Ghana has a long history of gold mining stretching back to pre-colonial times. This is evident in that traditional Ghanaian customs are often closely associated with the yellow metal. This link with gold production persisted with the arrival of the early European traders through to the British colonial era, when Ghana was aptly known as the Gold Coast. Ghana's gold production waned from the 1960's until 1992, when the implementation of a new investor-friendly Mining Code was introduced by the government in order to attract foreign capital into exploring and developing gold projects in the country. This incentive was successful and a period of robust activity in the mining sector led to the extension of existing deposits and the discovery and successful development of new mines which increased Ghana's annual gold production from approximately 500,000 ounces per year in 1992 to projected annual gold production of over 3,000,000 ounces in 2008.
Globally, Ghana remains undoubtedly one of the most prospective countries for gold. There are 3 giant gold projects (>20,000,000 ounces) - Anglogold Ashanti's Obuasi complex, Gold Fields' Tarkwa mine and Newmont's Ahafo mine. There are 5 world class projects (>2,000,000 ounces) - Golden Star's Bogosu-Prestea complex, Anglogold Ashanti's Iduapriem mine, Gold Fields' Damang mine, Redback's Chirano mine and Central African Gold's Bibiani mine. Ongoing exploration on the Birimian gold belts and Tarkwaian basins of Ghana continues to deliver excellent exploration projects that have the potential to deliver more world class deposits.
Ghana is politically stable with the people represented by a multi-party democracy that continues to deliver sustained economic growth, improved infrastructure, the rule of law and security. The long mining history has meant that local colleges and universities are equipped to continue providing the skilled artisans, operators and well qualified professionals that are the key to successful mine development and production. The presence of large mines has attracted all the main equipment suppliers, contractors, critical service providers like laboratories, drilling companies and professional consultancies covering engineering, geology, environmental science assessment and monitoring to set up offices in Ghana.
The rapid growth profile for gold production in Ghana bears testament to the fact that very significant deposits can be discovered, developed and mined profitably within a relatively short period.
|Surface:||238,537 sq. km|
|Population density:||80 inhabitants per sq. km|
|Population mix:||Urban, 35.8%; Rural, 64.2%|
|Constitution:||Republic with an executive presidency and parliamentary democracy|
|Head of State:||The President, HE John Dramani Mahama since July 2012|
|Other languages:||Ga, Ewe, Fanti, Twi, and Hausa|
|Currency:||Cedi (GHS) valued at = $0.996 Canadian Dollar (Nov 2007)|
Formerly the Gold Coast Ghana is a West African country stretching between the arid Sahel and the Gulf of Guinea and is surrounded by Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Togo. Accra, the capital, is on the coast.
Ghana is divided into four distinct geographical regions:
- The coastline (in the south) is a sequence of white sandy beaches spread out over a distance of 550 km, punctuated with savannah, joining up with the city of Accra.
- The western part consists of the Ashanti plateau composed of forest areas where cocoa is an important crop.
- The eastern part of Ghana is less prosperous having been subjected over the years to forest fires, resulting in seriously dry conditions.
- To the north, the bush gives way to savannah where roam buffalo, antelope and elephant.
Lake Volta (8 480 sq. km and covering 3% of Ghana's surface) is a reservoir created by the 113 m Akosombo Dam. The highest elevation in the country is Mount Afadjato at 885 m.
The masses of hot, dry air from the Sahara create the savannah conditions in the north. To the south and inland from the coastal plain, the humidity from the ocean causes forest conditions, which end up accounting for one third of Ghana's land mass. Not affected by this humidity is the capital region, occupying the savannah.
Two population settings exist. One third live in a triangle formed by the coastline and the city of Kumasi. The other setting with a denser population is to the north along the Burkina Faso border. Christianity makes up the largest religious denomination at over 50%, followed with traditional religions at 32% and by Islam at 13%. Population is predominately African: Akan (40%), Ewe, Mole-Dagbani, Ga-Adangbe.
Ghana's economic base rests on its abundance of natural resources. These are primarily gold, cocoa, forest products and bauxite. Other exported products are manganese and industrial diamonds. Manufacturing has suffered considerably since the Economic Recovery Programme (ERP), backed by the International Monetary Fund, was put in motion in 1983-86. As a result, a large percentage of persons employed now are in the public sector.
Important Cities & their population
|Accra:||2,096,600, the capital|
|Kumasi:||1,604,900, the ancient capital of Ashanti|
|Road:||about 32,000 km of road, 6,000 of which are paved, mainly in the southern part of the country.|
|Rail:||1,000 km, mainly in the triangle area joining Kumasi, Sekondi-Takoradi and Accra|
|Sea:||Ports at Tema (Greater Accra) and Takoradi (western region)|
|Air:||Kotoka international airport, 10 km north of Accra, served by Ghana Airways, Aeroflot, Air Afrique, British Airways, Egypt Air, KLM, Swissair, Lufthansa, Nigeria Airways and Ethiopian|
|Airlines:||Domestic airports at Kumasi, Tamale, Sunyani|