In 1481, King John II of Portugal commissioned Don Diego d'Azambuja to build the Elmina Castle, which was completed in three years. By 1598, the Dutch had joined the Portuguese in the gold trade, establishing the Dutch Gold Coast (Nederlandse Bezittingen ter Kuste van Guinea) and building forts at Fort Komenda and Kormantsi. In 1617, the Dutch captured the Olnini Castle from the Portuguese, and Axim in 1642 (Fort St Anthony).
More than thirty forts and castles were built by the Portuguese, Swedish, Dano-Norwegians, Dutch and German merchants; the latter Germans establishing the German Gold Coast (Brandenburger Gold Coast or Groß Friedrichsburg). In 1874 Great Britain established control over some parts of the country, assigning these areas the status of British Gold Coast. Many military engagements occurred between the British colonial powers and the various Akan nation-states. The Akan Kingdom of Ashanti defeated the British a few times in the 100-year-long Anglo-Ashanti wars but eventually lost with the War of the Golden Stool in the early 1900s.
In 1947, the newly formed United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) led by "The Big Six" called for "self-government within the shortest possible time" following the Gold Coast legislative election, 1946. Kwame Nkrumah, a Ghanaian nationalist who led Ghana from 1957 to 1966 as the country's first Prime Minister and President, formed the Convention People's Party (CPP) in 1949 with the motto "self-government now". The party initiated a "positive action" campaign involving non-violent protests, strikes and non-cooperation with the British authorities. Nkrumah was arrested and sentenced to one year imprisonment during this time. In the Gold Coast's February 1951 general election, he was elected to Parliament and released from prison to become leader of government business. He became Prime Minister of the Gold Coast in 1952. He improved the infrastructure of the country and his Africanisation policies created better career opportunities for Ghanaians.
The oldest university in Ghana, the University of Ghana, was founded in 1948. It had 29,754 students in 2008. Its programmes in the arts, humanities, business, and the social sciences, as well as medicine, are among the best in the country. Many universities—including Harvard University, Cornell University, and Oxford University—have special study-abroad programmes with Ghanaian schools and provide their students the opportunity to study abroad at Ghanaian universities. New York University has a campus in Accra.
The Bahá’í religious community, established in Ghana in 1951, today includes more than 100 communities and over 50 local Bahá’í administrative councils, called Local Spiritual Assemblies.
In 1957, the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) consisted of its headquarters, support services, three battalions of infantry and a reconnaissance squadron with armoured vehicles. Ghanaian Prime Minister and President Kwame Nkrumah aimed at rapidly expanding the GAF to support the United States of Africa ambitions. Thus in 1961, 4th and 5th Battalions were established, and in 1964 6th Battalion was established, from a parachute airborne unit originally raised in 1963.
The Ghanaian Ministry of Education and the Ghanaian National Accreditation Board provide free education at the elementary school (primary school) level, and most Ghanaians have relatively easy access to high school education (junior high school and senior high school). These numbers can be contrasted with the single university and handful of secondary and primary schools that existed at the time of independence in 1957. Ghana's spending on education has varied between 28 and 40% of its annual budget in the past decade. All teaching is done in English, mostly by qualified Ghanaian educators.
On 6 March 1957 at 12 midnight, the Gold Coast, Ashanti, the Northern Territories and British Togoland were unified as one single independent dominion within the British Commonwealth under the name Ghana. This was done under the Ghana Independence Act 1957. The current flag of Ghana, consisting of the colours red, gold, green, and a black star, dates back to this unification. It was designed by Theodosia Salome Okoh; the red represents the blood that was shed towards independence, the gold represents the industrial minerals wealth of Ghana, the green symbolises the rich grasslands of Ghana, and the black star is the symbol of the Ghanaian people and African emancipation.
The first permanent state in the territory of present-day Ghana dates back to the 11th century, the Bono State. Numerous kingdoms and empires emerged over the centuries, of which the most powerful were the Kingdom of Dagbon and the Ashanti Empire. Beginning in the 15th century, the Portuguese Empire, followed by numerous other European powers, contested the area for trading rights, until the British ultimately established control of the coast by the late 19th century. Following over a century of native resistance, what are now Ghana's borders follow the lines of what were four separate British colonial territories: Gold Coast, Ashanti, the Northern Territories and British Togoland. These were unified as an independent dominion within the Commonwealth of Nations on 6 March 1957.
As of 2014 , there are 375,000 registered legal skilled workers (permanent residents) or foreign workers/students (i.e. Ghana Card holders) inhabitants with an annually 1.5 million transited airport layovers. In its first post-colonial census in 1960, Ghana had a population of 6.7 million. The median age of Ghanaian citizens is 30 years old and the average household size is 3.6 persons. The Government of Ghana states that the official language of Ghana is English, and is spoken by 67.1% of the inhabiting population of Ghana.
On 1 July 1960, following the Ghanaian constitutional referendum and Ghanaian presidential election, Nkrumah declared Ghana as a republic and assumed the presidency. 6 March is the nation's Independence Day and 1 July is now celebrated as Republic Day.
The state-owned Volta River Authority and Ghana National Petroleum Corporation are the two major electricity producers. The Akosombo Dam, built on the Volta River in 1965, along with Bui Dam, Kpong Dam, and several other hydroelectric dams provide hydropower. In addition, the Government of Ghana has sought to build the second nuclear power plant in Africa.
The government of Nkrumah was subsequently overthrown by a coup by the Ghana Armed Forces codenamed "Operation Cold Chop". This occurred while Nkrumah was abroad with Zhou Enlai in the People's Republic of China, on a fruitless mission to Hanoi in Vietnam to help end the Vietnam War. The coup took place on 24 February 1966, led by Col. Emmanuel Kwasi Kotoka. The National Liberation Council (NLC) was formed, chaired by Lt. General Joseph A. Ankrah.
In 2010, the Ghana Immigration Service reported a large number of economic migrants and Illegal immigrants inhabiting Ghana: 14.6% (or 3.1 million) of Ghana's 2010 population (predominantly Nigerians, Burkinabe citizens, Togolese citizens, and Malian citizens). In 1969, under the "Ghana Aliens Compliance Order" (GACO) enacted by the Prime Minister of Ghana Kofi Abrefa Busia; Government of Ghana with BGU (Border Guard Unit) deported over 3,000,000 aliens and illegal immigrants in three months as they made up 20% of the population at the time. In 2013, there was a mass deportation of illegal miners, more than 4,000 of them Chinese nationals.
Ghana has a budding and thriving film industry. Ghana's film industry dates as far back as 1948 when the Gold Coast Film Unit was set up in the Information Services Department. Some internationally recognised films have come from Ghana. In 1970, I Told You So was one of the first Ghanaian films to receive international acknowledgement and received great reviews from The New York Times. It was followed by the 1973 Ghanaian and Italian production The African Deal also known as "Contratto carnale" featuring Bahamian American actor Calvin Lockhart. 1983's Kukurantumi: the Road to Accra, a Ghanaian and German production directed by King Ampaw, was written about by famous American film critic Vincent Canby. In 1987, Cobra Verde, another Ghanaian and German production directed by Werner Herzog, received international acclamation and in 1988, Heritage Africa won more than 12 film awards.
Ghanaian football teams Asante Kotoko SC and Accra Hearts of Oak SC are the 5th and 9th best football teams on the Africa continent and have won a total of five Africa continental association football and Confederation of African Football trophies; Ghanaian football club Asante Kotoko SC has been crowned two-time CAF Champions League winners in 1970, 1983 and five-time CAF Champions League runners up, and Ghanaian football club Accra Hearts of Oak SC has been crowned 2000 CAF Champions League winner and two-time CAF Champions League runners up, 2001 CAF Super Cup champions and 2004 CAF Confederation Cup champions. The International Federation of Football History and Statistics crowned Asante Kotoko SC as the African club of the 20th century. There are several club football teams in Ghana that play in the Ghana Premier League and Division One League, both administered by the Ghana Football Association.
A series of alternating military and civilian governments, often affected by economic instabilities, ruled Ghana from 1966 to 1981, ending with the ascension to power of Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) in 1981. These changes resulted in the suspension of the Constitution of Ghana in 1981, and the banning of political parties in Ghana. The economy soon declined, so Rawlings negotiated a structural adjustment plan changing many old economic policies, and economic growth soon recovered during the mid-1980s. A new Constitution of Ghana restoring multi-party system politics was promulgated in Ghanaian presidential election, 1992; Rawlings was elected as president of Ghana then, and again in Ghanaian general election, 1996.
As of 22 June 2019 , Ghana has a population of 30,083,000. Around 29 percent of the population is under the age of 15, while persons aged 15–64 make up 57.8 percent of the population. The Ashanti Region had the most, (Akan) (Ashanti) (4.7 million in Ashanti, 2.3 million in Brong-Ahafo, 2.2 million in Central, 2.6 million in Eastern, 2.3 million in Western, and 4 million in the seat of government in Greater Accra geographically and legally part of Eastern then administered separately on 23 July 1982). As of 2010 , 4.1 million persons reside in the Northern territories (2.4 million in Northern, 1 million in Upper East, and 0.7 million in Upper West).
Ghana has a free education 6-year primary school education system beginning at age six, and, under the educational reforms implemented in 1988 and reformed in 2007, they pass on to a 3-year junior high school system. At the end of the third year of junior high, there is a mandatory "Basic Education Certificate Examination". Those continuing must complete the 4-year senior high school programme (which has been changed to three years) and take an admission exam to enter any university or tertiary programme. The Ghanaian education system from nursery school up to an undergraduate degree level takes 20 years.
Association football is the top spectator sport in Ghana and the national men's football team is known as the Black Stars, with the under-20 team known as the Black Satellites. Ghana has won the African Cup of Nations four times, the FIFA U-20 World Cup once, and has participated in three consecutive FIFA World Cups in 2006, 2010, and 2014. In the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Ghana became the third African country to reach the quarter-final stage of the World Cup after Cameroon in 1990 and Senegal in 2002. Ghana national U-20 football team, known as the Black Satellites, is considered to be the feeder team for the Ghana national football team. Ghana is the first and only country on the Africa continent to be crowned FIFA U-20 World Cup Champions, and two-time runners up in 1993 and 2001. The Ghana national U-17 football team known as the Black Starlets are two-time FIFA U-17 World Cup champions in 1991 and 1995, two-time runners up in 1993 and 1997.
Press freedoms were restored in 1992, and after the election in 2000 of John Agyekum Kufuor the tensions between the private media and government decreased. Kufuor supported press freedom and repealed a libel law, but maintained that the media had to act responsibly. The Ghanaian media has been described as "one of the most unfettered" in Africa, operating with little restriction. The private press often carries criticism of government policy.
Ghana is a unitary presidential constitutional democracy with a parliamentary multi-party system that is dominated by two parties — the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP). Ghana alternated between civilian and military governments until January 1993, when the military government gave way to the Fourth Republic of Ghana after presidential and parliamentary elections in late 1992. The 1992 constitution of Ghana divides powers among a Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces (President of Ghana), parliament (Parliament of Ghana), cabinet (Cabinet of Ghana), council of state (Ghanaian Council of State), and an independent judiciary (Judiciary of Ghana). The Government of Ghana is elected by universal suffrage after every four years.
Winning the 2000 Ghanaian elections, John Agyekum Kufuor of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) was sworn into office as president of Ghana on 7 January 2001, and attained the presidency again in the 2004 Ghanaian elections, thus also serving two terms (the term limit) as president of Ghana and thus marking the first time under the fourth republic that power was transferred from one legitimately elected head of state and head of government to another.
Due to Ghana being surrounded by French-speaking countries, French is widely taught in schools and universities, as well as a language used for commercial and international economic exchanges and is spoken in some regions. Since 2006, Ghana has been an associate member of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, the global organisation that unites French-speaking countries (84 nations on 6 continents). In 2005, over 350 000 Ghanaian children studied French in schools. Since then, its status has progressively been updated to a mandatory language in every high school. It is the process of becoming an official language.
In 2005, Ghana had 12,130 primary schools, 5,450 junior secondary schools, 503 senior secondary schools, 21 public training colleges, 18 technical institutions, two diploma-awarding institutions and 6 universities.
Ghana's Jubilee Oilfield which contains up to 3 billion barrels (480,000,000 m ) of sweet crude oil was discovered in 2007, among the many other offshore and inland oilfields in Ghana. Ghana is believed to have up to 5 billion barrels (790,000,000 m ) to 7 billion barrels (1.1×10 m ) of petroleum in reserves, which is the fifth largest in Africa and the 21st to 25th largest proven reserves in the world. It also has up to 1.7×10 cubic metres (6×10^ cu ft) of natural gas in reserves, which is the sixth largest in Africa and the 49th largest natural gas proven reserves in the world. Oil and gas exploration off Ghana's eastern coast on the Gulf of Guinea is ongoing, and the amount of both crude oil and natural gas continues to increase. The Government of Ghana has drawn up plans to nationalise Ghana's entire petroleum and natural gas reserves to increase government revenue.
Ghana's intention to become the information technology hub of West Africa has led the government of Ghana to enact cyber crime legislation and enhance cyber security practices. Acting on that goal, in 2008 Ghana passed the Electronic Communications Act and the Electronic Transactions Act, which established the legal framework for governing information technology. In November 2011, the Deputy Minister for Communications and Technology announced the development of a national cyber security strategy, aimed at combating cyber crime and securing critical infrastructure.
In July 2013, International Enterprise Singapore opened its 38th global office in Accra, to develop trade and investment on logistics, oil and gas, aviation, transportation and consumer sectors. Singapore and Ghana also signed four bilateral agreements to promote public sector and private sector collaboration, as Ghana aims to predominantly shift its economic trade partnership to East Asia and Southeast Asia. The economic centre is IE Singapore's second office in Africa, coming six months after opening in Johannesburg, South Africa in January 2013. Ghana's labour force in 2008 totalled 11.5 million Ghanaian citizens. Tema Harbour is Africa's largest manmade harbour and Takoradi Harbour along with Tema harbour in Ghana handles goods and exports for Ghana. They are also traffic junctions where goods are transhipped; the Tema harbour handles the majority of the nation's export cargo and most of the country's chief exports is shipped from Takoradi harbour. The Takoradi harbour and Tema harbour are operated by the state-owned Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority.
In recent times there have been collaborations between Ghanaian and Nigerian crew and cast and a number of productions turned out. Many Ghanaian films are co-produced with Nollywood, the Nigerian film industry, and some are distributed by Nigerian marketers. Also, Nigerian filmmakers often feature Ghanaian actors and actresses in their movies and Ghanaian filmmakers feature Nigerian actors and actresses in theirs. Nadia Buari, Yvonne Nelson, Lydia Forson and Jackie Appiah all popular Ghanaian actresses and Van Vicker and Majid Michel both popular Ghanaian actors, have starred in many Nigerian movies. As a result of these collaborations, Western viewers often confuse Ghanaian movies with Nollywood and count their sales as one; however, they are two independent industries that sometimes share Nollywood. In 2009, UNESCO described Nollywood as the second-biggest film industry in the world after Bollywood.
Ghana competed in the Winter Olympics in 2010 for the first time. Ghana qualified for the 2010 Winter Olympics, scoring 137.5 International Ski Federation points, within the qualifying range of 120–140 points. Ghanaian skier, Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong, nicknamed "The snow leopard", became the first Ghanaian to take part in the Winter Olympics, at the 2010 Winter Olympics held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, taking part in the slalom skiing. Ghana finished 47th out of 102 participating nations, of whom 54 finished in the Alpine skiing slalom. Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong broke on the international skiing circuit, being the second black African skier to do so.
Ghana has a universal health care system strictly designated for Ghanaian nationals, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). Health care is very variable throughout Ghana and in 2012, over 12 million Ghanaian nationals were covered by the National Health Insurance Scheme (Ghana) (NHIS). Urban centres are well served, and contain most of the hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies in Ghana. There are over 200 hospitals in Ghana and Ghana is a destination for medical tourism. In 2010, there were 0.1 physicians per 1,000 people and as of 2011 , 0.9 hospital beds per 1,000 people.
In 2010, the population of Ghana was 72.2% Christian (24.3% Pentecostal, 18.4% Protestant, 13.1% Catholic and 11.4% other). Approximately 18.6% of the population of Ghana are Muslim, (51% Sunni, 16% Ahmadiyya, and 8% Shia). Just over 10,000 Ghanaians practise Hinduism, with most of them being indigenous converts. Hinduism in Ghana was popularized by Swami Ghana Nanda ji, who opened several temples in the nation. The temple of Lord Shiva in Accra is one of the largest where there are celebrations to Ganesh Chaturthi, Rath Yatra, and other Hindu observations.
In 2010, there were relatively more females (53.0%) than males (40.5%) with primary school and JSS (junior secondary school) / JHS (junior high school) as their highest level of education.
The World Economic Forum statistics in 2010 showed that out of the world's favorite tourist destinations, Ghana was ranked 108th out of 139 countries. The country had moved two places up from the 2009 rankings. In 2011, Forbes magazine, published that Ghana was ranked the eleventh most friendly country in the world. The assertion was based on a survey in 2010 of a cross-section of travellers. Of all the African countries that were included in the survey, Ghana ranked highest. Tourism is the fourth highest earner of foreign exchange for the country. In 2017, Ghana ranks as the 43rd–most peaceful country in the world.
The female and male ages 15–24 years literacy rate in Ghana was 81% in 2010, with males at 82%, and females at 80%.
There was an estimation of 15 physicians and 93 nurses per 100,000 persons in 2010. 5.2% of Ghana's GDP was spent on health in 2010, and all Ghanaian citizens have the right to access primary health care. In May 2020, the WHO announced Ghana became the second country in the WHO African Region to attain regulatory system "maturity level 3", the second-highest in the four-tiered WHO classification of National medicines regulatory systems.
In September 2010, Ghana's former President John Atta Mills visited China on an official visit. Mills and China's former President Hu Jintao, marked the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two nations, at the Great Hall of the People on 20 September 2010. China reciprocated with an official visit in November 2011, by the Vice-Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China, Zhou Tienong who visited Ghana and met with Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama.
Crime in Ghana is investigated by the Ghana Police Service. Ghana had a murder rate of 1.68 per 100,000 population in 2011.
In 2011, 1,087,000 tourists visited Ghana. Tourist arrivals to Ghana include South Americans, Asians, Europeans, and North Americans. The attractions and major tourist destinations of Ghana include a warm, tropical climate year-round, diverse wildlife, waterfalls such as Kintampo waterfalls and the largest waterfall in west Africa, Wli waterfalls, Ghana's coastal palm-lined sandy beaches, caves, mountains, rivers, and reservoirs and lakes such as Lake Bosumtwi and the largest man-made lake in the world by surface area, Lake Volta, dozens of forts and castles, World Heritage Sites, nature reserves and national parks. Aside the beautiful natural reserves which serves as a tourist site, there are some castles in Ghana that also serve as tourist sites which attracts many tourists from all over the world. Some of the notable castles are Cape Coast Castle and the Elmina Castle all in the Central region of Ghana. Not only are the castles important for tourism but also serve as mark for remembering our forefathers whose blood were shed and sacrifices made to preserve and promote the black or African heritage which was robbed through the slave trade. As a result of this, the World Heritage Convention of UNESCO named Ghana's castles and forts as World Heritage Monuments.
The Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) has impounded container ships at the Sekondi Naval Base in the Takoradi Harbour. These ships were carrying thousands of kilograms of cocaine, with a street value running into billions of Ghana cedis. However, drug seizures saw a decline in 2011.
Ghana is an average natural resource enriched country possessing industrial minerals, hydrocarbons and precious metals. It is an emerging designated digital economy with mixed economy hybridisation and an emerging market with 8.7% GDP growth in 2012. It has an economic plan target known as the "Ghana Vision 2020". This plan envisions Ghana as the first African country to become a developed country between 2020 and 2029 and a newly industrialised country between 2030 and 2039. This excludes fellow Group of 24 member and Sub-Saharan African country South Africa, which is a newly industrialised country. Ghana's economy also has ties to the Chinese yuan renminbi along with Ghana's vast gold reserves. In 2013, the Bank of Ghana began circulating the renminbi throughout Ghanaian state-owned banks and to the Ghana public as hard currency along with the national Ghana cedi for second national trade currency. Between 2012 and 2013, 37.9 percent of rural dwellers were experiencing poverty whereas only 10.6 percent of urban dwellers were. Urban areas hold greater opportunity for employment, particularly in informal trade, while nearly all (94 percent) of rural poor households participate in the agricultural sector.
Ghana's annual space exploration expenditure has been 1% of its gross domestic product (GDP), to support research in science and technology. In 2012, Ghana was elected to chair the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (Comsats); Ghana has a joint effort in space exploration with South Africa's South African National Space Agency (SANSA).
In 2013, out of 177 countries, Ghana was ranked 63rd with Cuba and Saudi Arabia with a score of 46. Previously in 2012, the country ranked 64 and scored 45. Thus, Ghana's public sector scored lower in 2013 than in 2012, according to CPI's scores.
The Ghana Prisons Service and the sub-division Borstal Institute for Juveniles administers incarceration in Ghana. Ghana retains and exercises the death penalty for treason, corruption, robbery, piracy, drug trafficking, rape, and homicide. 27 convicts (all men) were sentenced to death in Ghana in 2012 and the Ghana Prisons Service statistics of the total number of convicts sentenced to death in Ghana as of December 2012 was 162 men and 4 women, with a total prison inmate population of 13,983 convicts as of 22 July 2013 . "The new sustainable development goals adopted by the United Nations call for the international community to come together to promote the rule of law; support equal access to justice for all; reduce corruption; and develop effective, accountable, and transparent institutions at all levels."
The Ghana Stock Exchange is the 5th largest on continental Africa and 3rd largest in sub-saharan Africa with a market capitalisation of GH¢ 57.2 billion or CN¥ 180.4 billion in 2012 with the South Africa JSE Limited as first. The Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) was the 2nd best performing stock exchange in sub-saharan Africa in 2013.
In June 2012, the National Information Technology Agency (NITA) announced a national computer emergency response team "strategy" designed to co-ordinate government response to cyberattacks, both internal and external. The agency also established computer emergency response teams for each municipal, metropolitan, and district assembly to improve co-ordination and information-sharing on cyberspace threats. Ghana is ranked 2nd on continental Africa and 7th globally in cyber warfare, cyberterrorism, cyber crime, and internet crime.
Nana Akufo-Addo, the ruling party candidate, was defeated in a very close election by John Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) following the Ghanaian presidential election, 2008. Mills died of natural causes and was succeeded by vice-president John Dramani Mahama on 24 July 2012.
Ghana is used as a key narcotics industry transshipment point by traffickers, usually from South America as well as some from other African nations. In 2013, the UN chief of the Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) stated that "West Africa is completely weak in terms of border control and the big drug cartels from Colombia and Latin America have chosen Africa as a way to reach Europe."
The 2014 estimate of life expectancy at birth had increased to an average of 65.75 years with males at 63.4 years and females at 68.2 years, and in 2013 infant mortality decreased to 39 per 1,000 live births. Sources vary on life expectancy at birth; the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated 62 years for men and 64 years for women born in 2016.
Following the Ghanaian presidential election, 2012, John Dramani Mahama became President-elect and was inaugurated on 7 January 2013. Ghana was a stable democracy.
Local reports have claimed that Ghana loses US$4.5 billion annually from nominal gross domestic product (Nominal GDP) growth as a result of economic corruption and economic crime by the incumbent National Democratic Congress (NDC) government of Ghana led by John Dramani Mahama. It is also said Ghana has lost an additional US$2.5 billion from nominal gross domestic product (Nominal GDP) growth between the months of January 2013 to October 2013 through economic corrupt practices under the Mahama administration.
The Islamic Republic of Iran and the 6th President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met with the 12th President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama on 16 April 2013 to hold discussions with President John Dramani Mahama on strengthening the Non-Aligned Movement and also co–chair a bilateral meeting between Ghana and Iran at the Ghanaian presidential palace Flagstaff House. The Government of Ghana reciprocated with an official state visit on 5 August 2013 by the Vice-President of Ghana, Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, who met with the Vice-President of Iran, Eshaq Jahangiri on the basis of autarky and possible bilateral trade at the Islamic Republic of Iran's presidential palace, Sa'dabad Palace.
The Ghana Space Science and Technology Centre (GSSTC) and Ghana Space Agency (GhsA) oversee the space exploration and space programmes of Ghana. GSSTC and GhsA worked to have a national security observational satellite launched into orbit in 2015. The first practical step in its endeavor was a CanSat launched on 15 May 2013, a space programme spearheaded by the All Nations University College (ANUC) in Koforidua. The CanSat was deployed 200 metres (660 feet) high from a helium-filled balloon and took some aerial images as well as temperature readings. As its next step in advancing space science and satellite technology in the sub-region, an amateur ground station has been designed and built by the university. It has successfully tracked and communicated with several (amateur) radio satellites in orbit including the International Space Station, receiving slow-scan TV images on 18 and 20 December 2014. The miniaturized earth observational satellite is to be launched into orbit in 2017.
With over 95% of its children in school, Ghana currently has one of the highest school enrollment rates in all of Africa. The ratio of females to males in the total education system was 0.98, in 2014.
Ghana also produces high-quality cocoa. It is the 2nd largest producer of cocoa globally, and was projected to become the world's largest producer of cocoa in 2015.
Severe shortages of electricity in 2015 & 2016 led to dumsor (persistent, irregular and unpredictable electric power outages), increasing the interest in renewables. As of 2019, there is now a surplus of electricity which now presents a new set of financial challenges.
The music of Ghana is diverse and varies between different ethnic groups and regions. Ghanaian music incorporates several distinct types of musical instruments such as the talking drum ensembles, Akan Drum, goje fiddle and koloko lute, court music, including the Akan Seperewa, the Akan atumpan, the Ga kpanlogo styles, and log xylophones used in asonko music. The most well known genres to have come from Ghana are African jazz, which was created by Ghanaian artist Kofi Ghanaba, and its earliest form of secular music, called highlife. Highlife originated in the late 19th century and early 20th century and spread throughout West Africa. In the 1990s a new genre of music was created by the youth incorporating the influences of highlife, Afro-reggae, dancehall and hiphop. This hybrid was called hiplife. Ghanaian artists such as "Afro Roots" singer, activist and songwriter Rocky Dawuni, R&B and soul singer Rhian Benson and Sarkodie have had international success. In December 2015, Rocky Dawuni became the first Ghanaian musician to be nominated for a Grammy award in the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album category for his 6th studio album titled Branches of The Same Tree released 31 March 2015.
Nana Akufo-Addo won the Presidency in the Ghanaian general election held on 7 December 2016, defeating incumbent John Mahama. He was sworn in on 7 January 2017.He also won the 2020 election and was subsequently sworn in on 7th January 2021. Presidents can serve only two terms in office with each term having four years. The president can serve a second term only when he or she is re-elected. Ghana has never had a female president.
In 2017, Ghana signed the UN treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
The Nana Otafrija Pallbearing Services, also known as the Dancing Pallbearers, come from the coastal town of Prampram in the Greater Accra Region of southern Ghana. The group of pallbearers were featured in a BBC feature story in 2017, and footage from the story became part of an Internet meme in the wake of the COVID-19 world pandemic.
The fertility rate of Ghana declined from 3.99 (2000) to 3.28 (2010) with 2.78 in urban region and 3.94 in rural region. The United Nations reports a fertility decline from 6.95 (1970) to 4.82 (2000) to 3.93 live births per woman in 2017.
As a result of the Ghanaian presidential election, 2016, Nana Akufo-Addo became President-elect and was inaugurated as the fifth President of the Fourth Republic of Ghana and eighth President of Ghana on 7 January 2017.
The government largely funds basic education comprising public primary schools and public junior high schools. Senior high schools were subsidised by the government until September 2017/2018 academic year that senior high education became free. At the higher education level, the government funds more than 80% of resources provided to public universities, polytechnics and teacher training colleges.
Life expectancy at birth in 2018 was 64 for a female and 62 for a male.
The top ten causes of death in Ghana in 2018 were:
Known for its industrial minerals, Ghana is the world's 7th largest producer of gold, producing 130 metric tons in 2019, and is now the largest producer in Africa ahead of South Africa. Ghana has the 9th largest reserves and the 9th largest production rate of diamonds in the world. Industrial minerals and exports from South Ghana include gold, silver, timber, diamonds, bauxite, and manganese. South Ghana also has mineral deposits of barite, basalt, clay, dolomite, feldspar, granite, gravel, gypsum, iron ore, kaolin, laterite, limestone, magnesite, marble, mica, phosphates, phosphorus, rocks, salts, sand, sandstone, silver, slate, talc, and uranium that are yet to be fully exploited. The Government of Ghana has drawn up plans to nationalize Ghana's entire mining industry to increase government revenues.