World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide



Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

List of Countries
Map of Africa

Ghana Travelling Guide
Ghana Travelling Guide

General background: Formed from the merger of the British colony of the Gold Coast and the Togoland trust territory, Ghana in 1957 became the first country in colonial Africa to gain its independence. A long series of coups resulted in the suspension of the constitution in 1981 and the banning of political parties. A new constitution, restoring multiparty politics, was approved in 1992. Lt. Jerry RAWLINGS, head of state since 1981, won presidential elections in 1992 and 1996, but was constitutionally prevented from running for a third term in 2000. He was succeeded by John KUFUOR.

Area comparative: Slightly smaller than Oregon

Climate: Tropical; warm and comparatively dry along southeast coast; hot and humid in southwest; hot and dry in north.

Terrain: Mostly low plains with dissected plateau in south-central area

Population: 20,244,154

Ethnic groups: Black African 98.5% (major tribes - Akan 44%, Moshi-Dagomba 16%, Ewe 13%, Ga 8%, Gurma 3%, Yoruba 1%), European and other 1.5% (1998)

Religions: Indigenous beliefs 21%, Muslim 16%, Christian 63%

Language: English (official), African languages (including Akan, Moshi-Dagomba, Ewe, and Ga)

Government type: Constitutional democracy

Capital: Accra

Legal system: Based on English common law and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.

Economic overview: Well endowed with natural resources, Ghana has roughly twice the per capita output of the poorer countries in West Africa. Even so, Ghana remains heavily dependent on international financial and technical assistance. Gold, timber, and cocoa production are major sources of foreign exchange. The domestic economy continues to revolve around subsistence agriculture, which accounts for 36% of GDP and employs 60% of the work force, mainly small landholders. Excessively expansionary monetary and fiscal policy prior to the 2000 elections led to accelerating inflation in early 2001. A depressed cocoa market and continued weak growth in non-traditional exports led to disappointing growth in 2001. Ghana opted for debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) program in 2002.

Communication/Telephone system:
Poor to fair system; Internet accessible; many rural communities not yet connected; expansion of services is underway.

Places of interest: Ghana retains a remarkable sense of self. Its craftspeople have a long, rich cultural history to draw from, and their work is thick with that tradition - be it the colorful kente cloth of the Ashanti or any of the stools, icons, beads or baskets you'll find in the major markets. Even the leftover forts and castles, recalling five centuries of European influence, today seem less like Ghana's ghosts than players in her narrative.

Travel tips: The US is advising its citizens to 'avoid unnecessary travel to the region until the situation improves.' UK officials advise that travelers exercise caution and remain vigilant.