Geographic and Governmental Profile of Ghana

Background
Formed from the merger of the British colony of the Gold Coast and the Togoland trust territory, Ghana in 1957 became the first sub-Saharan country in colonial Africa to gain its independence. Ghana endured a long series of coups before Lt. Jerry RAWLINGS took power in 1981 and banned political parties. After approving a new constitution and restoring multiparty politics in 1992, RAWLINGS won presidential elections in 1992 and 1996 but was constitutionally prevented from running for a third term in 2000. John KUFUOR succeeded him and was reelected in 2004. John Atta MILLS took over as head of state in early 2009.
Location
Western Africa, bordering the Gulf of Guinea, between Cote d'Ivoire and Togo
Geographic coordinates
8 00 N, 2 00 W
Continent / Subcontinent
Africa
Area
total:
238,533 sq km
rank:
82
land:
227,533 sq km
water:
11,000 sq km
Area - comparative
slightly smaller than Oregon
Land boundaries
total:
2,094 km
border countries:
Burkina Faso 549 km, Cote d'Ivoire 668 km, Togo 877 km
Coastline
539 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea:
12 nm
contiguous zone:
24 nm
exclusive economic zone:
200 nm
continental shelf:
200 nm
Climate
tropical; warm and comparatively dry along southeast coast; hot and humid in southwest; hot and dry in north
Terrain
mostly low plains with dissected plateau in south-central area
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point:
Mount Afadjato 885 m
Natural resources
gold, timber, industrial diamonds, bauxite, manganese, fish, rubber, hydropower, petroleum, silver, salt, limestone
Land use
arable land:
17.54%
permanent crops:
9.22%
other:
73.24% (2005)
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Irrigated land
340 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
53.2 cu km (2001)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
0.98 cu km/yr (24%/10%/66%)
per capita:
44 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
dry, dusty, northeastern harmattan winds from January to March; droughts
Environment - current issues
recurrent drought in north severely affects agricultural activities; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; poaching and habitat destruction threatens wildlife populations; water pollution; inadequate supplies of potable water
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified:
Marine Life Conservation
Geography - note
Lake Volta is the world's largest artificial lake by surface area (8,482 sq km; 3,275 sq mi)
Country name
conventional long form:
Republic of Ghana
conventional short form:
Ghana
former:
Gold Coast
Government type
constitutional democracy
Capital
name:
Accra
geographic coordinates:
5 33 N, 0 13 W
time difference:
UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions
10 regions; Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Central, Eastern, Greater Accra, Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Volta, Western
Independence
6 March 1957 (from the UK)
Constitution
approved 28 April 1992
Legal system
mixed system of English common law and customary law
International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state:
President John Dramani MAHAMA (since 24 July 2012); Vice President Kwesi Bekoe AMISSAH-ARTHUR (since 6 August 2012); note - President MAHAMA assumed office due to the death of former president MILLS note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government:
President John Dramani MAHAMA (since 24 July 2012); Vice President Kwesi Bekoe AMISSAH-ARTHUR (since 6 August 2012); note - President MAHAMA assumed office due to the death of former president MILLS
cabinet:
Council of Ministers; president nominates members subject to approval by Parliament
elections:
president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held on 7 and 28 December 2008 (next to be held on 7 December 2012)
election results:
John Evans Atta MILLS elected president in run-off election; percent of vote - John Evans Atta MILLS 50.23%, Nana Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO 49.77%
Legislative branch
unicameral Parliament (230 seats; members elected by direct, popular vote in single-seat constituencies to serve four-year terms)
elections:
last held on 7 December 2008 (next to be held on 28 December 2012)
election results:
percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NDC 114, NPP 107, PNC 2, CPP 1, independent 4, other 2
Judicial branch
Supreme Court; High Court; Court of Appeal; regional tribunals
Political parties and leaders
Convention People's Party or CPP [Ladi NYLANDER]; Democratic Freedom Party or DFP [Alhaji Abudu Rahman ISSAKAH]; Every Ghanaian Living Everywhere or EGLE; Great Consolidated Popular Party or GCPP [Dan LARTEY]; National Democratic Congress or NDC [Dr. Kwabena ADJEI]; New Patriotic Party or NPP [Jake OBETSEBI-LAMPEY]; People's National Convention or PNC [Alhaji Amed RAMADAN]; Reform Party [Kyeretwie OPUKU]; United Renaissance Party or URP [Charles WAYO]
Political pressure groups and leaders
Christian Aid (water rights); Committee for Joint Action or CJA (education reform); National Coalition Against the Privatization of Water or CAP (water rights); Oxfam (water rights); Public Citizen (water rights); Students Coalition Against EPA [Kwabena Ososukene OKAI] (education reform); Third World Network (education reform)
International organization participation
ACP, AfDB, AU, C, ECOWAS, FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINURSO, MONUSCO, NAM, OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMIL, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Daniel Ohene AGYEKUM
chancery:
3512 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone:
[1] (202) 686-4520
FAX:
[1] (202) 686-4527
consulate(s) general:
New York
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Donald G. TEITELBAUM
embassy:
24 4th Circular Rd. Cantonments, Accra
mailing address:
P. O. Box 194, Accra
telephone:
[233] (21) 741-000
FAX:
[233] (21) 741-389
Flag description
three equal horizontal bands of red (top), yellow, and green, with a large black five-pointed star centered in the yellow band; red symbolizes the blood shed for independence, yellow represents the country's mineral wealth, while green stands for its forests and natural wealth; the black star is said to be the lodestar of African freedom
uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia; similar to the flag of Bolivia, which has a coat of arms centered in the yellow band
National symbol(s)
black star; golden eagle
National anthem
name:
"God Bless Our Homeland Ghana"
lyrics/music:
unknown/Philip GBEHO
music adopted 1957, lyrics adopted 1966; the lyrics were changed twice, once when a republic was declared in 1960 and again after a 1966 coup
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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