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Life in Africa and Ghana. By Prof. Dr. Emmanuel Boon. AFRICA. 2 nd Largest continent (30 million km 2 ) 2 nd most populated continent (almost 15% of world population Large natural resource base. THE AFRICA OF THE PAST. Most undeveloped continent in the world:

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Life in Africa and Ghana

By Prof. Dr. Emmanuel Boon

  • 2nd Largest continent (30 million km2)
  • 2nd most populated continent (almost

15% of world population

  • Large natural resource base


Most undeveloped continent in the world:

  • Years of slave trade and colonialism
  • War and bad governance
  • Mismanagement of Natural Resources
  • AIDS

Dark Continent



  • Increasingly democratic
  • The rate of return on foreign investment

is higher than in any other region.

  • Telcom, banking, retailing and construction are flourishing.
  • Africa’s collective GDP, at $1.6 trillion in 2008, is roughly equal to Brazil’s or Russia’s
  • Political independence in 1957
  • Founding member of the OAU and ECOWAS,

member of UN and other int’l bodies

  • Land size of almost 240,000 km2
  • Geographically closer to the "centre" of the world than any other country.
  • Trade with Europe (Portuguese) began in the
  • 15th century
  • 1874 - British established the Gold CoastCrown colony.
political situation
Political situation
  • Ghana is divided into 10 administrative regions, subdivided into a total of 170 districts
  • Legal system based on British common law, customary (traditional) law, and the 1992 constitution
  • Placed 118 among countries on the 2011 Failed States Index
  • Constitutional Democracy (4th Republic)
  • Two major political parties

1992, 1996 2008

2004, 2008



  • Ghana is an ethnically diverse country comprising over 60 ethnic groups
  • 52 major languages and hundreds of dialects are spoken in Ghana, official language is English
  • Major religions are Christianity, Islam and Traditional African Religion
  • The celebration of festivals in Ghana is an essential part of Ghanaian culture.
  • PANAFEST (an international festival held very summer celebrating African roots)
education and human resource development
Education and Human Resource Development
  • Ghana has a population of about 24 million
  • Population Growth Rate 2.4% per annum
  • The adult literacy rate in Ghana was 65% in 2007
  • (males-71.7%), (females-58.3%)
  • Ghana\'s spending on education has varied between 28-40% of its annual budget in
  • the past decade.
  • With 83% of its children in school, Ghana currently has one of the highest school enrollment rates in West Africa.
state of the economy
State of the Economy
  • Ghana’s Labour force is 11.5 million people
  • The World\'s Fastest Growing Economy in 2011 (Banker Magazine, July 2011; Economy Watch, Aug. 2011)

Source: Ghana Statistical Service, IMF The FPSO Kwame Nkrumah

  • Now a lower Middle Income Economy endowed with natural resources
  • Major oil discovery off the coast of Ghana in 2007 has led to significant
  • international commercial interest in Ghana
  • Oil is expected to account for 6% of the revenue for 2011
food and hunger
Food and Hunger
  • Agriculture is the backbone of the Ghanaian economy
  • Principal Agricultural exports Cocoa, Timber, etc     
  • The sector grew at 2.8% in 2011 compared to a target of 5.3%
  • Country on target to meet MDG 1
  • Agriculture accounts for 33.7% of GDP and provides employment for 56% of the work force



Trade and Globalization

  • Member of WTO since 1 January 1995

Commodity Exports

Source: WTO

Commodity Imports


Tema Port is the biggest of the two seaports in Ghana. Handles 80% of the nation’s import and export cargo

  • Traffic junction for transit cargo destined for the landlocked countries such as Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger
environmental situation
  • Climate: tropical; warm and comparatively dry along southeast coast; hot and humid in southwest; hot and dry in north
  • There are two main seasons in Ghana: the wet and the dry seasons.
  • Natural hazards: dry, dusty, northeastern harmattan winds occur from January to March
  • Lake Volta, the world\'s largest artificial lake, extends through large portions of eastern Ghana and is the main source of many rivers
environmental challenges
  • Recurrent drought in the north severely affects agricultural activities
  • Deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; poaching and habitat destruction
  • Water pollution; inadequate supplies of potable water
  • Environmental disasters caused by annual floods
  • Africa is a continent on the rise
  • Democracy is gaining roots and good governance taking shape
  • Ghana faces challenges in consolidating the gains made over the last two decades
  • Investor confidence in Ghana has grown significantly
  • Investment opportunities abound in investor friendly climates such as Ghana.