Here are some interesting facts about the Republic of Ghana:

Capital City: Accra
Population: 29,101 million (2017) 
Official language: English / over 70 ethnic languages
Government: Unitary state, Presidential system, 
Constitutional republic
President: Nana Akufo-Addo
Currency: Ghana Cedi (Gh¢)
National anthem: God Bless Our Homeland Ghana
Life expectancy: 64.22 years (2011)

Ghana, located on the West Coast of Africa, is one of the most thriving democracies on the African continent. It has often been referred to as an "island of peace" in one of the most chaotic regions on earth. Ghana shares boundaries with Togo to the East, la Cote d'Ivoire to the West, Burkina Faso to the North and the Gulf of Guinea to its South. A country covering an area of 238,500 square kilometres, Ghana has an estimated population of 25.37 million (2012), drawn from more than 100 ethnic groups, each with its own unique language. English, however, is the official language, a legacy of British colonial rule. 

Brief History
In 1957, Ghana (formerly known as the Gold Coast) became the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to gain independence. After leading the country for 9 years, the Nation's founding president, Kwame Nkrumah was overthrown in a coup d’état in 1966. Post the overthrow of Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana was ruled by a series of military despots with intermittent experiments with democratic rule, most of which were curtailed by military takeovers. The latest and most enduring attempt at democratic government started in 1992 and it is what has gained Ghana recognition as a leading democracy in Africa. 

Ghana has several tourist attractions such as its castles. Most of the major international airlines fly into and from Kokota International Airport in Accra. Domestic air travel is thriving and the country has a vibrant telecommunications sector, with six cellular phone operators and several internet service providers. Oil was first found in Ghana in 2007 and a recent discovery of oil in the Gulf of Guinea could make Ghana an important oil producer and exporter in the next few years. The country's economy is dominated by agriculture, which employs approximately 40% of the working population. Ghana is one of the leading exporters of cocoa in the world. It is also a significant exporter of commodities such as gold and timber. Other export products are bauxite, manganese and electricity. 

National Emblem
The National Emblem of Ghana bears two Eagles. Around each of their necks hangs a black star suspended from a ribbon bearing Ghana’s national colours of red, gold and green. The Eagle’s support of the shield signifies their strength as protectors, with very clear and attentive ‘eagle eyes’ keeping watch over the country. The Ghanaian national aspirations of FREEDOM AND JUSTICE are found under the shield. 

The 10 Regions of Ghana

Greater Accra
Greater Accra Region is the smallest, but certainly the most influential, of Ghana’s 10 regions. Its capital, Accra, is the nation’s capital as well as the commercial, administrative and sports hub of the country. Two important gateways, the Kotoka International Airport and Tema Harbour, are located in this region. Situated on a plain on the southern coast of Ghana, Greater Accra is well endowed with sandy beaches, luxury hotels, the country’s widest variety of restaurants, 3 golf courses, conference and exhibition centres, colourful markets, museums and historical monuments.

The Greater Accra Region is the traditional home of the Ga ethnic group which migrated from the Republic of Benin, situated east of Ghana, in search of food. The Ga people celebrate their migration in an annual festival called Homowo, which means ‘hooting at hunger’. Located 30km from Accra is Tema, one of the country’s most important industrial and commercial centres, where you will find the country’s largest harbour. The name comes from the Ga word Toman, which means ‘gourd town’. Tema is home to Ghana’s chocolate factory, Golden Tree, where chocolate is made from home-grown cocoa beans. Large container ships and fishing fleets can be viewed at the bustling harbour next to the beach called Sakumono Ramsar, which is home to a wide variety of rare birds.

There are facilities for most sports in Accra and Tema, including soccer – the national favourite – horse riding, athletics, water sports, boxing, golf, lawn tennis, squash, motor racing and cycling. There are golf courses at Achimota, Sakumono and Tema. Nightlife in Accra is most vibrant at the weekend. There is a wide variety of cinemas, bars, restaurants and casinos. Colourful food stalls stay open until late on most days in the busy parts of the city.

Ashanti Region
The Ashanti region can proudly claim to be the cultural heartbeat of Ghana. Visitors to this land of the Golden Stool will be struck by the hospitality of the people as well as the manifestation of Asante’s culture, poignantly expressed in the language, passage rites, festivals, cuisine and ordinary day-to-day activities of the Asante people. Visitors can participate in several traditional events such as funerals, naming ceremonies and festivals, the most notable of which are the Royal Akwasidae ceremonies, held every six weeks at the Royal Palace of the Asante King, Otumfour Osei Tutu II.

The scenic and hilly capital city of Kumasi is founded at the foot of the towering Mampong Scarp, which is over 500 metres above sea level in the central portion of vast tropical rainforest belt. Much of the Region’s 24,380 square kilometers is still forest country, dominated by impressive buttress rooted forest giants, which sit alongside large cocoa farms and picturesque hillside settlements.

Beautiful weather - chilly in the mornings, bright, clear and sunny in the afternoons for most of the year and cool nights - provide ideal conditions for visitors to experience this exciting, colourful world of hearty hardworking people. Wherever you choose to visit, you will be greeted with warmth in a word of welcome: AKWAABA!!!

Brong Ahafo Region
The Brong Ahafo Region is 400km north of Accra, a drive of seven hours. Located in the country’s midlands, the region spans about 320km, from the Ghana-Cote D’Ivoire border in the west to Lake Volta in the east. Ghana’s second largest region, Brong Ahafo boasts magnificent physical features; wonderful rivers, streams and waterfalls complement the hills and mountain ranges. This, together with its greenery, makes Brong Ahafo ideal for tourists. Free from industrial pollution and congestion, the region is home to large forest reserves, cocoa farms, oil palm plantations and plantain farms. With traditional and modern agricultural methods being employed side by side it's no wonder Brong Ahafo is referred to as the ‘breadbasket’ of the nation. Everywhere in the region, colourful markets display local pottery, woven handicrafts and a wide range of farm produce. The various ethnic groups live in harmony; the majority of them speak the Akan Language. The major towns in Brong Ahafo are Sunyani (the capital), Brekum, Dormaa Ahenkro, Techiman (the Akan umbrella ethnic group’s place of origin), Kintampo, Yeji, Atebubu, Nkoranza and Wenchi, birthplace of Ghana’s second Prime Minister, Kofi Abrefa Busia. 

Nightlife in Sunyani is on the rise with a number of night clubs and drinking pubs springing up by the day. Hotels, restaurants and guest houses are moderately priced but well furnished. With its peaceful atmosphere, Sunyani is the place for relaxation. At the Centre for National Culture, one may find an ensemble performing the songs and dances of the Bono people. Taxi fares range between ¢1,500 and ¢3,000 for hired (chartered) services, and are low compared to other regional capitals. The drivers are friendly and courteous. Brong Ahafo is fairly easily accessible by road from the North and South. It can also be reached by Lake Volta at Yeji and Buipe. There is an airport at Sunyani, which handles three domestic flights per week.

Central Region

The Central Region of Ghana is blessed with its proximity to the country’s capital, Accra, as it is approximately 145 kilometres away, or a two and a half hour drive. The region was the seat of the former British Colonial Administration until 1877. It is famous for its beautiful beaches, picturesque towns and fishing harbors, as well as its ancient forts and castles built by the European traders. Famous among them are the Elmina Castle and Fort St. Jago, both built by the Portuguese in 1482 and 1558 respectively.  The third, Cape Coast Castle was built by the Swedes in 1653 and has been identified as a World Heritage Monument by the World Heritage Foundation under the United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

These castles were immense fortified monoliths that facilitated the increase in the number of European settlements, which had begun in 1471. For more than 200 years, the British and Dutch had their West African Headquarters here. Together with several smaller coastal forts, including Fort William and Fort Amsterdam, the castles were built to protect a prosperous trade in gold, mined in the forested interior and which accounted for some 10% of the supply to Europe during the 16th Century.

By 1700, the Gold Coast had become a virtual Slave Coast. The Castles’ gloomy warehouses were converted to dungeons, wherein many thousands of human captives were kept prior to being shipped across the Atlantic and into a life of slavery in the Americas.
UNESCO World Heritage sites such as Cape Coast and Elmina Castles, today pay harrowing testament to this deplorable era of trade in human beings, which resulted in the forced exile and enslavement of at least 12 million Africans before it was outlawed by Britain in 1807. The once fearsome cannons still face seaward, evoking scenes of past exploration, discovery and great tragedy. The scenes from the ramparts of the Cape Coast and Elmina Castles are visually inspiring through the salt air (gives one a visual feast).

Western Region
The Western Region, with its rich resources and bountiful natural assets, is a major tourist destination. It is located on the south-western coast of Ghana, bordered to the north by the Brong Ahafo Region, to the east by the Central and Ashanti Regions, and by the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire on the west. Takoradi is its capital.  The Ghanaian saying goes, “The best comes from the West.” From the sandy and sunny beaches of Shama, through the thick forest of the interior to the border with Cote D’Ivoire, the forts and Castles, the people and their rich culture are a magnet for tourists.

The people of the region are the Ahanta, Aowin, Nzema, Sefwis and Wassas, with their distinct unadulterated culture. The tropical climate is characterised by moderate temperature, with an average annual rainfall of 52.8 inches, the heaviest rainfall pattern in Ghana. One hundred and ninety-two kilometres of Ghana’s most beautiful, serene and pristine coconut-fringed beaches belong to the west.  The region boasts some of the oldest mines in the country and presents a striking contrast between ancient and modern.  It is also distinguished by a large number of forts and castles, having been one of the regions to welcome the early European traders.

Recreational facilities abound in the area. From the sands of Busua to Cape Three Points, the Western Region offers a span of the most inviting beaches, ideal for relaxation and marine sports. Sailing along the Shores of Axim and Ankobra is delightfully smooth. The Western Region is accessible from every part of the country by road and rail, and by sea through the port of Takoradi. There are reasonably good road links to all tourist sites. A rail trip transports visitors from Takoradi to the garden city of Kumasi.

Upper East Region
The Upper East Region is located in the extreme north-eastern corner of Ghana. It is the only region in Ghana that shares international boundaries with two countries; Burkina Faso to the north and Togo to the east. The climate is tropical Savannah, being warm throughout the year.  Temperatures range between 23 degrees at night and 40 degrees in the daytime. The region covers 842sq km of relatively flat land, except in the east, where the Gambaga escarpment extends from the Northern Region to form spectacular rock features and hills around the Tongo, Bongo, Widnaba and Bawku areas.  Four main ethnic groups inhabit the land; the Gurenes of Bolgatanga, Builsas of Sandema, Kusassis of Bawku and Kassena-Nankana of the Navrongo/Paga area.

The unique cultural heritage of the people can be seen in their way of dancing and dressing, as well as their cuisine and architecture. The men’s warlike dance is fascinating, and has held many a tourist spellbound. The fabrication of smocks, the traditional attire for men, is done through a tradition of weaving, handed down across generations. The local cuisine of Tuo-Zafi is made from home grown corn and millet, eaten with green vegetables. The people live in traditional round mud houses with thatched roofs. Groups of these houses form large compounds shared by extended families, depicting unity. 

Islam, Christianity and traditional African religions are all practiced, with Christianity being dominant. The historical relics of this region date back to the era of the Trans-Saharan Slave Trade, during the period of the ancient Sudanese empires of Ghana, Mali and Songhai.   The ancient Wuriyanga mosque, about 36km south-east of Bawku, and built by Muslim missionaries along the Trans-Saharan Trade routes, showcases typical Sudanese architecture from about 300 years ago. About 18km from Bawku on the eastern side is Naa Gbewaa’s shrine at Pusiga.   Legend has it that Naa Gbewaa, the founder of the Mole-Dagbani tribes, was buried here. The shrine is situated in a plantation hall in an environment that is calm and conducive to meditation.

A little further north of Bawku is the Kulungugu bomb site where an attempt was made to assassinate Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president, in August 1961.  40km west of Navrongo, is Sandema, home of the brave warriors who defeated the notorious slave raider Babatu at the turn of the 20th Century.   One can still see the slave raider’s weapons at the Fliase shrine in Sandema.

Also in the Upper East Region is a crocodile pond at Paga.   This pond is said to house the friendliest crocodiles in Ghana.  The crocodiles may be enticed from the pond with a fowl and photography is permitted. The Pikworo Slave Camp can be found at Nania near Abedi Pele’s family house in Paga.   There are forest reserves around the White and Red Volta rivers; elephants and roan antelopes are the wildlife  found in these areas.

In Navrongo, one can visit the Navrongo Cathedral. Built in 1906, it is the last remaining mud cathedral in Ghana. The interior is traditionally decorated, amid the mud walls and floors.   A Museum has been built near the cathedral. The Navrongo-Tono irrigation dam offers opportunities for water sports and relaxation at the clubhouse. Bolgatanga, the regional capital, is referred to as the handicrafts capital of Ghana, and is famous for its intricately designed straw baskets, hats and smocks. The Regional Museum in Bolgatanga has a collection of terracotta figurines representing the region’s cultural history. Taxi hire (charter) within the principal towns range upward of ¢10,000, depending on the distance.  Public and private transportation is generally irregular, but largely reliable on market days, which occur every three days.

Upper West Region
The unsung Upper West Region is one of Ghana’s smallest, yet it possesses one of the greater stocks of tourist attractions. These range from landmarks of the slave trade, through wildlife, to fascinating architecture. The region’s culture is strongly linked to the Islamic background of the people. Agriculturally, the Upper West is Ghana’s largest producer of cotton, groundnuts, millet and sorghum. The Region has Wa as its capital and commercial nerve centre. Four main ethnic groups, the Wala, Dagarti, Sissala and Lobe make up the population of approximately 970,000. The sparse savannah grassland is dotted with short trees such as the baobab, dawa dawa and nim. Starting from Wechiau, 40km south-west of Wa, one can enjoy game-trailing up the Black Volta. During the dry season, one can follow hippo trails while enjoying the scenery of gorges carved by the river. 

Moving northwards, the first port of call is Kaleo, a small farming village 12km north of Wa, where the region’s biggest crocodiles can be sighted in a pond.   Eight kilometers from Kaleo, there is an opportunity to view one of the many caves where local people hid during raids by notorious slave-trade warriors like Samori and Babatu. One such cave is at Chereponi, along a dusty unmade road.

At Jirapa are two mushroom-shaped rock formations in the village of Wuling.  At Ullo, also  in the Jirapa district, the footprints of Bayon, the great anti-slave warrior can still be seen on the trunk of a baobab tree.   About 115km from Wa is Gwollu, a site with two solemn relics.
The first is the remains of a defence wall built by the local chief, Gwollu Limann, against slave raids. The wall is said to have been built with everything available, including the bodies of those found to be aiding the slave raiders. The second relic is the tomb of Dr. Hilla Limann, President of the Third Republic. His tomb is located within his family house. Driving southwards to Wa through sprawling Walembele and Kujopero, one sees fascinating glimpses of village life in the settlements along the route. Most houses are the typical round mud buildings with a few brick structures as well.

Eastern Region
The Eastern Region is a tourist treasure trove. From Aburi on the Akwapim Ridge to Odonkokrom on the Afram Plains, the green landscape is marked with monuments and fringed with towering hills, lush vegetation, waterfalls, rivers and caves. There is a sharp contrast between the old and the new, Christianity and traditional religions, highlands and lowlands.

Covering 8 percent of Ghana’s land area, the region has a population of more than two million, all belonging to the ethnic group of Akwapim, Akyems, Kwahus, Krobos and Guans. The regional capital is Koforidua. Topographically, the region is dominated by highlands – the Akwapim Ridge, Krobo Mountains and Kwahu Plateaux, with the Atiwa-Atwirebu range reaching a height of 2,240ft near Kibi. This contrasts with the low-lying Afram Plains. Temperatures range from 24 to 28 degrees Celsius with rainfall between 750mm per annum in low-lying areas and 1,750mm in the highlands. 

The forest zone supports tree crops such as oil palm, rubber, cocoa, coffee, citrus, cashew and kola. Visitors will be enchanted by the shrines and festivals: ancient buildings and relics vividly portray the region’s proud past. The Cocoa Research Institute at Tafo has excellent facilities such as swimming pools, tennis courts and a golf course. And Aylos Bay, situated on the River Volta between the Adomi Bride and Akosombo, offers swimming and canoeing.  

Northern Region
With an area of 70,390km sq. covering 31 per cent of the country’s landmass, the Northern Region is the largest in Ghana.  It is bounded to the north by the Upper East and Upper West Regions, to the south by the Brong-Ahafo and Volta Regions, to the west by Cote d’Ivoire, and to the east by Togo. The population is estimated at (3) three million. The main religion is Islam, followed by Christianity and African traditional religions.  

The Northern Region capital is Tamale and is home to about 16 different ethnic groups, the major ones being the Dagombas, Nanumbas, Gonjas, Mamprusis and Kokombas. It is predominantly an agricultural region, with more than 70 per cent of the labour force employed in agriculture. Rainfall is lower than in the south. The driest season runs between November and March. In February, toward the end of the dry season, maximum day temperatures are between 28.9 Degrees Celsius and 37.2 Degrees Celsius. 

The vegetation comprises fine savannah woodland, with the most common trees being the baobab, acacia, shea butter, mahogany and silk cotton trees. The region is linked to the rest of the country by air, rail, water (Lake Volta) and road. It is 654km from Accra.

Volta Region
The Volta Region is located in the eastern part of Ghana.  It shares its eastern boundary with the Republic of Togo and its western one with the Volta River and Lake. The Atlantic Ocean comprises the southern border, while in the north, Volta shares a boundary with the Northern Region. 

Volta Region is an area of extra-ordinary scenic beauty, made up of flat undulating coconut clad sandy beaches with adjoining mangrove swamps and the coastal savannah in the south: captivating and rolling hills and valleys spotting a number of spectacular waterfalls and caves. The central area of Volta is clothed in moist semi-deciduous forests and contrasts to the open high savannah grassland in the north, that produces a number of food crops and livestock.

The Volta is Ghana in microcosm, as its major tourist attractions are similar to those found in the other regions. Most of the major ethnic groups in Ghana, the Akan, Ewe, Guans, Ga-Dangme etc have settlements in the Volta Region. The Volta Region has a very rich cultural heritage. The traditional Ghanaian hospitality is on display everywhere, with ‘WOEZOR’ (meaning welcome) the most frequently used word.