Ghana - Country Portrait

  • Area: 238,540 square kilometers
  • Population: 28,207,000 (2016)
  • Official language: English
  • Independent: since 1957
  • Capital: Accra
  • Form of government: Presidential  Democracy
  • Average life expectancy: (2015)
    • 64 years (female)
    • 61 years (male)
  • Illiteracy rate: 28,5% (2017)
  • Top 3 export goods: Gold, cocoa, precious woods


Ghana ZoomGhana is located in West Africa and borders on the Gulf of Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, and Togo. Ghana was the first country in Sub-Saharan Africa to gain independence in 1957 from the UK. In the following decades, the country was ruled by different military governments. Political upheaval was rampant. In the early 1990s, the government at that time intro¬duced radical economic and social reforms. Since then, a mature democracy has developed in the country and the economy has recovered. In 2000, the first democratic change of government took place after the start of the reform process. Today, Ghana is considered to be politically stable and serves as a role model regarding its democratic system in Africa. Ghana is a key anchor of stability in the West African region.

Ghana's economy traditionally depends on the export of a few products. These include mainly gold, cocoa and precious woods. The current world market prices of these exports have a major influence on the country's economic  development. Almost half of the population lives in rural areas (2012). According to Human Development Report, Ghana is ranked 135 of 187 on the Human Development Index. 28.6 percent of the population lives below the poverty level and has to survive on less than $1.25 per day.  

While English is the official language, many Ghanaians grow up multilingual. With 79 different languages and idioms, the country's language diversity is great. In addition to many indigenous religions, 71.2% profess the Christian faith.

Sources: Human Development Report 2013, The World Factbook 2014, 2010-2014 Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ) Digitale Kommunikation Referat L 5. 




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