Basic facts about Ghana   2012-01-17 14:35:02            

Ghana borders Cote d'Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south. The capital is Accra.

With a territory of 238,537 square km, Ghana is a divided into 10 regions, subdivided into a total of 138 counties. A 2005 estimate put the nation's population at some 22 million.

Once a British colony, Ghana was the first African nation to achieve independence from Britain in 1957 and was created as a parliamentary democracy followed by alternating military and civilian governments.

In January 1993, military government gave way to the Fourth Republic after presidential and parliamentary elections in late 1992.

Ghana's constitution divides powers among a president, parliament, cabinet, Council of State, and an independent judiciary. The government is elected by universal suffrage.

Major political parties include the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), main opposition party the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the People's National Convention and People's Convention Party.

The presidential hopes in the Sunday race are NPP's Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and NDC's John Evans Atta Mills.

Agriculture is Ghana's pillar industry. The country's is also rich in natural resources. Gold, timber, cocoa and diamond exports are its major sources of foreign exchange. Ghana's GDP reached 11.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2006.

English is the country's official language while a number of local languages are also used.

The country's major ethnic groups include Akan, Mole-Dagbon, Ewe, Ga-Dangme, Guan, Gurma, Gurunsi, and Mande-Busanga.

Editor: Mo Hong'e
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