A Place Called Ghana!

Ghana Flag

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So I guess as the core topic and reason for this site revolves around Ghanaian culture and tradition, so it makes sense to tell you a little about the country itself…right?!

Ok here goes…Ghana, formerly referred to by early Europeans as ‘Ivory Coast’, ‘Pepper Coast’, ‘Grain Coast’, ‘Slave Coast’ & of course ‘The Gold Coast’ is in the middle of the West African sub-Saharan region.

Ghana is actually surrounded by French speaking countries: Cote d’Ivorie and Burkina Faso to the west (Don’t mention African cup of Nations 2013!), Mali and Niger to the north,  then Togo, and  Benin to the east. Believe it or not, most Ghanaians don’t speak French.

The country has a very similar total area to Britain with 92,100 square miles (238,540 sq. km) and is roughly rectangular, with 419 miles north to south and 312 miles east. The capital of Ghana is Accra,  and the second biggest city is  Kumasi.

Ghana map

The estimated population of Ghana is 22 million. The majority of these people are based within the main cities of Accra, Kumasi, Sekondi-Takradi, Tamale and Tema.

The official language is English however, there is a huge part of Ghana that is made up of indigenous people(tribal groups), all with their own dialect, culture, and traditions. Almost half of the Ghana population are from the ‘Akan’ tribe and speak some form of Twi (pronounced “Chwee”).  Other popular languages include Ga, Ewe and Fanti.

Generally, the weather in Ghana is very hot so prepare to sweat it out and take precautions against the sun if you’re planning a visit! The north is a lot hotter and drier than the south. There are rainy seasons, which in the South usually kick in around April through to June then again from October to November.In the North this is between August and September.

Ghana Beach

The first written accounts of the region was by Arab explorers. They described the country as “The land of the king”, probably because of all the Gold. The Ghana we know today was once colonised by The British (For 113 years!). Thanks to President Kwame Nkrumah, on March 6 1957 Ghana became the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to gain its Independence.

KwameNkrumah

Today, Ghana has one of the fastest developing economies in the world. Ghana’s exports include Cocoa, (the highest in Africa), aluminium, gold (2nd highest), diamonds, manganese, bauxite, fruits and timber. Main imports include machinery, transport equipment and food items. With the recent discovery of black gold and high quality oil. Economists have high hopes for Ghana should they make the right decisions!

Oil money in Ghana

The Flag of Ghana represents all the things the nation went through to achieve independence. Red signifies the blood of those who died in the struggle for independence. Gold represents the wealth, Green represents the forests and farmland. The Black, five pointed star in the middle is the symbol of African emancipation and unity.

Ghana Flag

Some famous Ghanaians include:

Sports People -Abedi Pele, (footballer), Tony Yeboah (footballer), Azumah Nelson (world champion boxer), Michael Essien (footballer), Mario Balotelli (nutter..i mean footballer), Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (athlete,sprinter)

Musicians & DJs - Dizzee Rascal (artist), Tinchy Stryder (artist), Sway (artist), DJ Abrantee (Afro-beats DJ), Lethal Bizzle (artist)

Actors  - Idris Elba, Boris Kodjoe, Hugh Quarshie, Freema Agyeman 

Politicians - Kofi Annan (UN Secretary-General)

Fashion - Ozwald Boateng (Designer)

Kofi Anan with Jay-Z  Idris Elba_TheWire  Essien  Dizzee-Rascal

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