Ghana the Gold Coast

The Républic of Ghana is a west African country. Ghana is surrounded by Ivory Cast on the West, Burkina-Faso in the North and Togo on the East. 

historique

Ghana is among the countries of West Africa that extend between the Atlantic Ocean and the Sahel and thus make the connection between equatorial Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.

 

In pre-colonial times, it was home to many kingdoms, including the Ashanti kingdom in the interior as well as several Fante states along the coast. 

Former British colony, famous for its gold and formerly called "Gold Coast", it is notorious for his slave deportation centers in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Ghana is often unknown by francophones. Yet it is one of the countries of the Gulf of Guinea more accessible. Ghana is often called best gateway to Africa or perfect country for Africa "beginners".

Trade with European countries developed after the first Portuguese contact in 15th century. The British established a colony there, the "Gold Coast" in 1874. Ghana became independent in 1957. The capital Accra is the largest city in the country. The population was 21,241,998 inhabitants in 2012. It is the first British colony to gaining independence.

Official languange : anglais

Common language : twi (Ashanti language in the center of the country) fante (by coastal fantes)and also many more.

Monnaie : Cedi (GHC) et pesewas (centimes)

Fuseau horaire : UTC +0
Compared to the British time: same in winter and less one hour in summer.
Here, we use G.M.T (Greenwitch Meridian Time), Ghanaian with their sense of humor translate into Ghana Maybe Time... 
 
Political regime: republic (not banana republic...) 

Pride and stability in Ghana 
 Ghana is a stable country. Ghana residents are proud to be first Ghanaian before a group (Ahanta, Fanti, Ga etc..). This country has a solid economy with its numerous natural resources. This is a land where it is easy to move. 

 

You can explore towns and villages impregnated with both traditions from traditional chieftaincies, and post-colonial modernity, African pastoral tranquility. Visitors can immerse themselves in the markets full of life, taste often spicy gastronomy(Ghanaian eat very spicy) and delicious tropical fruits and try to understand how traditional systems can operate in a modern democratic state.

Few dates of a rich history
With a Christian culture tinted with animism in the south , the land of Islam in the north, Ghana easily welcomes coexistence of diverse influences, Ghana has a historical architectural heritage, the European forts whence started, until the nineteenth century, the infamous triangular trade ...

European Colonization
In 1482 the Ghanaian coast was discovered by the Portuguese, which they call El Mina the mine. They then founded the fortified counter St Georges of the Mine, the current Elmina.
The Portuguese reached the coast in 1471 in the region that will be known as the Gold Coast. They create in 1482 the counter São Jorge da Mina. They were expelled by the Dutch, like them attracted by the profits of the slave trade (1637). 

The English, in their turn install fortified bases. The Brandenburg and French Swedish, Danish merchants rush to the coast with the promise of fast enrichment, so that in 1700 the coast of Ghana has 35 fortified trading posts.

Akan Akwamu kingdom is established around 1500 in the hinterland of Elmina by Northern Akan. In the middle of the seventeenth century., Its capital, Nyanaoase becomes more powerful that Accra. Two other kingdoms denkyera and Fanti, emerge in the seventeenth century. Then the Ashanti kingdom appears at the end of the century, around Kumasi

 The British trade through the Royal African Company (1672-1700), founder of Accra and Ouidah, then the African Company of Merchants (1750-1821).

During the 17th century, European companies (British, Dutch, German, Danish) built forts on the coast. The south became a British protectorate in 1872 and took the name of Gold Coast. The powerful Ashanti Empire became a British colony in 1801.

From 1828, British interests are entrusted to a Committee of London merchants. In 1824, British traders intervene in the affairs of the interior of the country without official support until the dissolution of the Committee in 1843. The Gold Coast is connected to Sierra Leone. Danish forts were bought in 1850, and Dutch forts in 1872. The Gold Coast became a colony of the British Crown in 1874.

 

Ghana is worldwide known for its gold and its crafts, beads and Kente fabrics.

First independent sub saharian country
After independence, the name of "Ghana" was chosen for the new nation with reference to the Ghana empire of the 11th and 12th centuries. This name is largely symbolic, the ancient empire of Ghana was located on the border of Mauritania and Mali today. This name was chosen in honor of the descendants of the ancient empire of Ghana who migrated to the south and east to present-day Ghana.
Created from the merger of the old "Gold Coast" of British and western colonial Togo, Ghana became the first sub-Saharan the colonial territory to gain its independence in 1957.

The first president was the Panafrican Kwame Nkrumah. A long series of coups ended with the ascension to power of Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings in 1981. The constitution was then suspended and political parties banned. A new constitution, reintroducing the multiparty system was introduced in 1992, and Rawlings was then elected in free elections and re-elected in 1996. The constitution prohibiting him a third term, the candidate of his party was defeated by a narrow margin in 2000 by John Kufuor who was latter reelected in 2004 for a second term. Current President John Mahama was elected in the first round in December 2012. He succeeded to John Atta Mills who died during his presidency.
The country has a strong cultural identity and birthplace of Pan-Africanism, Ghana was the first African country to gain its independence, paving the way for decolonization to its neighbors.
The black star in the center of Ghana's flag refers directly to Marcus Garvey and his struggle for the emancipation of the black man.

 

A touch of anthropology ... matrilineal society but patriarchal of course!
The Akan are organized kingdom, male (Nana) and female (the Queen mother). King and Queen (which is not necessarily neither the mother nor the king's wife) are appointed by the Elders (formerly chosen for their wisdom and their belonging to the ruling families).

This people has the majority in Ghana, it's divided into a dozen different ethnic groups: Fante, Asante, Juaben, Kwahu Agona, Gomoa, Akwapim, brong, denchira, Akwamu, akim, assin.

This society is partly matrilineal, that is to say, goods and functions, membership of an individual to its lineage, moving from one man to another by his mother. Seven clans or abusua operate on this principle and seven other Ntoro or Kra are patrilineal. An Akan belongs to the family of his mother, the maternal uncles are guardians for educational fields, warriors, etc. .  

For each male individual, the spiritual principles or kra are inherited from the father and he belongs to the same Asafo (the Asafo is a kind of urban militia, formed on the basis of neighborhoods. Formerly Asafo had military functions, today it is part of a social, political and religious life) .. Akan culture is characterized by ancestor worship.

In Ahanta west region, where we are located people speak Fante, Ahanta. A little further east towards Axim live Apollonian, their language is Nzema.

Ghana economy
With its numerous natural resources, Ghana has a per capita income more than twice the average for countries of West Africa, very unevenly distributed. Nevertheless, Ghana remains heavily dependent on international financial and technical assistance. The gold, timber and cocoa and most recently oil are the main export of the country resources.

The domestic economy continues to depend mainly on subsistence agriculture, which occupies 40% of the land and 60% of employment, mainly on small farms. Indeed, Ghana celebrates farmers with its national ' farmer's day ".

The secondary sector is lacking, there is very little industry, including transformation. While the services sector has developed apace. 

Forests, savannas, sea shores, multiple geography

Ghana is located in the Gulf of Guinea, a few degrees north of the equator. Its area is about a quarter of that of France.

The coastal strip is mostly low, the beaches are backed by plains. A belt of rainforest consisting of wooded hills crossed by several rivers extends beyond the shoreline. North of this region is an area of savanna and tall grass.

Due to their situation, the North has many cultural affinities with other Sahelian countries such as Burkina Faso, Mali and northern Nigeria. Although having no ethnic group in Ghana, Hausa and Mande have a great cultural influence on the people of northern Ghana. The dominant ethnic group in this part of Ghana is Dagomba population.

 

Larabanga Mosque, dating from the 12th century is the oldest mosque in Ghana and one of the oldest in West Africa. It is typical of Sudanese architecture such as mosques of Djenne in Mali and Agadez in Niger.

Climate
Tropical with temperatures ranging from 21-32 ° C.  The eastern part of the coast is warm and relatively dry, the western part is hot and humid. Northern Ghana is hot and dry. Lake Volta, the largest artificial lake in the world (over 6,000 km of coastline) covers a large part of the eastern region.

In the southern coastal region of Ghana, there are 4 seasons :

The long dry season from November to April, temperatures are between 25 ° C and 33 ° C.

The long rainy season from May to June, rains are relatively abundant and temperatures range from 23 ° C to 28 ° C.

The short dry season from July to September, the weather is mostly dry with temperatures of 22 ° C to 27 ° C.

The short rainy season from October to November, the weather is a little less humid than during the long rainy season.

Ghana, pioneer country in ecotourism

Ghana is a pioneer in ecotourism based on village communities .. More than 5% of the land area is under official protection through 16 national parks or protected areas , in which the most popular destinations are the Mole National Park in the north and the National Park of Kakum near Cape Coast. Closer to Ezile Bay, we can cite the butterfly sanctuary of Bobiri  Ankasa park and rainforest of Cape Three Points (classification proposed park). Note that, unlike some neighboring countries, parks dedicated to hunting do not exist in Ghana and it is even forbidden to hunt(and sanctioned).

 
       

In recent years, Ghana has become a pioneer in the field of community based ecotourism which aims mutual benefit of a triangular relationship between curators, tourists and local communities. The monkey sanctuary of Boabeng Fiema that welcomes and protects mona monkeys and black colobus showed the way in 1965, and remains the flagship of more than two dozen other tourism projects based on communities across the country.From the sanctuary of hippos Wechiau, wet sanctuary ofAmansuri  to cultural sites such as Domana rock shrine in the forest near the Kakum Park and painted houses and potteries of Sirigu in Upper east.

The Volta Region, the most hilly of Ghana, home to the largest concentration of ecotourism sites based on communities and offers nature lovers superb opportunities for hiking and mountain biking. The most popular attractions are the sacred monkeys of Tafi Atome, a plethora of beautiful forests, waterfalls in Amedzofe, the country's highest point, Mount Afadjato and impressive Wli falls in the forest, the highest waterfall in West Africa.

 

 

Ghana is also a paradise for friends of birdswith 725 recorded species on an area equivalent to the UK. There are savanna birds such as gonoleks the "rollers", parrots and weavers that attract the eye as well as eagles and other raptors that are in the dry north more. Bird lovers can also go in search of hosts harder to see in wet and shady forests of Cape Three Points, Kakum, Bui and Ankasa as well as "an exceptional variety of marine species that gather on coastal lagoons such as Keta, Songor and Muni Pomadze. A Ghana birds guide book  exists.


 Among the most popular attractions of Ghana, stunning palm-fringed beaches stretching along 500 miles of the Gulf of Guinea coast.

The best and safest for beach activities are in the western Region in the west of the country, Busua,Akwidaa, Miamia, Axim and many more! Many activities are possible, surfing, kayaking, hiking or go fishing with a traditional canoe.

A variety of quality cultural creations.

 

Ghana has managed to combine tradition and modernity, traditional chiefs and modern democracy. It is the same with cultural production. Where Kente fabrics and traditional adinkra attend the Accra Fashion Week. The high life and return to traditional tastes and plays with unrestrained azonto. Two musics on the way to conquer the world. The Ghanaian visual artists occupy a prominent place on the international scene, for more information visit us on our page  African arts  !