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Formed from the merger of the British colony of the Gold Coast and the Togoland trust territory, Ghana in 1957 became the first sub-Saharan country in colonial Africa to gain its independence. Ghana endured a long series of coups before Lt. Jerry RAWLINGS took power in 1981 and banned political parties. After approving a new constitution and restoring multiparty politics in 1992, RAWLINGS won presidential elections in 1992 and 1996 but was constitutionally prevented from running for a third term in 2000. John KUFUOR succeeded him and was reelected in 2004. John Atta MILLS took over as head of state in early 2009.


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Government

Country name
Conventional long form Republic of Ghana
Conventional short form Ghana
Former Gold Coast

Government type
Constitutional democracy

Capital
Name Accra
Geographic coordinates 5 33 N, 0 13 W
Time difference
UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions
10 regions; Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Central, Eastern, Greater Accra, Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Volta, Western

Independence
6 March 1957 (from the UK)

Constitution
Approved 28 April 1992

Legal system
Mixed system of English common law and customary law

International law organization participation
Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Suffrage
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state
President John Dramani MAHAMA (since 24 July 2012); Vice President Kwesi Bekoe AMISSAH-ARTHUR (since 6 August 2012); note - President MAHAMA assumed office due to the death of former president MILLS note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Head of government
President John Dramani MAHAMA (since 24 July 2012); Vice President Kwesi Bekoe AMISSAH-ARTHUR (since 6 August 2012); note - President MAHAMA assumed office due to the death of former president MILLS
Cabinet
Council of Ministers; president nominates members subject to approval by Parliament
Elections
President and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held on 7 and 28 December 2008 (next to be held on 7 December 2012)
Election results
John Evans Atta MILLS elected president in run-off election; percent of vote - John Evans Atta MILLS 50.23%, Nana Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO 49.77%

Legislative branch
Unicameral Parliament (230 seats; members elected by direct, popular vote in single-seat constituencies to serve four-year terms)
Elections
Last held on 7 December 2008 (next to be held on 28 December 2012)
Election results
Percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NDC 114, NPP 107, PNC 2, CPP 1, independent 4, other 2

Judicial branch
Supreme Court; High Court; Court of Appeal; regional tribunals

Political parties and leaders
Convention People's Party or CPP [Ladi NYLANDER]; Democratic Freedom Party or DFP [Alhaji Abudu Rahman ISSAKAH]; Every Ghanaian Living Everywhere or EGLE; Great Consolidated Popular Party or GCPP [Dan LARTEY]; National Democratic Congress or NDC [Dr. Kwabena ADJEI]; New Patriotic Party or NPP [Jake OBETSEBI-LAMPEY]; People's National Convention or PNC [Alhaji Amed RAMADAN]; Reform Party [Kyeretwie OPUKU]; United Renaissance Party or URP [Charles WAYO]

Political pressure groups and leaders
Christian Aid (water rights); Committee for Joint Action or CJA (education reform); National Coalition Against the Privatization of Water or CAP (water rights); Oxfam (water rights); Public Citizen (water rights); Students Coalition Against EPA [Kwabena Ososukene OKAI] (education reform); Third World Network (education reform)

International organization participation
ACP, AfDB, AU, C, ECOWAS, FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINURSO, MONUSCO, NAM, OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMIL, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the us
Chief of mission
Ambassador Daniel Ohene AGYEKUM
Chancery
3512 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
Telephone [1] (202) 686-4520
FAX [1] (202) 686-4527
Consulate(s) general New York

Diplomatic representation from the us
Chief of mission
Ambassador Donald G. TEITELBAUM
Embassy
24 4th Circular Rd. Cantonments, Accra
Mailing address P. O. Box 194, Accra
Telephone [233] (21) 741-000
FAX [233] (21) 741-389

Flag description
Three equal horizontal bands of red (top), yellow, and green, with a large black five-pointed star centered in the yellow band; red symbolizes the blood shed for independence, yellow represents the country's mineral wealth, while green stands for its forests and natural wealth; the black star is said to be the lodestar of African freedom
Note
Uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia; similar to the flag of Bolivia, which has a coat of arms centered in the yellow band

National symbol(s)
Black star; golden eagle

National anthem
Name "God Bless Our Homeland Ghana"
Lyrics/music Unknown/Philip GBEHO
Note
Music adopted 1957, lyrics adopted 1966; the lyrics were changed twice, once when a republic was declared in 1960 and again after a 1966 coup


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  Ghana (Accra):


  GPS points from Ghana (Accra)

Saporazo Western Region

Atinchin Western Region

Oforioache Ashanti Region

Ajakamanso Western Region

Akanu Volta Region

Siene Ghana (general)

Bechikrom Ashanti Region

Butri Western Region




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