Country Code: 233
ISO Code: GH / GHA
Ghana, officially the Republic of Ghana is a West African country constituted as a semi-presidential republic. The derivatives of Ghana are called Ghanaians. It is bordered on the north by Burkina Faso, on the east by Togo, on the west by the Ivory Coast and on the south by the Gulf of Guinea. The territory was subject to constant European expeditions, mainly of Portuguese, British and Dutch, and of smaller degree of Danish, Swedish and Prussian, for the commerce of the great amount of gold that there is for all the zone. Therefore, the territory is called “Gold Coast”.
Currently, the country is one of the most powerful democracies in the continent, highlighting the important role it plays in the most important organization in the area: the African Union (AU). In addition to this, it is a member of other organizations in which the country does not have a preponderant role: United Nations (UN), the Commonwealth of Nations (better known by its English name in Commonwealth of Nations) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
With an area of 238.533 km2 and a population of 24.223.431 inhabitants, Ghana is the 82nd largest country and the 46th most populated, as well as having a population density of 102 inhabitants per square kilometer. In recent years, the country has grown demographically and economically, with a Human Development Index (HDI) of 0.579 and a gross domestic product (GDP) of more than 130 billion dollars.
The archaeological and linguistic evidence reveals that the area of the present territory was occupied by humans for about 12,000 years, first on the banks of the Oti river, then, around 8000 BC, on the Bosumtwi lake, and then in Accra, and after the Ashanti lake the current capital, from 4000 BC. By the year 1400, most of the states that constitute the current country were already founded or were in advanced stages of their formation. In the sixteenth century, many of these Northeastern and Northwest territories already had their centralized political authorities.
The Portuguese arrived in the area around the 15th century. There they found a large amount of gold between the Anakoba and Volta rivers, and for this reason, they named this region Mina. King John II ordered the construction of a castle in Elmina, in order to be able to exploit and trade the gold to the maximum. In 1598, the large quantity of this precious metal attracted the British, French and Dutch colonists, who tried to snatch the territories to the Portuguese. For this, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands built fortresses in the villages of Komenda and Kormantsil from where they tried to expel the Portuguese and French; in this way they managed to take control of the entire Ghanaian territory in 1637. The Europeans baptized the new colony with the name of “Gold Coast”.
In the 18th century, more European explorers arrived, especially the Spanish, the Danes and the Swedes, but in a short time they were expelled and in the 18th century, William Ansah Sessarakoo was the most successful Ghanaian merchant and businessman in the 1736-1749 period. At the end of 1874, the Dutch withdrew from the area and, as only the British remained, made the Gold Coast a crown colony. In 1901, the regions of Ashanti and the North, became a protectorate.
The nationalist upheaval was suspended by the government during the time of World War II, but resumed in 1945. In fact, the Gold Coast peoples supported the British war effort. The Fifth Pan-African Congress held in Manchester in the same year, it served to form on August 4, 1947, an aid for the liberalization of colonial domination.
Presidents Kwame Nkrumah (at that time in office) and John F. Kennedy in March 1961.
In 1948, three demobilized soldiers from the colony (Sergeant Frederick Adjetey Cornelius, Corporal Attipoe and soldier Odartey Lamptey), went peacefully to Christiansborg Castle, to inform the governor of the difficult situation, but were killed during the path.
On June 12, 1949, Kwame Nkrumah, a politician of the time, formed the first governing party in the history of this colony, which did not cooperate with the British and thus achieve their independence but by opposing the 1951 Constitution, Nkrumah was imprisoned along with his collaborators. Already on February 8, 1951, the first elections in the history of the colony were made, with victory for the party of Nkrumah, which was released on February 1951, and he was again the leader of the party. Then, due to the strikes formed by the country, the British ruler at that time, the Count of Listowell, gave them independence on March 6, 1957, becoming Nkrumah in the prime minister of Ghana, but there remained a British monarch as governor-general. On July 1, 1960, the first constitution of its history was drawn up, and from that, it was transformed into a republic, so that British onarcas ceased to be the heads of state.
In 1966, Nkrumah was overthrown by a coup d’état and, thereafter, the country entered a period of instability and political changes, which ended with a second coup d’état on December 31, 1981 led by the “Lieutenants Colonels of the Air Force”, commanded by Jerry Rawlings.
After coming to power, Rawlings ordered to draft a new Constitution in 1992, which incorporated the party system into the government.
In 1992, he called for elections in which Rawlings emerged victorious until the year 2000, the year in which a victory for the opposition emerged.
According to the 2000 census, 68.8% of the population practiced Christianity (charismatics 24.1%, Protestants 18.6%, Catholics 15.1% and other Christian cults 11%). This religion was brought by the Portuguese in the year 1466.
Islam, practiced by 15.9% of the population, in the 2000 census, arrived in the territory in the year 1026.
Another 8.5% said they practice traditional cults and 0.7% did not specify their religion, in the 2000 census.
Ethnologue lists a total of 79 languages in Ghana. English is the official language of the country and predominates in government and business, it is also used as the usual language for education.
The native languages of Ghana are divided into six subfamilies, all of which belong to the Niger-Congo languages. The Kwa languages are the main subfamily and account for 70% of the country’s population; This group includes the Akanic and the Ga-Dangme languages. These languages are spoken mainly in the southern half of the country along the Volta River. The Gbe languages, whose inclusion within the Kwa group is discussed, include the Ewe, spoken in the southeast of the Volta. The gur subfamily includes dagbani, dagaare and frafra, and they are found predominantly in the north. Two Kulango languages (previously misclassified as Gur languages) are spoken in the central area of the western border. The senufo, in the north, include the nafaanra. In addition, two languages are spoken mandé, the bissa in the northeastern corner and the spoken igbi near Kulango.
Nine languages have official recognition: the Akan, the Ewe, the Dagomba (Dagbane), the Adangme, the Dagaare, the Ga, the Gonja, the Kasem and the Nzema.While it has no official recognition, the Hausa is the lingua franca between the Muslims of Ghana.
Since 2007, all university institutions in Ghana teach Chinese courses. This initiative reflects the growing influence of the People’s Republic of China as a superpower and the country’s close relations with China. In addition, Ghana is a member of the OIF, and French has a strong presence in secondary education.