Welcome to Ghana

Ghana is the second-largest producer of cocoa beans. We're also famous for our music and celebrations; we like to throw a good party. And because we really value education, the country is becoming well-known for its colleges. Come and find out more about the things which make Ghana special.

History

The first humans are thought to have lived in Africa and powerful African empires formed from the medieval age onwards.

However, today's African nations were shaped by the European powers who colonised this vast continent. Having gained their independence, many African countries are still coming to terms with the legacy left by their colonisers.

Children's stories

'The fruits of honesty' and 'The Migration'

The children at the SOS Children’s Village in Tema, Ghana, learnt the complex skills of film-making, from professional cameramen.  Once mastered they created their very own films.

Health

Africa has a high number of communicable diseases, which place a huge burden on healthcare systems. The vast majority of malaria cases and HIV/AIDS-related deaths occur in Africa; these two diseases currently represent the greatest threats.

With low investment in healthcare and a severe shortage of medical staff, many countries struggle to meet the health needs of their people.

Geography & Wildlife

Vanishing forest

Logging has destroyed large areas of Ghana’s tropical rainforest. However, the country’s 16 wildlife protection areas (covering approximately 5% of the land) are home to a huge diversity of mammal, bird and insect life.

History & Politics

Gold and slaves

European traders flocked to Ghana and other parts of West Africa from the 1600s, when slaves started becoming as lucrative as gold. Slavery was abolished in Europe during the 1800s, though it wasn't until the 1900s before the shipping of Africans abroad finally ended.

People & Culture

A host of dialects

There are over 40 languages and 70 different dialects spoken in Ghana, though the Akan languages of Twi, Ashante and Fante are the most common.

Tourism & Communications

A historic coastline

Ghana’s history and cultural heritage are a key draw for tourists. Along the coast, visitors can explore Ghana’s old towns and find out more about its colonial past, which centred on the trade in gold and slaves.

Climate

Africa is a massive continent, with a range of climates. Some regions are hot and dry, like the Sahara, Kalahari and Namib deserts. Other parts are wet or covered in tropical rainforest. Conditions also vary by altitude, from the dry salt pans of the Danakil Depression (one of the lowest points on earth) to the snowcaps (at certain times) of the highest mountains. Weather-wise, Africa has it all!

Geography & Wildlife

With its varied geography and diverse habits, the African continent is home to a wide range of flora and fauna. Though famous for its 'big game' animals, Africa has huge numbers of fish, mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian and insect species, as well as many tree, plant and flower species.

Weaving

Weaving, a trade passed down

Discover all about one man's trade – weaving. He was taught this trade by his father and creates beautiful and colourful kente cloth.

Poverty & Healthcare

Inaccessible health service for many

Only around half of Ghanaians can afford to pay into the National Health Insurance scheme, so many people rely on the country’s 45,000 traditional healers. Malaria is the number one killer in Ghana due to the country’s wet, tropical climate which is ideal for mosquitoes.

Tie-dyeing

Bright and bold, meaningful designs

Despite western influence, Ghanaians still love to dress in their traditional clothes.

Games & Sport

Africa is home to arguably the oldest-recorded games and sports. While some are only known through archaeology, modern-day games and sports such as Mancala/Mankala and Nubian wrestling are very much alive today.

Of course, new sports have come along to claim the attention of Africans. You may have heard of one - it's called football.

Education & Jobs

Government investment

Education is seen as the key to developing Ghana into a middle-income nation. The government has dedicated one-fifth of the national budget to the education sector.

Women

A woman’s status varies by country and region across Africa. In many parts, women struggle against inequality in laws, education, pay and domestic responsibilities.

Women’s health is also at risk from traditional practices such as early marriage. But with better education, girls can make more informed choices, leading to the greater development of African nations.

The community

Freshly baked bread

What is it like to feel helpless? What do you do when prevented from earning a living the only way you know how?

Children

Around one in six children born in sub-Saharan Africa don't live to see their fifth birthday and life can be tough for those who do.

What are the common challenges facing African children and how do their lives compare with those of children in the UK?

Development

‘People are the real wealth of a nation.’ This is the belief of the United Nations, whose Millenium Development Goals provide a framework for improving the lives of millions.

It helps when nations are peaceful, stable and growing economically. But where even the poorest countries focus on health, education and creating fairer societies, more Africans have the chance of a better life.

Poverty

Across the rest of the world, absolute poverty has halved over recent decades, but in Africa it has barely fallen.

About two-fifths of the population of sub-Saharan Africa survive week by week on what someone in the UK earns from just one hour's work on the minimum wage.

Ghana map

Explore Ghana

Ghana has some interesting places to explore. Find out more about some of Ghana’s cities, such as Accra and Kumasi.

Economy & Industry

A prospering country

Ghana has prospered over the last two decades. The economy has grown annually around 6% each year. The most important sector for Ghana remains agriculture and the country is the second largest producer of cocoa beans.

Climate & Agriculture

Cocoa is the top earner

Ghana is a low-lying country with a hot, tropical climate. Cocoa beans are the major export crop and are grown on more than half of the arable land.

Welcome to Ghana

Hi, I'm Audrey. Welcome to Ghana.

I've been making videos with my friends about what life is like in the south of Ghana. I'm really lucky to be living in a country which values education so highly. It's my ambition to go to college. In one of the videos, I visit my ‘dream college’ and video some of the students. There are young people here who have travelled from all over Africa to study in Ghana.

Agriculture & Famine

A quarter of the population of sub-Saharan Africa is undernourished and famines can impact whole regions.

Land is available to grow more food locally, but investment is needed in  technologies such as irrigation for land to be used effectively. Farmers must also adapt to climate change if they are to feed the continent's rising population.

Food & Daily life

City life

Over half of Ghana’s people now live in urban centres and the country’s coastal cities (such as Accra and Sekondi-Takoradi) are modern and bustling.

Foods

Africa has some of the most distinctive cuisines and flavours in the world. Food varies widely, but there are commonalities across regions. Depending on what's grown locally, dishes are also influenced by the traders, immigrants and rulers who settled across the continent. Arab, Asian and European elements blend in with traditional African cooking.

Education at college

A better education, a better life

Education is seen as very important in Ghana. Audrey would love to go to the Hermann Gmeiner College and meets some of the students there.

Drumming & dancing

It’s in their blood

The drums and dances performed throughout Ghana all have a significance that relates to Ghana’s rich culture.

Facts & Figures

Rising life expectancy

On average, people in Ghana now live to the age of 60.

Funerals

Not just a family affair

Ghanaian funerals are well known for their importance to whole communities and for their flamboyancy. Some of the coffins are like nothing you will have ever seen before.

Ghana topicsFacts & FiguresPoverty & HealthcareFood & Daily lifeThe communityPeople & CultureGeography & WildlifeClimate & AgricultureTie-dyeingFuneralsWelcome to GhanaDrumming & dancingEconomy & IndustryEducation at collegeEducation & JobsChildren's storiesHistory & PoliticsWeavingGhana mapTourism & Communications