An Introduction to Ghana

Posted: February 4, 2013 in All Posts, Ghana

The Flag of Ghana

by Jamin Shih

Amidst some of the more high-profile countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Ghana’s news occasionally gets lost on its way across the Atlantic. So what exactly is interesting about Ghana? For starters, Ghana is relatively small standing at only 92,100 square miles large, which is only a bit bigger than Idaho. It is divided into ten different regions, each with several districts: Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Central, Eastern, Greater Accran, Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Volta, and Western. Each region also has its own capital and administration. In total, Ghana has 170 districts between all ten of its regions.

As of 2010, the official statistics say that 24 million people live in Ghana, a little more than the population of Florida. So how do these 24 million people get represented in government? Or do they even get represented at all? Well, Ghana’s official website states that it has a Multiparty Democracy with a total of 230 electoral constituencies. In fact, they plan to add more for future elections. They are also very proud of the fact that they have had five successful elections since 1992, an assuredly impressive feat.

Ghana’s Coat of Arms

Ghana gained its independence from the British on March 6, 1957, which coincided with the inauguration of its current flag. On that day, the future Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah stated that Ghana would be “free forever”.

English is the official language of Ghana, but there are many smaller languages that populate the nation. These include Akan, Dagbani, and Hausa. Especially since we have been speaking of languages disappearing in class, you can expect to see this blog delve a little more into the wonderful diversity in language present on Ghana.

In terms of social status, Ghana is know for being quite progressive. Ghana has recently had several female contenders for the presidency, a phenomenon that has excited gender activists both in the region and across the globe. As we cover gender topics in the future, this will surely be a topic of discussion on this blog.

Finally, the country has a National Pledge, similar to America’s Pledge of Allegiance, as well as a National Anthem. They are:

The National Pledge of Ghana

I promise on my honour to be faithful
and loyal to Ghana my Motherland.
I pledge myself to the service of Ghana,
With all my strength and with all my heart.
I promise to hold in high esteem our
heritage won for us through the blood
and toil of our fathers;
And I pledge myself in all things to
uphold and defend the good name of Ghana.
So help me God.

Their National Anthem, composed by Phillip Gbeho, is:

The National Anthem of Ghana

God bless our homeland Ghana.
And make our nation great and strong
Bold to defend forever,
The cause of Freedom and of Right
Fill our hearts with true humility
Make us cherish fearless honesty
And help us to resist oppressor’s rule
With all our will and might for evermore.

Hail to thy Name, O Ghana
To thee we make our solemn vow
Steadfast to build together
A nation strong in Unity;
With our gift of mind and strength of arm
Whether night or day, in mist or storm,
In every need whate’er the call may be
To serve thee, Ghana, now and evermore.

Raise high the flag of Ghana
And one with Africa advance
Black Star of hope and honour
To all who thirst for Liberty;
Where the banner of Ghana freely flies
May the way to freedom truly lie
Arise, arise, O Sons of Ghanaland,
And under God march on for evermore.

I’m excited to present some of the fascinating aspects of this great country on this blog and even more excited to see what I can learn from this experience.

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