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Ghana :: Africa



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 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 of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) succeeded him and was reelected in 2004. John Atta MILLS of the National Democratic Congress won the 2008 presidential election and took over as head of state. MILLS died in July 2012 and was constitutionally succeeded by his vice president, John Dramani MAHAMA, who subsequently won the December 2012 presidential election. In 2016, Nana Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO of the NPP defeated MAHAMA, marking the third time that Ghana's presidency has changed parties since the return to democracy.



Western Africa, bordering the Gulf of Guinea, between Cote d'Ivoire and Togo

Geographic coordinates:

8 00 N, 2 00 W

Map references:



total: 238,533 sq km
land: 227,533 sq km
water: 11,000 sq km
country comparison to the world: 82

Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Oregon

Land boundaries:

total: 2,420 km
border countries (3): Burkina Faso 602 km, Cote d'Ivoire 720 km, Togo 1098 km


539 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm


tropical; warm and comparatively dry along southeast coast; hot and humid in southwest; hot and dry in north


mostly low plains with dissected plateau in south-central area


mean elevation: 190 m
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Afadjato 885 m

Natural resources:

gold, timber, industrial diamonds, bauxite, manganese, fish, rubber, hydropower, petroleum, silver, salt, limestone

Land use:

agricultural land: 69.1% (2011 est.)
arable land: 20.7% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 11.9% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 36.5% (2011 est.)
forest: 21.2% (2011 est.)
other: 9.7% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land:

340 sq km (2012)

Population distribution:

population is concentrated in the southern half of the country, with the highest concentrations being on or near the Atlantic coast as shown in this population distribution map

Natural hazards:

dry, dusty, northeastern harmattan winds from January to March; droughts

Environment - current issues:

recurrent drought in north severely affects agricultural activities; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; poaching and habitat destruction threaten wildlife populations; water pollution; inadequate supplies of potable water

Environment - international agreements:

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

Geography - note:

Lake Volta is the world's largest artificial lake (manmade reservoir) by surface area (8,482 sq km; 3,275 sq mi); the lake was created following the completion of the Akosombo Dam in 1965, which holds back the White Volta and Black Volta Rivers

People and Society


29,340,248 (July 2020 est.)
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
country comparison to the world: 49


noun: Ghanaian(s)
adjective: Ghanaian

Ethnic groups:

Akan 47.5%, Mole-Dagbon 16.6%, Ewe 13.9%, Ga-Dangme 7.4%, Gurma 5.7%, Guan 3.7%, Grusi 2.5%, Mande 1.1%, other 1.4% (2010 est.)


Asante 16%, Ewe 14%, Fante 11.6%, Boron (Brong) 4.9%, Dagomba 4.4%, Dangme 4.2%, Dagarte (Dagaba) 3.9%, Kokomba 3.5%, Akyem 3.2%, Ga 3.1%, other 31.2% (2010 est.)
note: English is the official language


Christian 71.2% (Pentecostal/Charismatic 28.3%, Protestant 18.4%, Catholic 13.1%, other 11.4%), Muslim 17.6%, traditional 5.2%, other 0.8%, none 5.2% (2010 est.)

Demographic profile:

Ghana has a young age structure, with approximately 57% of the population under the age of 25. Its total fertility rate fell significantly during the 1980s and 1990s but has stalled at around four children per woman for the last few years. Fertility remains higher in the northern region than the Greater Accra region. On average, desired fertility has remained stable for several years; urban dwellers want fewer children than rural residents. Increased life expectancy, due to better health care, nutrition, and hygiene, and reduced fertility have increased Ghana's share of elderly persons; Ghana's proportion of persons aged 60+ is among the highest in Sub-Saharan Africa. Poverty has declined in Ghana, but it remains pervasive in the northern region, which is susceptible to droughts and floods and has less access to transportation infrastructure, markets, fertile farming land, and industrial centers. The northern region also has lower school enrollment, higher illiteracy, and fewer opportunities for women. ++ Ghana was a country of immigration in the early years after its 1957 independence, attracting labor migrants largely from Nigeria and other neighboring countries to mine minerals and harvest cocoa – immigrants composed about 12% of Ghana's population in 1960. In the late 1960s, worsening economic and social conditions discouraged immigration, and hundreds of thousands of immigrants, mostly Nigerians, were expelled. ++ During the 1970s, severe drought and an economic downturn transformed Ghana into a country of emigration; neighboring Cote d'Ivoire was the initial destination. Later, hundreds of thousands of Ghanaians migrated to Nigeria to work in its booming oil industry, but most were deported in 1983 and 1985 as oil prices plummeted. Many Ghanaians then turned to more distant destinations, including other parts of Africa, Europe, and North America, but the majority continued to migrate within West Africa. Since the 1990s, increased emigration of skilled Ghanaians, especially to the US and the UK, drained the country of its health care and education professionals. Internally, poverty and other developmental disparities continue to drive Ghanaians from the north to the south, particularly to its urban centers.

Age structure:

0-14 years: 37.44% (male 5,524,932/female 5,460,943)
15-24 years: 18.64% (male 2,717,481/female 2,752,601)
25-54 years: 34.27% (male 4,875,985/female 5,177,959)
55-64 years: 5.21% (male 743,757/female 784,517)
65 years and over: 4.44% (male 598,387/female 703,686) (2020 est.)

Dependency ratios:

total dependency ratio: 67.4
youth dependency ratio: 62.2
elderly dependency ratio: 5.3
potential support ratio: 17.1 (2020 est.)

Median age:

total: 21.4 years
male: 21 years
female: 21.9 years (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 184

Population growth rate:

2.15% (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 37

Birth rate:

29.6 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34

Death rate:

6.6 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 137

Net migration rate:

-1.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 155

Population distribution:

population is concentrated in the southern half of the country, with the highest concentrations being on or near the Atlantic coast as shown in this population distribution map


urban population: 57.3% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 3.34% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Major urban areas - population:

3.348 million Kumasi, 2.514 million ACCRA (capital), 946,000 Sekondi Takoradi (2020)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth:

22.3 years (2017 est.)
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

Maternal mortality rate:

308 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 36

Infant mortality rate:

total: 32.1 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 35.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 28.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 68.2 years
male: 65.6 years
female: 70.8 years (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 176

Total fertility rate:

3.9 children born/woman (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32

Contraceptive prevalence rate:

30.8% (2017)

Drinking water source:

improved: urban: 97.4% of population
rural: 80.6% of population
total: 89.9% of population
unimproved: urban: 2.6% of population
rural: 19.4% of population
total: 10.1% of population (2017 est.)

Current Health Expenditure:

3.3% (2017)

Physicians density:

0.14 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Hospital bed density:

0.9 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Sanitation facility access:

improved: urban: 84.2% of population
rural: 49.5% of population
total: 68.7% of population
unimproved: urban: 15.8% of population
rural: 50.5% of population
total: 31.3% of population (2017 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

1.7% (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 28

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

340,000 (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 21

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

14,000 (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: very high (2020)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever
water contact diseases: schistosomiasis
animal contact diseases: rabies
respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:

10.9% (2016)
country comparison to the world: 136

Children under the age of 5 years underweight:

12.6% (2017/18)
country comparison to the world: 50

Education expenditures:

4% of GDP (2018)
country comparison to the world: 96


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 76.6%
male: 82%
female: 71.4% (2015)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 12 years
male: 12 years
female: 12 years (2019)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:

total: 9.1%
male: 9.4%
female: 8.7% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132


Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Ghana
conventional short form: Ghana
former: Gold Coast
etymology: named for the medieval West African kingdom of the same name but whose location was actually further north than the modern country

Government type:

presidential republic


name: Accra
geographic coordinates: 5 33 N, 0 13 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
etymology: the name derives from the Akan word "nkran" meaning "ants," and refers to the numerous anthills in the area around the capital

Administrative divisions:

16 regions; Ahafo, Ashanti, Bono, Bono East, Central, Eastern, Greater Accra, North East, Northern, Oti, Savannah, Upper East, Upper West, Volta, Western, Western North


6 March 1957 (from the UK)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 6 March (1957)


history: several previous; latest drafted 31 March 1992, approved and promulgated 28 April 1992, entered into force 7 January 1993
amendments: proposed by Parliament; consideration requires prior referral to the Council of State, a body of prominent citizens who advise the president of the republic; passage of amendments to "entrenched" constitutional articles (including those on national sovereignty, fundamental rights and freedoms, the structure and authorities of the branches of government, and amendment procedures) requires approval in a referendum by at least 40% participation of eligible voters and at least 75% of votes cast, followed by at least two-thirds majority vote in Parliament, and assent of the president; amendments to non-entrenched articles do not require referenda; amended 1996

Legal system:

mixed system of English common law and customary law

International law organization participation:

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent or grandparent must be a citizen of Ghana
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Nana Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO (since 7 January 2017); Vice President Mahamudu BAWUMIA (since 7 January 2017); the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Nana Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO (since 7 January 2017); Vice President Mahamudu BAWUMIA (since 7 January 2017)
cabinet: Council of Ministers; nominated by the president, approved by Parliament
elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 7 December 2020 (next to be held in December 2024)
election results: Nana Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO reelected president in the first round; percent of vote - Nana Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO (NPP) 51.3%, John Dramani MAHAMA (NDC) 47.4%, other 1.3%

Legislative branch:

description: unicameral Parliament (275 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 7 December 2020 (next to be held in December 2024)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party (preliminary) - NPC 137, NDC 136, other 1, independent 1; composition - NA

Judicial branch:

highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and 13 justices)
judge selection and term of office: chief justice appointed by the president in consultation with the Council of State (a small advisory body of prominent citizens) and with the approval of Parliament; other justices appointed by the president upon the advice of the Judicial Council (an 18-member independent body of judicial, military and police officials, and presidential nominees) and on the advice of the Council of State; justices can retire at age 60, with compulsory retirement at age 70
subordinate courts: Court of Appeal; High Court; Circuit Court; District Court; regional tribunals

Political parties and leaders:

All Peoples Congress or APC [Hassan AYARIGA] ++ Convention People's Party or CPP [Edmund N. DELLE] ++ Ghana Freedom Party or GFP [Akua DONKOR] ++ Ghana Union Movement or GUM [Christian Kwabena ANDREWS] ++ Great Consolidated Popular Party or GCPP [Henry Herbert LARTEY] ++ Liberal Party of Ghana or LPG [Kofi AKPALOO] ++ National Democratic Congress or NDC [John Dramani MAHAMA] ++ National Democratic Party or NDP [Nana Konadu Agyeman RAWLINGS] ++ New Patriotic Party or NPP [Nana Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO] ++ People's Action Party or PAP [Imoru AYARNA] ++ People's National Convention or PNC [Edward MAHAMA] ++ Progressive People's Party or PPP [Paa Kwesi NDUOM] ++ United Front Party or UFP [Dr. Nana A. BOATENG] ++ United Progressive Party or UPP [Akwasi Addai ODIKE]
note: Ghana has more than 20 registered parties; included are those which participated in the 2020 general election

International organization participation:


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Barfour ADJEI-BARWUAH (since 21 July 2017)
chancery: 3512 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 686-4520
FAX: [1] (202) 686-4527
consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Stephanie S. SULLIVAN (since 30 November 2018)
telephone: [233] 030-274-1000
embassy: 24 Fourth Circular Rd., Cantonments, Accra
mailing address: P.O. Box 194, Accra
FAX: [233] 030-274-1389

Flag description:

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

National symbol(s):

black star, golden eagle; national colors: red, yellow, green, black

National anthem:

name: God Bless Our Homeland Ghana
lyrics/music: unknown/Philip GBEHO
note: music adopted 1957, lyrics adopted 1966; the lyrics were changed twice, in 1960 when a republic was declared and after a 1966 coup


Economic overview:

Ghana has a market-based economy with relatively few policy barriers to trade and investment in comparison with other countries in the region, and Ghana is endowed with natural resources. Ghana's economy was strengthened by a quarter century of relatively sound management, a competitive business environment, and sustained reductions in poverty levels, but in recent years has suffered the consequences of loose fiscal policy, high budget and current account deficits, and a depreciating currency. ++ Agriculture accounts for about 20% of GDP and employs more than half of the workforce, mainly small landholders. Gold, oil, and cocoa exports, and individual remittances, are major sources of foreign exchange. Expansion of Ghana's nascent oil industry has boosted economic growth, but the fall in oil prices since 2015 reduced by half Ghana's oil revenue. Production at Jubilee, Ghana's first commercial offshore oilfield, began in mid-December 2010. Production from two more fields, TEN and Sankofa, started in 2016 and 2017 respectively. The country's first gas processing plant at Atuabo is also producing natural gas from the Jubilee field, providing power to several of Ghana's thermal power plants. ++ As of 2018, key economic concerns facing the government include the lack of affordable electricity, lack of a solid domestic revenue base, and the high debt burden. The AKUFO-ADDO administration has made some progress by committing to fiscal consolidation, but much work is still to be done. Ghana signed a $920 million extended credit facility with the IMF in April 2015 to help it address its growing economic crisis. The IMF fiscal targets require Ghana to reduce the deficit by cutting subsidies, decreasing the bloated public sector wage bill, strengthening revenue administration, boosting tax revenues, and improving the health of Ghana's banking sector. Priorities for the new administration include rescheduling some of Ghana's $31 billion debt, stimulating economic growth, reducing inflation, and stabilizing the currency. Prospects for new oil and gas production and follow through on tighter fiscal management are likely to help Ghana's economy in 2018.

GDP real growth rate:

8.4% (2017 est.)
3.7% (2016 est.)
3.8% (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 6

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

8.4% (2019 est.)
9.8% (2018 est.)
12.3% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 202

Credit ratings:

Fitch rating: B (2013)
Moody's rating: B3 (2015)
Standard & Poors rating: B- (2020)

GDP (purchasing power parity) - real:

$134 billion (2017 est.)
$123.6 billion (2016 est.)
$119.2 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$65.363 billion (2019 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$4,700 (2017 est.)
$4,500 (2016 est.)
$4,400 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
country comparison to the world: 159

Gross national saving:

9% of GDP (2017 est.)
7.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
9% of GDP (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 167

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:

agriculture: 18.3% (2017 est.)
industry: 24.5% (2017 est.)
services: 57.2% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use:

household consumption: 80.1% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 8.6% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 13.7% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 1.1% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 43% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -46.5% (2017 est.)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores:

60.0 (2020)

Agriculture - products:

cocoa, rice, cassava (manioc, tapioca), peanuts, corn, shea nuts, bananas; timber


mining, lumbering, light manufacturing, aluminum smelting, food processing, cement, small commercial ship building, petroleum

Industrial production growth rate:

16.7% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 2

Labor force:

12.49 million (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 45

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 44.7%
industry: 14.4%
services: 40.9% (2013 est.)

Unemployment rate:

11.9% (2015 est.)
5.2% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 163

Population below poverty line:

24.2% (2013 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 32.8% (2006)


revenues: 9.544 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 12.36 billion (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:

20.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 149

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):

-6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 183

Public debt:

71.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
73.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 46

Fiscal year:

calendar year

Current account balance:

-$2.131 billion (2017 est.)
-$2.86 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 169


$13.84 billion (2017 est.)
$11.14 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86

Exports - partners:

India 23.8%, UAE 13.4%, China 10.8%, Switzerland 10.1%, Vietnam 5.2%, Burkina Faso 4% (2017)

Exports - commodities:

oil, gold, cocoa, timber, tuna, bauxite, aluminum, manganese ore, diamonds, horticultural products


$12.65 billion (2017 est.)
$12.91 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98

Imports - commodities:

capital equipment, refined petroleum, foodstuffs

Imports - partners:

China 16.8%, US 8%, UK 6.2%, Belgium 5.9%, India 4.1% (2017)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$7.555 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$6.162 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 81

Debt - external:

$22.14 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$16.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 90

Exchange rates:

cedis (GHC) per US dollar -
5.86 (2020 est.)
5.68 (2019 est.)
4.9 (2018 est.)
3.712 (2014 est.)
2.895 (2013 est.)


Electricity access:

population without electricity: 5 million (2019)
electrification - total population: 85% (2019)
electrification - urban areas: 93% (2019)
electrification - rural areas: 75% (2019)

Electricity - production:

12.52 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 94

Electricity - consumption:

9.363 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 99

Electricity - exports:

187 million kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76

Electricity - imports:

511 million kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79

Electricity - installed generating capacity:

3.801 million kW (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 92

Electricity - from fossil fuels:

58% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 134

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:

0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 96

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:

42% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48

Electricity - from other renewable sources:

1% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 153

Crude oil - production:

173,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 37

Crude oil - exports:

104,000 bbl/day (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34

Crude oil - imports:

6,220 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 74

Crude oil - proved reserves:

660 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 41

Refined petroleum products - production:

2,073 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 104

Refined petroleum products - consumption:

90,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83

Refined petroleum products - exports:

2,654 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100

Refined petroleum products - imports:

85,110 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 59

Natural gas - production:

914.4 million cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68

Natural gas - consumption:

1.232 billion cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 87

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 110

Natural gas - imports:

317.4 million cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68

Natural gas - proved reserves:

22.65 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 73

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:

13.67 million Mt (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 96


Telephones - fixed lines:

total subscriptions: 272,801
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112

Telephones - mobile cellular:

total subscriptions: 38,571,189
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 134.32 (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 40

Telecommunication systems:

general assessment: highly competitive Internet market; govt. helped fund programs for telecom services nationally; mobile accounts for how people access the Internet; LTE service launched in 2019; the government invested in fiber infrastructure and set up 600 additional towers to provide basic mobile services; m-money inter-operability launched; international submarine cables and new terrestrial cables have improved Internet capacity and reduced price for end-users; one of the most active mobile markets in Africa (2020)
domestic: fixed-line 1 per 100 subscriptions; competition among multiple mobile-cellular providers has spurred growth with a subscribership of more than 134 per 100 persons and rising (2019)
international: country code - 233; landing points for the SAT-3/WASC, MainOne, ACE, WACS and GLO-1 fiber-optic submarine cables that provide connectivity to South and West Africa, and Europe; satellite earth stations - 4 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); microwave radio relay link to Panaftel system connects Ghana to its neighbors; Ghana-1 satellite launched in 2020 (2019)
note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated

Broadcast media:

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

Internet country code:


Internet users:

total: 10,959,964
percent of population: 39% (July 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 49

Broadband - fixed subscriptions:

total: 62,320
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130


National air transport system:

number of registered air carriers: 3 (2020)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 21
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 467,438 (2018)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:

9G (2016)


10 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 154

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 7 (2017)
over 3,047 m: 1 (2017)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2017)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2017)
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2017)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 3 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2013)


394 km gas, 20 km oil, 361 km refined products (2013)


total: 947 km (2014)
narrow gauge: 947 km 1.067-m gauge (2014)
country comparison to the world: 92


total: 109,515 km (2009)
paved: 13,787 km (2009)
unpaved: 95,728 km (2009)
country comparison to the world: 45


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: 56

Merchant marine:

total: 48
by type: general cargo 6, oil tanker 3, other 39 (2019)
country comparison to the world: 118

Ports and terminals:

major seaport(s): Takoradi, Tema

Military and Security

Military and security forces:

Ghana Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Air Force (2019)

Military expenditures:

0.4% of GDP (2019)
0.41% of GDP (2018)
0.4% of GDP (2017)
0.38% of GDP (2016)
0.52% of GDP (2015)
country comparison to the world: 151

Military and security service personnel strengths:

the Ghana Armed Forces consists of approximately 14,000 active personnel (10,000 Army; 2,000 Navy; 2,000 Air Force) (2019)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions:

the inventory of the Ghana Armed Forces is a mix of Russian, Chinese, and Western equipment; the top suppliers of armaments since 2010 are China, Germany, Spain, and Russia (2019 est.)

Military deployments:

140 Mali (MINUSMA); 180 Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO); 875 Lebanon (UNIFIL); 850 South Sudan (UNMISS) (2020)
note: Ghana has pledged to maintain about 1,000 military personnel in readiness for UN peacekeeping missions

Military service age and obligation:

18-26 years of age for voluntary military service, with basic education certificate; no conscription (2019)

Maritime threats:

West African piracy more than doubled in 2018 to become the most dangerous area in the World; the waters off of Ghana saw a dramatic increase with 10 attacks reported in 2018 compared with only one in 2017; eight ships were boarded, one hijacked, and 47 crew taken hostage or kidnapped

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:

disputed maritime border between Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 6,406 (Cote d'Ivoire) (flight from 2010 post-election fighting) (2020)

Trafficking in persons:

current situation: Ghana is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; the trafficking of Ghanians, particularly children, internally is more common than the trafficking of foreign nationals; Ghanian children are subjected to forced labor in fishing, domestic service, street hawking, begging, portering, mining, quarrying, herding, and agriculture, with girls, and to a lesser extent boys, forced into prostitution; Ghanian women, sometimes lured with legitimate job offers, and girls are sex trafficked in West Africa, the Middle East, and Europe; Ghanian men fraudulently recruited for work in the Middle East are subjected to forced labor or prostitution, and a few Ghanian adults have been identified as victims of false labor in the US; women and girls from Vietnam, China, and neighboring West African countries are sex trafficked in Ghana; the country is also a transit point for sex trafficking from West Africa to Europe
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Ghana does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; Ghana continued to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses but was unable to ramp up its anti-trafficking efforts in 2014 because the government failed to provide law enforcement or protection agencies with operating budgets; victim protection efforts decreased in 2014, with significantly fewer victims identified; most child victims were referred to NGO-run facilities, but care for adults was lacking because the government did not provide any support to the country's Human Trafficking Fund for victim services or its two shelters; anti-trafficking prevention measures increased modestly, including reconvening of the Human Trafficking Management Board, public awareness campaigns on child labor and trafficking, and anti-trafficking TV and radio programs (2015)

Illicit drugs:

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