Fast Facts

Population:
22,019,000
Capital:
Accra; 1,847,000
Area:
238,537 square kilometers (92,100 square miles)
Language:
English, Akan, Moshi-Dagomba, Ewe, Ga
Religion:
Christian, indigenous beliefs, Muslim
Currency:
Cedi
Life Expectancy:
57
GDP per Capita:
U.S. $2,000
Literacy Percent:
75
Flag: Ghana
Map: Ghana

Ghana, in West Africa, is a land of plains and low plateaus covered by rain forests in the west and Lake Volta in the east—one of the world's largest man-made lakes. The precious metal that once gave its name to the Gold Coast lured Portuguese, Danes, Dutch, Germans, and British. After Ghana's independence from Britain in 1957, President Kwame Nkrumah emerged as a leading spokesman for Pan-Africanism. A series of military coups brought Jerry Rawlings to power in 1981. Multiparty democracy started with the new 1992 constitution. In December 2000, for the first time in its history, Ghana witnessed the election of an opposition party.

ECONOMY

  • Industry: Mining, lumbering, light manufacturing, aluminum smelting
  • Agriculture: Cacao, rice, coffee, cassava (tapioca); timber
  • Exports: Gold, cacao, timber, tuna, bauxite

—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition

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