Ghana was the first country in Sub-Saharan Africa where Europeans came to trade, first in gold, then in slaves. It was also the region’s first black African nation to gain independence from a colonial power, Britain in this case.
Despite having abundant natural riches and a well-developed educational system and efficient government service, Ghana was plagued by corruption and inefficiency shortly after independence in 1957.
History Of Ghana
The Gold Coast was the previous name for Ghana. Kwame Nkrumah announced the country’s independence on March 6, 1957. Ghana became a Commonwealth republic on July 1, 1960, with Nkrumah as its first President. Ghana’s flag features the colors red, gold, green, and a black star.
Kwame Nkrumah, the country’s first president, and a pan-African icon was toppled in a coup in 1966, ushering in a period of largely military administration. Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings attempted his second coup attempt in 1981. The country started moving in the direction of economic stability and democracy.
In April 1992, a referendum adopted a constitution allowing for a multi-party system, ushering in a period of democracy. Ghana, a well-run country by regional standards, is frequently cited as a model for African political and economic transformation.
Although Ghana’s growth has been reasonably consistent, the source of growth has always been skewed toward the extractive and capital-intensive services sectors, which do not directly alleviate poverty. Basic infrastructure, such as feeder highways, typically limits poverty endemic areas’ economic activity, which is primarily farming, to metropolitan market centers.
Malaria remains a public health concern in Ghana, where it is the major cause of morbidity. There are still obstacles to achieving the objective of lowering maternal mortality to 185 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births by 2015. There are healthcare discrepancies between rural and urban areas. Furthermore, a large proportion of children of primary school age remain unenrolled, with huge enrolment gaps between the poorest and wealthiest children.
Ghana’s forest cover is quickly diminishing. Rain-fed agriculture and limited contemporary agricultural techniques continue to be used in the agriculture sector, particularly in the food crop sub-sector. Women’s ability to engage in food crop farming operations autonomously is limited by their access to and control over land, awareness on land rights concerns, access to formal loans from banks, as well as storage, processing, and marketing facilities.
Ghana’s business climate remains bleak, preventing effective investment, particularly in the manufacturing sector. Limited and unstable energy supplies and affordable financing, particularly for SMEs, impede the ability of businesses to increase output, generate jobs, and raise worker earnings.
Successes Over The Years
Ghana is Africa’s second-largest gold miner after South Africa and the world’s second-largest cocoa producer after Ivory Coast. It is one of the fastest-growing economies on the continent, and it has made significant success in achieving and consolidating growth. Poverty reduction has made significant progress. Ghana is the first country in Sub-Saharan Africa to achieve Millennium Development Goal 1, which is to reduce severe poverty by half.
Ghana recently achieved middle-income status. In June 2007, large offshore oil deposits were discovered, raising hopes for a significant economic boost. Production began in late 2010, but several observers were concerned about the country’s ability to handle its new industry because oil-related regulations had not yet been established.
Amid concerns about the impact of the global recession on weaker countries, Ghana received a 600 million dollar three-year loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in July 2009. Because of the high prices of cocoa and gold, the Ghanaian economy has shown to be quite resilient, according to the IMF. Apart from economic development, Ghana has made significant progress in areas such as good governance, youth empowerment, and gender equality. Important pieces of appropriate legislation have been enacted, and institutional structures have been modified to support an inclusive society. Domestic Violence and Disability Laws, for example, have been adopted by the government, as have Domestic Violence Victim Support Units and the National Social Protection Strategy.
Ghana has had a progressively stable and growing democratic administration over the previous decade. Four successful elections, in 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012, increased the effectiveness of key national institutions, boosted investor confidence, and anchored the new economy in a growth-friendly climate. Ghana has a high-profile peacekeeping mission, with troops stationed in Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Ghana has a high level of media freedom, with private newspapers and broadcasters operating with few constraints. Reporters Without Borders claims that the media is free to criticize the authorities without fear of retaliation. The private press is vibrant, and it frequently criticizes government policy. On many radio stations, animated phone-in shows are standard fare. Radio is Ghana’s most popular medium, despite the expanded availability to television.
Land of Ghana
Ghana is located in western Africa, on the coast of the Gulf of Guinea. It is bordered to the northwest and north by Burkina Faso, to the east by Togo, to the south by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the west by Côte d’Ivoire.
Relief and drainage
Ghana’s relief is mainly modest, with altitudes rarely topping 3,000 feet (900 metres). The dissected peneplain (a land surface worn down by erosion to a nearly flat plain, later uplifted and cut by erosion into hills and valleys or into flat uplands separated by valleys) covers the southwestern, northwestern, and extreme northern parts of the country is made up of Precambrian rocks (about 540 million to 4 billion years old). The rest of the country is made up mostly of Paleozoic deposits (between 250 and 540 million years old) that are assumed to rest on earlier rocks.
The Paleozoic sediments are largely made up of beds of shales (laminated sediments made up mostly of clay particles) and sandstones, with some limestone layers. They live in the Voltaian Basin, a huge area in the country’s north-central region where the elevation rarely surpasses 500 feet (150 meters). The basin is dominated by Lake Volta, an artificial lake that stretches 3,275 square miles into the country’s central region behind the Akosombo Dam (8,500 square km).
The raised boundaries of the basin give birth to narrow plateaus between 1,000 and 2,000 feet (300 and 600 meters) high, flanked by spectacular scarps, to the north and south, and to some extent, to the west. The Kwahu (Mampong) Scarp (see Kwahu Plateau) in the south and the Gambaga Scarp in the north are the most notable.
Surrounding the basin on all of its sides, except in the east, is the dissected Precambrian peneplain, which rises to elevations of 500 to 1,000 feet above sea level and contains several distinct ranges as high as 2,000 feet.
A narrow zone of folded Precambrian rocks running northeast to southwest along the eastern edge of the Voltaian Basin, extending from the Togo border to the sea immediately west of Accra, forms the Akwapim-Togo Ranges, which range in elevation from 1,000 to 3,000 feet (300 to 900 meters). Mount Afadjato (2,903 feet [885 meters]), Mount Djebobo (2,874 feet [876 meters]), and Mount Torogbani (2,861 feet [872 meters]), all located east of the Volta River near the Togo border, are the highest points in Ghana. The Togo-Atakora Mountains, which stretch northward into Togo and Benin, include these mountains.