that live in the tropical rainforests are classified as endangered or critically endangered. An unknown number of animal species have already disappeared, such as Miss Waldron's red colobus monkey , formerly native to the tropical rainforests of Ivory Coast, Ghana and Sierra Leone, which was last sighted in the 1970s. Since 2000 it has officially been considered extinct.

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

The Accra Zoo has some of these animals for breeding. On June 29, 2006, a pair of white-crowned hats had their first offspring there.


Royal palms at the entrance to Aburi Botanic Gardens in Ghana

Awareness of the sustainable use of the country's natural resources has only recently increased. The Ghanaian economy, especially the mining industry in Ghana , has caused considerable environmental damage in the country. The policy of the government of President John Agyekum Kufuor has increasingly focused on environmental issues, but the population has a low level of environmental awareness. In addition to mining, forestry in particular also plays a decisive role in the country's rather negative environmental balance. The annual decrease of the forest is put at 1.7 percent, whereby primary forest is also affected. The lack of government organization for waste disposal is another major problem, especially in metropolitan areas. Only about 5 percent of the garbage in Ghana is reused or recycled. In addition, a large portion of lands illegally imported electronic waste from Europe on the electronic waste landfill in Agbogbloshie in Accra, where it is burned, releasing highly toxic fumes in part.

In the Ghanaian government, environmental protection is not the responsibility of a ministry, but is divided between the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, which is responsible for soils and forests, and the Ministry of Environment and Science, which is responsible for preparing, monitoring and enforcing 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 rains. After the dry season lasting several months , the soil can only slowly absorb water again. The heavy tropical rains are extremely violent. In the partly 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. Almost every year people are killed in the floods.

The southern part of the country in particular has been repeatedly hit by major earthquakes in the past 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 Takoradi settlement. On December 18, 1636, in the far west of the country, in the area around Axim , an earthquake occurred, which led to very strong tremors in the East Nzema district. In a large radius, the buildings in the area were almost completely destroyed. Many miners died in a gold mine in Aboasi . The earthquake of 1862 had its epicenter near what is now the capital, Accra. Many stone buildings, including the colonial forts, including the current seat of government in Osu Castle , were badly damaged. The earthquakes of 1906 caused less damage , although building damage was reported from Accra. The strongest earthquake to date occurred near Accra on June 22, 1939. This quake caused severe damage to the buildings, seventeen people died and 133 people were injured, some seriously. Property damage totaled about a million pounds . On the Richter scale, the quake reached a value of 6.5. Recent earthquakes were less severe, but they caused great panic among the population.

Nature reserves

Rainforest in Kakum National Park as seen from the Canopy Walkway, a treetop walking tour

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

On the one hand, national parks have been designated in order to demonstrate the nature worth preserving to the largest possible audience and to interest people in its protection. 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 touristic cities of Cape Coast and Elmina .

The primary purpose of wildlife reserves is to increase the population of native wild animal species. Some species have already fallen victim to human hunting. Bush meat, or game meat, is very popular across 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 is permitted. In these forest reserves, possibilities are to be investigated and shown how sustainable forestry can be operated. In the forest reserves, balanced vegetation should provide forestry with a broader basis. Illegal logging and smuggling pose a problem. Uncontrolled logging continues to endanger the existence of the rainforest.

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


Population data (2015)
Life expectancy 2015 62.4 years
Death rate 2015 7.1 per 1000 inhabitants
2015 birth rate 30.8 per 1000 inhabitants
Fertility rate per woman 4.03
Child mortality 2005 51.0 per 1000 live births
Infant mortality 2015 36.3 per 1000 live births
growth of population 2.18%
Population density 2016 116 inhabitants per km²
Urban population 2015 54.0%
Population under 15 2015 38.2%
Population over 65 years of age 2015 4.2%
Population pyramid 2016: Ghana has the typical population structure of a developing country
Population development in millions of inhabitants

The people of Ghana are now properly classified as Ghanaians called, is outdated the term Ghanaians . According to the World Health Organization, life expectancy averaged 62.4 years in 2016 - the second highest in West Africa - (men 61.0, women 63.9), with the high child mortality of 5.1 percent and infant mortality of 3.6 percent being one of the most important The main reasons for the low value compared to the western world. Due to improved medical care and educational work in the area of ​​hygiene, the rate of child mortality is falling continuously.

The population structure represents the classic population pyramid. About half of the population is under 16 years old. Annual population growth of 2 percent is recorded, the lowest population growth of all countries in southern West Africa.

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

There is a marked migration from the countryside to the cities. There is, however, increasing unemployment, especially among young people. As a result, young men in particular are migrating abroad with the aim of finding work in Europe or North America . Some families collect money so that they can send a young family member abroad so that they can support the extended family from there.

year Residents
1950 5.0 million
1984 ( census ) 12.3 million
2000 (census) 18.8 million
2010 (census) 24.7 million
2017 28.8 million


Ghana's population has grown rapidly and has doubled over the past 28 years. The table lists the results of the last censuses from 1984, 2000 and 2010 as well as the estimates for 1950 and 2017.

According to the UN's average population forecast, a population of over 51 million is expected for the year 2050.

Ethnic groups

Ghana is a multiethnic state made up of almost as many ethnic groups as there are language groups. The population of the different ethnic groups ranges from a few hundred to a few million people.

proportion of Ethnicity
47.5% Akan
16.6% Mole-Dagbani
13.9% Ewe
7.4% Ga-Dangme
5.7% Gurma
2.5% Grusi
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 best-known subgroup of which is 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). Around 1.4 percent of the population comes from Europe or is of other ethnic origin such as Chinese or Lebanese .


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

language speaker
Akan 8,300,000
Ewe 2,250,000
Abron 1,050,000
Farefare 820,000
Dagbani 800,000
Dangme 800,000
Ga 600,000
Konkomba 500,000
Hausa 202,000

Most Ghanaians grow up multilingual before they even go to school and then also learn the locally dominant language group Akan (80 percent) and / or English (70 percent) in school. It is not uncommon for Ghanaians to speak three to five languages ​​fluently. Many languages ​​in Ghana are threatened as the number of speakers is steadily decreasing. The main causes are the greater social prestige of individual languages ​​(e.g. the Akan language Fante as the language of commerce), inter-ethnic marriages and the migration of speakers to large cities where children are taking over the majority language. In addition, the government is giving French more and more importance, 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. Approximately 17.6 percent of the Islam attributed and about 5.2 percent are traditional religions on, especially to the Akan religion and the religion of Ga . 0.8 percent belong to other faiths and 5.3 percent are non-denominational .

The boundaries between the various religions cannot be precisely determined, as traditional beliefs have mixed with mainstream Christian currents and sects. Many Christian or Muslim Ghanaians see no contradiction to their religion in a visit to a “fetish priest”. All major Christian holidays are national holidays, as are the Islamic Festival of Sacrifice and the festival of the breaking of the fast at the end of Ramadan . Individual ethnic groups also celebrate the 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 half of their wages to the family. However, these structures are softening more and more in the cities, so that some children there are no longer cared for by their parents.

There is a strong migration towards the south across the country. Youth from the central region move to Accra and Tema to find work, while youth from the northern regions seek refuge in cities such as Kumasi and Sunyani . Since their level of training is usually low and the job offer limited, a large number of these young people end up on the streets. According to Welthungerhilfe, around 30,000 children and young people are homeless in Accra alone. Other sources such as UNICEF put 12,000 to 15,000 children on the streets of the capital Accra alone .

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

Social situation


The health system is based on two pillars. On the one hand the state and international health organizations try to organize better conditions for public health, on the other hand traditional medicine plays a strong 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 government spending in health care.

Up until the 1980s, the health system had little presence in politics behind political and economic issues. A rethink in politics and a strong deployment of international assistants are improving the situation in the healthcare system.

Life expectancy development 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 cope 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. Also schistosomiasis and poliomyelitis are a major problem. The guinea worm ( dracunculiasi , also known as the medina worm), which was previously widespread and feared here , does not seem to pose any particular threat to the population today. In 1974, 75 percent of all diseases are said to have been 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 child mortality, malaria is responsible for a quarter of all deaths.

During the dry season from December to April cases are in the north-east of the country repeatedly meningococcal induced meningitis reported. About 1.9 percent of all adults were infected with HIV in 2007 .

Health data

In principle, Ghana is not a country that suffers from a shortage of food due to drought or other problems. The unequal distribution of food is a problem, however. In 2000, around 20 percent of children under the age of five suffered from malnutrition . However, this number has decreased significantly in recent years. In 1985 around 35 percent of children of the same age were considered undernourished.

Child mortality in Ghana per 1000 births
Survey year Boys girl total
1988 79.2 79.4 158.6
1993 63.4 62.2 125.6
1998 53.3 51.4 104.7
2003 44.2 52.3 96.5
2017 49.3

The death rate among children up to four years of age has decreased significantly over the past 20 years. For example, out of 1,000 births, 79.2 boys and 79.4 girls died in 1988. 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 of 1,000 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 . The maternal mortality rate has fallen since 1990 by about 740 of 100,000 births to about 540 of 100,000 births, the number of births that were monitored by medical personnel, only slight increase of about 40 percent in 1986 to about 47 percent in the year of 2004.

Across the country, about 25.2 percent of women regulated their pregnancies by some method of birth control in 2005, with the condom as a contraceptive method in 2003 being about 12.7 percent.

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


Education data (as of 2005)
Literacy rate (2015) 82.0% men, 76.6% women
Primary school enrollment rate (2005) 65% boys, 65% girls
secondary school (2005) 39% boys, 35% girls
Average duration of education (2007) 9 years

Since Ghana's independence, the country's educational offer has been expanding continuously. Between 1992 and 2002, the Ghanaian government invested around 7 percent of total government spending in education. Since 1957 there has been a general nine-year schooling beginning at the age of six. In the year of independence, only about 450,000 primary school students were enrolled in schools. School education now reaches almost every village, the teachers sometimes provide students or high school graduates who complete their National Service , a kind of social year, in a village school.

From the beginning, the educational 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. The general compulsory schooling consists of a six-year primary school followed by a three-year visit to the Junior Secondary School. Only after successfully completing the Junior Secondary School can a student begin higher education in the Senior Secondary School , which lasts another three years, concludes with the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) (also: Advanced Level Certificate ) and goes to university entitled. Alternatively, a student can attend a technically oriented school, the degree of which is most closely comparable to the German technical diploma. This means that a student can obtain university entrance qualification after twelve years at the earliest.

More and more importance is attached to the training of teachers, starting with the employees in kindergartens and primary 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 universities.

In 2015, the literacy rate of the adult population was 76.6% (men: 82.0%, women: 71.4%).



The old 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 made themselves 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 from Gana called 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 marry Samba, who became king of Gana and Wa-Gana. A few years later, a devastating drought broke out in the country and famine was looming. The drought was caused by a dragon named Isa Bere who lived in the mountains of Futa Jallon and drank the Niger River empty. King Samba had to get up and fight the dragon. His famous bard Tarafe, who was the first to sing about Annalia's fame, accompanied him.

For eight years, King Samba fought the dragon and broke 800 spears on its scales. Finally he hit the dragon's heart with his long sword, whereupon the monster died and the Niger, the sacred river Jolliba, flowed again. Tarafe sang the praises of the sword. King Samba loved the mountains and the wooded slopes and decided to stay there. The old Gana fell into disrepair in his absence.

Prehistory and Archeology

It is believed that the area of ​​what is now Ghana was first settled by humans sometime in the period from 150,000 to 20,000 years ago. These first inhabitants were members of the Sango or Sangoan culture, a culture that can be characterized by the transition from the older to the younger Paleolithic . The onset of a period of extreme drought, which began around 25,000 years ago and lasted until around 13,000 years ago, caused the people of the Sangoan culture to leave the increasingly inhospitable plains. The oldest ceramic finds in what is now Ghana have been dated to an age of around 5800 years. In general, the point in time of the appearance of ceramics is equated with the beginning of food production through agriculture, although evidence of this from the early days of the ceramic presence is so far lacking.

About 3800 to about 2000 years ago, the climate in West Africa and western Central Africa experienced an intense dry phase with strong winds. During this time, the Kintampo culture, another prehistoric cultural stage, 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 field forest management and food-producing livestock in the savannah. The keeping of sheep and goats can be proven with certainty for the time before 3750 to 3550 years, probably cattle were also kept in the later period . The rainforest, which became lighter 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 arable forest management. Nevertheless, at the height of the dry phase, people seem to have left the increasingly unfriendly areas again.

The population strata in Ghana and Togo, which are now considered to be autochthonous, are essentially groups who, beginning in the 9th and 10th centuries, immigrated in large groups from the north or northeast to the areas south of the savanna belt of Togo and Ghana. The trigger for this migratory movement was a climate change that was linked to changes in the vegetation of the savannah areas. But also the strengthening of Old Gana and the forerunner states of the Mali Empire 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 national association. Large movements took place in the Volta Basin between the 11th and 15th centuries. But these groups of immigrants did not migrate across large areas, but more or less gradually invaded neighboring areas, from which they were again pushed into areas further south by the pushing in of other peoples from the north.

Middle Ages and early modern times

The modern state of Ghana takes its name from the old kingdom of Ghana , which was geographically located a few thousand kilometers to the northwest and has no ethnic or historical connection to the current 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 empires of the Dagomba , Mamprusi or the Gonja , emerged in the savannah region of northern Ghana and were culturally influenced by the empire of the Mossi and Islam further north . The power of their cavalry armies ended at the rainforest belt. Akan peoples settled in the rainforest zone from the north from around 1300 AD and founded various smaller empires. Around 1600 there began the rise of the Ashanti Empire in central Ghana to become the dominant power in all of present-day Ghana. The Ashanti Federation was one of the few African empires that was able to take on the British colonial troops by the end of the 19th century and defeat them in several wars. It was not finally conquered by the British colonial rulers until the beginning of the 20th century. With the Ashanti Empire in the south of the country competed with the British affiliated Fantistaaten, which united at the end of the 19th century to the Confederation of Fanti .

Cape Coast Castle

On the Gold Coast, the fortified settlements of European powers (Portuguese, English, Dutch, Brandenburg, Swedes, Danes) have been lined up in a density like no other area of ​​Africa. Groß Friedrichsburg in Princes Town , for example, was a Brandenburg - Prussian fortress in the 17th century .

Gold Coast Crown Colony

Ashanti battle on July 11, 1824

Around 1820 the Colonial Office took over the British trading post on the Gold Coast. An agreement was made between the British and the Fanti people to defend themselves against the Ashanti from inland. In 1874 the British declared the coastal strip a crown colony . The Ashanti area in the interior of the country and also the so-called "Northern Territories" were finally annexed in 1901 and administered directly by the governor in Accra. Some coastal cities were granted indigenous councils as early as the middle of the 19th century . In 1925 there was a constitutional reform under Governor Gordon Guggisberg . In the Ashanti and the Northern Territories was indirect rule introduced. 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. Colonization was not all bad for Ghana, as the standard of living improved significantly after cocoa cultivation began at the beginning of the 20th century. Something similar can be seen after the Second World War. Overall, Ghana has better living standards at these times than during the period after independence.

At the Second World War the measures of the Gold Coast on the side of over 40,000 soldiers British Empire in part. Most of it was used in Southeast Asia .

Road to independence

In 1946, the so-called Burns Constitution granted the Northern Territories and Ashantiland seats in the Legislative Council. The position of the traditional leaders was thereby further strengthened.

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

In the following two years, the national movement around Kwame Nkrumah - who had since separated from the UGCC and founded the Convention People's Party (CPP) - made a name for itself. She organized boycotts, strikes and demanded the right of Great Britain to self-determination (“Self-Government Now!”) . In 1950 Nkrumah was arrested by the British. Nevertheless, the CPP was able to achieve a great victory in the upcoming elections. She won the elections the following year with an overwhelming majority. Nkrumah was released by Governor Charles Noble Arden-Clarke (1949-1957) and immediately accepted into the government. Since 1952 he was Prime Minister.

Active and passive voting rights for women were introduced under British administration in 1954 . In practice, even after the right to limited self-government was obtained (except in the north) in 1951, the complicated electoral regulations hampered the election and only Mabel Dove Danquah succeeded in being elected to the colonial legislative body 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 had-Togoland British, in so in the standing since the end of World War under British administration of the former German colony of Togo , in a referendum decided a majority for the connection to the new state.

March 6th was deliberately chosen as the day of the Declaration of Independence, as on March 6th 1844 the Fanti Federation had agreed to a treaty with the British, through which the Federation became a British protectorate. Ashantiland and the Northern Territories were not finally annexed by Great Britain until 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 a Commonwealth Realm , since then as a republic.

The women's suffrage was confirmed at independence 1957th

Time of the military coups

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

In 1966, 1972, 1978 and 1979 the military staged a coup. The military governments could not cope with the difficulties either. Under the rule of Ignatius Kutu Acheampong's kleptocratic military junta , the country fell even further into debt. Corruption and arbitrariness determined the country's politics in the 1970s. In 1981 the Air Force Captain Jerry Rawlings , after he had meanwhile returned power to a democratically elected government, 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 .

Democratic development

In 1992 Jerry Rawlings gave Ghana a democratic constitution guaranteeing free elections , freedom of expression and press, the right to physical integrity and equality before the law. The one-party system was abolished. The human rights enshrined by the UN were also recognized. After the 1993 and 1996 elections, Rawlings continued to rule as the elected president. After Rawlings was constitutionally not allowed to run a third time in the 2000 elections, John Agyekum Kufuor (NPP) won the election against former Vice President John Atta Mills (NDC). Kufuor was re-elected in December 2004. In 2008 free democratic elections took place again. For constitutional reasons, President Kufuor could no longer stand for election. Nana Akufo-Addo won the first ballot on December 7th , but missed an absolute majority. In the runoff election that followed, NDC politician Atta-Mills prevailed with 50.23 percent of the vote, while Akufo-Addo only got 49.77 percent, according to the electoral 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 his successor on the same day. In December 2012 Mahama was confirmed in office with 50.7 percent of the vote, while his challenger Akufo-Addo received 47.8 percent of the vote. In the elections on December 7, 2016, a total of seven presidential candidates ran, including the previous President John Mahama and the opposition candidate Nana Akufo-Addo. Akufo-Addo received 53.85 percent of the vote, Mahama got 44.40 percent. This is the first time in the history of Ghana that an incumbent president has lost his office through a democratic election. Akufo-Addo was sworn in as President on January 7, 2017.


The Black Star Arch in Accra is the national symbol of Ghana's independence
Presidential election poster by John Atta-Mills, President of Ghana from 2009 to 2012

Political system

On March 6, 1957, Ghana became the first African country to gain independence from Great Britain. 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 parliamentary seats has increased from 230 to 275. The judiciary is strictly separated from the other two state powers. The majority voting system prefers the two major parties in the country that almost occupy all the seats in parliament and regional representatives. Although Ghana is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations , the country is organized as a presidential republic .

Parliament and President are elected directly by the people for a four-year term each. 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, the constitution of Ghana guarantees the population, in particular, the freedom to assemble and to form parties and 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, have been founded in the past. Ten parties are currently registered. 16 individual trade unions in Ghana are grouped together under the Trade Union Congress (TUC) .

Ghana is divided into 16 regions, each with its own jurisdiction, regional government and administration. These regions are subdivided into 216 smaller districts, which, through locally based administrative units, contribute to the distribution of power in the country and also better take into account the large ethnic breadth of the population in small units. The House of Chiefs is responsible for legislation at regional level. The so-called “ chiefs ” represent their respective lineages analogous to the organizational system of the pre-colonial Ashanti Empire . These chiefs have a lot of power at the local level and act as 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 country report Freedom in the World 2017 by the US non-governmental organization Freedom House , the country's political system is rated as “free”. This makes the country one of the freest in Africa.

Political parties

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

Human rights

The 2009 annual report of the human rights organization Amnesty International criticized, among other things, that the criminal justice system is working too slowly and that the prisons are overcrowded. The report also mentions the fact that no steps have been taken to abolish the death penalty . In Ghana, according to Amnesty International, thousands of people are victims of unlawful evictions or are threatened with eviction every year .

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 one in three women was affected by violence in the family. The law against domestic violence, which has been in force since 2007, has apparently not yet had any effect. The FGM applies.

The problem of "home slavery" is striking in Ghana. In some areas of Ghana, because of the indebtedness of their parents, girls in particular are being taken as pledge by wealthy people or exploited with the promise of education and jobs.

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

According to a report by the US State Department, there have been numerous reports of social 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 labor, including child labor.

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

Foreign policy

Current foreign policy is based on the western states, especially the USA . Ghana has great weight in West Africa and is considered a stabilizing factor. The governments of Ghana have supported international humanitarian and military operations on several occasions in the past. There has been a longstanding membership in many international organizations. Since 1957, the country has been a member of the United Nations , whose former Secretary General Kofi Annan was a native of Ghana, and of the Commonwealth of Nations. In 1963 Ghana was one of the founding members of the OAE, the predecessor organization of the African Union . Further memberships exist in 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 peace missions, including in Africa in Burundi , Ivory Coast , the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda, Kosovo and Lebanon .


Military of Ghana
Troop strength
Minimum seniority 18 years (2008)
Availability Men between 15 and 49: 5,802,096
Annual entry into seniority Men: 272,954
Military issues
Total editions 2009 $ 109.735 million
Percent of government spending 1.77

In the past few decades, Ghana's military had taken power in the country several times through coups. By the end of Jerry Rawlings' presidency in 2001, he played a comparatively more important role than other law enforcement officers, such as the police. Under President Kufuor, the military lost its importance, while the police force was significantly strengthened.

The military consists of the Army, Navy, Air Force, National Police Force, Palace Guard and Civil Defense. Overall, the number of active units is one of the lowest in the world. The arsenal of the Ghanaian armed forces consists mostly of older models of British origin. Military expenditures are relatively low in relation to the budget, which is also reflected in the equipment.

The army has a permanent force of 7,000 men. Accra is the seat of the Ministry of Defense, where the Air Force also has its headquarters and main supply base. This unit has a strength of about 1000 men. There are training camps and a military airfield in Tamale and Takoradi. A supply unit was set up in Kumasi. The naval units protect the inland waters (Volta Sea) as well as the fishing interests and military zones in the Atlantic. In 2003 the navy had a troop strength of around 1,000 men.

Ghanaian troops have taken part in some international peace missions. The Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center (KAIPTC) was established near Accra and serves to train and train personnel for peacekeeping operations. Every year around 1000 people from the military, the police or the judiciary from Ghana and other West African countries are trained here to carry out peace missions, with trainers from Germany also being deployed.

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 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 Techiman 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
Upper West Wa 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 biggest cities in Ghana were (based on 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
Tema 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
Sekondi 55,712 114.157 228,342 Western region
Obuasi 60,617 115,564 143,644 Ashanti region
Due to the lack of mandatory reporting and the fact that censuses are not held regularly, the current population figures are only extrapolations. 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 all ethnic groups represented in Ghana, as well as numerous foreigners.

Market in Kumasi, Ashanti Region

Kumasi is located about 220 km from the coast inland and is not only the second largest city in the country, but also the capital of the largest ethnic group, the Ashanti . Kumasi, which is over 300 years old, is one of the most traditional cities in the country and is also called Gardentown by the Ghanaians because of its green spaces and green streets . As the administrative capital of the Ashanti region, Kumasi is an important cultural, commercial and administrative center for the entire country. The Asantehene , the traditional - and still influential - head of the Ashanti lives in Kumasi .

Tamale , the capital of the Northern Region , is by far the largest city in the entire north. In contrast to Accra and Kumasi, whose population consists mainly of followers of Christian faiths, predominantly Muslims live in Tamale.

The cities of Sekondi and Takoradi are often referred to as one city because 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 Tema (near Accra). Their growth is based on the industry settling here and the steadily immigrating people looking for work.

The city of Ashaiman was just a small fishing village 60 years ago. Its development has in particular 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 used Ashaiman with the cheaper rents as a place to live due to its proximity to both Tema and the capital Accra. This place attracts rural refugees looking for work and cheap housing.


Basic data

Economic data (2016)
GDP $ 65.56 billion
real growth in GDP 3.3%
Share of agriculture 19.5%
Share of industry 24.0%
Share of services 37.5%
Employment in agriculture 56.4%
Unemployment average 6.8% (2019)
Average inflation 17.8%
Foreign trade import volume $ 12.75 billion
Foreign trade export volume $ 11.06 billion
Energy consumption per capita in kg OE (2004) 386
Per capita emissions 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 in 2016 was 43.264 billion euros and, according to the IMF, was 86th worldwide.

Despite the approaches to industrialization, Ghana is an agricultural country overall. Agriculture contributed 21.1 percent to the gross national product in 2015 . About 56 percent of the population work in agriculture and fishing, mostly in the context of subsistence farming , i.e. self-sufficient.

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

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

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

Germany and Ghana had a trade volume of around 291 million euros in 2008  . 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 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 . Her main focus 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

Ghana's gold production 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: the beans are dried on a drying rack in the sun. Including fermentation of fresh beans wrapped in banana leaves

Until the California gold fields were developed in 1850, the Gold Coast was one of the world's largest gold producers. Despite the rather modest share in the world production of gold is gold for today's Ghana remains a very important raw material, because the gold export has a share of total exports of Ghana of about 32 percent.

Other mineral raw materials of today's Ghana are crude oil , diamonds (mostly 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 extracted since 2010. With the funding, budget discipline also decreased. In addition, the oil price fell sharply in 2014, so that the proceeds are just enough to settle a quarter of the interest payments on the national debt.

Agricultural goods intended for export are in particular cocoa , sugar cane , coffee , tea and rubber . These agricultural products are grown in monocultures in large plantations. The colonial rulers laid the basics for this branch of the economy. These raw materials are now converted into higher value goods, imported again such as 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 around one million cocoa farmers and three million harvest workers . Wild rubber (1880–90) and the cocoa economy (agriculture, trade, transportation of beans) were the main drivers of higher purchasing power as early as 1900. The Eastern Province of the Gold Coast Colony was the earliest and largest cocoa producer at the time, but Ashanti cocoa exports grew rapidly until 1917.

In the past, traditional products have been abandoned in favor of other agricultural products. In agriculture, pineapples , tobacco , bananas , palm kernel oil , dried coconut fiber, cola nuts , shea butter and cotton are now also produced. Meat processing became increasingly important.

The country is the third largest supplier of hardwood and other wood products in Africa and Germany's largest supplier of wood products. There are 23 precious woods beaten, including mahogany , Kokrodua , Utile , also called Sipo mahogany and sapele . It is forbidden to export unprocessed wood. This ban is intended to support the local timber industry. In 1999 around 475,000 tonnes of wood and wood products were exported, and this branch of industry made up 10 percent of total export sales.

Fishing as a traditional industry is increasingly threatened. The fish stocks are declining in the 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 majority of the country's fish markets are supplied by fishing cooperatives, and this fish trade has now developed into the domain of women. Fish is also exported to neighboring countries in West Africa. Mainly herring , barracudas , tuna, mackerel and sharks are caught.

About seawater desalination plants is salt obtained. This raw material is playing an increasingly important role in the export economy. Around 600,000 tons are exported annually.

The main imports are machines, transport equipment, fuels 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 hydropower 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 electricity crisis in 2006/2007 caused by severe drought, the government made efforts to expand its capacity in hydro, oil and gas power plants. In 2007, discussions were held to build a nuclear power plant with a capacity of 400 MW by 2018 . China built a dam at the southern end of Bui National Park for $ 600 million . The turbines of the Bui dam have a total output of 400 MW. The hydropower 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 the example of the 560 MW Sunon Asogli gas power plant built by Chinese investors showed (1st stage 200 MW has been completed since 2009; 2nd stage is currently under construction), which was not as planned in Could be put into operation.

Surplus energy was for a time exported from Ghana to the neighboring countries of Ivory Coast , Burkina Faso and Mali . Since 2014, however, Ghana has once again been in a severe energy crisis, as it was in 2006/2007. Due to the strong economic growth in recent years and the above-average degree 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 processing are particularly hard hit, and the energy shortage leads to layoffs. The state power producer, the Volta River Authority, is heavily indebted.


Only about a quarter of the economic volume can be ascribed to industry so far. In order to reduce the dependence on imports for more highly processed goods, attempts have been and are made to further expand the industrial sector. The spectrum of light industry stretches from beer breweries to textile companies to food processing companies. Heavy industry is located in the greater Accra area in particular. Here steel , aluminum (from the raw material bauxite ), cement and oils are produced. Around 15 percent of the workforce now works in industry.

The tourism sector in Ghana
year external
State revenue
from tourism
1990 145,000 $ 181 million
1992/93 approx. 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

A sector that is becoming increasingly important for Ghana's economic future is tourism . With regard to its development, the Ghanaian government initiated a 15-year Integrated National Tourism Development Plan in 1996 with the aim of increasing the number of tourists visiting Ghana annually to 1 million in 2020. Ghana's tourist attractions are the beaches of the Atlantic coast, nature parks and game reserves, traditional festivals and the old European forts on the coast. Due to the history of the slave trade, Ghana is of great tourist importance, especially among African Americans. A notable tourism industry with small and medium-sized hotel complexes has already emerged, especially in the coastal area. The bed capacity is around 10,000 beds and is steadily increasing. The 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 preferred by water sports enthusiasts and bird watchers. 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 the gross domestic product.

State budget

The state budget in 2016 comprised expenditures equivalent to 11.55 billion US dollars . This was set against income of the equivalent of 9.06 billion US dollars. This results in a budget deficit of 5.7 percent of GDP . The national debt in 2016 was 31.3 billion US dollars or 72.4 percent of GDP (in comparison: before the financial crisis of 2007, only 26 percent).

Expenditures in the state budget 2009

Area Million GH ¢ Million USD % of the budget % of GDP
health 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 traffic and pedestrians

The road network has so far been expanded to over 109,515 kilometers. Of this, around 13,787 kilometers are asphalted, but of varying quality and in some cases in need of renovation. The most important roads are the coastal road that connects Accra on the one hand with Togo and on the other with Ivory Coast . All cities on the coast are connected through this. Furthermore, as a north-south axis, a main route via Kumasi and a further north-south axis via the Volta River have been routed 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 -Tros, but also buses and trucks, rarely two-wheelers. In the cities too, despite the high cost of fuel, bicycles are rarely found. However, bicycles have become widespread in the northern areas.

In recent years, the streets in the cities and the 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 largest cities in the country in relatively modern intercity buses. However, failures are to be expected here too, since the number of buses does not meet current requirements.

The Tro-Tro minibus is the main means of transport for large parts of the population. These Tro-Tros hold twelve to 35 people and come in all shapes and colors. The vehicle is often adorned with a motto on the front or rear of the windshield, which is often religious in character or is simply the name of the vehicle. Tro-Tros are inner-city means of transport, but also use overland routes. Almost every village can be reached with Tro-Tros at least once a day. Routes to neighboring countries are also used. Tro-Tros have assembly points within the cities and there are transfer points all over the country. A tro-tro usually starts when all seats are occupied. As a rule, Tro-Tros do not have any other fixed stops along the route. Whoever wants to get in gives the driver a sign and will be taken along if there are vacancies.

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

Various rental car providers are mainly represented in hotels; every taxi can also be used as a rental car with the driver, provided that an acceptable price has been negotiated with the driver.

air traffic

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

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

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

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


The main flow of goods abroad and to Ghana runs via the ports in 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 resulted in costs of ten million US dollars.

In addition to the large Atlantic ports, Lake Volta with its inland ports is of considerable importance. Goods and people are transported in all directions on the waters of Lake Volta. Also for the tourist who has shipping traffic on the Volta Lake a meaning. 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 with an as yet uncertain fate is the rail network operated by the Ghana Railway Corporation . The rails were laid in colonial times in order to transport raw materials and goods from all over the southern country to Accra, which at the time was the main hub for goods of all kinds. Essentially, a triangular rail network has emerged that stretches between Sekondi , Kumasi and Accra.

The first tracks were laid between Sekondi and Tarkwa in 1907 and in the following years they were continually expanded via Dunkwa, Obuasi and Bekwai until they led to Kumasi. From 1922 the railway line was extended from Kumasi to Accra via Konongo, Nkawkaw and Koforidua . Ultimately, the railway line was connected from Accra to the inland parallel to the coast past the villages of Akoroso, Achiasi, Foso and Twifo-Praso, a little north of Tarkwa, with 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 drives from Kumasi to Sekondi-Takoradi and the other day back again.

There are currently plans to expand the rail network. Overall, the aim is to develop, restore and expand a 1,500 km long rail network, which in the first stage of the project runs from Tema to Paga through Accra, Ejisu, Nkoranza, Techniman and Tamale and 350 km from Tema to Kumasi. The track width is to be changed from Cape gauge , 1067 mm to standard gauge , 1435 mm, whereby the speed can be increased from 56 km / h to 160 km / h. The permitted axle load is to be increased to 16 tons on the western railway line, to 14 tons on the eastern railway line and to 25 tons on the central railway line. The project is to be carried out as a public private partnership with the Chinese company NIT Holdings Limited. The project period is set 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 has 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.

On April 30, 2010, the Dubai-based Kampac Oil announced that it had a 35-year project, valued at 1.6 billion US dollars, with the Ghana Railway Corporation to build an 800 km new rail network and the Repair of a 400 km long rail network in western Ghana. As a subcontractor for Kampac Oil, the German company Rail One will supply a concrete sleeper plant in Huni Valley and 2 million track sleepers from 2008 to 2012.

The background to the construction work is the transport of raw materials from the Ashanti region to one of the two ports of Sekondi-Takoradi and Tema .


Telecommunications overview
Total telephone connections (2004) 313,300
Total cell phones (2008) 10,242,916
Total TV sets 2,670,000
Total radios 12,500,000
Computer 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 rare even in the city. Most companies have at least one Internet connection and are equipped with computers in the cities.

Often you can see small wooden houses in the streets in which a public telephone connection has been laid, which an operator offers almost day and night for a fee to make connections or to take calls. This is usually not a coin-operated telephone, but a normal telephone, for the use of which the fee is due depending on the duration. As a rule, only national calls to the mobile or landline network are possible from these telephone booths, but these telephone booths with international connections are also available nationwide. Numerous payphones can also be found in the cities.

A cellular network has existed in Ghana since 1992, when Mobitel began operating a corresponding network. Until 1997, the 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 a new dual-pole fixed network to be set up in early 1997. At the same time, a second operator was approved in 1995, ACG (now Westel Telecom ). A few years later, the merger between Celtel Ghana and Scancom took place in response to these two rival companies. Ghana Telecom and Westel were then authorized by the state to set up mobile radio services, which were first offered as a service between late 1999 and early 2000. In the meantime the GPTC (renamed Ghana Telecom in the meantime ) has been privatized, the majority with 30 percent of the shares held in 2000 by Telecom Malaysia ( G-Com of Malaysia ). In 2000, both operators had 20-year licenses for the most important telephone services. The former Onetouch is a mobile communications division of Ghana Telecom , which is offered by Areeba Ghana (formerly Spacefon ). The national and international connections are implemented 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 the mobile network. With the acquisition, wireless Internet services that were previously cut off from the Internet became available in much of the country for the first time.

Fixed-line telephony is possible almost everywhere in the urban areas of southern Ghana; since February 1997, there have been telecommunications offers from Capital Telecom , a company founded in 1994 that is wholly state-owned. 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 mainly carried out 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 multitude of cultures. The state structure is based on a multi-ethnic interplay 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, especially African ethnic groups from the neighboring countries live in Ghana. About 6000 Europeans and some Asians, mostly Chinese, also live mostly in Accra and the other larger cities along the coast.

The majority of Ghanaians, however, belong to the large, heterogeneous group of Akan . The Akan are traditionally organized matriarchally , which was originally reflected in inheritance law. When a family father dies, it is not his widow and / or his children who inherit 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 gold weights of the Ashanti .

Women have a self-confident, formative position in Ghanaian culture. In addition to their more traditional role in families, over 80 percent of Ghanaian women are successful in their jobs. It is not uncommon for women to work as traders, seamstresses or cooks in one of the many street kitchens.

Oware is a world-famous board game that is also one of the oldest known games and has been played by Ghanaians from an early age. Since the game can also be played in earth hollows or on drawn paper circles, 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 that is reminiscent of an Ashanti throne.

Significant artifacts of Ghanaian culture can be seen in the National Museum in Accra. In addition to a valuable collection of Ashanti gold weights, valuable Kente fabrics are also exhibited here. Another important exhibition site for the cultural history of the Ashanti is the Prempeh II Jubilee Museum and the Manhiya Palace, the former royal palace of the Asantehene in Kumasi . In Cape Coast , the Cape Coast Castle Museum has one of the world's most comprehensive exhibitions on slavery. 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. In 2011, the organization Reporters Without Borders ranked Ghana in ninth place of all global states on the " Freedom of the press " ranking , making Ghana the best-placed non-European state. According to a report by the organization Reporters Without Borders, Ghana has a diverse media landscape and criticism of the government is possible.

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

newspaper Edition
Daily Graphic 100,000
Ghanaian Times 80000
Chronicle 45000
Daily Guide 22000
Daily Democrat 5000
Daily Dispatch 5000
New Crusading Guide 5000
Daily Post 5000
Daily Searchlight 1500

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

The national radio stations were of particular importance in the past. Already in the time of Kwame Nkrumah and in the wake of the military coups in the country, topics of national importance were broadcast on the radio. For example, Col. Emmanuel Kotoka announced the successful coup against Nkrumah on the GBC radio station in Accra on February 24, 1966. When it comes to radio stations, it is noteworthy that, in recent years, regional or local radio stations in particular have emerged that serve the non-English-speaking area. While earlier broadcasts were only broadcast in English or an Akan dialect , there are now radio stations in all of the most frequently spoken languages ​​in Ghana. About 29 radio stations are currently active in Accra alone .

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

Television is a popular leisure activity 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 five cable TV 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 channels were founded in Ghana in addition to the GBC, which was the only one on the air until then, as the freedom of the press was guaranteed by the constitution.


Cassava, rhizomes after harvest

The country's cuisine is diverse and draws on almost everything edible that the country has to offer. As a type of meat, in addition to beef , sheep , poultry and goat meat, the bush meat (game meat) commonly used in Ghana is another component of the diet, especially in rural regions. Pork was next to nothing in the past. However, for several decades now, 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 most fish-rich regions on earth, the Gulf of Guinea, means that Ghanaians prefer to eat fish. In addition, a wild animal is consumed frequently, the English grass cutter or cane rat and in German as cane rats are called. There are now also attempts to reproduce the animals in cages.

Yams recorded in London-Brixton

Fish and meat are very important components of culinary culture, but they are only relatively expensive to buy in the markets. Therefore, the basis of every meal are the filling carbohydrate suppliers such as rice , corn , millet , semolina , manioc , yams , taro , sweet potatoes and plantains . Noodles are rather unpopular and, unlike the aforementioned foods, are only brought into the country through imports. Ghana currently produces considerably less rice than it consumes itself. As an import, it is something special for many families. Manioc, yams or sweet potatoes are often grown directly by the rural population and are used for self-sufficiency. Bread was only introduced as a staple food in the context of the colonization of Ghana by the British at the time of the Gold Coast crown colony. 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 bread made from wheat flour. Dairy products are very expensive due to their short shelf life, cheese is largely unknown. Fresh milk is often found in rural areas due to animal husbandry. The milk is used immediately. Imported margarine is often used instead of butter. Condensed milk has become widespread. Milk powder is also popular. With the Milo powder, a type of chocolate is drunk on the basis of hot water.

Okra fruits
Papaya fruit

For many meals, people prefer vegetables such as onions , tomatoes , aubergines , garden eggs, also known as gardenegg or African aubergine, 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 in the course of the morning, when the leftovers from the evening meal of the previous day or freshly prepared warm beans , porridge or omelets are often eaten.

The various fruits are used in Ghana as a snack, rarely also as a dessert. Apples are a popular import, but tropical fruits grow on the streets, in many gardens, plantations and forests. Bananas , papaya , pineapples , mangoes , oranges , tangerines , melons , breadfruits , guavas , lemons , oranges and grapefruits can be bought directly from roadside traders in many places or are sold upside down in a basket or in a basket by traders on the street 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. As a rule, the food is very spicy. There are at least ten different types of chilli , which are mainly used fresh in the meal. They are less common in dried form.

Typical dishes are Jollofreis , Kelawele , Banku , Kenkey , Gari and the national dish Fufu . Shito is a sauce similar to pesto that is widely and often used in quick dishes.


A characteristic music genre is the highlife , which has been popular since the 1940s and has been gaining popularity again in recent years. The many local radio stations can be heard every day in the two main modes of transport, the taxis and the Trotros (minibuses). At weddings, baptisms and death celebrations, music and dance play an important role in a sociable and hospitable get-together.

Traditional music

African news drum

The art of drumming is particularly valued in the villages and at traditional festivals in the cities. People often dance to traditional music, such as the Bosoe , Adowa , Agbadza , Taka , Kpanlogo dances .

Flute music developed among the shepherds in the north. Atenteben is a bamboo flute.

Traditional Ghanaian music uses its own musical instruments. In the north, for example, the balafon or xylophone are more likely to be played; in the south, rhythm instruments such as cymbals , rattles, the axatse vessel 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. For example, drums were used in wars to cheer on people and get in the mood for events. Long before the telephone, they also served as a means of communication and communication over long distances. Drummers played and still play a role in social events such as celebrations and holidays, enthronements, initiation rites and religious events, but also in family festivals and celebrations such as weddings or funerals. Due to 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 party, is respected and respected.

Drum making has a long, honorable tradition. There is a large number of different drums to 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 both sides. The player clamps 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 has traditionally been used in battles or to the king to announce it is to imitate the roar 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 that is played on daily radio broadcasts, clubs and bars. High Life combines traditional influences with instruments that had been brought to Ghana by the colonial power of England. In the early forms, relevant elements were borrowed from jazz and developed further, and instruments such as saxophones , drums , trumpet and bass were used. Percussion instruments were added later .

Since the 1990s, the typical Ghanaian variant Hiplife (also: Hip Life) 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 2006 , Ofori Amponsah attracted particular attention in the High Life genre . He won the title of Best Artist of 2006 and the title of Best Song and Album (Otoolege) . Castro was named best artist in the Hiplife field. The 2006 gospel song Metease was written by Nobel Nketia .

Traditional clothing

Man working on a traditional Kente loom, Kent fabrics in the background

In addition to the music, the clothes of the Ghanaians with their blaze of color are a shining joy. Regardless of their religion, women often wear elaborately wrapped headgear made of the same material as their clothes for fashion reasons. Plain-colored prints are an absolute rarity. At social events, such as a wedding or a death, it is common for the organizers (e.g. the bride) to choose a fabric and the invited guests to have a dress made from this fabric according to traditional and fashionable aspects by the many local dressmakers . Men traditionally wear a wrapped robe made from a piece of cloth that resembles a Roman toga .

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

Literature in Ghana

Ghanaian authors are particularly well-known in the English-speaking world, as some are professors in the USA, for example Abena Busia , who specializes in African-American literature at Rutgers University in America , or Michael Dei-Anang , who not only taught in the USA , but also because of his ties to the regime of Kwame Nkrumah was imprisoned after his overthrow.

Among the writers are names such as Ama Ata Aidoo , who has also become famous in Germany through the translation of her work The Second Woman . 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 named one of the 100 best African books of the 20th century.

The often translated into German children's author Meshack Asare has become internationally known and has major awards won, as for the of the UNESCO awarded title Best picture book from Africa winning work Tawai Goes to Sea .


Sport in Ghana is organized by the Ghana Olympic Committee , which was founded in 1952 and recognized by the IOC that same year .

The national sport is football , the association is the Ghana Football Association (GFA), founded in 1957 . The Ghanaian national team has been able to become African champions four times and took part in a soccer world championship for the first time in 2006 . The Black Stars made it into the round of 16 straight away. You lost there against the 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 continue to play in the German Bundesliga, some of whom now also have German citizenship; Gerald Asamoah played several times in the jersey of the German national team in recent years. Best known in Ghana is Abédi Pelé , who won the European Cup with Olympique Marseille, among others, and played in the Bundesliga in Germany. Since the end of his active career, he has mainly been involved in promoting young talent in Ghanaian football.

Ghana hosted the Africa Cup of Nations from January 20, 2008 to February 10, 2008 , in which they came 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 could win a medal. In Olympic history, Ghanaian athletes have won one silver and three bronze medals so far.

At the 2010 World Cup in South Africa , the national team was the second African football team (alongside Cameroon at the 1990 World Cup) to make it to the quarter-finals, where it lost to Uruguay on penalties.

The world heritage site Fort Elmina

World heritage

The fortresses and castles of the colonial era both on the Volta Estuary and in Accra and along the entire coast of the central and western regions were added to the World Heritage List in 1979; the traditional buildings of the largest Ghanaian ethnic group, the Ashanti, followed in 1980. In 1983, the Bia Tawaya National Park was designated a biosphere reserve by UNESCO .

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 will be "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 Years 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
moving 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 the 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

In Ghana the Panafest Pan African Festival (2007, 2009) and the NAFAC ( National Festival of Arts and Culture ) (2006, 2008) take place every two years . The Panafest is a festival of solidarity between the African peoples and is celebrated in Accra and Cape Coast . This festival is a cultural highlight. The NAFAC takes place in the years between the Panafest since 1992 in a different regional capital of Ghana.

See also

Portal: Ghana  - Overview of Wikipedia content on Ghana


Web links

Wiktionary: Ghana  - Explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Ghana  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wikimedia Atlas: Ghana  - geographical and historical maps

References and comments

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This article was added to the list of excellent articles on March 14, 2007 in this version .

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