While I have speedy Internet, I wanted to post some fun facts about Ghana. It seems to me that most Americans tend to think of Africa as one homogenous area full of conflict and safaris. While my knowledge of the rest of Africa is pretty limited, I’ve done a lot of research on Ghana. Here’s a bit of the basics:
- Ghana is a former British colony and was the first colony in sub-Sahara to receive independence in 1957.
- As a colony, is was called the Gold Coast.
- Comparatively, Ghana is slightly smaller than the state of Oregon.
- Ghana is a constitutional democracy and its current president is John Dramani Mahama.
- The currency is the cedi. It is a closed currency and trades about $1.5 cedis to $1 USD.
- Gold and cocoa are considered a mainstay of economy in Ghana. Ghanaians recently discovered oil, so that industry is growing.
- Over 200 languages and dialects are spoken in Ghana, but the official language is English.
- Elmina Castle along Ghana’s Southern coast was the first European building to be built in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Ghana’s Lake Volta is the largest reservoir in the world.
- Accra is the capital and the most populous city.
- The climate in Ghana is tropical. It’s relatively warm along the southeast coast, humid in the southwest and extremely hot and dry in the north.
- Ghana possesses a substantial degree of media freedom with the private press operating without considerable restrictions and was described as “one of the most unfettered” press associations on the continent by the Commonwealth Press Union.