Ghana Houses the Largest Open Air Market in West Africa
The first of our Ghana facts tells us about an interesting place in which to go shopping in the country. Ghana is lucky enough to be home to the largest open air market in West Africa. It is called Kejetia Market and is located in Kumasi. Locals and travelers go there to buy traditional cloths and fabrics, and footwear and garments. The market is also home to a specialist meat market and other stalls that sell local fruit and vegetables.
In Ghana, Religious Tolerance and Fairness Is Taught to Everyone
Culturally speaking, Ghana facts tell us that this country should, in theory, be divided in terms of religion. There are many Christians and Muslims in the country. However, Ghanaians – and especially youngsters – are taught the importance of freedom of worship, meaning that tolerance and fairness amongst the population are indoctrinated. The people of Ghana believe that you should be able to choose to worship whichever religion you like and there should be no intolerance to anyone from faiths other than your own.
Ghanaian Celebrities Are Famed for Not Letting Their Wealth and Status Affect Them
Ghana probably isn’t a country we generally associate with rich and famous stars that are known worldwide. However, the country does have some celebrities who are perhaps better known for not letting their fame, money and status affect them. One of the most well-known of these is John Dumelo who, as well as being a talented actor and fashion designer, is just as highly regarded for the humanitarian work he has carried out. He has his own charitable organization, The John Dumelo Foundation, set up in his name, to help others less fortunate than himself.
Ghana Was the First Sub-Saharan Country in Africa to Gain Independence
One of our interesting historical Ghana facts is that in 1957, the country became the first country in Sub-Saharan Africa to gain total independence. Ghana was formed by a merger of the former British Gold Coast territory and the Togoland trust. Between 1957 and 1981, even though the country had gained its independence, it still underwent a series of damaging political coups. The last of these occurred when Lt Jerry Rawlings took power in 1981 and banned different political parties. By 1992, new legislature meant that multiple party politics was once again constitutionally allowed.
The Ghanaian Currency Known as the Cedi Is Actually a Type of Shell
The cedi is the main currency in the country, and is divided into smaller units called pesewas. 100 pesewas make one cedi. The word cedi derives from the African word for cowry shell. The cowry is a small snail that is found in the sea. Originally, the actual shells from the snails were used as currency!
Ghana Is Essentially a Tropical Country, Though It Has 2 Very Distinct Split Seasons
The next of our Ghana facts concerns the weather. The south west of the country is in a warm and wet forest zone. The capital, Accra, is considered to be in the drier, arid, equatorial zone. There are two distinct seasons: the rainy season from April to October, and the dry season from November to March. However, in South Ghana the rainy season is split in two: it’s wet from April to June, then there is a two-month reprieve of dry weather, followed by a second rainy season from September to October.
Lake Volta in Ghana Is One of the Largest Man-made Lakes in the World
This lake covers 3,200 square miles of the country, making it an important asset in terms of transportation, but also in terms of essential services like electricity. The lake has a dam called the Akosombo which uses the water from Volta to create electricity to supply the majority of the population of Ghana.
Cocoa Beans Are Ghana’s Largest Export Product
In fact, Ghana is second only to the Ivory Coast in terms of its ability to grow and export cocoa beans for consumption all over the world. Production occurs in the most densely forested areas of the country, which are places like the Ashanti and Volga regions. Harvesting of beans starts in October every year. All legally sold cocoa is exported through the country’s dedicated Cocoa Marketing Board.
The Country Is the World’s 7th Largest Producer of Gold
Ghana facts tell us that as of 2015, the country is the 7th largest producer of gold in the world. In 2012 alone it produced 102 tons of the precious metal. It is the second largest producer of gold in Africa, with South Africa in prime position. Alongside Ghana’s gold production, the country also has the 9th largest diamond reserve in the world.
Kofi Annan Was Born and Raised in Ghana and Began His Career There
The man who is probably most well-known for his role as General Secretary of the United Nations was born and raised in Kumasi. He took his most prestigious role in the UN between the years 1997 and 2006, but before that had worked as a Director of Tourism for Ghana, and also held a position within the World Health Organization.
Ghanaian Athlete Ferdi Ato Abobe Holds the World Record for Walking Backwards
This one of our interesting Ghana facts concerns athletics. Ferdi Ato Abobe from Ghana is the current world record holder for the fastest time walking 100 meters backwards. He managed it in an impressive 13.6 seconds. The record was equaled by Roland Wegner in 2007, but Abobe is still a record holder as he also holds the same title for running backwards over a distance of 100 yards. This feat he managed in 12.7 seconds.
Ghana Has the Oldest European Built Castle in Sub-Saharan Africa
Elmina Castle is the oldest European built construction in Sub-Saharan Africa. It was built by the Portuguese around 1482 and its name translates as gold mine. However, it has a sad history and serves as a pertinent reminder to the brutal past of the colonial world. The castle was once used to store slaves before they were shipped off and taken to the Americas.
Ghana Produces a Unique Cloth Called Kente
The next of our Ghana facts relates to a special kind of cloth made in the country. Kente is also known by the name Nwentom and is produced in the southern half of the country. It is a cloth which is woven from silk and cotton and was originally held in such high esteem that only nobility and royalty would wear it. Nowadays, it is much more widespread in its use but is still held in very high esteem by the Akan peoples of the country. It is defined by its bright, dazzling color and often geometric patterns which make it really stand out.
The Country Has Launched Its Own Space Program and Hopes to Launch a Satellite in 2015
This is probably one of the most exciting of our Ghana facts. The country is hoping to become a center of excellence in terms of space exploration and in 2015 hopes it may be able to launch its first satellite. Over the next 12 years, the country hopes it will be able to gain around $5-10billion US dollars to fund its missions and research.
Ghana’s Name Means “Warrior King”
When the country achieved independence in 1957, it took its new name from The Ghana Empire. The word Ghana roughly translates into English as Warrior King or . Prior to this, the country had been known as the Wagadou Empire for around 300 years. The capital, Accra, also has an unusual translation – it comes from the African word Nkran meaning ants. It is so-called as there is an abundance of anthills in the areas surrounding the city.
English Is the Official Language of Ghana but There Are Over 200 Other Dialects Spoken!
However, not all of these dialects and languages are widely spoken. There are three other main languages known as Dagbani, Kwahu and Ewe, all of which are well known and used. English is used as the main language as it can be spoken universally by people who might only know one specific dialect that is very regional and not as well spoken.
Ghana Facts – Facts about Ghana Summary
Facts about Ghana tell us that it is home to the largest open air market in West Africa, and is a place of religious fairness and tolerance. Two of the most famous people to come from the country are John Dumelo and Kofi Annan. The name of the country translates as Warrior King and the capital Accra takes its name from the African word for Ants.