Ghana Overview

Ghana Overview

Official name: Republic of Ghana

Area: 238,537 km²

Residents: 29 million (2018, estimated)

Growth of population: 2.2% (2017, estimated)

Seat of government: Accra

Official language: English

Regional languages: Akan, Ewe, Ga, Haussa, Dagbani

Basic data

In the current 2019 report of the UN Human Development Program, Ghana ranks 140th out of 189 nations examined.

The Foreign Office, for example, offers general basic information about the country, while data and figures on extensive Subject areas are available from the World Bank and the UN Statistical Department or the CIA’s World Factbook. On the Ghanaian side, the Ghana Statistical Service provides information on numerous topics.

Social space

Asymmetrical population distribution

Asymmetrical population distribution

As one of 16 countries located in Western Africa according to globalsciencellc, Ghana’s population is extremely unevenly distributed. A third of Ghanaians live in the two regions of Ashanti and Greater Accra, which also represent the economically dominant regions. While another five regions, each with a little over two million, have very similar populations, the extremely low population in the two northernmost regions – Upper East and Upper West – is striking. Less than two million people live there together. For years the depopulation of this area has been observed, where the sand of the Sahara can already be felt. This trend is constantly exerting further socio-economic pressure, especially on the neighboring Northern Region with the capital Tamale and the two centers Ashanti with the metropolis Kumasi and Greater Accraout. But many young Ghanaians also look north, towards the Mediterranean and Europe, and set off in the hope of a better life far from home.

The uninterrupted population growth, which has recorded an increase in the total population of 30% within just a decade since the turn of the millennium, shows above-average rates of almost 40% for the metropolitan areas, but only 13% in the Upper East and 22% for the two poorhouse regions in the far north. in Upper West. So far, these figures have posed major problems for every government, especially with regard to the further development of transport infrastructure.

The trunk road network connects all parts of the country, although the quality of the connections in the regions is very different. The rail network, which is only located in the south of the country, is almost consistently ailing and is only used by a few travelers. For years, governments have been discussing a restart in rail transport which should even include the border area of ​​neighboring Togo. The new government under President Akufo-Addo has taken on the railroad issue and is now showing its first successes. In January 2019, for example, a shuttle service between Accra and the nearby port city of Tema started operations, albeit modest. The railway line between the capital and the city of Nsawam, a good 30 km to the north, will also be restored in a few months.

National symbols

The state flag

State flag of Ghana

State flag of Ghana

The flag of Ghana, designed and created by the artist Theodosia Okoh, consists of a red, a gold and a green horizontal stripe. The star in the middle, which embodies the freedom and unity of Africa, emphasizes the color scheme. These colors are also known as ‘African colors’, whereby instead of gold, the color yellow is usually used, which adorns many flags of African countries.

  • Red symbolizes the blood that was shed in the struggle for freedom and political independence
  • Gold refers to the wealth that gold founded on the former Gold Coast
  • Green stands for the former wealth of forests and agriculture

The national coat of arms

State coat of arms of Ghana

State coat of arms of Ghana

On the occasion of independence, the British Queen Elizabeth II, head of state of the former Gold Coast and the new state renamed Ghana, awarded the national coat of arms. It was designed and designed by the artist Nii Amon Kotei, who died in 2011 at the biblical age of 96. He was among a small group of artists as well as Phillip Gbeho, who wrote the national anthem composed who created the symbols of the state. The blue coat of arms is structured by a green, gold-framed St. George’s Cross, held on the side by two eagles and decorated in the middle of the cross by a golden lion. He embodies Ghana’s relations with the Commonwealth. A staff and machete adorn one field and embody the local administration, a fortress in the second field represents the government, while a cocoa tree adorns the third field as a symbol of the wealth of agricultural products. The head frame of a mine including the building stands for the mineral resources and characterizes the fourth field. The ‘Black Star’ shines on the upper edge of the shield, and on the lower edge the eagle’s feet hold the leitmotif ‘Freedom and Justice’, and ribbons on the neck of the eagles carry two mini Black Stars.

Although there seems to be a broad consensus on the symbols, a culture war has been going on in Ghana for the sovereignty of interpretation over Ghanaian history since the days of independence. The tone has changed over the decades and is now civilized. But the arguments are still going on, just more subtle.