GHANA, My Love!

Ghana celebrated it's 61st year of Independence on March 6th 2018. In lieu of this celebration, I'd like to share some insights on my motherland. Independence square

Ghana celebrated her 61st year of freedom on March 6th, 2018!! Ghana, formerly known as the Gold Coast, is one of the first countries in Africa to gain independence from the British colony.

Now, many Ghanaians like myself are able to freely call Ghana our motherland and home.

In lieu of this celebration, I’d like to share some insights into this incredible African country, my motherland.

Enjoy and Happy Independence Day, Ghana!

Meaning of the Colors on the Flag

Red: The blood of those who died in the country’s struggle for independence
Gold: The nation’s mineral wealth. Ghana is Africa’s largest Gold producer. Also major producers in Bauxite, Manganese, and Diamonds.
Black Star: the lodestar of African Freedom
Green: The rich forestry. Forests cover about one-third of Ghana’s total area

The Coat of Arms


The coat of arms was designed by Ghanaian artist Amon Kotei.

It symbolizes government official sanction and it has found an important Government places. For example, the Castles, the Courts, and government offices.

National Anthem

Check out this version of the national anthem with visuals of Ghana and it’s people

Location

Ghana is located in Western African along the Gulf of Guinea.

Fun fact: Ghana is the closest country to the center of the Earth – just off the coast of Accra.

Capital of Ghana

A. C. C. R. A. – Accra!!

A growing population of three million. Huge tourist attraction with places like the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park honoring Ghana’s first president. Above all, the park contains Nkrumah’s mausoleum and a museum charting his life. Makola Market is the city’s vast, colorful bazaar. Beach fronts from Labadi Beach and Kokrobite Beach offer golden sand and high-energy nightlife.

History of Accra (Why the name?)

Accra is derived from the Akan word, Nkran (ants)Nkran was later deformed by the Danes to Akra, then to present-day Accra.

Check out  Why the Name: Accra? | African Heritage for more about ACCRA.

Countries it shares borders with

Côte d’Ivoire to the West of Ghana, Togo to the East of Ghana and Burkina Faso to the north.

Population

Ghana’s population is around 25 million.

How big is Ghana

Ghana has an area of approximately 238,500 square kilometers or 92,100 square miles. It is around the same size as the United Kingdom and two times the size of New York.

Weather

Tropical Climate. Mainly Summer and the Harmattan season.

Harmattan is a dry desert wind that blows from the NorthEast, from December to March. Lowering humidity; creating hot days and cool nights.

The sky is typically hazy (white) during the Harmattan season.

The Administrative Divisions of Ghana (different regions)

The Upper East Region, capital – Bolgatanga.

The population is 917,251.


Central Region, capital – Cape coast,

where most slaves were taken or sent to before being shipped off.
Cape Coast holds the slavery castles and vast seafronts for fishermen. Population is 1,80,047.

People from this region are typically Mfantsefo or Fante
My father’s side of the family is Fante, making me half Fante.

central region ghana. capecoast castle looking toward the water.

Western Region, capital – Sekondi Takoradi.

Population 1,842,878.

Takoradi is one of the five largest cities.


Ashanti Region, Capital – Kumasi.

Kumasi is one of the five largest cities. Population 3,187,607.

Kumasi is a growing city, in some way envying Accra. With rich Ashanti culture and new tourism, they are making their way up the list.

Asante King. Ghana Gold. Ashanti Region. Asante Culture

Asanti King donned in Gold. 


Eastern Region, capital – Koforidua

Population is 2,108,852. People from this region are typically Akyemfo or Akyem (my mother’s side of the family is Akyem, making me half Akyem).

Random shot when I visited Akwatia, a village in the Eastern Region.

visit to akwatia eastern region ghana. photo of a village house
The Upper West Region, capital is Wa.

The population is 573,860.

nakore mosque in upper west region ghana. sky view white spiked mosque

Nakore Mosque


Northern Region, capital – Tamale.

Tamale is one of the five largest cities.

The population of people living in this region is 1,854,994.
Shea butter, Ghanaian women’s Gold is made in this region of Ghana and it is one of the most important products in Ghana and around the globe.


Brong Ahafo Region, the capital is Sunyani.

The population of people living in this region is 1,824,822.


Greater Accra Region, capital is Accra.

Also the capital of Ghana.
Accra is one of the five largest cities. Tema which is also in the Greater Accra Region is one of the five largest cities. 
There are many tourist attractions from beaches to 5-star hotels to nightclubs that envy many others. But there’s also the bad, too many people and cars and the lack of a sustainable culture.


Volta Region, capital is Ho.

The population 1,612,299. This region holds Lake Volta, a large reservoir behind the Akosombo Dam. It is within the country of Ghana and has a surface area of 8,502 square kilometers.

Kintampo waterfalls in Volta region ghana. waterfall people green trees

Kintampo Waterfalls

Main Features of the Country’s Economy

GOLD!!

Being Africa’s largest producer, Ghana is historically famous for its gold. Previously known as the Gold Coast.

TOURISM

Ghana is growing rapidly in tourism. In other words, many Europeans and Americans holiday in Ghana just to be a part of the rich festivals; visit and see the Forts and Castles; the nature lovers enjoy Ghana’s eco-tourism; the beautifully sunny climate, the vast and beautiful forests.

AGRICULTURE

Cocoa beans are grown as the major export crop. Chocolate made from cocoa beans is one of the key suppliers to the like of Cadbury’s.

Farmers also grow rubbersugar cane and palm oil, as well as foods for local consumption.

The northern savannah rears livestock, and grow crops like yamsrice, and millet.
Shea and kola nuts are also harvested here.

Which Countries colonized Ghana

Portugal, The Netherlands, Great Britain, Denmark, and Sweden all colonized Ghana in different time frames. But Ghana was mainly under the British colony.

Origin of the Name GHANA

The name Ghana means Warrior King. This name was adopted when the British colonies Gold Coast and Togoland merged to form a single country.

Through my research, I found that a miscellaneous meaning given to the abbreviation GHANA was God Has Appointed Nkrumah Already. I found this quite enlightening.

Leaders who helped Ghana gain Independence

Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first and former prime minister then president of the Republic of Ghana. He was a politician and revolutionist. He led the country to independence and transformed the country into a republic.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Yaa-Asantewaa1.jpg

Nana Yaa Asantewaa,

the queen mother of the Ashanti Empire and gatekeeper of the “Golden Stool” (Sika ‘dwa).

In school, I learned she created a pivotal moment for many queen-mothers and women, in general, in a time of war and slavery. #girlpower

Learn more the queen-mother

The Big Six were six leaders of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), the leading political party in the British colony of the Gold Coast.

The big six include Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey, Mr. Ako Adjei, Mr. Edward Akuffo Addo, Dr. J. B. Danquah and Mr. William Ofori Atta.

These were the six brave men and leaders of the United Gold Coast Convention (U.G.C.C.) who were arrested and detained under the Emergency Regulation in 1948 during disturbances in the Gold Coast. They were and are gallant men who spearheaded the transition of Ghana from colonialism to Independence on that memorable day the 6th of March, 1957.

Political Parties

Leaders of Past and Recent Years
President:

Jerry John Rawlings
7 Jan 1993 – 7 Jan 2001
NDC [National Democratic Congress]

Vice President:

John Evans Atta Mills
7 Jan 1997 – 7 Jan 2001
NDC [National Democratic Congress]

President:

John Agyekum Kufuor
7 Jan 2001 – 7 Jan 2009
NPP [New Patriotic Party]

Vice President:

Alhaji Aliu Mahama (died in 2012)
7 Jan 2001 – 7 Jan 2009
NPP [New Patriotic Party]

President:

John Evans Atta Mills
7 Jan 2009 – 24 Jul 2012
NDC [National Democratic Congress]

John Evans Atta Mills (died in 2012)

Vice President:

John Dramani Mahama
7 Jan 2009 – 24 Jul 2012 NDC

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is ghana-john.jpg
President:

John Dramani Mahama
24 Jul 2012 – 7 Jan 2017
NDC [National Democratic Congress]

Vice President:

Kwesi Amissah-Arthur
6 Aug 2012 – 7 Jan 2017
NDC [National Democratic Congress]

   
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is President-nana-akufo-addo.jpg
NOW President:                       

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo                     

7 Jan 2017 – Present                                               

NPP [New Patriotic Party]                                 

Vice President:

Mahamudu Bawumia

7 Jan 2017 – Present

NPP [New Patriotic Party]

Languages Spoken

There are more than 250 languages and dialects spoken in Ghana.

English is the country’s official language and predominates government and business affairs and education instruction.

Some of the more “known” languages are

  1. AKAN comprises of Twi in variations of Ashanti Twi, Fante, Akuapem Twi, Akyem, Kwahu. Basic Twi is spoken in predominantly all regions. Ashanti is spoken in the Ashanti Region. Fante, spoken in the Central Region. Akuapem, Akyem, and Kwahu, spoken in the Eastern Region.
  2. DAGAARE / WAALE, spoken in the Upper Western Region.
  3. DANGBE, spoken in the Greater Accra Region.
  4. DAGBANE, spoken in Northern Region.
  5. EWE, spoken in Volta Region.
  6. GA, spoken in the Greater Accra Region.
  7. GONJA, spoken in Northern Region.
  8. KASEM, spoken in Upper Eastern Region.
  9. NZEMA, spoken in the Western Region.

I speak Twi and Fante 
Understand basic Akuapem and GA (because of the people i have lived with or been around).

Here you’ll find all 250 + languages/dialects spoken in Ghana.

Currency

Ghana’s currency is called the Ghana cedi(s)

GHS (GH₵)

Entertainment

Football

Ghana has won the African Cup of Nations championships on different occasions. Reached the last sixteen of the 2006 FIFA World Cup before being eliminated by Brazil. At the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, they became the third African team in history to reach the World Cup quarter-finals. Unfortunately, at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Ghana was eliminated during the group stages. (We got too comfortable but who am I to be a critic).

Some of the G.O.A.T Ghanaian Footballers are

  1. Abedi Pele *with a legacy of football children
  2. Anthony Yeboah, a striker from 1981 to 2002
  3. Michael Essien, Midfielder
  4. Samuel Kuffour, defender
  5. Alhaji Mohammed Ahmed (Polo) known as the “Dribbling Magician”
  6. Stephen Appiah
  7. André Morgan Rami Ayew (a.k.a Dede Ayew)
  8. Asamoah Gyan

….the list goes on.

Movies

The cinema in Ghana brings comfort to those who are away from the motherland. Laughter is certainly something you won’t lack when watching a Ghanaian film.

Trying to claim the name Ghallywood, actors like Jackie Appiah, Majid Michel, Adjetey Anang,  Nana Ama McBrown, Van Vicker, Nadia Buari began the pathway for many to believe in the arts.
Similarly, actors like Yvonne Nelson, Yvonne Okoro, John Dumelo, Martha Ankomah and others making names for themselves in the entertainment world.
There’s also the OG actors and actresses. For example, Akosua Gyamama Busia, Kwaku Sintim-Misa, Rama Brew, Kofi Adjorlolo, Grace Omaboe (aka Maame Dokono), Grace Nortey.
Let’s not forget Kumawood, which started with Agya Koo, Akwasi Boadi aka Akrobeto.

For movie suggestions, leave a comment below and i will make a list!

Music

Find some of the best GH music/artists on my Spotify.
*there are some Nigerian songs mixed in there too*

I hope you’ve enjoyed this journey of learning more about my motherland.

If you learned something new, please like and share it with others.

Feel free to comment if there’s anything I must omit or add!

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