Category: Ghana, Botswana 2018

Ghana Ahead

March 31. Well, Carol and I, and our granddaughter, Phoebe, take off for Ghana on Monday, so here are a few random facts about Ghana that I lifted from Wikipedia, augmented by NYT articles. (If you want to see Phoebe’s blog, which will be much more interesting than mine, you can go to She has already posted.). I’m giving you less background than usual, because you don’t really read those long descriptions I write, do you?

Accra’s population is almost 4 million; Kumasi, where we’ll be staying, over 2 1/2 million, in a country of some 24 million, located just North of the equator. A stable constitutional democracy which gained it’s independence from Britain in 1957. Its first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, dreamt of a united Africa, but was overthrown in 1966 by a CIA-approved coup. A series of other coups ensued and eventually Jerry J.J. Rawlings took over in 1981. After two unsuccessful runs at the presidency, John Mills was narrowly elected in 2009, but died in 2012. Following the presidential election John Dramani Mahama became President-elect and was inaugurated as the 4th President of the Fourth Republic of Ghana and 7th President of Ghana in 2013, and was succeed by Nana Akufo-Addo, who was elected and inaugurated in 2017, thus maintaining Ghana’s status as a stable democracy.

The Portuguese were the first European colonial power in the 15th century, but others followed. The British, attracted by gold, called it the Gold Coast and the French, enchanted by the trinkets worn by coastal people called the area to the West the Ivory Coast.

In addition to gold, Ghana exports cocoa, timber, electricity, diamonds, bauxite and manganese. The country remains heavily agricultural, and about 25% of the population lives on less than $1.25/day. Recent discoveries of oil portend economic growth.

English is the official language, but more than 100 ethnic groups speak many other languages.

We’re all incredibly excited, but, of course, I have no photos yet, so I’m going to cheat a bit to give you a small taste of Ghana through a few photos of children and chiefs taken on Carol and my prior trips. Meet you in Ghana in a few days.



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