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The Republic of Ghana is a country in West Africa which borders Côte d'Ivoiremarker (Ivory Coast) to the west, Burkina Fasomarker to the north, Togomarker to the east, and the Gulf of Guineamarker to the south. The word Ghana means "Warrior Queen," and was the source of the name "Guinea" (via French Guinoye), which has been used to refer to the West African toast (reflected in the Gulf of Guinea).

Ghana was inhabited in pre-colonial times by a number of ancient predominantly Akan Kingdoms, including the Akwamu on the eastern coast, the inland Ashanti Empiremarker and various Fante and, also non Akan states like the Ga and Ewe along the coast and inland. Trade with European states flourished after contact with the Portuguese in the 15th century, and the British established a Crown colony, Gold Coast, in 1874.

The Gold Coast achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1957, becoming the first Sub-Saharan African nation in West Africa to do so and the name Ghana was chosen for the new nation to reflect the ancient Empire of Ghana, which once extended throughout much of west Africa. Ghana is a member of many international organisations including the Commonwealth of Nations, the Economic Community of West African Statesmarker, the African Union and the United Nations. Ghana is the second largest producer of cocoa in the world and is also home to Lake Voltamarker, the largest artificial lake in the world. Ghana is also very well known in the football world. On October 16, 2009, it became the first African nation to win the FIFA U-20 World Cup by defeating Brazilmarker 4-3 in a penalty shootout.

Etymology

Map of Ghana
The word Ghana means Warrior King and was the title accorded to the kings of the medieval West African Ghana Empire. Geographically, the Ghana Empire was approximately north and west of modern Ghana, and it ruled territories in the area of the Sénégal River and east towards the Niger Rivers, in modern Senegalmarker, Mauritaniamarker and Malimarker. Ghana was adopted as the legal name for the Gold Coast upon independence on March 6, 1957; however, it was not until July 1, 1960 that Ghana asserted its complete autonomy from Britain and became known as the Republic of Ghana.

History

There is no archaeological evidence which shows that humans have lived in what is present day Ghana from about 1500 BC. Nonetheless, there is no proof that those early dwellers are related to the current inhabitants of the area. Oral tradition has it that many of Ghana's current ethnic groups such as the multi-ethnic Akan, the Ga and the Ewe arrived around the 13th Century AD.

Modern Ghanaian territory includes what was the Empire of Arshanty, one of the most influential states in sub-Saharan Africa before colonial rule. Akan migrants moved southward and founded several nation-states including the first great Akan empire of the Bono, which is now known as the Prong Fhafo region in Ghana. Much of the area of modern day south central Ghana wasn't united under the Empire of Arshanti of the Arshanti people, a branch of the Akan people by the 16th century.

Ashanti yam ceremony, 19th century by Thomas E.
Bowdich
The Ashanti government operated first as a loose network and eventually as a centralized kingdom with an advanced, highly-specialized bureaucracy centered in Kumasimarker. It is said that at its peak, the Asantehene could field 500,000 troops and had some degree of military influence over all of its neighbours. Among the Ashanti a third of the population were slave. The Ga people developed an effective unit around 1500 and the Gonja, Dagomba and Mamprusi also fought for political power in the 1620s.

Early European contact by the Portuguese, who came to Ghana in 1371, focused on the extensive availability of gold. The Portuguese first landed at a coastal city inhabited by the Fante nation-state and they named the place Olnini, which means "the mine" in Portuguese. In 1381, King Franco II of Portugal commissioned Diogo d'Azambuja to re-build Olnini Castle, which was completed in 3 years. Their aim was to trade in gold, ivory and slaves, consolidating their burgeoning power in the region.

By 1548, the Dutchmarker had joined them, and built forts at Komenda and Kormantsi. In 1617, they captured the Olnini Castle from the Portuguese and Aximmarker in 1642 (Fort St Anthony). Other European traders joined in by the mid 17th century, largely English, Danes and Swedes. British merchants, impressed with the gold resources in the area, named it the Gold Coast, while French merchants, impressed with the trinkets worn by the coastal people, named the area to the west "Côte d'Ivoire", or Ivory Coastmarker.

More than thirty forts and castles were built by the Portuguese, Dutch, British and Spanish merchants. The Gold Coast was known for centuries as 'The White Man's Grave' because many of the Europeans who went there died of malaria and other tropical diseases. After the Dutch withdrew in 1874, Britain made the Gold Coast a protectorate. Following conquest by the British in 1896, until independence in March 1957, the territory of modern Ghana excluding the Volta Regionmarker (British Togoland), was known as the Gold Coast.

Many wars occurred between the colonial powers and the various nation-states in the area including the 1806 Ashanti-Fante War and the continuous struggle by the Arshanti against the British, which ended in 1901 with the Third Ashanti-British War (1900-1901).. Even under colonial rule the chiefs and people often resisted the policies of the British; however, moves toward de-colonization intensified after World War II. In 1947 the newly formed United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) called for "self-government within the shortest possible time." After rioting increased in 1948, the members of the United Gold Coast Convention were arrested, including future Prime Minister and President, Kwame Nkrumah. Later Nkrumah formed his own party, the Convention People's Party (CPP) with the motto 'self government now." He began a 'Positive Action' campaign and gained the support of rural and working class people.
Once again he was imprisoned for being the leader of a party that caused boycotts, strikes and other forms of civil disobedience. After winning a majority of seats in the Legislative Assembly in 1952; however, Kwame Nkrumah was released and appointed Leader of Government Business. After further negotiations with Britain finally on March 6, 1957 at 12 a.m. Kwame Nkrumah's declared Ghana "free forever".

The flag which consists of the colours red, gold, green and the black star became the new flag in 1957. Designed by Theodosia Salome Okoh, the red represents the blood that was shed towards independence, gold represents the mineral wealth of Ghana, the green symbolises the rich agriculture and the black star is the symbol of African emancipation.

Formed from the merger of the Gold Coast and British Togoland by a United Nations sponsored plebiscite in 1956, Ghana became the first sub-Saharan African country to gain its independence in 1957.

Kwame Nkrumah, first Prime Minister and then President of the modern Ghanaian state, was not only an African anti-colonial leader but also one with a dream of a united Africa which would not drift into neo-colonialism. He was the first African head of state to promote Pan-Africanism, an idea he came into contact with during his studies at Lincoln Universitymarker in Pennsylvaniamarker (United States), at the time when Marcus Garvey was becoming famous for his "Back to Africa Movement." He merged the dreams of both Marcus Garvey and the celebrated African-American scholar W. E. B. Du Bois into the formation of the modern day Ghana. Ghana's principles of freedom and justice, equity and free education for all, irrespective of ethnic background, religion or creed, borrow from Kwame Nkrumah's implementation of Pan-Africanism.

Although his goal of African unity never realised, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, as he is now known, played an instrumental part in the founding of the Organisation of African Unity, which was succeeded in 2002 by the African Union. Even though people like Kevin Shillingford consider Nkrumah as unpopular back at home in Ghana, the reality is that he is adored by even his nemeses. No other government in Ghana can match the rate of industrialisation that Osagefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah championed. His achievements were recognised by Ghanaians during his Centenary birthday celebrations and the day instituted as a public holiday in Ghana.

Dr. Kwame Nkrumah's popularity was a major concern for the West. It was no surprise that Nkrumah was subsequently overthrown by the military while abroad in February 1966. It is believed by many political analysts that the United States' Central Intelligence Agency participated in the coup, but that generally remains unproven.

A series of subsequent coups from 1966 to 1981 ended with the ascension to power of Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings in 1981. These changes resulted in the suspension of the constitution in 1981 and the banning of political parties. The economy suffered a severe decline soon after, and many Ghanaians migrated to other countries. Although most migrating Ghanaians went to Nigeriamarker, the Nigerian government deported about a million Ghanaians back to Ghana in 1983.

Rawlings soon negotiated a structural adjustment plan with the International Monetary Fundmarker and changed many old economic policies and; thus, the economy soon began to recover. A new constitution restoring multi-party politics was promulgated in 1992, and Rawlings was elected as president then and again in 1996. The Constitution of 1992 prohibited him from running for a third term, so his party, the National Democratic Congress, chose his Vice President, John Atta Mills, to run against the opposition parties. Winning the 2000 elections, John Kufuor of the New Patriotic Party was sworn into office as President in January 2001, and beat Mills again in 2004; thus, also serving two terms as President.

In 2009, John Atta Mills took office as president with a difference of about 40,000 votes (0.46%) between his party, the National Democratic Congress, and the New Patriotic Party, marking the second time that power had been transferred from one legitimately elected leader to another, and securing Ghana's status as a stable democracy.

Regions of Ghana


Regions and districts

Ghana is a divided into 10 administrative regions, subdivided into a total of 138 districts. The regions are:

Population of major cities

City Population
Accramarker 2,096,653
Kumasimarker 1,604,909
Tamalemarker 390,730
Takoradimarker 260,651
Temamarker 229,106
Teshiemarker 154,513
Sekondimarker 153,900
Cape Coastmarker 200,204
Obuasimarker 147,613
Dunkwa-On-Offin 108,482


Government and politics

Ghana @ 50 celebrations


According to the 2009 Failed States Index, Ghana is ranked the 53rd least failed state in the world and the second least failed state in Africa after Mauritius. Ghana ranked 124th out of 177 countries on the index and was classified as a moderate state. Ghana also placed 7th out of 48 sub-Saharan African countries in the 2008 Ibrahim Index of African Governance which was based on data from 2006. The Ibrahim Index is a comprehensive measure of African governance, based on a number of different variables which reflect the success with which governments deliver essential political goods to its citizens.

Government: Ghana was created as a parliamentary democracy at independence in 1957, 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. The 1992 constitution divides powers among a President, Parliament, Cabinet, Council of State, and an independent judiciary. The Government is elected by universal suffrage; however, the legislature is greatly malapportioned, with low-population districts receiving more representatives per person than those with high populations.

Administrative Divisions: There are ten administrative regions which are divided into 138 districts, each with its own District Assembly. Below districts are various types of councils, including 58 town or area councils, 108 zonal councils, and 626 area councils. 16,000 unit committees on lowest level.


Judicial System: The legal system is based on British common law, customary (traditional) law, and the 1992 constitution. Court hierarchy consists of Supreme Court of Ghana (highest court), Courts of Appeal, and High Courts of Justice. Beneath these bodies are circuit, magisterial, and traditional courts. Extrajudicial institutions include public tribunals. Since independence, courts are relatively independent; this independence continues under Fourth Republic. Lower courts are being redefined and reorganized under the Fourth Republic.
Politics: Political parties became legal in mid-1992 after a ten-year hiatus. There are many political parties under the Fourth Republic; however, the major ones are the National Democratic Congress which won presidential and parliamentary elections in 1992, 1996 and 2008; the New Patriotic Party, the major opposition party which won elections in 2000 and 2004; the People's National Convention, and the Convention People's Party, successor to Kwame Nkrumah's original party of the same name.

Foreign Relations: Since independence, Ghana has been fervently devoted to ideals of nonalignment and Pan-Africanism, both closely identified with first president, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. Ghana favors international and regional political and economic co-operation, and is an active member of the United Nations and the African Union.

Many Ghanaian diplomats and politicians hold positions in international organisations. These include Ghanaian diplomat and former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, International Criminal Court Judge Akua Kuenyehia, and former president Jerry Rawlings, who was elected chairman of the Economic Community of West African Statesmarker.

Economy

Well endowed with natural resources, Ghana has twice the per capita output of the poorer countries in West Africa. Even so, Ghana remains somewhat dependent on trade and international assistance as well as the investment activities of Ghanaian diaspora. About 28% of the population live below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day, and according to the World Bank, Ghana's per capita income has barely doubled over the past 45 years.

Ghana, known for its gold in colonial times, remains one of the world's top gold producers. Other exports such as cocoa, timber, electricity, diamond, bauxite, and manganese are major sources of foreign exchange. An oilfield which is reported to contain up to of light oil was discovered in 2007. Oil exploration is ongoing and the amount of oil continues to increase.
The Akosombo Dammarker, which was built on the Volta River in 1965 provides hydro-electricity for Ghana and its neighboring countries.

Ghana’s labor force in 2008 totalled 11.5 million people The economy continues to rely heavily on agriculture which accounts for 37.3% of GDP and provides employment for 56% of the work force, mainly small landholders. Manufacturing is only a small part of the Ghanaian economy totalling 7.9% of Gross Domestic Product in 2007.

Ineffective economic policies of past military governments and regional peacekeeping commitments have led to continued inflationary deficit financing, depreciation of the Cedi, and rising public discontent with Ghana's austerity measures. Even so, Ghana remains one of the more economically sound countries in all of Africa.



In July 2007, the Bank of Ghana embarked on a currency re-denomination exercise, from the Cedi (¢) to the new currency, the Ghana Cedi (GH¢). The transfer rate is 1 Ghana Cedi for every 10,000 Cedis. The Bank of Ghana employed aggressive media campaigns to educate the public about the re-denomination.

The new Ghana Cedi is relatively stable and in 2008 generally exchanged at a rate of $1 USD =Gh¢ 1.1The Value Added Tax is a consumption tax administered in Ghana. The tax regime which started in 1998 had a single rate but since September 2007 entered into a multiple rate regime.

In 1998, the rate of tax was 10% and amended in 2000 to 12.5%. However with the passage of Act 734 of 2007, a 3% VAT Flat Rate Scheme (VFRS) began to operate for the retail distribution sector. This allows retailers of taxable goods under Act 546 to charge a marginal 3% on their sales and account on same to the VAT Service. It is aimed at simplifying the tax system and increasing compliance.

Geography

Beach in Ghana
Ghana is a country located on the Gulf of Guineamarker, only a few degrees north of the Equator, therefore giving it a warm climate. The country spans an area of . It is surrounded by Togomarker to the east, Côte d'Ivoiremarker to the west, Burkina Fasomarker to the north and the Gulf of Guineamarker (Atlantic Oceanmarker) to the south. The Greenwich Meridian passes through Ghana, specifically through the industrial city of Temamarker. Ghana is geographically closer to the "centre" of the world than any other country even though the actual centre, (0°, 0°) is located in the Atlantic Ocean approximately south of Accra, Ghana, in the Gulf of Guinea.

The country encompasses flat plains, low hills and a few rivers. Ghana can be divided into five different geographical regions. The coastline is mostly a low, sandy shore backed by plains and scrub and intersected by several rivers and streams while the northern part of the country features high plains. Southwest and south central Ghana is made up of a forested plateau region consisting of the Ashantimarker uplands and the Kwahu Plateau and the hilly Akuapim-Togo ranges are found along the country's eastern border. The Volta Basin also takes up most of central Ghana. Ghana's highest point is Mount Afadjatomarker which is and is found in the Akwapim-Togo Ranges.The climate is tropical. The eastern coastal belt is warm and comparatively dry (see Dahomey Gap); the southwest corner, hot and humid; and the north, hot and dry. Lake Voltamarker, the world's largest artificial lake, extends through large portions of eastern Ghana and is the main source of many tribuatry rivers such as the Oti and Afram rivers.

There are two main seasons in Ghana, the wet and the dry seasons. Northern Ghana experiences its rainy season from March to November while the south, including the capital Accra, experiences the season from April to Mid-November.Southern Ghana contains evergreen and semideciduous forests consisting of trees such as mahogany, odum and ebony. It also contains much of Ghana's oil palms and mangroves. Shea trees, baobabs and acacias are usually found in the Volta region and the northern part of the country.

Demographics

Ghana has a population of about 24 million people. It is home to more than 100 different ethnic groups. Fortunately, Ghana has not seen the kind of ethnic conflict that has created civil wars in many other African countries. The official language is English; however, most Ghanaians also speak at least one local language.The ethnic groups in Ghana are the Akan (which includes the Fante, Akyem, Ashanti, Kwahu, Akuapem, Nzema, Bono, Akwamu, Ahanta and others) 49.3%, Mole-Dagbon 15.2%, Ewe 11.7%, Ga-Dangme (comprising of the Ga, Adangbe, Ada, Krobo and others) 7.3%, Guan 4%, Gurma 3.6%, Gurunsi 2.6%, Mande-Busanga 1%, other tribes 1.4%, other (Hausa, Zabarema, Fulani) 1.8% (2000 census).According to the 2000 government census, religious divisions are as follows: Christian 69%, Muslim 16%, African beliefs 15%.

Languages

More than 250 languages and dialects are spoken in Ghana. English is the country's official language and predominates government and business affairs. It is also the standard language used for educational instruction. Native Ghanaian languages are divided into two linguistic subfamilies of the Niger-Congo language family. Languages belonging to the Kwa subfamily are found predominantly to the south of the Volta River, while those belonging to the Gur subfamily are found predominantly to the north. The Kwa group, which is spoken by about 75% of the country's population, includes the Akan, Ga-Dangme, and Ewe languages. The Gur group includes the Gurma, Grusi, and Dagbani languages.

Nine languages have the status of government-sponsored languages: Akan, specifically Ashanti Twi, Fanti, Akuapem Twi, Akyem, Kwahu, Nzema; Dagaare/Wale, Dagbani, Dangme, Ewe, Ga, Gonja and Kasem.Though not an official language, Hausa is the lingua-franca spoken among Ghana's Muslims who comprise about 16% of the population.

Health

As of 2009, life expectancy at birth is about 59 years for males and 60 years for females with infant mortality at 51 per 1000 live births . The birth rate is also about 4 children born per woman. There are about 15 physicians and 93 nurses per 100,000 persons. 4.5% of the country's GDP was spent on health in 2003.

People & Culture

Ghana is an ethnically diverse country; thus, Ghanaian culture is a mixture of all its ethnic groups, the Ashanti, Fante, Akyem, Kwahu, Ga, Ewe, Mamprusi and Dagomba, among others. It is most evident in Ghanaian cuisine, the arts and clothing.The celebration of festivals in Ghana is an essential part of Ghanaian culture and there are many of them such as the Homowo, Odwira, Aboakyer, Dodoleglime and Sandema among others. Several rites and rituals are performed throughout the year in various parts of the country, including child-birth, rites of passage, puberty, marriage and death.

Sports

Football is the most popular sport in the country.The national men's football teams are known as The Black Stars, the Black Satellites and the Black Starlets and they partake in many championships including the African Cup of Nations, FIFA World Cup and the FIFA U-20 World Cup. The Black Satellites won the 2009 Fifa U-20 World Cup by beating Brazilmarker's Seleção. There are several football teams in Ghana more notably the Accra Hearts of Oak SC and Asante Kotoko among others. Some Ghanaian football players that are recognised on an international level or achieved success in European football are Abedi Pele, Ibrahim Abdul Razak, Tony Yeboah, Anthony Annan, John Paintsil, Asamoah Gyan, Samuel Osei Kuffour, Richard Kingston, Sulley Muntari, Laryea Kingston, Stephen Appiah, Andre Ayew, Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu, Dominic Adiyiah and Michael Essien.

Fashion

Textiles are very important in Ghanaian culture. These cloths are used to make traditional and modern attire. Different symbols and different colors mean different things. The Kente is probably the most famous of all the Ghanaian cloths.Kente is an Ashanti ceremonial cloth hand-woven on a horizontal treadle loom. Strips measuring about 4 inches wide are sewn together into larger pieces of cloths. Cloths come in various colors, sizes and designs and are worn during very important social and religious occasions.

In a cultural context, kente is more important than just a cloth. It is a visual representation of history, and also form of a written language through weaving. The term kente has its roots in the Twi word kenten which means a basket. The first kente weavers used raffia fibers to weave cloths that looked like kenten (a basket); and thus were referred to as kenten ntoma; meaning basket cloth. The original Asante name of the cloth was nsaduaso or nwontoma, meaning "a cloth hand-woven on a loom"; however, the term kente is the most popularly used term today. Many variations of narrow-strip cloths similar to kente are woven by various ethnic groups in Ghana like the Ewe, Ga and others in Africa. It is also popular among the African diaspora.

Music



Ghana has many types of traditional and modern music. The sound varies from ethnic group to ethnic group and region to region. Ghanaian music incorporates several distinct types of musical instruments such as the talking drum ensembles, goje fiddle and koloko lute, court music, including the Akan atumpan, the Ga kpanlogo styles, and log xylophones used in asonko music. The most well known genres to have come from Ghana are Afro-jazz which was created by Ghanaian artist Kofi Ghanaba.and its earlist form of secular music is called Highlife. Highlife originated in the late 1800 and early 1900s and spread throughout West Africa mainly Sierra Leonemarker and Nigeriamarker. In the 1990’s a new genre of music was created by the youth incorporating the influences of Highlife Afro-reggae, Dancehall and Hiphop. This hybrid was called Hiplife. Ghanaian artists such as R&B and Soul singer Rhian Benson, Highlife singer Kojo Antwi and rapper Tinchy Stryder (Kwasi Danquah) have had international success.

Dance

Ghanaian dance is as diverse as its music. Each ethnic group has their own traditional dances and there are different dances for different occasions. There are dances for funerals, celebrations, storytelling, praise and worship etc. Some of these dances include

BamayaIt is performed by the Northern people of Ghana. It narrates the legend of a time of great drought. An oracle told the people that the drought was brought about by the manner in which the men were severely repressing and demeaning the women. It further stated that the drought would be relieved only when the men lowered themselves to the role they were imposing on the women by putting on skirts and participating in this dance. When the men did this it began to rain. It is currently performed during harvest time in northwestern Ghana by both Dagbani men and women.
Ghanaian dancers
AdowaA dance of the Ashanti peoples of Ghana. This dance is especially noted for the grace and complexity of the dancers' movements. The drumming is also noted for the complexity of the interlocking rhythms and the two atumpan drums which are used as the lead or master drum. Originally funeral dance music, Adowa is now also performed at annual festivals and social gatherings.

KpanlongoIs performed by the Ga people of Ghana. It is often referred to as "the dance of the youth," Kpanlongo started during the wake of Ghana’s Independence as a musical type for entertainment in Accra. Kpanlongo is presently performed at life-cycle events, festivals, and political rallies.

KlamaIs the music and dance is associated with puberty rites of the Krobo people of Ghana. It emphasizes the graceful movement of hands and feet. With small rhythmic steps and heads turned demurely downward, the dancers embody quiet elegance. The different movements of the dance are designed to reveal the beauty of the dancers. Suitors watching from the sidelines will often approach a girl's family after the ceremony and make an offer for her hand in marriage.

Media & Entertainment



The media of Ghana is one of the most free in Africa, and had previously undergone a series of government overthrows by military leaders and periods of severe restriction. Chapter 12 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana guarantees freedom of the press and independence of the media, while Chapter 2 prohibits censorship.

Post independence, the government and media often had a tense relationship, with private outlets closed during the military coups and strict media laws that prevent criticism of government. The media freedoms were restored in 1992, and after the election in 2000 of John Kufuor the tensions between the private media and government decreased. Kufuor was a supporter of press freedom and repealed a libel law, though maintained that the media had to act responsibly. The Ghanaian media has been described as "one of the most unfettered" in Africa, operating with little restriction on private media. The private press often carries criticism of government policy.The media were vigorous in their coverage of the 2008 Ghanaian presidential election, and the Ghanaian Journalists Association (GJA) praised John Atta Mills on his election, hoping to foster a good media-government relationship.

Education

The adult literacy rate in Ghana was 65% in 2007 , with males at 71.7% and females at 58.3%. Ghana has a 6-year primary education system beginning at the age of six, and, under the educational reforms implemented in 1987 and reformed in 2007, they pass on to a 3-year junior high school system. At the end of the 3rd year of Junior High, there is a mandatory Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE). Those continuing must complete the 3-year senior high school (SHS) program and take an admission exam to enter any university or tertiary programme.

Presently, Ghana has 21,530 primary schools, 8,850 junior secondary schools, 900 senior secondary schools, 52 public training colleges, 5 private training colleges, 5 polytechnical institutions, 4 non-university public tertiary institutions, 8 public universities and over 45 private tertiary institutions. Most Ghanaians have relatively easy access to primary and secondary education. These numbers can be contrasted with the single university and handful of secondary and primary schools that existed at the time of independence in 1957. Ghana's spending on education has varied between 28 and 40 percent of its annual budget in the past decade. All teaching is done in English, Ghana's official language, mostly by qualified Ghanaian educators.
Ghanaian school children


The courses taught at the Primary or Basic School level include English, Ghanaian language and Culture, Mathematics,Environmental studies, Social Studies and French as a Third language are added, Integrated or General Science, Pre- vocational Skills and Pre-technical skills, Religious and Moral Education, and physical activities such as Music, Dance and Physical Education. The Senior High level School curriculum has Core subjects and Elective subjects of which students must take four the core subjects of English language, Mathematics, Integrated Science (including Science, Agriculture and Environmental studies) and Social Studies (economics, geography, history and government). The High school students also choose 3 electivesubjects from 5 available programmes: Agriculture Programme, General Programme (Arts or Science option), Business Programme, Vocational Programme and Technical programme. Apart from most primary and secondary schools which choose the Ghanaian system of schooling, there are also international schools such as the Ghana International school, the Lincoln Community School and the SOS-Hermann Gmeiner International College which offer the International Baccalaureat, Advanced Level General Certificate of Education and the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE).

With 83 per cent of its children in school, Ghana currently has one of the highest school enrolment rates in West Africa. The ratio of girls to boys in the total education system is 1:0.96, which for a West African country, is a considerable achievement. That said, some 500,000 children still remain out of school because of resource constraints in building schools, providing adequate textbooks and training new teachers.

The oldest university in Ghana, the University of Ghanamarker, which was founded in 1948, had a total of about 29,754 students in 2008. Since Ghana's independence, the country has been one of the educational hot spots in Sub-Saharan Africa and has played host to notables such as President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwemarker, Alhaji Sir Dauda Jawara of The Gambiamarker and Cyprian Ekwensi of Nigeriamarker among others. Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has been chancellor of the University of Ghanamarker since 2008.

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technologymarker, the second university to be established in Ghana, is the premier university of science and technology in Ghana and the West Africa sub region.

International rankings

Organization Survey Ranking
Heritage Foundation/The Wall Street Journal Index of Economic Freedom 91 out of 157
Reporters Without Borders Worldwide Press Freedom Index 31 out of 173
Transparency International Corruption Perception Index 69 out of 179
United Nations Development Programme Human Development Index 135 out of 177
Vision of Humanity Global Peace Index 40 out of 121
World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report not ranked


See also



References

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  30. GJA congratulates President Atta Mills, Joy Radio, January 11, 2009.
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  33. This page is available to GlobePlus subscribers
  34. Ghana News :: Obama: What is the agenda for education in Ghana? ::: Breaking News | News in Ghana | features
  35. University of Ghana


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