The World Factbook (1990)/Ghana


World Factbook (1990) Ghana.jpg

 See regional map VII


Total area: 238,540 km²; land area: 230,020 km²

Comparative area: slightly smaller than Oregon

Land boundaries: 2,093 km total; Burkina 548 km, Ivory Coast 668 km, Togo 877 km

Coastline: 539 km

Maritime claims

Contiguous zone: 24 nm
Continental shelf: 200 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 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

Natural resources: gold, timber, industrial diamonds, bauxite, manganese, fish, rubber

Land use: 5% arable land; 7% permanent crops; 15% meadows and pastures; 37% forest and woodland; 36% other; includes NEGL% irrigated

Environment: recent drought in north severely affecting marginal agricultural activities; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; dry, northeasterly harmattan wind (January to March)

Note: Lake Volta is world's largest artificial lake


Population: 15,165,243 (July 1990), growth rate 3.2% (1990)

Birth rate: 46 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 13 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: -1 migrant/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 89 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 52 years male, 56 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 6.4 children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—Ghanaian(s); adjective—Ghanaian

Ethnic divisions: 99.8% black African (major tribes—44% Akan, 16% Moshi-Dagomba, 13% Ewe, 8% Ga), 0.2% European and other

Religion: 38% indigenous beliefs, 30% Muslim, 24% Christian, 8% other

Language: English (official); African languages include Akan, Moshi-Dagomba, Ewe, and Ga

Literacy: 53.2%

Labor force: 3,700,000; 54.7% agriculture and fishing, 18.7% industry, 15.2% sales and clerical, 7.7% services, transportation, and communications, 3.7% professional; 48% of population of working age (1983)

Organized labor: 467,000 (about 13% of labor force)


Long-form name: Republic of Ghana

Type: military

Capital: Accra

Administrative divisions: 10 regions; Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Central, Eastern, Greater Accra, Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Volta, Western

Independence: 6 March 1957 (from UK, formerly Gold Coast)

Constitution: 24 September 1979; suspended 31 December 1981

Legal system: based on English common law and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction National holiday: Independence Day, 6 March (1957)

Executive branch: chairman of the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC), PNDC, Cabinet

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly dissolved after 31 December 1981 coup, and legislative powers were assumed by the Provisional National Defense Council

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Leaders: Chief of State and Head of Government—Chairman of the Provisional National Defense Council Flt. Lt. (Ret.) Jerry John RAWLINGS (since 31 December 1981)

Political parties and leaders: none; political parties outlawed after 31 December 1981 coup

Suffrage: none

Elections: none

Communists: a small number of Communists and sympathizers


Diplomatic representation: Ambassador Eric K. OTOO; Chancery at 2460 16th Street NW, Washington DC 20009; telephone (202) 462-0761; there is a Ghanaian Consulate General in New York; US—Ambassador Raymond C. EWING; Embassy at Ring Road East, East of Danquah Circle, Accra (mailing address is P. O. Box 194, Accra); telephone 775347 through 775349

Flag: three equal horizontal bands of red (top), yellow, and green with a large black five-pointed star centered in the gold band; 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


Overview: Supported by substantial international assistance, Ghana has been implementing a steady economic rebuilding program since 1983. Good harvests in 1988 featured the 6% growth in GNP. Moves toward privatization and relaxation of government controls continued in 1988-89, although at a slower-than-expected pace. In 1988 service on the $2.8 billion debt was equivalent to 75% of export earnings. As Ghana obtains concessional loans and pays off high-interest debt, however, debt service is expected to fall below 30% of export earnings in the early 1990s. The economic rebuilding program has both helped and harmed the manufacturing sector, for example, by improving the supply of raw materials and by increasing competition from imports. The long-term outlook is favorable provided that the political structure can endure the slow pace at which living standards are improving and can manage the problems stemming from excessive population growth.

GNP: $5.2 billion, per capita $400; real growth rate 6% (1988)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 32.7% (1988)

Unemployment rate: 26% (April 1987)

Budget: revenues $769 million; expenditures $749 million, including capital expenditures of $179 million (1988 est.)

Exports: $977 million (f.o.b., 1987); commodities—cocoa 60%, timber, gold, tuna, bauxite, and aluminum; partners—US 23%, UK, other EC

Imports: $988 million (c.i.f., 1987); commodities—petroleum 16%, consumer goods, foods, intermediate goods, capital equipment; partners—US 10%, UK, FRG, France, Japan, South Korea, GDR

External debt: $3.0 billion (December 1989 est.)

Industrial production: growth rate 0.5% in manufacturing (1987)

Electricity: 1,172,000 kW capacity; 4,110 million kWh produced, 280 kWh per capita (1989)

Industries: mining, lumbering, light manufacturing, fishing, aluminum, food processing

Agriculture: accounts for more than 50% of GDP (including fishing and forestry); the major cash crop is cocoa; other principal crops—rice, coffee, cassava, peanuts, corn, shea nuts, timber; normally self-sufficient in food

Illicit drugs: illicit producer of cannabis for the international drug trade

Aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-88), $424 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $1.9 billion; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $78 million; Communist countries (1970-88), $84 million

Currency: cedi (plural—cedis); 1 cedi (C) = 100 pesewas

Exchange rates: cedis (C) per US$—301.68 (December 1989), 270.00 (1989), 202.35 (1988), 153.73 (1987), 89.20 (1986), 54.37 (1985)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 953 km, all 1.067-meter gauge; 32 km double track; railroads undergoing major renovation

Highways: 28,300 km total; 6,000 km concrete or bituminous surface, 22,300 km gravel, laterite, and improved earth surfaces

Inland waterways: Volta, Ankobra, and Tano Rivers provide 155 km of perennial navigation for launches and lighters; Lake Volta provides 1,125 km of arterial and feeder waterways Pipelines: none

Ports: Tema, Takoradi

Merchant marine: 4 cargo ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 52,016 GRT/66,627 DWT

Civil air: 6 major transport aircraft

Airports: 10 total, 9 usable; 5 with permanent-surface runways; none with runways over 3,659 m; 1 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 7 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: poor to fair system of open-wire and cable, radio relay links; 38,000 telephones; stations—6 AM, no FM, 9 TV; 1 Atlantic Ocean INTELSAT earth station

Defense Forces

Branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, paramilitary Palace Guard, paramilitary People's Militia

Military manpower: males 15-49, 3,437,300; 1,927,817 fit for military service; 167,778 reach military age (18) annually

Defense expenditures: 0.9% of GNP (1987)