NI Global Issues for Learners of English > Country profiles > Ghana


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GHANA

Ghana Flag

Ghana map

Where Ghana is

Area of country: 238,540 square kilometers

Information at a Glance

People

Population: 20 million
Population Growth rate: 1.87%
Ethnic groups: text
Religions: indigenous beliefs 38%, Muslim 30%, Christian 24%, other 8%

Economy

Currency: Cedi
GDP per capita: $1,960
Main Industries: mining, timber, agriculture
Main exports
: cocoa, timber, gold and other metals

Health

Life expectancy: 56.6 years
Infant mortality: 57.43 deaths/1,000
Average calories consumed: 88% of calories needed
Safe water: 56% of population has access

Self-reliance

Ghana has many natural resources. However, the nation depends heavily on imported goods. There is a very large foreign debt.

Literacy

Literacy rate: 64%.
Languages: English is the official language. Various African languages are the mother tongues of most people.

Income Distribution

An urban elite may have more consumer goods but the gap between rich and poor has increased markedly under structural adjustment.

Environment

Regions: There are dense rainforests in the south. There are savannahs in the north
Farming: Some of the rainforests have been cleared and cocoa coffee and banana are grown there.
Problems: desertification and deforestation

Politics

Ghana now has stable political institutions with significant local control. The poor people have suffered under changes in the economy urged by the IMF

Freedom & human rights

The countryıs constitution has given the media new opportunities: private newspapers are independent and regularly expose government corruption.

Position of women: Inequalities exist but more women rise to occupy important positions each year.

 

Sources: The World Guide; Leading Issues in Economic Development 7th edition by Meier and Rauch; Ghanacountry profile, the New Internationalist. CIA Factbook 2000.


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Last modified 13 January 2000