About Ghana

Where is Ghana?

The word Ghana means “Warrior King” in the Soninke language. 

Ghana, country of western Africa, situated on the coast of the Gulf of Guinea. Although relatively small in area and population, Ghana is one of the leading countries of Africa, partly because of its considerable natural wealth and partly because it was the first black African country south of the Sahara to achieve independence from colonial rule.

Talk to most people about Ghana and they’re likely to ask ‘Where’s that?’ Ghana is pretty much right at the center of the world, being both incredibly close to the equator and on the line representing 0° longitude.

On a world map you’ll find it on the west coast of Africa – the side closest to America, and bordering the Atlantic Ocean. Follow the western coast of Africa until it curves inwards and you’ll have located the Gulf of Guinea.

Ghana and is one of the many nations you’ll find here. Now draw a line straight down from London to the Gulf of Guinea and you’ll have landed on Ghana. And if anyone asks what time it is in Guinea, it’s easy. Ghana time is exactly the same as Greenwich Mean Time as it shares a time zone with London.

What is the capital of Ghana?

Ghana’s port city of Accra is the commercial hub of the country. It is also Ghana’s most populous city and the seat of its government.

The country’s oldest university, The University of Ghana, is located in the suburb of Legon. Some points of interest in Accra for those on holiday in Ghana include its pure white sandy beaches, well-loved by surfers, bustling street markets – where you can shop for handicrafts – and the National Museum of Ghana, which is the perfect place to explore Ghana’s rich cultural history through ancient artifacts.

International visitors flying into Accra will stop off at Kotoka International Airport. Other important cities include Kumasi, in the forested Ashanti region, and Tamale, in the northern region. Both have international terminals.

What is Ghana's weather & landscape Like?

Ghana is one of a handful of countries vying for the title of ‘closest to the equator’, so you aren’t likely to find a climate more tropical than this. As such, Ghana doesn’t have four seasons, but rather two, one wet and one dry.

It’s also pretty hot, reaching about 30°C or 86°F on most days. The country is about equal parts sandy desert, shrubby savannah, and lush rainforest. The area along the coast is dry, but the ubiquitous heat is tempered by cool breezes blowing in from the Atlantic Ocean.

Just above the coast, the massive man-made lake Volta and it’s beautifully green embankments stretch out along the eastern side of Ghana. In the middle of the country sits the Ashanti plateau, a series of rolling hills overgrown with tropical forests.

Go further north and the area becomes drier and turns into arid grasslands. Popular national parks include Kakum National Park, in the south, which boasts a canopy-level walkway through its jungle treetops, as well as Mole National Park, where huge herds of elephants roam the wide open spaces.

In addition to being known for its lush forests, diverse animal life, and miles of sandy beaches along a picturesque coast, 

When did Ghana gain independence?

In 1957, Ghana became the first self-governing country on the African continent under president Kwame Nkrumah. Their new flag incorporated the Pan African colors of red, yellow, green and black. Many other African countries followed suit.

Their coat of arms was created to proudly display the black star, a symbol of Ghana’s emancipation. The national currency was changed from Pounds to Cedis. Today Ghana’s president is Nana Akufo-Addo and a dollar will buy you 4.86 Cedis, meaning that Ghana is an affordable location for most foreigners.

What is Ghana's history?

Ghana’s past is incredibly complex. The area now known as Ghana has been conquered by many African kingdoms and European nations over the past 2,000 years.

The ancient Ghana Empire was actually located higher up than present-day Ghana and included Mali, Mauritania, and Senegal. The ruler of this empire was known as the “Warrior King” (the Ghana) which is how the empire became known to its enemies and allies.

Toward the beginning of the medieval times, the empire was driven toward the coast by the rising Mali Empire. Later, during the Renaissance period, this clan of tribes – known as the Akan people – formed the Ashanti Empire, with their main seat being in the central woodlands of Kumasi. They became powerful and wealthy due to trading in gold and were pioneers in making contact with the Europeans.

Although they were given a run for their money by many other kingdoms that make up modern Ghana, the Ashanti were able to maintain control over the coastal area for many years. This allowed them to trade with the Portuguese, Dutch and the British.

In the early 20th century the British claimed the area as part of their commonwealth, naming it the “Gold Coast”. During this time the country grew into a prosperous nation through the production of non-endemic crops like cocoa and coffee, and through the establishment of many schools.

What is the main language in Ghana?

The population of Ghana is incredibly diverse, and the government of modern Ghana recognizes many national languages. Two of the most widespread are the Twi language of the Ashanti people, which is spoken in the southern and central regions, and the Dagbani language of the Dagomba people, spoken by people in areas to the north.

No Ghanaian culture historically used traditional forms of writing and kept their languages alive through oral traditions. However, the Akan people did use a form of symbolic depiction known as Adinkra. These designs represent complex concepts, like proverbs and overarching theories, rather than words.

They were used on everything from fabrics, jewelry, and pottery, to walls, architectural elements and on the weights used in trading gold. Personal and home accessories, as well as clothing, incorporating these symbols, can be purchased from Ghana’s many artisans.

Modern Ghanaians communicate across linguistic barriers using English as a unifier. About half of the country speaks English, and it is one of the nations official languages. In fact, Ghana’s National Anthem is sung in English

What is Ghana's food like?

You will find tomato-based stews with complex flavors throughout Ghana. The stews usually contain a type of marine or freshwater fish and are eaten with a dough, which is used to scoop up the fish and soak up the fragrant sauce.

The dough, sometimes called fufu or akple, is made from any type of starch, including cassava, plantain, yam, maize, millet, sorghum, potatoes or cocoyams.

Another staple of Ghanaian cuisine is jollof rice, a kind of biryani flavored with tomatoes and chili. Peanuts are often used to flavor stews and garnish dishes. You’ll also find taro leaves and okra in many dishes.

Street food is a beloved Ghanaian custom, so be sure to buy a few takeaway meals in the market, if you ever visit.

What religion do most people in Ghana ascribe to?

Today most Ghanaians self-identify as Christians. However, the native religion of the influential Ashanti Empire was a form of pantheism known as Akom, a Twi word meaning “to be hungry”. Many of the traditions of Akom are still very much alive today and are combined with Christian traditions.

The Akom cosmology centers around a creator god, most widely recognized by the name Nyame – who makes his home in the sky – and his wife, Asase Yaa, the earth. Their wishes are carried out by spirit beings.

Relatives who have passed over are also part of this nonphysical realm. A favorite spirit of traditional Ghanaian storytellers is Anansi, a swindling spider, represented in Neil Gaiman’s novel, American Gods, which was recently made into a TV series.

Kejetia Market

Kejetia Market is the biggest and among the most popular single sited market in the whole of West Africa. The Kejetia Market has close to 50,000 stores/shops. The Kejetia Market also doubles as a prominent landmark in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital where it is located.

The Kejetia Market is officially known as the Kumasi Central Market. In addition to the diversity of goods and services available at the Kejetia Market, the number of people who throng the market daily is multitudinous.

With the current upgrade of the Kumasi Central Market into a world-class facility, the important attach to this already popular location is expected to skyrocket. Food stuff, clothes, shoes, automobile spare parts and electronic gadgets some of the most common items people trade in at the Kejetia market, Kumasi.

The Kejetia/Asafo lorry station and the Kejetia railways mean that visiting the market from anywhere in the country via road is a possibility. The Kumasi Central Market not only functions every day in the year, it also seldom sleeps.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II cut the sod for construction works to begin on the Kumasi Central Market Redevelopment Project on Thursday, May 2, 2019.  The construction works, which begins almost immediately is to be completed within 48 months.

For more information, visit Ghana's official website https://visitghana.com/