Ghana is considered the gateway to West Africa and the most stable country in Africa ever since its transition to multi-party democracy in 1992.
Formerly known as the Gold Coast, Ghana gained her independence from British on the 6th M arch, 1957, becoming the first sub-Saharan nation to break the chains of colonialism and white supremacy.
Gold, cocoa and more recently oil form the cornerstone of Ghana’s economy and have helped fuel an economic boom. (Sourcehttp://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-13433790)
- Capital: Accra
- Population: 27 million
- Area: 238,533 sq km (92,098 sq miles)
- Major languages: English, African languages including Akan, Ewe
- Major religions: Christianity, indigenous beliefs, Islam
- Life expectancy: 64 years (men), 66 years (women)
- Currency: Cedi
The Republic of Ghana is named after the medieval West African Ghana Empire. The Empire became known in Europe and Arabia as the Ghana Empire by the title of its emperor, the Ghana. The Empire appears to have broken up following the 1076 conquest by the Almoravid General Abu-Bakr Ibn-Umar.
A reduced kingdom continued to exist after Almoravid rule ended, and the Kingdom was later incorporated into subsequent Sahelian empires, such as the Mali Empire several centuries later. Geographically, the ancient Ghana Empire was approximately 500 miles (800 km) north and west of the modern state of Ghana, and controlled territories in the area of the Sénégal River and east towards the Niger rivers, in modern Senegal, Mauritania and Mali. (Source http://www.ghana.gov.gh)
The Ghana National Anthem
God bless our homeland Ghana
And make our nation great and strong,
Bold to defend forever
The cause of Freedom and of Right;
Fill our hearts with true humility,
Make us cherish fearless honesty,
And help us to resist oppressors’ rule
With all our will and might for evermore
Hail to thy name, O Ghana,
To thee we make our solemn vow:
Steadfast to build together
A nation strong in Unity;
With our gifts of mind and strength of arm,
Whether night or day, in the midst of storm,
In every need, whate’er the call may be,
To serve thee, Ghana, now and evermore.
Raise high the flag of Ghana
and one with Africa advance;
Black star of hope and honour
To all who thirst for liberty;
Where the banner of Ghana freely flies,
May the way to freedom truly lie;
Arise, arise, O sons of Ghana land
And under God march on for evermore!
The National Pledge
I promise on my honor
to be faithful and loyal to Ghana my motherland.
I pledge myself to the service of Ghana
with all my strength and with all my heart.
I promise to hold in high esteem our heritage,
won for us through the blood and toil of our fathers;
and I pledge myself in all things
to uphold and defend the good name of Ghana.
So help me God.
Some key dates in Ghana’s history:
1482 – Portuguese settlers arrive and begin trading in gold, ivory and timber.
1500s – Slave trade: Slavery overtakes gold as the main export in the region.
1600s – Dutch, English, Danish, and Swedish settlers arrive; slave trade becomes highly organised.
1642 – The Portuguese relinquish their territory to the Dutch and leave the Gold Coast.
1807 – British dominance: British ban on slave trade from the Gold Coast becomes effective.
1874 – The Gold Coast is officially proclaimed a British crown colony.
1957 – Independence: Ghana becomes first black African colony to declare independence.
1964-1992 – Military rule: Succession of destabilising coups, Ghana is predominantly a one-party state.
1992 – New constitution, multi-party system is restored.
2010 – Economic woes: Offshore oil production starts, fueling Africa’s fast-growing economy. Public deficit spirals.