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Ghana is a multiethnic country rich in natural resources and is one of the most stable and democratic countries in West Africa. Ghana has been inhabited for at least several thousand years, however, little is known about its early inhabitants. By the 12th century, the gold trade started to boom in Bono (Bonoman) state in what is today southern Ghana, and it became the genesis of Akan power and wealth in the region. Beginning in the 15th century, the Portuguese, followed by other European powers, arrived and contested for trading rights. Numerous kingdoms and empires emerged in the area, among the most powerful were the Kingdom of Dagbon in the north and the Asante (Ashanti) Empire in the south. By the mid-18th century, Asante was a highly organized state with immense wealth; it provided enslaved people for the Atlantic slave trade, and in return received firearms that facilitated its territorial expansion. The Asante resisted increasing British influence in the coastal areas, engaging in a series of wars during the 19th century before ultimately falling under British control. Formed from the merger of the British colony of the Gold Coast and the Togoland trust territory, Ghana in 1957 became the first Sub-Saharan country in colonial Africa to gain its independence, with Kwame NKRUMAH as its first leader.

Ghana endured a series of coups before Lt. Jerry RAWLINGS took power in 1981 and banned political parties. After approving a new constitution and restoring multiparty politics in 1992, RAWLINGS won presidential elections in 1992 and 1996 but was constitutionally prevented from running for a third term in 2000. John KUFUOR of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) succeeded him and was reelected in 2004. John Atta MILLS of the National Democratic Congress won the 2008 presidential election and took over as head of state. MILLS died in July 2012 and was constitutionally succeeded by his vice president, John Dramani MAHAMA, who subsequently won the December 2012 presidential election. In 2016, Nana Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO of the NPP defeated MAHAMA, marking the third time that Ghana’s presidency had changed parties since the return to democracy. AKUFO-ADDO was reelected in 2020. In recent years, Ghana has taken an active role in promoting regional stability and is highly integrated in international affairs.



Western Africa, bordering the Gulf of Guinea, between Cote d’Ivoire and Togo

Geographic coordinates

8 00 N, 2 00 W

Map references



total: 238,533 sq km

land: 227,533 sq km

water: 11,000 sq km

comparison ranking: total 82

Area – comparative

slightly smaller than Oregon

Land boundaries

total: 2,420 km

border countries (3): Burkina Faso 602 km; Cote d’Ivoire 720 km; Togo 1098 km


539 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm


tropical; warm and comparatively dry along southeast coast; hot and humid in southwest; hot and dry in north


mostly low plains with dissected plateau in south-central area


highest point: Mount Afadjato 885 m

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

mean elevation: 190 m

Natural resources

gold, timber, industrial diamonds, bauxite, manganese, fish, rubber, hydropower, petroleum, silver, salt, limestone

Land use

agricultural land: 69.1% (2018 est.)

arable land: 20.7% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 11.9% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 36.5% (2018 est.)

forest: 21.2% (2018 est.)

other: 9.7% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

360 sq km (2013)

Major rivers (by length in km)

Volta river mouth (shared with Burkina Faso [s]) – 1,600 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Volta (410,991 sq km)

Population distribution

population is concentrated in the southern half of the country, with the highest concentrations being on or near the Atlantic coast as shown in this population distribution map

Natural hazards

dry, dusty, northeastern harmattan winds from January to March; droughts

Geography – note

Lake Volta is the world’s largest artificial lake (manmade reservoir) by surface area (8,482 sq km; 3,275 sq mi); the lake was created following the completion of the Akosombo Dam in 1965, which holds back the White Volta and Black Volta Rivers


People and Society


33,846,114 (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 44


noun: Ghanaian(s)

adjective: Ghanaian

Ethnic groups

Akan 45.7%, Mole-Dagbani 18.5%, Ewe 12.8%, Ga-Dangme 7.1%, Gurma 6.4%, Guan 3.2%, Grusi 2.7%, Mande 2%, other 1.6% (2021 est.)


Asante 16%, Ewe 14%, Fante 11.6%, Boron (Brong) 4.9%, Dagomba 4.4%, Dangme 4.2%, Dagarte (Dagaba) 3.9%, Kokomba 3.5%, Akyem 3.2%, Ga 3.1%, other 31.2% (2010 est.)

note: English is the official language


Christian 71.3% (Pentecostal/Charismatic 31.6%, Protestant 17.4%, Catholic 10%, other 12.3%), Muslim 19.9%, traditionalist 3.2%, other 4.5%, none 1.1% (2021 est.)

Demographic profile

Ghana has a young age structure, with approximately 56% of the population under the age of 25 as of 2020. Its total fertility rate fell significantly during the 1980s and 1990s but has stalled at around four children per woman for the last few years. Fertility remains higher in the northern region than the Greater Accra region. On average, desired fertility has remained stable for several years; urban dwellers want fewer children than rural residents. Increased life expectancy, due to better health care, nutrition, and hygiene, and reduced fertility have increased Ghana’s share of elderly persons; Ghana’s proportion of persons aged 60+ is among the highest in Sub-Saharan Africa. Poverty has declined in Ghana, but it remains pervasive in the northern region, which is susceptible to droughts and floods and has less access to transportation infrastructure, markets, fertile farming land, and industrial centers. The northern region also has lower school enrollment, higher illiteracy, and fewer opportunities for women.

Ghana was a country of immigration in the early years after its 1957 independence, attracting labor migrants largely from Nigeria and other neighboring countries to mine minerals and harvest cocoa – immigrants composed about 12% of Ghana’s population in 1960. In the late 1960s, worsening economic and social conditions discouraged immigration, and hundreds of thousands of immigrants, mostly Nigerians, were expelled.

During the 1970s, severe drought and an economic downturn transformed Ghana into a country of emigration; neighboring Cote d’Ivoire was the initial destination. Later, hundreds of thousands of Ghanaians migrated to Nigeria to work in its booming oil industry, but most were deported in 1983 and 1985 as oil prices plummeted. Many Ghanaians then turned to more distant destinations, including other parts of Africa, Europe, and North America, but the majority continued to migrate within West Africa. Since the 1990s, increased emigration of skilled Ghanaians, especially to the US and the UK, drained the country of its health care and education professionals. Internally, poverty and other developmental disparities continue to drive Ghanaians from the north to the south, particularly to its urban centers.

Age structure

0-14 years: 37.72% (male 6,445,288/female 6,321,989)

15-64 years: 57.92% (male 9,420,940/female 10,181,376)

65 years and over: 4.36% (2023 est.) (male 660,991/female 815,530)

2023 population pyramid:

2023 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 68.7

youth dependency ratio: 62.9

elderly dependency ratio: 5.9

potential support ratio: 17 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 21.4 years

male: 21 years

female: 21.9 years (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 184

Population growth rate

2.19% (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 35

Birth rate

28.04 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 33

Death rate

5.99 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 157

Net migration rate

-0.16 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 106

Population distribution

population is concentrated in the southern half of the country, with the highest concentrations being on or near the Atlantic coast as shown in this population distribution map


urban population: 59.2% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 3.06% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas – population

3.768 million Kumasi, 2.660 million ACCRA (capital), 1.078 million Sekondi Takoradi (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female

total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Mother’s mean age at first birth

20.7 years (2014 est.)

note: data represents median age at first birth among women 25-49

Maternal mortality ratio

263 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 34

Infant mortality rate

total: 31.87 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 35.25 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 28.38 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: total 46

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 69.72 years

male: 68.06 years

female: 71.44 years (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: total population 178

Total fertility rate

3.61 children born/woman (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 33

Gross reproduction rate

1.78 (2023 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

27.2% (2017/18)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 98.7% of population

rural: 83.8% of population

total: 92.4% of population

unimproved: urban: 1.3% of population

rural: 16.2% of population

total: 7.6% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

4% of GDP (2020)

Physicians density

0.17 physicians/1,000 population (2020)

Hospital bed density

0.9 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 84.8% of population

rural: 52.8% of population

total: 71.1% of population

unimproved: urban: 15.2% of population

rural: 47.2% of population

total: 28.9% of population (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2023)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis

note: on 22 March 2023, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Travel Alert for polio in Africa; Ghana is currently considered a high risk to travelers for circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPV); vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) is a strain of the weakened poliovirus that was initially included in oral polio vaccine (OPV) and that has changed over time and behaves more like the wild or naturally occurring virus; this means it can be spread more easily to people who are unvaccinated against polio and who come in contact with the stool or respiratory secretions, such as from a sneeze, of an “infected” person who received oral polio vaccine; the CDC recommends that before any international travel, anyone unvaccinated, incompletely vaccinated, or with an unknown polio vaccination status should complete the routine polio vaccine series; before travel to any high-risk destination, the CDC recommends that adults who previously completed the full, routine polio vaccine series receive a single, lifetime booster dose of polio vaccine

Obesity – adult prevalence rate

10.9% (2016)

comparison ranking: 136

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 1.59 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 0.53 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.05 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0.39 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0.61 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total 137

Tobacco use

total: 3.5% (2020 est.)

male: 6.6% (2020 est.)

female: 0.3% (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 164

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

12.6% (2017/18)

comparison ranking: 45

Currently married women (ages 15-49)

54.3% (2023 est.)

Child marriage

women married by age 15: 5%

women married by age 18: 19.3%

men married by age 18: 3.9% (2018 est.)

Education expenditures

3.9% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 121


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 79%

male: 83.5%

female: 74.5% (2018)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 12 years

male: 12 years

female: 12 years (2020)

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 9.6%

male: 9.7%

female: 9.4% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 158



Environment – current issues

recurrent drought in north severely affects agricultural activities; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; poaching and habitat destruction threaten wildlife populations; water pollution; inadequate supplies of potable water

Environment – international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Protocol, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 2006, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation


tropical; warm and comparatively dry along southeast coast; hot and humid in southwest; hot and dry in north

Land use

agricultural land: 69.1% (2018 est.)

arable land: 20.7% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 11.9% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 36.5% (2018 est.)

forest: 21.2% (2018 est.)

other: 9.7% (2018 est.)


urban population: 59.2% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 3.06% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Revenue from forest resources

3.51% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 21

Revenue from coal

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 139

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 31.95 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 16.67 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 22.75 megatons (2020 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 3,538,275 tons (2005 est.)

Major rivers (by length in km)

Volta river mouth (shared with Burkina Faso [s]) – 1,600 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Volta (410,991 sq km)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 300 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 100 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

agricultural: 1.07 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

Total renewable water resources

56.2 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Ghana

conventional short form: Ghana

former: Gold Coast

etymology: named for the medieval West African kingdom of the same name but whose location was actually further north than the modern country

Government type

presidential republic


name: Accra

geographic coordinates: 5 33 N, 0 13 W

time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: the name derives from the Akan word “nkran” meaning “ants,” and refers to the numerous anthills in the area around the capital

Administrative divisions

16 regions; Ahafo, Ashanti, Bono, Bono East, Central, Eastern, Greater Accra, North East, Northern, Oti, Savannah, Upper East, Upper West, Volta, Western, Western North


6 March 1957 (from the UK)

National holiday

Independence Day, 6 March (1957)


history: several previous; latest drafted 31 March 1992, approved and promulgated 28 April 1992, entered into force 7 January 1993

amendments: proposed by Parliament; consideration requires prior referral to the Council of State, a body of prominent citizens who advise the president of the republic; passage of amendments to “entrenched” constitutional articles (including those on national sovereignty, fundamental rights and freedoms, the structure and authorities of the branches of government, and amendment procedures) requires approval in a referendum by at least 40% participation of eligible voters and at least 75% of votes cast, followed by at least two-thirds majority vote in Parliament, and assent of the president; amendments to non-entrenched articles do not require referenda; amended 1996

Legal system

mixed system of English common law and customary law

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent or grandparent must be a citizen of Ghana

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Nana Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO (since 7 January 2017); Vice President Mahamudu BAWUMIA (since 7 January 2017); the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Nana Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO (since 7 January 2017); Vice President Mahamudu BAWUMIA (since 7 January 2017)

cabinet: Council of Ministers; nominated by the president, approved by Parliament

elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 7 December 2020 (next to be held in December 2024)

election results:
Nana Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO reelected president in the first round; percent of vote – Nana Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO (NPP) 51.3%, John Dramani MAHAMA (NDC) 47.4%, other 1.3% (2020)

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Parliament (275 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 4-year terms)

elections: last held on 7 December 2020 (next to be held in December 2024)

election results: percent of vote by party – NA; seats by party (preliminary) – NPP 137, NDC 137, independent 1; composition – men 235, women 40, percent of women 14.5%

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and 13 justices)

judge selection and term of office: chief justice appointed by the president in consultation with the Council of State (a small advisory body of prominent citizens) and with the approval of Parliament; other justices appointed by the president upon the advice of the Judicial Council (an 18-member independent body of judicial, military and police officials, and presidential nominees) and on the advice of the Council of State; justices can retire at age 60, with compulsory retirement at age 70

subordinate courts: Court of Appeal; High Court; Circuit Court; District Court; regional tribunals

Political parties and leaders

All Peoples Congress or APC [Hassan AYARIGA]
Convention People’s Party or CPP [Onsy Kwame NKRUMAH, acting]
Ghana Freedom Party or GFP [Akua DONKOR]
Ghana Union Movement or GUM [Christian Kwabena ANDREWS]
Great Consolidated Popular Party or GCPP [Henry Herbert LARTEY]
Liberal Party of Ghana or LPG [Kofi AKPALOO]
National Democratic Congress or NDC [John Dramani MAHAMA]
National Democratic Party or NDP [Nana Konadu Agyeman RAWLINGS]
New Patriotic Party or NPP [Nana Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO]
People’s National Convention or PNC [Janet NABIA]
Progressive People’s Party or PPP [Paa Kwesi NDUOM]
United Front Party or UFP [Dr. Nana A. BOATENG]
United Progressive Party or UPP [Akwasi Addai ODIKE]

note: Ghana has more than 20 registered parties; included are those which participated in the 2020 general election

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Alima MAHAMA (since 7 July 2021)

chancery: 3512 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 686-4520

FAX: [1] (202) 686-4527

email address and website:


consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Virginia E. PALMER (since 16 June 2022)

embassy: No. 24, Fourth Circular Road, Cantonments, Accra, P.O. Box 2288, Accra

mailing address: 2020 Accra Place, Washington DC  20521-2020

telephone: [233] (0) 30-274-1000

email address and website:

Flag description

three equal horizontal bands of red (top), yellow, and green, with a large black five-pointed star centered in the yellow band; red symbolizes the blood shed for independence, yellow represents the country’s mineral wealth, while green stands for its forests and natural wealth; the black star is said to be the lodestar of African freedom

note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia; similar to the flag of Bolivia, which has a coat of arms centered in the yellow band

National symbol(s)

black star, golden eagle; national colors: red, yellow, green, black

National anthem

name: “God Bless Our Homeland Ghana”

lyrics/music: unknown/Philip GBEHO

note: music adopted 1957, lyrics adopted 1966; the lyrics were changed twice, in 1960 when a republic was declared and after a 1966 coup


National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 2 (both cultural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Forts and Castles, Volta, Greater Accra, Central and Western Regions; Asante Traditional Buildings



Economic overview

West African trade and agrarian economy; COVID-19 reversed nearly 4 decades of continuous growth; major diamond, gold, cocoa, and oil exporter; high public debts; financial and energy sector reform programs adding to fiscal pressures; high remittances

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$178.455 billion (2021 est.)

$169.382 billion (2020 est.)

$168.516 billion (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 71

Real GDP growth rate

5.36% (2021 est.)

0.51% (2020 est.)

6.51% (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 83

Real GDP per capita

$5,400 (2021 est.)

$5,300 (2020 est.)

$5,300 (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 171

GDP (official exchange rate)

$65.363 billion (2019 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

9.97% (2021 est.)

9.89% (2020 est.)

7.14% (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 24

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: B (2013)

Moody’s rating: B3 (2015)

Standard & Poors rating: B- (2020)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

GDP – composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 18.3% (2017 est.)

industry: 24.5% (2017 est.)

services: 57.2% (2017 est.)

comparison rankings: agriculture 52; industry 112; services 141

GDP – composition, by end use

household consumption: 80.1% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 8.6% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 13.7% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 1.1% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 43% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -46.5% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

cassava, yams, plantains, maize, oil palm fruit, taro, rice, cocoa, oranges, pineapples


mining, lumbering, light manufacturing, aluminum smelting, food processing, cement, small commercial ship building, petroleum

Industrial production growth rate

-0.8% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: 167

Labor force

14.095 million (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: 44

Labor force – by occupation

agriculture: 44.7%

industry: 14.4%

services: 40.9% (2013 est.)

Unemployment rate

4.7% (2021 est.)

4.65% (2020 est.)

4.32% (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 160

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 9.6%

male: 9.7%

female: 9.4% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 158

Population below poverty line

23.4% (2016 est.)

Gini Index coefficient – distribution of family income

43.5 (2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 39

Average household expenditures

on food: 41.3% of household expenditures (2018 est.)

on alcohol and tobacco: 1% of household expenditures (2018 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2%

highest 10%: 32.8% (2006)


revenues: $9.492 billion (2018 est.)

expenditures: $14.062 billion (2018 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 184

Public debt

71.8% of GDP (2017 est.)

73.4% of GDP (2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 55

Taxes and other revenues

11.34% (of GDP) (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 184

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$2.541 billion (2021 est.)

-$2.134 billion (2020 est.)

-$1.864 billion (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 164


$23.901 billion (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$22.077 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$25.592 billion (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 81

Exports – partners

Switzerland 23%, United Arab Emirates 12%, China 12%, India 9%, Netherlands 5% (2020)

Exports – commodities

gold, crude petroleum, cocoa products, cashews, manganese  (2021)


$25.967 billion (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$24.545 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$26.908 billion (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 80

Imports – partners

China 42%, Netherlands 5%, United States 5%, India 5%, United Arab Emirates 3% (2020)

Imports – commodities

refined petroleum, cars, rice, delivery trucks, iron (2020)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$9.917 billion (31 December 2021 est.)

$7.884 billion (31 December 2020 est.)

$7.563 billion (31 December 2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 78

Debt – external

$20.467 billion (2019 est.)

$17.885 billion (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 92

Exchange rates

cedis (GHC) per US dollar –

5.806 (2021 est.)

5.596 (2020 est.)

5.217 (2019 est.)

4.585 (2018 est.)

4.351 (2017 est.)



Electricity access

population without electricity: 5 million (2020)

electrification – total population: 86.3% (2021)

electrification – urban areas: 95.2% (2021)

electrification – rural areas: 74% (2021)


installed generating capacity: 5.312 million kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 13,107,757,000 kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 1.801 billion kWh (2020 est.)

imports: 58 million kWh (2020 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 2.474 billion kWh (2019 est.)

comparison rankings: installed generating capacity 85; consumption 87; exports 54; imports 113; transmission/distribution losses 78

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 63.8% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 0.3% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 35.9% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 0.1% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)


production: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 48,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 48,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 0 metric tons (2019 est.)


total petroleum production: 185,700 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 98,000 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 176,800 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 3,900 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 660 million barrels (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum products – production

2,073 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 104

Refined petroleum products – exports

2,654 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 100

Refined petroleum products – imports

85,110 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 59

Natural gas

production: 1,598,653,000 cubic meters (2019 est.)

consumption: 2,224,568,000 cubic meters (2019 est.)

exports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

imports: 625.915 million cubic meters (2019 est.)

proven reserves: 22.653 billion cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

18.093 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 160,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 13.569 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 4.364 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total emissions 88

Energy consumption per capita

11.239 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 152


Telephones – fixed lines

total subscriptions: 315,271 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 107

Telephones – mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 40,454,073 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 123 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 40

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: challenged by unreliable electricity and shortage of skilled labor, Ghana seeks to extend telecom services nationally; investment in fiber infrastructure and off-grid solutions provide data coverage to over 23 million people; launch of LTE has improved mobile data services, including m-commerce and banking; moderately competitive Internet market, most through mobile networks; international submarine cables, and terrestrial cables have improved Internet capacity; LTE services are widely available; the relatively high cost of 5G-compatible devices also inhibits most subscribers from migrating from 3G and LTE platforms (2022)

domestic: fixed-line data less than 1 per 100 subscriptions; mobile-cellular subscriptions 123 per 100 persons (2021)

international: country code – 233; landing points for the SAT-3/WASC, MainOne, ACE, WACS and GLO-1 fiber-optic submarine cables that provide connectivity to South and West Africa, and Europe; satellite earth stations – 4 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); microwave radio relay link to Panaftel system connects Ghana to its neighbors; GhanaSat-1 nanosatellite launched in 2017 (2017)

Broadcast media

state-owned TV station, 2 state-owned radio networks; several privately owned TV stations and a large number of privately owned radio stations; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are accessible; several cable and satellite TV subscription services are obtainable

Internet country code


Internet users

total: 22.44 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 68% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 38

Broadband – fixed subscriptions

total: 78,371 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 0.3 (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 132


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 3 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 21

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 467,438 (2018)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix



10 (2021)

comparison ranking: total 155

Airports – with paved runways


note: paved runways have a concrete or asphalt surface but not all have facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control; the length of a runway required for aircraft to safely operate depends on a number of factors including the type of aircraft, the takeoff weight (including passengers, cargo, and fuel), engine types, flap settings, landing speed, elevation of the airport, and average maximum daily air temperature; paved runways can reach a length of 5,000 m (16,000 ft.), but the “typical” length of a commercial airline runway is between 2,500-4,000 m (8,000-13,000 ft.)

Airports – with unpaved runways


note: unpaved runways have a surface composition such as grass or packed earth and are most suited to the operation of light aircraft; unpaved runways are usually short, often less than 1,000 m (3,280 ft.) in length; airports with unpaved runways often lack facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control


681.3 km gas, 11.4 km oil, 435 km refined products (2022)


total: 947 km (2022)

narrow gauge: 947 km (2022) 1.067-m gauge

comparison ranking: total 92


total: 65,725 km (2021)

paved: 14,948 km (2021)

unpaved: 50,777 km (2021)

urban: 28,480 km 27% total paved 73% total unpaved

comparison ranking: total 72


1,293 km (2011) (168 km for launches and lighters on Volta, Ankobra, and Tano Rivers; 1,125 km of arterial and feeder waterways on Lake Volta)

comparison ranking: 60

Merchant marine

total: 52

by type: general cargo 7, oil tanker 3, other 42 (2022)

comparison ranking: total 118

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Takoradi, Tema



Military and Security

Military and security forces

Ghana Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Air Force (2023)

note: the Ghana Police Service is under the Ministry of the Interior

Military expenditures

0.4% of GDP (2022 est.)

0.5% of GDP (2021 est.)

0.4% of GDP (2020 est.)

0.4% of GDP (2019 est.)

0.3% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 166

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 14,000 active personnel (10,000 Army; 2,000 Navy; 2,000 Air Force) (2022)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the military’s inventory is a mix older and some newer Russian, Chinese, and Western equipment (2023)

Military service age and obligation

18-26 years of age for voluntary military service, with basic education certificate; no conscription (2022)

Military deployments

140 Mali (MINUSMA); 875 Lebanon (UNIFIL); 725 (plus about 275 police) South Sudan (UNMISS); 650 Sudan (UNISFA) (2022)

note: since sending a contingent of troops to the Congo in 1960, the military has been a regular contributor to African- and UN-sponsored peacekeeping missions

Military – note

the military’s primary missions are border defense, assisting with internal security, peacekeeping, and protecting the country’s territorial waters, particularly its offshore oil and gas infrastructure; it has benefited from cooperation with foreign partners, such as the UK and the US, and experience gained from participation in multiple international peacekeeping missions; the government in recent years has committed to an increase in funding for equipment acquisitions, including armor, mechanized, and special forces capabilities for the Army, light attack aircraft for the Air Force, and more modern coastal patrol vessels for the Navy; the Army’s primary combat forces include several battalions of light infantry, a motorized rapid reaction/presidential guard battalion, and small regiments of light armored reconnaissance and special forces; the Navy has 2 ocean-going patrol vessels, several coastal patrol craft, and a special forces unit, while the Air Force operates a few ground attack aircraft and multipurpose helicopters

in 2022, Ghana began beefing up its military presence in the north of the country against threats from the terrorist organization Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM), a coalition of al-Qa’ida linked militant groups, which has conducted attacks in the neighboring countries of Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, and Togo; Ghana’s northern frontier with Burkina Faso is also an area with well-established smuggling routes, porous borders, and illegal gold mining; Ghana has also pushed an initiative to bolster security cooperation and intelligence sharing among Gulf of Guinea neighbors and Sahel countries 

the military traces its origins to the Gold Coast Constabulary that was established in 1879 and renamed the Gold Coast Regiment in 1901; the Gold Coast Regiment was part of the West African Frontier Force (WAFF), a multi-regiment force formed by the British colonial office in 1900 to garrison the West African colonies of Gold Coast (Ghana), Nigeria (Lagos and the protectorates of Northern and Southern Nigeria), Sierra Leone, and Gambia; the WAFF served with distinction in both East and West Africa during World War I; in 1928, it received royal recognition and was re-named the Royal West African Frontier Force (RWAFF); the RWAFF went on to serve in World War II as part of the British 81st and 82nd (West African) divisions in the East Africa and Burma campaigns; following independence in 1957, the Gold Coast Regiment formed the basis for the new Ghanaian Army (2023)

Maritime threats

the International Maritime Bureau reported seven incidents in the territorial and offshore waters of Ghana in 2022, which was an increase over the five incidents reported in 2021; the Niger Delta and Gulf of Guinea remain a very high risk for piracy and armed robbery of ships; past incidents include vessels that were attacked and crews kidnapped; these incidents showed that the pirates / robbers in the area are well armed and violent; pirates have robbed vessels and kidnapped crews for ransom; in the past, product tankers were hijacked and cargo stolen; the Maritime Administration of the US Department of Transportation has issued a Maritime Advisory (2023-001 – Gulf of Guinea-Piracy/Armed Robbery/Kidnapping for Ransom) effective 3 January 2023, which states in part, “Piracy, armed robbery, and kidnapping for ransom continue to serve as significant threats to US-flagged vessels transiting or operating in the Gulf of Guinea”


Transnational Issues

Disputes – international

disputed maritime border between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire

Illicit drugs

Ghana is a transit and destination point for illicit drugs trafficked from Asia and South America to other African countries, Europe, and to a lesser extent North America;  not a significant source for drugs entering the United States;  limited local consumption of controlled pharmaceuticals, cocaine, and heroin from Asia and South America; cannabis cultivated and produced in large quantities in most rural areas of Ghana