Fast Facts

Accra; 1,847,000
238,537 square kilometers (92,100 square miles)
English, Akan, Moshi-Dagomba, Ewe, Ga
Christian, indigenous beliefs, Muslim
Life Expectancy:
GDP per Capita:
U.S. $2,000
Literacy Percent:
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.


  • 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

Related Features

  • Photo: Large rock formation dusk

    Best Tours in Africa

    See our roundup of the best guided expeditions in Africa and the Middle East for 2011.

  • Photo: Girl walking over pipelines carrying umbrella

    Curse of the Black Gold

    The Niger Delta holds some of the world's richest oil deposits, yet Nigerians living there are poorer than ever, and violence is rampant.

  • <p>Photo: Elephants walking across a desert</p>

    Last Stand in Zakouma

    A refuge in Chad gives endangered central African elephants armed protection—and a fighting chance.

Take a Nat Geo Trip

Select a destination or trip type to find a trip:

See All Trips »

2016 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

  • Picture of a volcano on Reunion Island

    Who Will Win?

    Browse photos of nature, cities, and people and share your favorite photos.

Take a Nat Geo Trip

Select a destination or trip type to find a trip:

See All Trips »

Get Social With Nat Geo Travel