Located in West Africa, Ghana is one of the most economically advanced countries in the continent and regional power. With a stable democracy and impressive economic growth, the country is seen as one of Africa’s biggest success stories in recent decades. It’s among the five most peaceful countries in Africa, according to the 2018 Global Peace Index.
Ghana was already recognized as one of the kingdoms by the ninth century AD. Since the 17th century Ghana was part of the then powerful and prosperous Ashanti Empire. Got under the British influence and colonization in the 19th century. The country gained independence in 1957, as the first country in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Despite being a medium-size country (239,567 km2 (92,497 sq mi), Ghana is pretty diverse geographically, four different eco-regions. It’s located more in the geographical “center” of the Earth (0°, 0° coordinates) than any other country in the world. Its neighbors are Ivory Coast in the west, Burkina Faso in the north, and Togo in the east. On the south, it is bordered by the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean. Lake Volta, in the Volta region of the country, is the world’s largest man-made lake.
The climate of Ghana is tropical and relatively mild for its latitude. There are two main seasons: the wet season (lasting from approx. April to October) and the dry season (approx. from November to March). The average temperatures are between 24°C and 31°C (between 73°F and 89°F) throughout the whole year.
The population of Ghana is 28 million people. 98% identify themselves as Black Africans although the majority of population has some kind of mixed heritage. It’s a predominantly Christian country, with 71% of its citizens ascribing to the Christian religion (28% Pentecostal, 18% Protestant, 13% Catholic), the other major group being Muslim (18%).
With primary school enrollment at the level of 95%, Ghana has one of the highest percentages of children at school among all African countries. The ratio of females to males in the education system was 0.98 in 2014, meaning practically as many girls as boys at all levels of education. All teaching is done in English as this is Ghana’s official language. Literacy rate for the whole population is 77% and growing. Ghana’s education system annually attracts a large number of foreign students, particularly in the university sector.
Ghana enjoys a universal healthcare system. Although access to healthcare varies throughout the country, urban centers are well served, containing most of the hospitals, clinics and pharmacies in the country. With 5% of Ghana’s GDP being spent on health, Ghana is the destination for medical tourism. Bill Gates described Ghanaian health care system as the most successful on the African continent.