Ghana

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PAGE LAST UPDATED ON NOVEMBER 10, 2011
Flag of Ghana
(CONTAINS DESCRIPTION)
Location of Ghana
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Map of Ghana
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Introduction

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Formed from the merger of the British colony of the Gold Coast and the Togoland trust territory, Ghana in 1957 became the first sub-Saharan country in colonial Africa to gain its independence. Ghana endured a long series of coups before Lt. Jerry RAWLINGS took power in 1981 and banned political parties. After approving a new constitution and restoring multiparty politics in 1992, RAWLINGS won presidential elections in 1992 and 1996, but was constitutionally prevented from running for a third term in 2000. John KUFUOR succeeded him and was reelected in 2004. John Atta MILLS took over as head of state in early 2009.
 
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Geography

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Western Africa, bordering the Gulf of Guinea, between Cote d'Ivoire and Togo
 
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8 00 N, 2 00 W
 
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total: 238,533 sq km
country comparison to the world: 82
land: 227,533 sq km
water: 11,000 sq km
 
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slightly smaller than Oregon
 
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total: 2,094 km
border countries: Burkina Faso 549 km, Cote d'Ivoire 668 km, Togo 877 km
 
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539 km
 
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territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
 
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tropical; warm and comparatively dry along southeast coast; hot and humid in southwest; hot and dry in north
 
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mostly low plains with dissected plateau in south-central area
 
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lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Afadjato 885 m
 
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gold, timber, industrial diamonds, bauxite, manganese, fish, rubber, hydropower, petroleum, silver, salt, limestone
 
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arable land: 17.54%
permanent crops: 9.22%
other: 73.24% (2005)
 
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340 sq km (2008)
 
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53.2 cu km (2001)
 
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total: 0.98 cu km/yr (24%/10%/66%)
per capita: 44 cu m/yr (2000)
 
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dry, dusty, northeastern harmattan winds occur from January to March; droughts
 
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recurrent drought in north severely affects agricultural activities; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; poaching and habitat destruction threatens wildlife populations; water pollution; inadequate supplies of potable water
 
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party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation
 
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Lake Volta is the world's largest artificial lake
 
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People and Society

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noun: Ghanaian(s)
adjective: Ghanaian
 
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Akan 45.3%, Mole-Dagbon 15.2%, Ewe 11.7%, Ga-Dangme 7.3%, Guan 4%, Gurma 3.6%, Grusi 2.6%, Mande-Busanga 1%, other tribes 1.4%, other 7.8% (2000 census)
 
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Asante 14.8%, Ewe 12.7%, Fante 9.9%, Boron (Brong) 4.6%, Dagomba 4.3%, Dangme 4.3%, Dagarte (Dagaba) 3.7%, Akyem 3.4%, Ga 3.4%, Akuapem 2.9%, other (includes English (official)) 36.1% (2000 census)
 
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Christian 68.8% (Pentecostal/Charismatic 24.1%, Protestant 18.6%, Catholic 15.1%, other 11%), Muslim 15.9%, traditional 8.5%, other 0.7%, none 6.1% (2000 census)
 
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24,791,073 (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 47
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected
 
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0-14 years: 36.5% (male 4,568,273/female 4,468,939)
15-64 years: 60% (male 7,435,449/female 7,436,204)
65 years and over: 3.6% (male 399,737/female 482,471) (2011 est.)
 
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total: 21.4 years
male: 21.1 years
female: 21.6 years (2011 est.)
 
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1.822% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 63
 
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27.55 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 47
 
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8.75 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 81
 
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-0.58 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 142
 
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urban population: 51% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 3.4% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
 
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ACCRA (capital) 2.269 million; Kumasi 1.773 million (2009)
 
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at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
 
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350 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)
country comparison to the world: 40
 
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total: 48.55 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 51
male: 51.99 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 45.01 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
 
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total population: 61 years
country comparison to the world: 186
male: 59.78 years
female: 62.25 years (2011 est.)
 
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3.48 children born/woman (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 46
 
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10.6% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 24
 
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0.085 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
country comparison to the world: 167
 
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0.93 beds/1,000 population (2009)
country comparison to the world: 150
 
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improved:
urban: 90% of population
rural: 74% of population
total: 82% of population
unimproved:
urban: 10% of population
rural: 26% of population
total: 18% of population (2008)
 
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improved:
urban: 18% of population
rural: 7% of population
total: 13% of population
unimproved:
urban: 82% of population
rural: 93% of population
total: 87% of population (2008)
 
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1.8% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32
 
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260,000 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 23
 
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18,000 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 16
 
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degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
animal contact disease: rabies
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)
 
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14.3% (2008)
country comparison to the world: 57
 
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5.4% of GDP (2005)
country comparison to the world: 46
 
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definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 57.9%
male: 66.4%
female: 49.8% (2000 census)
 
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total: 10 years
male: 11 years
female: 10 years (2009)
 
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Government

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conventional long form: Republic of Ghana
conventional short form: Ghana
former: Gold Coast
 
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constitutional democracy
 
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name: Accra
geographic coordinates: 5 33 N, 0 13 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
 
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10 regions; Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Central, Eastern, Greater Accra, Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Volta, Western
 
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6 March 1957 (from the UK)
 
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Independence Day, 6 March (1957)
 
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approved 28 April 1992
 
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mixed system of English common law and customary law
 
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has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
 
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18 years of age; universal
 
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chief of state: President John Evans Atta MILLS (since 7 January 2009); Vice President John Dramani MAHAMA (since 7 January 2009); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President John Evans Atta MILLS (since 7 January 2009); Vice President John Dramani MAHAMA (since 7 January 2009)
cabinet: Council of Ministers; president nominates members subject to approval by Parliament
(For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held on 7 and 28 December 2008 (next to be held on 7 December 2012)
election results: John Evans Atta MILLS elected president in run-off election; percent of vote - John Evans Atta MILLS 50.23%, Nana Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO 49.77%
 
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unicameral Parliament (230 seats; members elected by direct, popular vote in single-seat constituencies to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held on 7 December 2008 (next to be held on 7 December 2012)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NDC 114, NPP 107, PNC 2, CPP 1, independent 4, other 2
 
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Supreme Court; High Court; Court of Appeal; regional tribunals
 
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Convention People's Party or CPP [Ladi NYLANDER]; Democratic Freedom Party or DFP [Alhaji Abudu Rahman ISSAKAH]; Every Ghanaian Living Everywhere or EGLE; Great Consolidated Popular Party or GCPP [Dan LARTEY]; National Democratic Congress or NDC [Dr. Kwabena ADJEI]; New Patriotic Party or NPP [Jake OBETSEBI-LAMPEY]; People's National Convention or PNC [Alhaji Amed RAMADAN]; Reform Party [Kyeretwie OPUKU]; United Renaissance Party or URP [Charles WAYO]
 
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Christian Aid (water rights); Committee for Joint Action or CJA (education reform); National Coalition Against the Privatization of Water or CAP (water rights); Oxfam (water rights); Public Citizen (water rights); Students Coalition Against EPA [Kwabena Ososukene OKAI] (education reform); Third World Network (education reform)
 
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ACP, AfDB, AU, C, ECOWAS, FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINURSO, MONUSCO, NAM, OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMIL, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
 
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chief of mission: Ambassador Daniel Ohene AGYEKUM
chancery: 3512 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 686-4520
FAX: [1] (202) 686-4527
consulate(s) general: New York
 
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chief of mission: Ambassador Donald G. TEITELBAUM
embassy: 24 4th Circular Rd. Cantonments, Accra
mailing address: P. O. Box 194, Accra
telephone: [233] (21) 741-000
FAX: [233] (21) 741-389
 
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three equal horizontal bands of red (top), yellow, and green, with a large black five-pointed star centered in the yellow band; red symbolizes the blood shed for independence, yellow represents the country's mineral wealth, while green stands for its forests and natural wealth; the black star is said to be the lodestar of African freedom
note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia; similar to the flag of Bolivia, which has a coat of arms centered in the yellow band
 
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black star; golden eagle
 
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name: "God Bless Our Homeland Ghana"
lyrics/music: unknown/Philip GBEHO
note: music adopted 1957, lyrics adopted 1966; the lyrics were changed twice, once when a republic was declared in 1960 and again after a 1966 coup
 
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Economy

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Ghana is well endowed with natural resources and agriculture accounts for roughly one-third of GDP and employs more than half of the workforce, mainly small landholders. The services sector accounts for 40% of GDP. Gold and cocoa production and individual remittances are major sources of foreign exchange. Oil production at Ghana's offshore Jubilee field began in mid-December, 2010, and is expected to boost economic growth. Estimated oil reserves have jumped to almost 700 million barrels. Ghana signed a Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact in 2006, which aims to assist in transforming Ghana's agricultural sector. Ghana opted for debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) program in 2002, and is also benefiting from the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative that took effect in 2006. In 2009 Ghana signed a three-year Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility with the IMF to improve macroeconomic stability, private sector competitiveness, human resource development, and good governance and civic responsibility. Sound macro-economic management along with high prices for gold and cocoa helped sustain GDP growth in 2008-10. In early 2010 President John Atta MILLS targeted recovery from high inflation and current account and budget deficits as his priorities.
 
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$61.97 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86
$58.61 billion (2009 est.)
$56 billion (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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$31.08 billion (2010 est.)
 
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5.7% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 57
4.7% (2009 est.)
8.4% (2008 est.)
 
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$2,500 (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 175
$2,500 (2009 est.)
$2,400 (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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agriculture: 29.9%
industry: 18.6%
services: 51.4% (2010 est.)
 
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10.56 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 49
 
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agriculture: 56%
industry: 15%
services: 29% (2005 est.)
 
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11% (2000 est.)
country comparison to the world: 120
 
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28.5% (2007 est.)
 
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lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 32.8% (2006)
 
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39.4 (2005-06)
country comparison to the world: 68
40.7 (1999)
 
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18.7% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 133
 
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revenues: $5.381 billion
expenditures: $7.757 billion (2010 est.)
 
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17.3% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 175
 
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-7.6% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 183
 
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34% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83
33.3% of GDP (2009 est.)
 
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10.7% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 205
19.3% (2009 est.)
 
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18% (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 11
17% (31 December 2008)
 
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22.7% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 6
28.8% (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$7.102 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80
$5.547 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$10.78 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 99
$8.292 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$8.747 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98
$7.408 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$3.531 billion (31 December 2010)
country comparison to the world: 91
$2.508 billion (31 December 2009)
$3.394 billion (31 December 2008)
 
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cocoa, rice, cassava (tapioca), peanuts, corn, shea nuts, bananas; timber
 
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mining, lumbering, light manufacturing, aluminum smelting, food processing, cement, small commercial ship building
 
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5% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83
 
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8.167 billion kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 97
 
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6.06 billion kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106
 
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538 million kWh (2008 est.)
 
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263 million kWh (2008 est.)
 
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8,880 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 87
 
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60,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 96
 
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5,752 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 102
 
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68,830 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 81
 
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660 million bbl (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 43
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 133
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 180
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 103
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 196
 
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22.65 billion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 75
 
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-$2.324 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 163
-$1.199 billion (2009 est.)
 
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$7.892 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 99
$5.84 billion (2009 est.)
 
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gold, cocoa, timber, tuna, bauxite, aluminum, manganese ore, diamonds, horticulture
 
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Netherlands 11.7%, UK 7%, France 5.7%, US 5.6%, Ukraine 5%, Belgium 4.6% (2010)
 
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$10.95 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 88
$8.046 billion (2009 est.)
 
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capital equipment, petroleum, foodstuffs
 
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China 16.6%, Nigeria 12.7%, US 8.4%, Cote dIvoire 6.2%, UK 4.5%, France 4.2% (2010)
 
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$4.7 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 87
$3.165 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$6.795 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 102
$5.72 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$NA
 
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$NA
 
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cedis (GHC) per US dollar -
1.429 (2010)
1.409 (2009)
1.1 (2008)
0.95 (2007)
9,174.8 (2006)
 
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Communications

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277,900 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 119
 
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17.436 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 48
 
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general assessment: primarily microwave radio relay; wireless local loop has been installed; outdated and unreliable fixed-line infrastructure heavily concentrated in Accra
domestic: competition among multiple mobile-cellular providers has spurred growth with a subscribership of more than 60 per 100 persons and rising
international: country code - 233; landing point for the SAT-3/WASC, Main One, and GLO-1 fiber-optic submarine cables that provide connectivity to South Africa, Europe, and Asia; satellite earth stations - 4 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); microwave radio relay link to Panaftel system connects Ghana to its neighbors (2009)
 
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state-owned TV station, 2 state-owned radio networks; several privately-owned TV stations and a large number of privately-owned radio stations; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are accessible; several cable and satellite TV subscription services are obtainable (2007)
 
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.gh
 
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41,082 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 93
 
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1.297 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 93
 
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Transportation

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11 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 155
 
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total: 7
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2010)
 
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total: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 1 (2010)
 
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gas 1 km; oil 5 km; refined products 312 km (2010)
 
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total: 947 km
country comparison to the world: 91
narrow gauge: 947 km 1.067-m gauge (2009)
 
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total: 62,221 km
country comparison to the world: 72
paved: 9,955 km
unpaved: 52,266 km (2006)
 
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1,293 km (168 km for launches and lighters on Volta, Ankobra, and Tano rivers; 1,125 km of arterial and feeder waterways on Lake Volta) (2011)
country comparison to the world: 58
 
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total: 4
country comparison to the world: 135
by type: petroleum tanker 1, refrigerated cargo 3
foreign-owned: 2 (Brazil 1, South Korea 1) (2010)
 
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Takoradi, Tema
 
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Military

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Ghana Army, Ghana Navy, Ghana Air Force (2011)
 
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18-26 years of age for voluntary military service, with basic education certificate; no conscription (2011)
 
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males age 16-49: 6,268,191
females age 16-49: 6,194,339 (2010 est.)
 
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males age 16-49: 4,136,406
females age 16-49: 4,220,761 (2010 est.)
 
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male: 267,896
female: 260,992 (2010 est.)
 
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1.7% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 87
 
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Transnational Issues

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Ghana struggles to accommodate returning nationals who worked in the cocoa plantations and escaped fighting in Cote d'Ivoire
 
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refugees (country of origin): 35,653 (Liberia); 8,517 (Togo) (2007)
 
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illicit producer of cannabis for the international drug trade; major transit hub for Southwest and Southeast Asian heroin and, to a lesser extent, South American cocaine destined for Europe and the US; widespread crime and money laundering problem, but the lack of a well developed financial infrastructure limits the country's utility as a money laundering center; significant domestic cocaine and cannabis use
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