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Ghana
Ghana
 
Introduction:
Ghana, nation in West Africa, a former British colony known as the Gold Coast until 1957. That year Ghana became the first state in sub-Saharan Africa to gain political independence from European colonial rule. Drawing on tradition, the new state took its name from that of the medieval empire of Ghana, on the upper Niger River, several hundred miles to the northwest of modern Ghana. Following independence, Ghana assumed the leadership role in the African continent’s struggle for national liberation.
Geography: Top
Ghana has a total area of 238,500 sq km (92,090 sq mi). The distance from south to north is about 670 km (420 mi) and from west to east is about 560 km (350 mi). The country is bordered by Côte d'Ivoire to the west, Togo to the Ghana has a total area of 238,500 sq km (92,090 sq mi). The distance from south to north is about 670 km (420 mi) and from west to east is about 560 km (350 mi). The country is bordered by Côte d'Ivoire to the west, Togo to the east, and Burkina Faso to the north. The Gulf of Guinea of the Atlantic Ocean washes Ghana’s southern shore. Ghana
Climate: Top
Ghana’s tropical climate features distinct wet and dry seasons, with regional variations. The north experiences one long rainy season from March until November. The dry season begins when the harmattan, a hot, dust-laden wind from the Sahara, blows from the north. The harmattan is most intense in December and January. The south experiences two rainy seasons: one from April to July, and then—after intermittent rains in August—another from September to November.

In Accra, average daily temperatures range from 23° to 31°C (73° to 87°F) in January and from 23° to 27°C (73° to 81°F) in July. Slightly hotter average temperatures are experienced in the north. Rainfall varies widely. The northern portion of the country is drier than the south, with the exception of the coastal area around Accra. The mean annual rainfall ranges from 750 to 1,000 mm (30 to 40 in) at Accra, from 1,470 to 1,830 mm (60 to 70 in) on the Kwahu Plateau, from 1,780 to 2,080 mm (70 to 80 in) on the southwest coast, and from 1,100 to 1,200 mm (40 to 50 in) in the northern high plains. The country experiences occasional droughts.
People and Culture: Top
Over 100 linguistic and ethnic groups have been identified in Ghana, and these groups have maintained a sense of ethnic identity. However, the population is classified into two major linguistic families: the Kwa and the Gur.

The Kwa speakers, traditionally associated with the area south of the Volta, make up about 75 percent of the population. The major Kwa linguistic subgroup is the Akan speakers, who are further subdivided into the Ashanti, Bono, Fante, Akuapem, Akyem, and Kwahu, among others. The Ashanti and Akuapem peoples speak similar Akan dialects, collectively known as Twi. Other Kwa linguistic groups include the Nzima, Ga, Gonja, Adangbe, and Ewe.

Although no exact figures on religious distribution have been provided since the 1960 census, experts believe that about 41 percent of the population adheres to Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, or independent Christian faiths; 20 percent to Islam; and most of the remainder to traditional African religions. Most Protestants belong to Methodist, Presbyterian, or Anglican denominations. A growing number of Christians belong to independent African churches that are usually organized as spiritual or Pentecostal churches. Most Ghanaian Muslims are orthodox Sunnis, and a small percentage are members of the Ahmadiyya sect. The main characteristics of traditional religion in Ghana include expressed belief in the power of a Supreme Being, family ancestors, lesser gods, witches, and a host of spiritual beings.

Ghana has long been exposed to outside influences on its society and culture. To some extent, Islam shapes the society of the north while Christianity is strong in the south. Despite the influence of these world religions, however, much of Ghanaian society continues to be traditional. Most people recognize the place of traditional practices. For example, they grant local chiefs customary rights to preside over their communities, and the young respect parents and their elders. An extended family’s elders arbitrate the inheritance of the family’s land, possessions, and social status.
Tourist Visas: Top

Canadian nationals require visas. Contact the High Commission or the Consulate.

665 Yonge Street
Suite 205/206
North York, Ontario, M2N 0B4
Tel: (416) 848-1015
Fax: (416) 848-1014
Money: Top
The Bank of Ghana, founded in 1957, is the country’s central bank and issues the national currency. The Ghanaian unit of currency is the new cedi, divided into 100 pesewas (1 new cedis equal U.S.$1; 2006 average). The state-owned Ghana Commercial Bank has branches throughout the country, and there are also several private banks. The Ghana Stock Exchange was established in 1990.
 
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