Ghana Country Overview
Where is Ghana located? The state of Ghana (formerly known as the Gold Coast) is located in western Africa. From the colonial era, Ghana’s history is closely intertwined with Britain. On the time zone map, which divides the countries of the world into world time zones along the lines of longitude, it can be seen that Ghana is, viewed vertically, in the same time zone as Western Europe. This is called differently (“Greenwich Mean Time” (GMT)), but in fact there is no time difference between the regional time and the coordinated world time (UTC -+0) in both regions.
As of 2023, the latest population of Ghana is 29,340,248, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).
|Population growth rate||2.15%|
|Birth rate||30.50 births per 1,000 people|
|65 years and above||4.30%|
|Median age||20.90 years|
|Gender ratio (Male to Female)||0.98|
|Population density||123.00 residents per km²|
|especially Kwa- u. Gur groups, Mande, Hausa, Fulbe|
|Indigenous religions 38%, Muslims 30%, Christians 24%, others 8%|
|Human Development Index (HDI)||0.596|
|HDI ranking||142nd out of 194|
People in Ghana
Many peoples live in Ghana. Each has its own culture and language. The Akan ethnic group has the largest share of the population (47.5 percent). Several subgroups belong to the Akan. The best known and largest is the Ashanti group, another the Fanti. Other ethnic groups in Ghana are the Dagomba (16.6 percent), the Ewe (13.9 percent) and the Ga-Adangme (7.4 percent).
The Ashanti and the Fanti were not well disposed towards each other before. The Ashanti owned a large empire until the end of the 19th century. The Fanti who live on the coast worked with the British and their area was the first to become a British colony. The Ashanti fought for a long time against the British and the Fanti, allied with them.
The Akan still maintain their old traditions, especially if they live in the country. They weave Kent fabrics with geometric patterns and often in the colors red, yellow and green. Clay and wood goods, but also clothing, especially among the Ashanti, are stamped with Adinkra symbols and then worn on certain festive days or at funerals. Every symbol has a meaning. The Sankofa bird stands for “learning from the past”.
The tribes still have their chiefs, and even every family (every clan) has a nana, the leader of the clan. The Ashanti have an Ashanti king, the Asantehene. He lives in a palace in Kumasi. He has no political power, but still plays an important role for the Ashanti.
People love dance and music. Traditional music mainly includes drums. In the past, drums were also used to transmit messages.
Holidays are very important. On the one hand, there are religious holidays such as Easter and Christmas for Christians or the end of Ramadan for Muslims. On the other hand, there are public holidays like March 6th, Independence Day. The yams festival, called Adae, is celebrated in a big way every year. One thanks the ancestors here.
What exactly is rural exodus?
More and more people are moving to the cities. This is a typical phenomenon in West Africa (for example also in the Ivory Coast). This is called rural exodus. The more people come to cities, the more housing and jobs are lacking. In Ghana, just over half of the people live in cities (56 percent).
Languages in Ghana
Until 1957, Ghana was under British colonial rule. That is why English had become the official language. This is the language that is officially spoken and used, for example in government offices or in newspapers.
But there are also the languages of the peoples who live in Ghana. That’s more than 70 languages! Many Ghanaians speak several languages fluently. The languages of the peoples are usually called the same as the people who speak them. The Mole-Dagbani speak Mole-Dagbani, the Ewe speak Ewe, the Ga-Dangme speak Ga-Dangme, etc. The largest ethnic group in Ghana are the Akan. Their language is called Akan language or Twi (pronounced: Tschui). It belongs to the Kwa languages. There are several dialects in Twi.
Not all, but some of these languages are also written. This also includes the Akan language. It is written using the Latin alphabet (which you also learn in school). There are also other letters from the so-called Africa alphabet. They can be used to record sounds from African languages in writing, for example the ḅ, a “b” with a dot below it. It’s pronounced like a “b”, but the airflow goes inwards instead of outwards! Give it a try!
“Good morning” in the Akan language means Twi: “M’aakye”. It is pronounced like this: Ma-atsche.
Religions in Ghana
About 71 percent of the population belong to Christianity. Most of the Christians live in the south of the country. Another 18 percent belong to Islam. Five percent are followers of natural religions. These include the Akan religion and the Ga religion. The remainder belong to other religions or to no church.