Country profileGHANA

(The jewel of the crown of Africa)

Ghana, located on West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea is known for diverse natural resources, wildlife, beaches and colonial buildings and castles-turned museums which serve as testimonial for slave trade.

Ghana was the first place the colonial masters arrived to trade in Sub-Saharan Africa. Known for its gold and natural resources, Ghana was then called Gold coast. It later became the hub for slave trade.

Also, Ghana was the first African nation to gain independence from Britain in 1957. Despite being rich in natural resources, good educational system and well-structured civil service, Ghana fell victim to corruption and mismanagement of public funds after its independence in 1957.

Although Ghana has largely escaped the civil strife that has plagued other West African countries, in 1994-95 land disputes in the north erupted into ethnic violence, resulting in the deaths of 1,000 people and the displacement of a further 150,000. Ghana is the first country in the region to gain independence and it is one of the more stable nations in Africa with a record of peaceful elections and change of government. It is a multi-party system.

President: John Dramani Mahama.

Capital: Greater Accra

Official Language: English

Population: 26,327,649 (Central Intelligence Agency)

Anthem: God Bless Our Homeland

Freedom of expression: the government of Ghana continues to uphold freedom of expression as enshrined in chapter five of the 1992 constitution. Its reputation as a country with unfettered freedom of expression was reaffirmed after the 2012 highly contested presidential elections. Criminal libel and sedition laws were repealed in 2000, but Article 208 of the 1960 criminal code which bans “publishing false news with intent to cause fear or harm to the public or to disturb the public peace,” remains on the books and is occasionally used against journalists. Click here for further reading.

Find out more about Ghana at BBC country profiles.