Background Notes: Ghana

PA/PC Source: Office of Public Communication, Bureau of Public Affairs Date: Feb 1, 19902/1/90 Category: Country Data Region: Subsaharan Africa Country: Ghana Subject: Military Affairs, Cultural Exchange, Travel, History, International Organizations, Trade/Economics [TEXT] Official Name: Republic of Ghana


Area: 238,538 sq. km. (92,100 sq. mi.); about the size of Illinois and Indiana combined. Cities: Capital-Accra (pop. 953,500). Other cities-Kumasi (399,300), Tema (180,600), Sekondi-Takoradi (116,500). Terrain: Plains and scrubland, rain forest, savanna. Climate: Tropical.
Nationality: Noun and adjective-Ghanaian(s). Population (1989): 14.8 million. Density: 62/sq. km. (160/sq. mi.). Annual growth rate (1989): 2.9%. Ethnic groups: Akan, Ewe, Ga. Religions: Christian 42%, indigenous beliefs 38%, Muslim 12%, other 7%. Languages: English (official), Akan 44%, Mole-Dagbani 16% Ewe 13%, Ga-Adangbe 8%. Education: Years compulsory-9. Literacy-30%. Health: Infant mortality rate-(1989) 68/1,000. Life expectancy-55 yrs. Work force: 3.7 million: Agriculture and fishing-54.7%. Industry-18.7%. Sales and clerical-15.2%. Other-11.4%.
Type: Authoritarian. Independence: March 6, 1957. Constitution: None; Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) Proclamation, December 31, 1981, and PNDC Law 42 (1982). Branches: PNDC, with a chairman and eight members, has all powers of government. Subdivisions: 10 regions. Political parties: None. Suffrage: Universal at 18. Flag: Three horizontal stripes of red, gold, and green, with a black star in the center of the gold stripe.
GDP (1987): $5.05 billion. Real GDP growth rate (1987): 4.5%. Per capita GDP (1987): $350. Inflation rate (1986): 25%. Natural resources: Gold, timber, diamonds, bauxite, manganese, fish. Agriculture: Products-cocoa, coconuts, coffee, food crops, rubber. Land-70% arable and forested. Industry: Types-mining, lumber, light manufacturing, fishing, aluminum. Trade (1987): Exports-$787 million: cocoa ($503 million), aluminum, gold, timber, diamonds, manganese. Imports-$763 million: petroleum ($123 million), food, industrial raw materials, machinery, equipment. Major trade partners-U.K., F.R.G., U.S., Nigeria. Official exchange rate (March 1988): 230 cedis=U.S.$1. Fiscal year: Calendar year.
Membership in International Organizations
UN and some of its specialized and related agencies, Organization of African Unity (OAU), Nonaligned Movement, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Commonwealth.


Ghana is located on West Africa's Gulf of Guinea only a few degrees north of the Equator. Half of the country lies less than 152 meters (500 ft.) above sea level, and the highest point is 883 meters (2,900 ft.). The 537-kilometer (334-mi.) coastline is mostly a low, sandy shore backed by plains and scrub and intersected by several rivers and streams, most of which are navigable only by canoe. A tropical rain forest belt, broken by heavily forested hills and many streams and rivers, extends northward from the shore, near the Cote d'Ivoire frontier. This area, known as the "Ashanti," produces most of the country's cocoa, minerals, and timber. North of this belt, the country varies from 91 to 396 meters (300-1,300 ft.) above sea level and is covered by low bush, parklike savanna, and grassy plains. The climate is tropical. The eastern coastal belt is warm and comparatively dry; the southwest corner, hot and humid; and the north, hot and dry. There are two distinct rainy seasons in the south-May-June and August-September; in the north, the rainy seasons tend to merge. A dry, northeasterly wind, the Harmattan, blows in January and February. Annual rainfall in the coastal zone averages 83 centimeters (33 in.). The manmade Volta Lake extends from the Akosombo Dam in southeastern Ghana to the town of Yapei, 520 kilometers (325 mi.) to the north. The lake generates electricity, provides inland transportation, and is a potentially valuable resource for irrigation and fish farming.


Ghana's population is concentrated along the coast, in the northern areas near the Cote d'Ivoire, and in the principal cities of Accra and Kumasi. Most Ghanaians descended from migrating tribes that probably came down the Volta River valley at the beginning of the 13th century. Ethnically, Ghana is divided into small groups speaking more than 50 languages and dialects. Among the more important linguistic groups are the Akans, which include the Fantis along the coast and the Ashantis in the forest region north of the coast; the Guans, on the plains of the Volta River; the Ga- and Ewe-speaking peoples of the south and southeast; and the Moshi-Dagomba- speaking tribes of the northern and upper regions. English, the official and commercial language, is taught in all the schools. About 30% of the general population is literate in English, although the rate is much higher among the young. Primary- and middle-school education is tuition-free and will be mandatory when enough teachers and facilities are available to accommodate all the students. Students begin their 6-year primary education at age six. Under educational reforms implemented in 1987, they pass into a new junior secondary school system for 3 years of academic training combined with technical and vocational training. Those continuing move into the 3-year senior secondary school program. Entrance to universities is by examination following completion of senior secondary school. School enrollment totals almost 2 million: 1.3 million primary; 107,600 secondary; 489,000 middle; 21,280 technical; 11,300 teacher training; and 5,600 university.


The history of the Gold Coast before the last quarter of the 15th century is derived primarily from oral tradition that refers to migrations from the ancient kingdoms of the western Soudan (the area of Mauritania and Mali). The Gold Coast was renamed Ghana upon independence in 1957 because of indications that present-day inhabitants descended from migrants who moved south from the ancient kingdom of Ghana. The first contact between Europe and the Gold Coast dates from 1470, when a party of Portuguese landed. In 1482, the Portuguese built Elmina Castle as a permanent trading base. The first recorded English trading voyage to the coast was made by Thomas Windham in 1553. During the next three centuries, the English, Danes, Dutch, Germans, and Portuguese controlled various parts of the coastal areas. In 1821, the British Government took control of the British trading forts on the Gold Coast. In 1844, Fanti chiefs in the area signed an agreement with the British that became the legal steppingstone to colonial status for the coastal area. From 1826 to 1900, the British fought a series of campaigns against the Ashantis, whose kingdom was located inland. In 1902, they succeeded in colonizing the Ashanti region and making the northern territories a protectorate. British Togoland, the fourth territorial element eventually to form the nation, was part of a former German colony administered by the United Kingdom from Accra as a League of Nations mandate after 1922. In December 1946, British Togoland became a UN Trust Territory, and in 1957, following a 1956 plebiscite, the United Nations agreed that the territory would become part of Ghana when the Gold Coast achieved independence. The four territorial divisions were administered separately until 1946, when the British Government ruled them as a single unit. In 1951, a constitution was promulgated that called for a greatly enlarged legislature composed principally of members elected by popular vote directly or indirectly. An executive council was responsible for formulating policy, with most African members drawn from the legislature and including three ex officio members appointed by the governor. A new constitution, approved on April 29, 1954, established a cabinet comprising African ministers drawn from an all-African legislature chosen by direct election. In the elections that followed, the Convention People's Party (CPP), led by Kwame Nkrumah, won the majority of seats in the new Legislative Assembly. In May 1956, Prime Minister Nkrumah's Gold Coast government issued a white paper containing proposals for Gold Coast independence. The British Government stated it would agree to a firm date for independence if a reasonable majority for such a step were obtained in the Gold Coast Legislative Assembly after a general election. This election, held in 1956, returned the CPP to power with 71 of the 104 seats in the Legislative Assembly. Ghana became an independent state on March 6, 1957, when the United Kingdom relinquished its control over the Colony of the Gold Coast and Ashanti, the Northern Territories Protectorate, and British Togoland. In subsequent reorganizations, the country was divided into 10 regions, which currently are subdivided into 110 districts. The original Gold Coast Colony now comprises the Western, Central, Eastern, and Greater Accra Regions, with a small portion at the mouth of the Volta River assigned to the Volta Region; the Ashanti area was divided into the Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo Regions; the Northern Territories into the Northern, Upper East, and Upper West Regions; and British Togoland essentially is the same area as the Volta Region.
Post-Independence Politics
After independence, the CPP government under Nkrumah sought to develop Ghana as a modern, semi-industrialized, unitary socialist state. The government emphasized political and economic organization, endeavoring to increase stability and productivity through labor, youth, farmers, cooperatives, and other organizations integrated with the CPP. The government, according to Nkrumah, acted only as "the agent of the CPP" in seeking to accomplish these goals. The CPP's control was challenged and criticized, and Prime Minister Nkrumah used the Preventive Detention Act (1958), which provided for detention without trial for up to 5 years (later extended to 10 years). On July 1, 1960, a new constitution was adopted, changing Ghana from a parliamentary system with a prime minister to a republican form of government headed by a powerful president. In August 1960, Nkrumah was given authority to scrutinize newspapers and other publications before publication. This political evolution continued into early 1964, when a constitutional referendum changed the country to a one-party state. On February 24, 1966, the Ghanaian Army and police overthrew Nkrumah's regime. Nkrumah and all his ministers were dismissed, the CPP and National Assembly were dissolved, and the constitution was suspended. The new regime cited Nkrumah's flagrant abuse of individual rights and liberties, his regime's corrupt, oppressive, and dictatorial practices, and the rapidly deteriorating economy as the principal reasons for its action.
Post-Nkrumah Politics
The leaders of the February 24 coup established the new government around the National Liberation Council (NLC) and pledged an early return to a duly constituted civilian government. Members of the judiciary and civil service remained at their posts and committees of civil servants were established to handle the administration of the country. Ghana's government returned to civilian authority under the Second Republic in October 1969 after a parliamentary election in which the Progress Party, led by Kofi A. Busia, won 105 of the 140 seats. Until mid-1970, the powers of the chief of state were held by a presidential commission led by Brigadier A.A. Afrifa. In a special election on August 31, 1970, former Chief Justice Edward Akufo-Addo was chosen president, and Dr. Busia became prime minister. Faced with mounting economic problems, Prime Minister Busia's government undertook a drastic devaluation of the currency in December 1971. The government's inability to control the subsequent inflationary pressures stimulated further discontent, and military officers seized power in a bloodless coup on January 13, 1972. The coup leaders, led by Col. I.K. Acheampong, formed the National Redemption Council (NRC) to which they admitted other officers, the head of the police, and one civilian. The NRC promised improvements in the quality of life for all Ghanaians and based its programs on nationalism, economic development, and self-reliance. In 1975, a government reorganization resulted in the NRC's replacement by the Supreme Military Council (SMC), also headed by now-Gen. Acheampong. Unable to deliver on its promises, the NRC/SMC became increasingly marked by mismanagement and rampant corruption. In 1977, Gen. Acheampong brought forward the concept of union government (UNIGOV), which would make Ghana a nonparty state. Perceiving this as a ploy by Acheampong to retain power, professional groups and students launched strikes and demonstrations against the government in 1977 and 1978. The steady erosion in Acheampong's power led to his arrest in July 1978 by his chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Frederick Akuffo, who replaced him as head of state and leader of what became known as the SMC-2. Akuffo abandoned UNIGOV and established a plan to return to constitutional and democratic government. A Constitutional Assembly was established, and political party activity was revived. Akuffo was unable to solve Ghana's economic problems, however, or to reduce the rampant corruption in which senior military officers played a major role. On June 4, 1979, his government was deposed in a violent coup by a group of junior and noncommissioned officers-Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC)-with Flight Lt. Jerry John Rawlings as its chairman. The AFRC executed eight senior military officers, including former chiefs of state Acheampong and Akuffo; established Special Tribunals that, secretly and without due process, tried dozens of military officers, other government officials, and private individuals for corruption, sentencing them to long prison terms and confiscating their property; and, through a combination of force and exhortation, attempted to rid Ghanaian society of corruption and profiteering. At the same time, the AFRC accepted, with a few amendments, the draft constitution that had been submitted, permitted the scheduled presidential and parliamentary elections to take place in June and July, promulgated the constitution, and handed over power to the newly elected president and parliament of the Third Republic on September 24, 1979. The 1979 constitution was modeled on those of Western democracies. It provided for the separation of powers among an elected president and a unicameral parliament, an independent judiciary headed by a Supreme Court, which protected individual rights, and other autonomous institutions, such as the Electoral Commissioner and the Ombudsman. The new president, Dr. Hilla Limann, was a career diplomat from the north and the candidate of the People's National Party (PDP), the political heir of Nkrumah's CPP. Of the 140 members of parliament, 71 were PNP. The PNP government established the constitutional institutions and generally respected democracy and individual human rights. It failed, however, to halt the continuing decline in the economy; corruption flourished, and the gap between rich and poor widened. On December 31, 1981, Flight Lt. Rawlings and a small group of enlisted and former soldiers launched a coup that succeeded against little opposition in toppling President Limann.


Rawlings and his colleagues suspended the 1979 constitution, dismissed the president and his cabinet, dissolved the parliament, and proscribed existing political parties. They established the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC), initially composed of seven members with Rawlings as chairman, to exercise executive and legislative powers. The existing judicial system was preserved, but alongside it the PNDC created the National Investigation Committee to root out corruption and other economic offenses, the anonymous Citizens' Vetting Committee to punish tax evasion, and the Public Tribunals to try various crimes. The PNDC proclaimed its intent to allow the people to exercise political power through defense committees to be established in communities, workplaces, and in units of the armed forces and police. Under the PNDC, Ghana remained a unitary government. In December 1982, the PNDC announced a plan to decentralize government from Accra to the regions, the districts, and local communities, but it maintained overall control by appointing regional and district secretaries who exercised executive powers and also chaired regional and district councils. Local councils, however, were expected progressively to take over the payment of salaries, with regions and districts assuming more powers from the national government. In 1984, the PNDC created a National Appeals Tribunal to hear appeals from the public tribunals, changed the Citizens' Vetting Committee into the Office of Revenue Collection and replaced the system of defense committees with Committees for the Defense of the Revolution. In 1984 ,the PNDC also created a National Commission on Democracy to study ways to establish participatory democracy in Ghana. The commission issued a "Blue Book" in July 1987 outlining modalities for district-level elections, which were held in late 1988 and early 1989, for newly created district assemblies. One- third of the assembly members are appointed by the government. No provision has been made for regional or national elections. Ghana continues to be governed by PNDC directives and without a constitution.
Principal Government Officials
Members of the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC)
Chairman and Head of State-Flight Lt. (ret.) Jerry John Rawlings Foreign Affairs and Security-Capt. (ret.) Kojo Tsikata Coordinating Secretary and Chairman of the Committee of Secretaries-P.V. Obeng Chairman of the National Commission for Democracy-Justice D.F. Annan Secretary for Defense-Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu Lt. Gen. Arnold Quainoo Army Commander-Maj. Gen. Winston C.M. Mensa-Wood Ebo Tawiah Dr. Mary Grant PNDC Secretaries Finance and Economic Planning-Dr. Kwesi Botchwey Foreign Affairs-Dr. Obed Yaw Asamoah Ambassador to the United States-Eric Otoo Permanent Representative to the United Nations-J.V. Gbeho Ghana maintains an embassy in the United States at 3512 International Drive, NW., Washington, D.C. 20008 (tel. 202-686- 4500). Its permanent mission to the United Nations is located at 19 E. 47th Street., New York, N.Y. 10017 (tel. 212-832-1300).


By West African standards, Ghana has a diverse and rich resource base. The country is mainly agricultural, however, with 55% of its workers engaged in farming. Cash crops consist primarily of cocoa and cocoa products (which provide about two-thirds of export revenues), timber products, coconuts and other palm products, shea nuts (which produce an edible fat), and coffee. Cassava, yams, plantains, corn, rice, peanuts, millet, and sorghum are the basic foodstuffs. Fish, poultry, and meat also are important dietary staples. Minerals-principally gold, diamonds, manganese ore, and bauxite-are produced and exported. The only commercial oil well has been closed, but signs of natural gas are being studied for power generation, while exploration continues for other oil and gas resources. Ghana's industrial base is relatively advanced compared to many other African countries. Import-substitution industries include textiles; steel (using scrap); tires; oil refining; flour milling; beverages; tobacco; simple consumer goods; and car, truck, and bus assembly. However, these industries depend on imports for most of their raw materials and, due to depressed demand and other problems, currently are running far below capacity.
Economic Development
At independence, Ghana had a substantial physical and social infrastructure and $481 million in foreign reserves. The Nkrumah government further developed the infrastructure and made important public investments in the industrial sector. With assistance from the United States, the World Bank, and the United Kingdom, construction of the Akosombo Dam was completed on the Volta River in 1966. Two U.S. companies built Valco, Africa's largest aluminum smelter, to use power generated at the dam. Aluminum exports from Valco are a major source of foreign exchange for Ghana. Many Nkrumah-era investments were monumental public works projects and poorly conceived, badly managed agricultural and industrial schemes. With cocoa prices falling and the country's foreign exchange reserves fast disappearing, the government resorted to supplier credits to finance many projects. By the mid- 1960s, Ghana's reserves were gone, and the country could not meet repayment schedules. To rationalize, the National Liberation Council abandoned unprofitable projects, and some inefficient state-owned enterprises were sold to private investors. Ghana's creditors agreed to three reschedulings of repayments due on Nkrumah-era supplier credits. Led by the United States, foreign donors provided import loans to enable the foreign exchange- strapped government to import essential commodities. Prime Minister Busia's government (1969-72) liberalized controls to attract foreign investment and to encourage domestic entrepreneurship. Investors were cautious, however, and cocoa prices began declining again while imports surged, precipitating a serious trade deficit. Despite considerable foreign assistance and some debt relief, the Busia regime also was unable to overcome the inherited restraints on growth posed by the debt burden, balance- of-payments imbalances, foreign exchange shortages, and mismanagement. Although foreign aid helped prevent economic collapse and was responsible for subsequent improvements in many sectors, the economy stagnated in the 10-year period preceding the NRC takeover in 1972. Population growth offset the modest increase in gross domestic product, and real earnings declined for many Ghanaians. To restructure the economy, the NRC, under General Acheampong (1972-78), undertook an austerity program that emphasized self-reliance, particularly in food production. These plans were not realized, however, primarily because of post-1973 oil price increases and a drought in 1975-77 that particularly affected northern Ghana. The NRC, which had inherited foreign debts of almost $1 billion, abrogated existing rescheduling arrangements for some debts and rejected other repayments. After creditors objected to this unilateral action, a 1974 agreement rescheduled the medium-term debt on liberal terms. The NRC also imposed the Investment Policy Decree of 1975-effective on January 1977-that required 51 % Ghanaian equity participation in most foreign firms, but the government took 40% in specified industries. Many shares were sold directly to the public. Continued mismanagement of the economy, record inflation (more than 100% in 1977), and increasing corruption, notably at the highest political levels, led to growing dissatisfaction. The post- July 1978 military regime led by General Akuffo attempted to deal with Ghana's economic problems by making small changes in the overvalued cedi and by restraining government spending and monetary growth. Under a 1-year standby agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in January 1979, the government promised to undertake economic reforms, including a reduction of the budget deficit, in return for a $68 million IMF support program and $27 million in IMF Trust Fund loans. The agreement became inoperative, however, after the June 4 coup that brought Flight Lieutenant Rawlings and the AFRC to power for 4 months. In September 1979, the civilian government of Hilla Limann inherited declining per capita income; stagnant industrial and agricultural production due to inadequate imported supplies; shortages of imported and locally produced goods; a sizable budget deficit (almost 40% of expenditures in 1979); high inflation, "moderating" to 54% in 1979; an increasingly overvalued cedi; flourishing smuggling and other black-market activities; unemployment and underemployment, particularly among urban youth; deterioration in the transport network; and continued foreign exchange constraints. Limann's PDP government announced yet another (2-year) reconstruction program, emphasizing increased food production and productivity, exports, and transport improvements. Import austerity was imposed and external payments arrears cut. However, declining cocoa production combined with falling cocoa prices, while oil prices soared. No effective measures were taken to reduce rampant corruption and black marketing. When Rawlings again seized power at the end of 1981, cocoa output had fallen to half the 1970-71 level and its world price to one-third the 1975 level. By 1982, oil would constitute half of Ghana's imports, while overall trade contracted greatly. Internal transport had slowed to a crawl, and inflation remained high. During Rawlings' first year, the economy was stagnant. Industry ran at about 10% of capacity due to the chronic shortage of foreign exchange to cover the importation of required raw materials and replacement parts. Economic conditions deteriorated further in early 1983 when Nigeria expelled an estimated 1 million Ghanaians who had to be absorbed by Ghana. In April 1983, in coordination with the IMF, the PNDC launched an economic recovery program, perhaps the most stringent and consistent to date in Africa-aimed at reopening infrastructural bottlenecks and reviving moribund productive sectors: agriculture, mining, and timber. The largely distorted exchange rate and prices were realigned to encourage production and exports. Increased fiscal and monetary discipline was imposed to curb inflation and to focus on priorities. Through November 1987, the cedi was devalued by more than 6,300%, and widespread direct price controls were substantially reduced. The economy's response to these reforms was initially hampered by the absorption of the returnees from Nigeria, the onset of the worst drought since independence, which brought on widespread bushfires and forced closure of the aluminum smelter and severe power cuts for industry, and decline in foreign aid. In 1985, the country absorbed an additional 100,000 expellees from Nigeria. In 1987, cocoa prices began declining again; however, initial infrastructural repairs, improved weather, and producer incentives and support recently have revived output. During 1984- 88 the economy experienced solid growth for the first time since 1978. Renewed exports, aid inflows, and a foreign exchange auction have eased hard currency constraints. Since an initial August 1983 IMF standby agreement, the economic recovery program has been supported by three IMF standbys and two other credits totaling $611 million, $1.1 billion from the World Bank, and hundreds of millions of dollars more from other donors. In November 1987, the IMF approved a $318 million 3-year extended fund facility. The second phase (1987-90) of the recovery program will concentrate on economic restructuring and revitalizing social services.


Ghana is active in the United Nations and many of its specialized agencies, the Nonaligned Movement, the Organization of African Unity (OAU), and the Economic Community of West African States. Generally, it follows the consensus of the Nonaligned Movement and the OAU on economic and political issues not directly affecting its own interests. Ghana frequently has contributed troops to UN peacekeeping activities, including the UN Interim Force in Lebanon and the UN Good Offices Mission in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The PNDC professes revolutionary ties with Cuba, Libya, and other "progressive" nonaligned governments and has been critical of the "neocolonial" Western international economic system. At the same time, the PNDC desires friendly relations with all states, regardless of ideology.


The United States has enjoyed good relations with Ghana at the nonofficial, personal level since Ghana's independence. Thousands of Ghanaians have been educated in the United States. Close relations are maintained between educational and scientific institutions, and cultural links, particularly between Ghanaians and Afro-Americans, are strong. U.S.-Ghanaian official relations, however, have been strained. On several occasions since it came to power on December 31, 1981, the PNDC has voiced suspicions that the United States opposed its revolution and was sympathetic to various Ghanaian opposition movements. Such baseless allegations have been given wide circulation, especially by the government-controlled media. On March 31, 1983, a leading official of the PNDC made false public accusations; the United States responded by freezing development aid. After a meeting with Chairman Rawlings on October 19, 1983, the U.S. Ambassador acknowledged that relations had improved and announced the partial resumption of development aid. Complete resumption occurred in July 1984. In 1985, bilateral relations reached another low point following various Ghanaian allegations against the United States. Currently, both sides are working to improve bilateral relations. Since September 1984 the United States has supported Ghana's Economic Recovery Program. In addition, the United States has participated in meetings in Paris of the consultative group on Ghana, the most recent of which was held on February 28 and March 1, 1989. Donor countries and institutions pledged more than $900 million in aid for 1989. The United States usually is among Ghana's principal trading partners. The American privately owned VALCO aluminum smelter imports much of its supplies from, and exports almost all the aluminum ingots to, the United States. Due to Ghana's economic crisis and the 18-month, drought-induced closure of the smelter, bilateral trade contracted sharply during the early 1980s. By 1986, however, more than half the loss had been recovered, with U.S. exports to Ghana reaching $84 million that year, and imports from Ghana totaling $201 million. With a replacement value of more than $500 million, U.S. investments in Ghana form one of the largest stocks of foreign capital. VALCO (90% owned by Kaiser, and 10% by Reynolds) is by far the biggest investment, but other important U.S. companies operating in the country include Mobil, S.C. Johnson, Ralston Purina, Star-Kist, A.H. Robins, Sterling, Pfizer, IBM, and National Cash Register (NCR). Several U.S. firms recently made or are considering investments in Ghana, primarily in gold mining, wood products, and petroleum; in mid-1987, AMOCO concluded an oil exploration agreement. U.S. economic assistance to Ghana in fiscal year 1989 totaled $21 million in new commitments, which included $6.5 million in nonproject assistance for the agricultural sector, $1.5 million in project assistance for health and human resources development, $6 million in food aid under the P.L. 480 Title I program, and $7 million in project food commodities under PL 480 Title II. The Peace Corps program in Ghana is the oldest in the world. Currently, there are some 100 volunteers in Ghana. More than half work in education, and the others in various fields such as agriculture, rural development, fisheries, and women in development.
Principal U.S. Officials
Ambassador-Raymond C. Ewing Deputy Chief of Mission-John C. Holzman Political Counselor-John L. Berntsen Economic Officer-Martha Kelley Consular Officer-Richard Gonzalez Director, AID Mission-F. Gary Towery Public Affairs Officer-Daniel McGaffie Director, Peace Corps-James Lassiter The U.S. Embassy is on Ring Road East, near Danquah Circle, Accra (tel. 775347/8/9). The mailing address is P.O. Box 194, Accra, Ghana.


These titles are provided as a general indication of material published on this country. The Department of State does not endorse unofficial publications. Agyeman-Bado, Yaw and Osei-Hwedie, Kwaku. The Political Economy of Instability: Colonial Legacy, Inequality and Instability in Ghana. Lawrenceville, Virginia: Brunswick Press, 1982. Amonoo, Ben. Ghana, 1957-1966: The Politics of Institutional Dualism. London and Boston: Allen ∧ Unwin, 1981. Austin, Dennis and Luckham, Robin, eds. Politicians and Soldiers in Ghana. London: Cass, 1976. Davidson, Basil. Ghana: An African Portrait. New York: Aperture Press, 1976 Gray, Paul S. Unions and Leaders in Ghana: Model of Labor and Development. Owerri, New York: Conch Magazine, Ltd., 1980. Harris, Elizabeth. Ghana, a Travel Guide. Flushing, New York: Aburi Press, 1977. Kennedy, Paul T. Ghanaian Businessmen: From Artisan to Capitalist Entrepreneur in a Dependent Economy. Munchen: Weltforum Verlag, 1980. Killick, Tony. Development Economics in Action: A Study of Economic Policies in Ghana. London: Heinemann Educational Books, Ltd., 1978. Levine, Victor T. Political Corruption: The Case of Ghana. Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1975. Mahoney, Richard D. JFK: Ordeal in Africa. New York: Oxford University Press, 1983. McFarland, Daniel M. Historical Dictionary of Ghana. Metuchen, New Jersey: Scarecrow, 1985. Nkrumah, Kwame. Autobiography. New York: Nelson, 1957. Owusu, Maxwell. The Uses and Abuses of Political Power. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970. Pinkney, Robert. Ghana Under Military Rule, 1966-1969. London: Methuen, 1972. Thompson, W. Scott. Ghana's Foreign Policy, 1957-66: Diplomacy, Ideology and The New State. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969. U.S. Department of State. Ghana Post Report. September 1988. Wright, Richard. Black Power: A Record of Reactions in a Land of Pathos. New York: Harper, 1954. Young, Crawford, et al. Cooperatives and Development: Agricultural Politics in Ghana and Uganda. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1981. Available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402: American University. Area Handbook for Ghana. 1983.


Climate and clothing: Accra's temperature varies between 24 oC and 37 oC (76 oF- 98 oF). Humidity is highest at dawn and falls each day from 93.5% to 66%. Bring hot weather clothes and an umbrella for the rainy seasons. Health: Do not eat raw fruits and vegetables or undercooked meats. Tap water is not potable. Do not swim in freshwater streams or lagoons, which may be infected with bilharzia. Telecommunications: International communications from Ghana are inadequate, and the visitor may experience difficulties and delays in placing an international call. Tourist attractions: Points of interest in and around Accra include the National Museum, Aburi Botanical Gardens, Black Star Square, the Arts Council Handicraft Center, and the burial place of W.E.B. DuBois. Kumasi is the capital of the Ashanti Region. The area is rich in traditional Ghanaian crafts such as weaving, woodcarving, and bronze work. Places of interest include the National Cultural Center, the zoo, and Manhyia Palace (home of the Ashanti chief). Published by the United States Department of State -- Bureau of Public Affairs -- Office of Public Communication -- Washington, D.C. February 1990 -- Editor: Juanita Adams Department of State Publication 8089 -- Background Notes Series - - This material is in the public domain and may be reprinted without permission; citation of this source is appreciated. For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office Washington, D.C. 20402.(###)