Ghana Travel Information

Photo Formed from the merger of the British colony of the Gold Coast and the Togoland trust territory, Ghana in 1957 became the first country in colonial Africa to gain its independence. A long series of coups resulted in the suspension of the constitution in 1981 and the banning of political parties. A new constitution, restoring multiparty politics, was approved in 1992. Lt. Jerry RAWLINGS, head of state since 1981, won presidential elections in 1992 and 1996, but was constitutionally prevented from running for a third term in 2000. He was succeeded by John KUFUOR.


Ghana's population is concentrated along the coast and in the principal cities of Accra and Kumasi. Most Ghanaians descended from migrating tribes that probably came down the Volta River valley at the beginning of the 13th century. Ethnically, Ghana is divided into small groups speaking more than 50 languages and dialects.


The history of the Gold Coast before the last quarter of the 15th century is derived primarily from oral tradition that refers to migrations from the ancient kingdoms of the western Soudan (the area of Mauritania and Mali). The Gold Coast was renamed Ghana upon independence in 1957 because of indications that present-day inhabitants descended from migrants who moved south from the ancient kingdom of Ghana.


By West African standards, Ghana has a diverse and rich resource base. The country is mainly agricultural, however, with a majority of its workers engaged in farming. Cash crops consist primarily of cocoa and cocoa products, which typically provide about two-thirds of export revenues, timber products, coconuts and other palm products, shea nuts, which produce an edible fat, and coffee.


The United States has enjoyed good relations with Ghana at the nonofficial, personal level since Ghana's independence. Thousands of Ghanaians have been educated in the United States. Close relations are maintained between educational and scientific institutions, and cultural links, particularly between Ghanaians and African-Americans, are strong.

Important: Travel to Ghana may require a travel visa. Whether a visa is required for travel depends on citizenship and purpose of journey. Please be sure to review Travisa's Ghana visa instructions for details. Visa instructions for other countries are available on our do I need a visa page.

Country Statistics

Full country name: Republic of Ghana
Capital city: Accra
Area: 238,533 sq km
Population: 24,652,402
Ethnic groups: Akan 45.3%, Mole-Dagbon 15.2%, Ewe 11.7%, Ga-Dangme 7.3%, Guan 4%, Gurma 3.6%, Grusi 2.6%, Mande-Busanga 1%, other tribes 1.4%, other 7.8%
Languages: Asante 14.8%, Ewe 12.7%, Fante 9.9%, Boron
Religions: Christian 68.8%
Government: constitutional democracy
Chief of State: President John Dramani MAHAMA
Head of Government: President John Dramani MAHAMA
GDP: 75.66 billion
GDP per captia: 3,100
Annual growth rate: 14.4%
Inflation: 8.7%
Agriculture: cocoa, rice, cassava
Major industries: mining, lumbering, light manufacturing, aluminum smelting, food processing, cement, small commercial ship building
Natural resources: gold, timber, industrial diamonds, bauxite, manganese, fish, rubber, hydropower, petroleum, silver, salt, limestone
Location: Western Africa, bordering the Gulf of Guinea, between Cote d'Ivoire and Togo
Trade Partners - exports: France 19.1%, Netherlands 10.2%, US 8.6%, Italy 8.1%, UK 4.7%, India 4.2%
Trade Partners - imports: China 20.4%, Nigeria 12.4%, US 7.8%, India 5.6%, Netherlands 5.1%, UK 4.2%