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Country of the Week-Ghana

Each week our church features a Country of the Week to pray for. We ask the Lord for laborers for the harvest in this specific country. One of the young teenage ladies in our church has begun to help us by using her writing skills to help us give you a better understanding of each featured country. Thank you Rachel Harrell, awesome teen SENDER, for using your talents to motivate others for world missions!

Brief History

In 1806, a war was raged between two forces in what we now call Ghana. It was the Ashanti-Fante War. Fought between the British powers and the indigenous Ashanti people, the British won, but it was a start towards the eventual independence of the now Republic of Ghana.

There was a struggle in Ghana for independence long before World War Two, after which there was an increased move for independence. In 1947, a new political group called United Gold Coast Convention called for immediate independence. In 1948, the current member of UGCC and future prime minister and president Kwame Nkrumah was arrested. He later formed his own party, whose motto was “self-government now”. After gaining the support of the people, being imprisoned once again, appointed leader of government business, and after further negotiations with the British, Nkrumah was able to finally announce the independence of Ghana on March 6, 1957. It was the first sub-Saharan African country to gain independence.

Kwame Nkrumah was instrumental in the beginning of the Organisation of African Unity, which spawned the African Union in 2002. However, in 1966, the government Nkrumah had tried so hard to build was overthrown by a military coup. After many of these coups, Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings rose to power in 1981.

In 1981, Rawlings suspended the constitution and banned political parties. But after the economy dropped not long thereafter, he allowed Kwame Darko to make economical changes that helped the economy recover. In 1992, a new constitution was put in affect that lifted the ban on political parties. Rawlings was elected president in both 1992 and 1996, and further reelection was banned by the new constitution.

In 2009, John Atta Mills was elected president of Ghana. It was only the second time power had been transferred legitimately from one person to another. Ghana was officially a stable democracy. He was reelected in 2011 with 96.9 percent of the total votes cast.

Basic Facts

In the Republic of Ghana, there are 24,233,431 people in 10 regions. There are over a hundred ethnic groups. The official language is English, although the average Ghanaian speaks a local language as well. There are 79 languages listed for Ghana, nine of which are government-sponsored languages.

There is a large majority of Christianity in Ghana, but the northern regions are more Islamic. A small percentage practices indigenous religions, and an even smaller percentage practices other religions such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, Buddhism, Shintoism, Hinduism, and Judaism. 69 percent of Ghanaians claim Christianity as their religion, while 15.6 percent are Muslim.

In Ghana, infant mortality is 51 per 1000 live births. Male life expectancy is 59 years of age, while the female life expectancy is 60 years. There are only 15 physicians and 93 nurses for every 100,000 people.

Ghana has a literacy rate of around 65 percent. They have a six year primary school program, and a three year middle school program. After the last year of middle school, Ghanaians must complete a Basic Education Certificate Examination. Ghanaians who go on must go through senior high school and complete an admission exam before entering any college or technical schools. At 83%, Ghana has one of the highest school enrollment rates in West Africa.