History of ghana


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History of ghana

  1. 1. History of GhanaMedieval Ghana (4th - 13th Century): The Republic of Ghana is named after themedieval Ghana Empire of West Africa. The actual name of the Empire wasWagadugu. Ghana was the title of the kings who ruled the kingdom. It was controlledby Sundiata in 1240 AD, and absorbed into the larger Mali Empire. (Mali Empirereached its peak of success under Mansa Musa around 1307.)Geographically, the old Ghana is 500 miles north of the present Ghana, and occupiedthe area between Rivers Senegal and Niger.Some inhabitants of present Ghana had ancestors linked with the medieval Ghana.This can be traced down to the Mande and Voltaic peoeple of Northern Ghana--Mamprussi, Dagomba and the Gonja.Anecdotal evidence connected the Akans to this great Empire. The evidence lies innames like Danso shared by the Akans of present Ghana and Mandikas ofSenegal/Gambia who have strong links with the Empire. There is also the matrilinealconnectionEmpire of Ancient GhanaAncient Ghana derived power and wealth from gold and the introduction of the camelduring the Trans-Saharan trade increased the quantity of goods that were transported.Majority of the knowledge of Ghana comes from the Arab writers. Al-Hamdani, forexample, describes Ghana as having the richest gold mines on earth. These mineswere situated at Bambuk, on the upper Senegal river. The Soninke people also soldslaves, salt and copper in exchange for textiles, beads and finished goods. They builttheir capital city, Kumbi Saleh, right on the edge of the Sahara and the city quicklybecame the most dynamic and important southern terminus of the Saharan traderoutes. Kumbi Saleh became the focus of all trade, with a systematic form of taxation.Later on Audaghust became another commercial centre.The wealth of ancient Ghana is mythically explained in the tale of Bida, the blacksnake. This snake demanded an annual sacrifice in return for guaranteeing prosperityin the Kingdom, therefore each year a virgin was offered up for sacrifice, until oneyear, the fiancé (Mamadou Sarolle) of the intended victim rescued her. Feelingcheated of his sacrifice, Bida took his revenge on the region, a terrible drought took ahold of Ghana and gold mining began to decline. There is evidence found byarchaeologists that confirms elements of the story, showing that until the 12thCentury, sheep, cows and even goats were abundant in the region.The route taken by traders of the Maghreb to Ghana started in North Africa in Tahert,coming down through Sjilmasa in Southern Morocco. From there the trail went southand inland, running parallel with the coast, then round to the south-east throughAwdaghust and ending up in Kumbi Saleh - the royal town of Ancient Ghana.Inevitably the traders brought Islam with them.The Islamic community at Kumbi Saleh remained a separate community quite adistance away from the Kings palace. It had its own mosques and schools, but theKing retained traditional beliefs. He drew on the bookkeeping and literary skills ofMuslim scholars to help run the administration of the territory. The state of Takrur tothe west had already adopted Islam as its official religion and established closertrading ties with North Africa. Page 1 of 50
  2. 2. There were numerous reasons for the decline of Ghana. The King lost his tradingmonopoly, at the same time drought began and had a long-term effect on the land andits ability to sustain cattle and cultivation. Within the Arab tradition, there is theknowledge that the Almoravid Muslims came from North Africa and invaded Ghana.Other interpretations are that the Almoravid influence was gradual and did not involveany form of military takeover.In the 11th and 12th Century, new gold fields began to be mined at Bure (modernGuinea) out of commercial Ghana and new trade routes were opening up further east.Ghana then became the target of attacks by the Sosso ruler, Sumanguru. From thisconflict in 1235 came the Malinke people under a new dynamic ruler, Sundiata Keitaand soon became eclipsed by the Mali Empire of Sundiata.Gold Coast & European Exploration:Before March 1957 Ghana was called the Gold Coast. The Portuguese who came toGhana in the 15th Century found so much gold between the rivers Ankobra and theVolta that they named the place Mina - meaning Mine. The Gold Coast was lateradopted to by the English colonisers. Similarily, the French, equally impressed by thetrinkets worn by the coastal people, named The Ivory Coast, Cote dIvoire.In 1482, the Portuguese built a castle in Elmina. Their aim was to trade in gold, ivoryand slaves. In 1481 King John II of Portugal sent Diego dAzambuja to build thiscastle.In 1598 the Dutch joined them, and built forts at Komenda and Kormantsil. In 1637they captured the castle from the Portuguese and that of Axim in 1642 (Fort StAnthony). Other European traders joined in by the mid 18th century. These were theEnglish, Danes and Swedes. The coastline were dotted by forts built by the Dutch,British and the Dane merchants. By the latter part of 19th century the Dutch and theBritish were the only traders left. And when the Dutch withdrew in 1874, Britainmade the Gold Coast a crown colony.By 1901 the Ashanti and the North were made a protectoratePre-Colonial PeriodBy the end of the 16 th Century, most ethnic groups constituting the modern Ghanaianpopulation had settled in their present locations. Archaeological remains found in thecoastal zone indicate that the area has been inhabited since the early Bronze Age (ca.4000 B.C.), but these societies, based on fishing in the extensive lagoons and rivers,left few traces. Archaeological work also suggests that central Ghana north of theforest zone was inhabited as early as 3,000 to 4,000 years ago. Oral history and othersources suggest that the ancestors of some of Ghanas residents entered this area atleast as early as the tenth century A.D. and that migration from the north and eastcontinued thereafter.These migrations resulted in part from the formation and disintegration of a series oflarge states in the western Sudan (the region north of modern Ghana drained by theNiger River). Prominent among these Sudanic states was the Soninke Kingdom ofAncient Ghana. Strictly speaking, Ghana was the title of the King, but the Arabs, wholeft records of the Kingdom, applied the term to the King, the capital, and the state.The 9th Century Arab writer, Al Yaqubi, described ancient Ghana as one of the threemost organised states in the region (the others being Gao and Kanem in the centralSudan). Its rulers were renowned for their wealth in gold, the opulence of their courts,and their warrior-hunting skills. They were also masters of the trade in gold, which Page 2 of 50
  3. 3. drew North African merchants to the western Sudan. The military achievements ofthese and later western Sudanic rulers and their control over the regions gold minesconstituted the nexus of their historical relations with merchants and rulers of NorthAfrica and the Mediterranean.Ghana succumbed to attacks by its neighbours in the eleventh century, but its nameand reputation endured. In 1957 when the leaders of the former British colony of theGold Coast sought an appropriate name for their newly independent state, the firstblack African nation to gain its independence from colonial rule they named their newcountry after ancient Ghana. The choice was more than merely symbolic becausemodern Ghana, like its namesake, was equally famed for its wealth and trade in gold.Although none of the states of the western Sudan controlled territories in the area thatis modern Ghana, several small Kingdoms that later developed in the north of thecountry were ruled by nobles believed to have emigrated from that region. The trans-Saharan trade that contributed to the expansion of Kingdoms in the western Sudanalso led to the development of contacts with regions in northern modern Ghana and inthe forest to the south. By 13 th Century, for example, the town of Jenné in the empireof Mali had established commercial connections with the ethnic groups in thesavannah woodland areas of the northern two-thirds of the Volta Basin in modernGhana. Jenné was also the headquarters of the Dyula, Muslim traders who dealt withthe ancestors of the Akan-speaking peoples who occupy most of the southern half ofthe country.The growth of trade stimulated the development of early Akan states located on thetrade route to the goldfields in the forest zone of the south. The forest itself was thinlypopulated, but Akan speaking peoples began to move into it toward the end of the 15 thCentury with the arrival of crops from Southeast Asia and the New World that couldbe adapted to forest conditions. These new crops included sorghum, bananas, andcassava. By the beginning of the 16 th Century, European sources noted the existenceof the gold rich states of Akan and Twifu in the Ofin River Valley.Also in the same period, some of the Mande who had stimulated the development ofstates in what is now northern Nigeria (the Hausa states and those of the Lake Chadarea), moved south-westward and imposed themselves on many of the indigenouspeoples of the northern half of modern Ghana and of Burkina Faso (Burkina, formerlyUpper Volta), founding the states of Dagomba and Mamprusi. The Mande alsoinfluenced the rise of the Gonja state.It seems clear from oral traditions as well as from archaeological evidence that theMole-Dagbane states of Mamprusi, Dagomba, and Gonja, as well as the Mossi statesof Yatenga and Wagadugu, were among the earliest Kingdoms to emerge in modernGhana, being well established by the close of the 16 th Century. The Mossi and Gonjarulers came to speak the languages of the people they dominated. In general, however,members of the ruling class retained their traditions, and even today some of them canrecite accounts of their northern origins.Although the rulers themselves were not usually Muslims, they either brought withthem or welcomed Muslims as scribes and medicine men, and Muslims also played asignificant role in the trade that linked southern with northern Ghana. As a result oftheir presence, Islam substantially influenced the north. Muslim influence, spread bythe activities of merchants and clerics, has been recorded even among the Asante tothe south. Although most Ghanaians retained their traditional beliefs, the Muslimsbrought with them certain skills, including writing, and introduced certain beliefs andpractices that became part of the culture of the peoples among whom they settled Page 3 of 50
  4. 4. In the broad belt of rugged country between the northern boundaries of the Muslim-influenced states of Gonja, Mamprusi, and Dagomba and the southernmost outpostsof the Mossi Kingdoms, lived a number of peoples who were not incorporated intothese entities. Among these peoples were the Sisala, Kasena, Kusase, and Talensi,agriculturalists closely related to the Mossi. Rather than establishing centralised statesthemselves, they lived in so-called segmented societies, bound together by kinshipties and ruled by the heads of their clans. Trade between the Akan states to the southand the Mossi Kingdoms to the north flowed through their homelands, subjectingthem to Islamic influence and to the depredations of these more powerful neighbours.Of the components that would later make up Ghana, the state of Asante was to havethe most cohesive history and would exercise the greatest influence. The Asante aremembers of the Twi-speaking branch of the Akan people. The groups that came toconstitute the core of the Asante confederacy moved north to settle in the vicinity ofLake Bosumtwe. Before the mid-17th Century, the Asante began an expansion under aseries of militant leaders that led to the domination of surrounding peoples and to theformation of the most powerful of the states of the central forest zone.Under Chief Oti Akenten a series of successful military operations againstneighbouring Akan states brought a larger surrounding territory into alliance withAsante. At the end of the 17 th Century, Osei Tutu became Asantehene (King ofAsante). Under Osei Tutus rule, the confederacy of Asante states was transformedinto an empire with its capital at Kumasi. Political and military consolidation ensued,resulting in firmly established centralised authority. Osei Tutu was stronglyinfluenced by the high priest, Anokye, who, tradition asserts, caused a stool of gold todescend from the sky to seal the union of Asante states. Stools already functioned astraditional symbols of chieftainship, but the Golden Stool of Asante represented theunited spirit of all the allied states and established a dual allegiance that superimposedthe confederacy over the individual component states. The Golden Stool remains arespected national symbol of the traditional past and figures extensively in Asanteritual.Osei Tutu permitted newly conquered territories that joined the confederation to retaintheir own customs and Chiefs, who were given seats on the Asante state council. OseiTutus gesture made the process relatively easy and non-disruptive, because most ofthe earlier conquests had subjugated other Akan peoples. Within the Asante portionsof the confederacy, each minor state continued to exercise internal self-rule, and itsChief jealously guarded the states prerogatives against encroachment by the centralauthority. A strong unity developed, however, as the various communitiessubordinated their individual interests to central authority in matters of nationalconcern.By the mid-18th Century, Asante was a highly organised state. The wars of expansionthat brought the northern states of Mamprusi, Dagomba, and Gonja under Asanteinfluence were won during the reign of Asantehene Opoku Ware I successor to OseiTutu. By the 1820s, successive rulers had extended Asante boundaries southward.Although the northern expansions linked Asante with trade networks across the desertand in Hausaland to the east, movements into the south brought the Asante intocontact, sometimes antagonistic, with the coastal Fante, Ga-Adangbe, and Ewepeople, as well as with the various European merchants whose fortresses dotted theGold Coast.Britain and the Gold Coast. Page 4 of 50
  5. 5. The first Britons arrived in the early 19th century as traders in Ghana. But with theirclose relationship with the coastal people especially the Fantes, the Ashantis becametheir enemies.Early European Contact and the Slave TradeWhen the first Europeans arrived in the late fifteenth century, many inhabitants of theGold Coast area were striving to consolidate their newly acquired territories and tosettle into a secure and permanent environment. Several immigrant groups had yet toestablish firm ascendancy over earlier occupants of their territories, and considerabledisplacement and secondary migrations were in progress. Ivor Wilks, a leadinghistorian of Ghana, observed that Akan purchases of slaves from Portuguese tradersoperating from the Congo region augmented the labor needed for the state formationthat was characteristic of this period. Unlike the Akan groups of the interior, the majorcoastal groups, such as the Fante, Ewe, and Ga, were for the most part settled in theirhomelands.The Portuguese were the first to arrive. By 1471, under the patronage of Prince Henrythe Navigator, they had reached the area that was to become known as the Gold Coastbecause Europeans knew the area as the source of gold that reached Muslim NorthAfrica by way of trade routes across the Sahara. The initial Portuguese interest intrading for gold, ivory, and pepper so increased that in 1482 the Portuguese built theirfirst permanent trading post on the western coast of present-day Ghana. This fortress,Elmina Castle, constructed to protect Portuguese trade from European competitorsand hostile Africans, still stands. With the opening of European plantations in theNew World during the 1500s, which suddenly expanded the demand for slaves in theAmericas, trade in slaves soon overshadowed gold as the principal export of the area.Indeed, the west coast of Africa became the principal source of slaves for the NewWorld. The seemingly insatiable market and the substantial profits to be gained fromthe slave trade attracted adventurers from all over Europe. Much of the conflict thatarose among European groups on the coast and among competing African kingdomswas the result of rivalry for control of this trade. The Portuguese position on the GoldCoast remained secure for almost a century. During that time, Lisbon leased the rightto establish trading posts to individuals or companies that sought to align themselveswith the local chiefs and to exchange trade goods both for rights to conduct commerceand for slaves whom the chiefs could provide. During the seventeenth and eighteenthcenturies, adventurers--first Dutch, and later English, Danish, and Swedish-- weregranted licenses by their governments to trade overseas. On the Gold Coast, theseEuropean competitors built fortified trading stations and challenged the Portuguese.Sometimes they were also drawn into conflicts with local inhabitants as Europeansdeveloped commercial alliances with local chiefs.The principal early struggle was between the Dutch and the Portuguese. With the lossof Elmina in 1642 to the Dutch, the Portuguese left the Gold Coast permanently. Thenext 150 years saw kaleidoscopic change and uncertainty, marked by local conflictsand diplomatic maneuvers, during which various European powers struggled toestablish or to maintain a position of dominance in the profitable trade of the GoldCoast littoral. Forts were built, abandoned, attacked, captured, sold, and exchanged,and many sites were selected at one time or another for fortified positions bycontending European nations. Page 5 of 50
  6. 6. Both the Dutch and the British formed companies to advance their African venturesand to protect their coastal establishments. The Dutch West India Company operatedthroughout most of the eighteenth century. The British African Company ofMerchants, founded in 1750, was the successor to several earlier organizations of thistype. These enterprises built and manned new installations as the companies pursuedtheir trading activities and defended their respective jurisdictions with varying degreesof government backing. There were short-lived ventures by the Swedes and thePrussians. The Danes remained until 1850, when they withdrew from the Gold Coast.The British gained possession of all Dutch coastal forts by the last quarter of thenineteenth century, thus making them the dominant European power on the GoldCoast.During the heyday of early European competition, slavery was an accepted socialinstitution, and the slave trade overshadowed all other commercial activities on theWest African coast. To be sure, slavery and slave trading were already firmlyentrenched in many African societies before their contact with Europe. In mostsituations, men as well as women captured in local warfare became slaves. In general,however, slaves in African communities were often treated as junior members of thesociety with specific rights, and many were ultimately absorbed into their mastersfamilies as full members. Given traditional methods of agricultural production inAfrica, slavery in Africa was quite different from that which existed in thecommercial plantation environments of the New World. Another aspect of the impactof the trans-Atlantic slave trade on Africa concerns the role of African chiefs, Muslimtraders, and merchant princes in the trade. Although there is no doubt that local rulersin West Africa engaged in slaving and received certain advantages from it, somescholars have challenged the premise that traditional chiefs in the vicinity of the GoldCoast engaged in wars of expansion for the sole purpose of acquiring slaves for theexport market. In the case of Asante, for example, rulers of that kingdom are knownto have supplied slaves to both Muslim traders in the north and to Europeans on thecoast. Even so, the Asante waged war for purposes other than simply to secure slaves.They also fought to pacify territories that in theory were under Asante control, toexact tribute payments from subordinate kingdoms, and to secure access to traderoutes--particularly those that connected the interior with the coast.It is important to mention, however, that the supply of slaves to the Gold Coast wasentirely in African hands. Although powerful traditional chiefs, such as the rulers ofAsante, Fante, and Ahanta, were known to have engaged in the slave trade, individualAfrican merchants such as John Kabes, John Konny, Thomas Ewusi, and a brokerknown only as Noi commanded large bands of armed men, many of them slaves, andengaged in various forms of commercial activities with the Europeans on the coast.The volume of the slave trade in West Africa grew rapidly from its inception around1500 to its peak in the eighteenth century. Philip Curtin, a leading authority on theAfrican slave trade, estimates that roughly 6.3 million slaves were shipped from WestAfrica to North America and South America, about 4.5 million of that numberbetween 1701 and 1810. Perhaps 5,000 a year were shipped from the Gold Coastalone. The demographic impact of the slave trade on West Africa was probablysubstantially greater than the number actually enslaved because a significant numberof Africans perished during slaving raids or while in captivity awaiting transshipment.All nations with an interest in West Africa participated in the slave trade. Relationsbetween the Europeans and the local populations were often strained, and distrust ledto frequent clashes. Disease caused high losses among the Europeans engaged in the Page 6 of 50
  7. 7. slave trade, but the profits realized from the trade continued to attract them. Thegrowth of anti-slavery sentiment among Europeans made slow progress against vestedAfrican and European interests that were reaping profits from the traffic. Althoughindividual clergymen condemned the slave trade as early as the seventeenth century,major Christian denominations did little to further early efforts at abolition. TheQuakers, however, publicly declared themselves against slavery as early as 1727.Later in the century, the Danes stopped trading in slaves; Sweden and the Netherlandssoon followed.The importation of slaves into the United States was outlawed in 1807. In the sameyear, Britain used its naval power and its diplomatic muscle to outlaw trade in slavesby its citizens and to begin a campaign to stop the international trade in slaves. Theseefforts, however, were not successful until the 1860s because of the continueddemand for plantation labor in the New World. Because it took decades to end thetrade in slaves, some historians doubt that the humanitarian impulse inspired theabolitionist movement. According to historian Walter Rodney, for example, Europeabolished the trans-Atlantic slave trade only because its profitability was underminedby the Industrial Revolution. Rodney argues that mass unemployment caused by thenew industrial machinery, the need for new raw materials, and European competitionfor markets for finished goods are the real factors that brought an end to the trade inhuman cargo and the beginning of competition for colonial territories in Africa. Otherscholars, however, disagree with Rodney, arguing that humanitarian concerns as wellas social and economic factors were instrumental in ending the African slave trade.Political Movements and Nationalism in Ghana (1945 - 1957)The educated Ghanaians had always been in the fore-front of constructivemovements. Names that come into mind are --Dr Aggrey, George Ferguson, JohnMensah Sarbah. Others like king Ghartey IV of Winneba, Otumfuo Osei AgyemanPrempeh I raised the political consciousness of their subjects. However, movementstowards political freedom started soon after WWII. This happened because suddenlypeople realised the colonisation was a form of oppression, similar to the oppressionthey have just fought against. The war veterans had become radical. The mythsurrounding the whiteman has been broken. The rulers were considered economiccheats, their arogance had become very offensive. They had the ruling class attitude,and some of the young District Commissioner (DC) treated the old chiefs as if theywere their subjects. Local pay was bad. No good rural health or education policy. Upto 1950 the Govt Secondary schools in the country were 2, the rest were built by themissionaries. There was also the rejection of African culture to some extent. Someexternal forces also contributed to this feeling. African- Americans such as MarcusGarvey and WE Du Bois raised strong Pan-African conscience. In 1945 a conferencewas held in Manchester to promote Pan African ideas. This was attended by Nkrumahof Ghana, Azikwe of Nigeria and Wallace Johnson of Sierra Leone. The India andPakistani independence catalysed this desire. Sir Alan Burns constitution of 1946provided new legislative council that was made of the Governor as the President, 6government officials, 6 nominated members and 18 elected members. The executivecouncil was not responsible to the legislative council. They were only in advisorycapacity, and the governor did not have to take notice. These forces made Dr J.B.Danquah to form the United Gold Coast Conversion (UGCC) in 1947. Nkrumah wasinvited to be the General Secretary to this party. Other officers were George Grant Page 7 of 50
  8. 8. (Paa Grant), Akuffo Addo, William Ofori Atta, Obetsebi Lamptey, Ako Agyei, and JTsiboe. Their aim was Independence for Ghana. They rejected the Burns constitution. Independence The Politics of the Independence MovementsAlthough political organisations had existed in the British colony, the United GoldCoast Convention (UGCC) was the first nationalist movement with the aim of self-government " in the shortest possible time". Founded in August 1947 by educatedAfricans such as J.B. Danquah, A.G. Grant, R.A. Awoonor-Williams, Edward AkufoAddo (all lawyers except for Grant, who was a wealthy businessman), and others, theleadership of the organisation called for the replacement of Chiefs on the LegislativeCouncil with educated persons. For these political leaders, traditional governance,exercised largely via indirect rule, was identified with colonial interests and the past.They believed that it was their responsibility to lead their country into a new age.They also demanded that, given their education, the colonial administration shouldrespect them and accord them positions of responsibility. As one writer on the periodreported, "The symbols of progress, science, freedom, youth, all became cues whichthe new leadership evoked and reinforced". In particular, the UGCC leadershipcriticised the government for its failure to solve the problems of unemployment,inflation, and the disturbances that had come to characterise the society at the end ofthe war.Their opposition to the colonial administration notwithstanding, UGCC memberswere conservative in the sense that their leadership did not seek drastic orrevolutionary change. This was probably a result of their training in the British way ofdoing things. The gentlemanly manner in which politics were then conducted was tochange after Kwame Nkrumah created his Convention Peoples Party (CPP) in June1949.Nkrumah was born at Nkroful in the Nzema area and educated in Catholic schools atHalf Assin and Achimota. He received further training in the United States at LincolnUniversity and at the University of Pennsylvania. Later, in London, Nkrumah becameactive in the West African Students Union and the Pan-African Congress. He was oneof the few Africans who participated in the Manchester Congress of 1945 of the Pan-Africanist movement. During his time in Britain, Nkrumah came to know suchoutspoken anti-colonialists and intellectuals as the West Indian, George Padmore, andthe African- American, W.E.B. Du Bois. In 1947 when the UGCC was created in theGold Coast to oppose colonial rule, Nkrumah was invited from London to become themovements general secretary.Nkrumahs tenure with the UGCC was a stormy one. In March 1948, he was arrestedand detained with other leaders of the UGCC for political activism. Later, after theother members of the UGCC were invited to make recommendations to the CousseyCommittee, which was advising the governor on the path to independence, Nkrumahbroke with the UGCC and founded the CPP. Unlike the UGCC call for self-government " in the shortest possible time", Nkrumah and the CPP asked for "self-government now". The party leadership, made up of Nkrumah, Kojo Botsio, Komla Page 8 of 50
  9. 9. A. Gbedemah, and a group of mostly young political professionals known as the"Verandah Boys", identified itself more with ordinary working people than with theUGCC and its intelligentsia.Nkrumahs style and the promises he made appealed directly to the majority ofworkers, farmers, and youths who heard him; he seemed to be the national leader onwhom they could focus their hopes. He also won the support, among others, ofinfluential market women who, through their domination of small-scale trade, servedas effective channels of communication at the local level.The majority of the politicized population, stirred in the postwar years by outspokennewspapers, was separated from both the tribal chiefs and the Anglophile elite nearlyas much as from the British by economic, social, and educational factors. Thismajority consisted primarily of ex-servicemen, literate persons who had some primaryschooling, journalists, and elementary school teachers, all of whom had developed ataste for populist conceptions of democracy. A growing number of uneducated buturbanized industrial workers also formed part of the support group. Nkrumah wasable to appeal to them on their own terms. By June 1949, when the CPP was formedwith the avowed purpose of seeking immediate self-governance, Nkrumah had a massfollowing.The constitution of 1951 resulted from the report of the Coussey Committee, createdbecause of disturbances in Accra and other cities in 1948. In addition to giving theExecutive Council a large majority of African ministers, it created an assembly, halfthe elected members of which were to come from the towns and rural districts andhalf from the traditional councils, including, for the first time, the NorthernTerritories. Although it was an enormous step forward, the new constitution still fellfar short of the CPPs call for full self-government. Executive power remained inBritish hands, and the legislature was tailored to permit control by traditionalistinterests.With increasing popular backing, the CPP in early 1950 initiated a campaign of"positive action", intended to instigate widespread strikes and nonviolent resistance.When some violent disorders occurred, Nkrumah, along with his principal lieutenants,was promptly arrested and imprisoned for sedition. But this merely increased hisprestige as leader and hero of the cause and gave him the status of martyr. In February1951, the first elections were held for the Legislative Assembly under the newconstitution. Nkrumah, still in jail, won a seat, and the CPP won an impressive victorywith a two-thirds majority of the 104 seats.The governor, Sir Charles Arden-Clarke, released Nkrumah and invited him to form agovernment as "leader of government business", a position similar to that of primeminister. Nkrumah accepted. A major milestone had been passed on the road toindependence and self-government. Nonetheless, although the CPP agreed to workwithin the new constitutional order, the structure of government that existed in 1951was certainly not what the CPP preferred. The ministries of defense, external affairs,finance, and justice were still controlled by British officials who were not responsibleto the legislature. Also, by providing for a sizable representation of traditional tribalchiefs in the Legislative Assembly, the constitution accentuated the cleavage betweenthe modern political leaders and the traditional authorities of the councils of chiefs.The start of Nkrumahs first term as "leader of government business" was marked bycordiality and cooperation with the British Governor. During the next few years, thegovernment was gradually transformed into a full parliamentary system. The changeswere opposed by the more traditionalist African elements, particularly in Asante andthe Northern Territories. This opposition, however, proved ineffective in the face of Page 9 of 50
  10. 10. continuing and growing popular support for a single overriding concept ofindependence at an early date.In 1952 the position of prime minister was created and the Executive Council becamethe cabinet. The prime minister was made responsible to the assembly, which dulyelected Nkrumah prime minister. The constitution of 1954 ended the election ofassembly members by the tribal councils. The Legislative Assembly increased in size,and all members were chosen by direct election from equal, single-memberconstituencies. Only defense and foreign policy remained in the hands of thegovernor; the elected assembly was given control of virtually all internal affairs of thecolony.The CPP pursued a policy of political centralisation, which encounted seriousopposition. Shortly after the 1954 election, a new party, the Asante-based NationalLiberation Movement (NLM), was formed. The NLM advocated a federal form ofgovernment, with increased powers for the various regions. NLM leaders criticizedthe CPP for perceived dictatorial tendencies. The new party worked in cooperationwith another regionalist group, the Northern Peoples Party. When these two regionalparties walked out of discussions on a new constitution, the CPP feared that Londonmight consider such disunity an indication that the colony was not yet ready for thenext phase of self-government.The British constitutional adviser, however, backed the CPP position. The governordissolved the assembly in order to test popular support for the CPP demand forimmediate independence. The crown agreed to grant independence if so requested bya two-thirds majority of the new legislature. New elections were held in July 1956. Inkeenly contested elections, the CPP won 57 percent of the votes cast, but thefragmentation of the opposition gave the CPP every seat in the south as well asenough seats in Asante, the Northern Territories, and the Trans-Volta Region to holda two-thirds majority of the 104 seats.Prior to the July 1956 general elections in the Gold Coast, a plebiscite was conductedunder United Nations (UN) auspices to decide the future disposition of BritishTogoland and French Togoland. The British trusteeship, the western portion of theformer German colony, had been linked to the Gold Coast since 1919 and wasrepresented in its parliament. The dominant ethnic group, the Ewe, were dividedbetween the Gold Coast proper and the two Togos. A clear majority of BritishTogoland inhabitants voted in favor of union with their western neighbors, and thearea was absorbed into the Gold Coast. There was, however, vocal opposition to theincorporation from some of the Ewe in southern British Togoland.The National Liberation Council and the Busia YearsThe leaders of the coup that overthrew Nkrumah immediately opened the countrysborders and its prison gates to allow the return from exile or release from preventivedetention of all opponents of Nkrumah. The National Liberation Council (NLC),composed of four army officers and four police officers, assumed executive power. Itappointed a cabinet of civil servants and promised to restore democratic governmentas quickly as possible. The ban on the formation of political parties remained in forceuntil late 1968, but activity by individual figures began much earlier with theappointment of a succession of committees composed of civil servants and politiciansas the first step in the return to civilian and representative rule. Page 10 of 50
  11. 11. These moves culminated in the appointment of a representative assembly to draft aconstitution for the Second Republic of Ghana. Political party activity was allowed tocommence with the opening of the assembly. By election time in August 1969, thefirst competitive nationwide political contest since 1956, five parties had beenorganized. The major contenders were the Progress Party (PP), headed by Kofi A.Busia, and the National Alliance of Liberals (NAL), led by Komla A. Gbedemah.Critics associated these two leading parties with the political divisions of the earlyNkrumah years. The PP found much of its support among the old opponents ofNkrumahs CPP- -the educated middle class and traditionalists of Ashanti Region andthe North. This link was strengthened by the fact that Busia had headed the NLM andits successor, the UP, before fleeing the country to oppose Nkrumah from exile.Similarly, the NAL was seen as the successor of the CPPs right wing, whichGbedemah had headed until he was ousted by Nkrumah in 1961.The electionsdemonstrated an interesting voting pattern. For example, the PP carried all the seatsamong the Asante and the Brong. All seats in the northern regions of the country wereclosely contested. In the Volta Region, the PP won some Ewe seats, while the NALwon all seats in the non-Ewe northern section. Overall, the PP gained 59 percent ofthe popular vote and 74 percent of the seats in the National Assembly. The PPsvictories demonstrated some support among nearly all the ethnic groups. An estimated60 percent of the electorate voted.Immediately after the elections, Gbedemah was barred from taking his seat in theNational Assembly by a Supreme Court decision involving those CPP members whohad been accused of financial crimes. Gbedemah retired permanently from activeparticipation in politics. The NAL, left without a strong leader, controlled thirty seats;in October 1970, it absorbed the members of three other minor parties in the assemblyto form the Justice Party (JP) under the leadership of Joseph Appiah. Their combinedstrength constituted what amounted to a southern bloc with a solid constituencyamong most of the Ewe and the peoples of the coastal cities. Busia, the PP leader inboth parliament and the nation, became prime minister when the National Assemblymet in September. An interim three-member presidential commission, composed ofMajor Afrifa, Police Inspector General Harlley of the NLC, and the chief of thedefense staff, Major General A.K. Ocran, served in place of an elected president forthe first year and a half of civilian rule. The commission dissolved itself in August1970. Before stepping down, Afrifa criticized the constitution, particularly provisionsthat served more as a bar to the rise of a dictator than as a blueprint for an effective,decisive government. The electoral college chose as president Chief Justice EdwardAkufo Addo, one of the leading nationalist politicians of the UGCC era and one of thejudges dismissed by Nkrumah in 1964. All attention, however, remained focused onPrime Minister Busia and his government. Much was expected of the Busiaadministration, because its parliamentarians were considered intellectuals and,therefore, more perceptive in their evaluations of what needed to be done. ManyGhanaians hoped that their decisions would be in the general interest of the nation, ascompared with those made by the Nkrumah administration, which were judged tosatisfy narrow party interests and, more important, Nkrumahs personal agenda. TheNLC had given assurances that there would be more democracy, more politicalmaturity, and more freedom in Ghana, because the politicians allowed to run for the1969 elections were proponents of Western democracy. In fact, these were the sameindividuals who had suffered under the old regime and were, therefore, thought tounderstand the benefits of democracy. Page 11 of 50
  12. 12. Two early measures initiated by the Busia government were the expulsion of largenumbers of noncitizens from the country and a companion measure to limit foreigninvolvement in small businesses. The moves were aimed at relieving theunemployment created by the countrys precarious economic situation (see HistoricalBackground , ). The policies were popular because they forced out of the retail sectorof the economy those foreigners, especially Lebanese, Asians, and Nigerians, whowere perceived as unfairly monopolizing trade to the disadvantage of Ghanaians.Many other Busia moves, however, were not popular. Busias decision to introduce aloan program for university students, who had hitherto received free education, waschallenged because it was interpreted as introducing a class system into the countryshighest institutions of learning. Some observers even saw Busias devaluation of thenational currency and his encouragement of foreign investment in the industrial sectorof the economy as conservative ideas that could undermine Ghanas sovereignty.The opposition Justice Partys basic policies did not differ significantly from those ofthe Busia administration. Still, the party attempted to stress the importance of thecentral government rather than that of limited private enterprise in economicdevelopment, and it continued to emphasize programs of primary interest to the urbanwork force. The ruling PP emphasized the need for development in rural areas, both toslow the movement of population to the cities and to redress regional imbalance inlevels of development. The JP and a growing number of PP members favoredsuspension of payment on some foreign debts of the Nkrumah era. This attitude grewmore popular as debt payments became more difficult to meet. Both parties favoredcreation of a West African economic community or an economic union with theneighboring West African states.Despite broad popular support garnered at its inception and strong foreignconnections, the Busia government fell victim to an army coup within twenty-sevenmonths. Neither ethnic nor class differences played a role in the overthrow of the PPgovernment. The crucial causes were the countrys continuing economic difficulties,both those stemming from the high foreign debts incurred by Nkrumah and thoseresulting from internal problems. The PP government had inherited US$580 million inmedium- and long-term debts, an amount equal to 25 percent of the gross domesticproduct of 1969. By 1971 the US$580 million had been further inflated by US$72million in accrued interest payments and US$296 million in short-term commercialcredits. Within the country, an even larger internal debt fueled inflation.Ghanas economy remained largely dependent upon the often difficult cultivation ofand market for cocoa. Cocoa prices had always been volatile, but exports of thistropical crop normally provided about half of the countrys foreign currency earnings.Beginning in the 1960s, however, a number of factors combined to limit severely thisvital source of national income. These factors included foreign competition(particularly from neighboring Côte dIvoire), a lack of understanding of free-marketforces (by the government in setting prices paid to farmers), accusations ofbureaucratic incompetence in the Cocoa Marketing Board, and the smuggling of cropsinto Côte dIvoire. As a result, Ghanas income from cocoa exports continued to falldramatically.Austerity measures imposed by the Busia administration, although wise in the longrun, alienated influential farmers, who until then had been PP supporters. Thesemeasures were part of Busias economic structural adjustment efforts to put the Page 12 of 50
  13. 13. country on a sounder financial base. The austerity programs had been recommendedby the International Monetary Fund . The recovery measures also severely affectedthe middle class and the salaried work force, both of which faced wage freezes, taxincreases, currency devaluations, and rising import prices. These measuresprecipitated protests from the Trade Union Congress. In response, the governmentsent the army to occupy the trade union headquarters and to block strike actions--asituation that some perceived as negating the governments claim to be operatingdemocratically.The army troops and officers upon whom Busia relied for support were themselvesaffected, both in their personal lives and in the tightening of the defense budget, bythese same austerity measures. As the leader of the anti-Busia coup declared onJanuary 13, 1972, even those amenities enjoyed by the army during the Nkrumahregime were no longer available. Knowing that austerity had alienated the officers, theBusia government began to change the leadership of the armys combat elements.This, however, was the last straw. Lieutenant Colonel Ignatius Kutu Acheampong,temporarily commanding the First Brigade around Accra, led a bloodless coup thatended the Second Republic.The National Redemption Council Years, 1972-79Despite its short existence, the Second Republic was significant in that thedevelopment problems the nation faced came clearly into focus. These includeduneven distribution of investment funds and favoritism toward certain groups andregions. Furthermore, important questions about developmental priorities emerged.For example, was rural development more important than the needs of the urbanpopulation? Or, to what extent was the government to incur the cost of universityeducation? And more important, was the public to be drawn into the debate about thenations future? The impact of the fall of Ghanas Second Republic cast a shadowacross the nations political future because no clear answers to these problemsemerged.According to one writer, the overthrow of the PP government revealed that Ghanawas no longer the pacesetter in Africas search for workable political institutions. Boththe radical left and the conservative right had failed. In opposing Nkrumahs one-party state, Busia allegedly argued that socialist rule in Ghana had led tounemployment and poverty for many while party officials grew richer at the expenseof the masses. But in justifying the one-party state, Nkrumah pointed to theweaknesses of multiparty parliamentary democracy, a system that delayed decision-making processes and, therefore, the ability to take action to foster development. Thefall of both the Nkrumah and the Busia regimes seemed to have confused many withregard to the political direction the nation needed to take. In other words, in the firstfew years after the Nkrumah administration, Ghanaians were unable to arrive at aconsensus on the type of government suited to address their national problems.It was this situation, the inability of the PP government to satisfy diverse interestgroups that ostensibly gave Acheampong an excuse for the January 13 takeover.Acheampongs National Redemption Council (NRC) claimed that it had to act toremove the ill effects of the currency devaluation of the previous government andthereby, at least in the short run, to improve living conditions for individualGhanaians. Under the circumstances, the NRC was compelled to take immediate Page 13 of 50
  14. 14. measures. Although committed to the reversal of the fiscal policies of the PPgovernment, the NRC, by comparison, adopted policies that appeared painless and,therefore, popular. But unlike the coup leaders of the NLC, members of the NRC didnot outline any plan for the return of the nation to democratic rule. Some observersaccused the NRC of acting simply to rectify their own grievances. To justify theirtakeover, coup leaders leveled charges of corruption against Busia and his ministers.In its first years, the NRC drew support from a public pleased by the reversal ofBusias austerity measures. The Ghanaian currency was re-valued upward, and twomoves were announced to lessen the burden of existing foreign debts: the repudiationof US$90 million of Nkrumahs debts to British companies, and the unilateralrescheduling of the rest of the countrys debts for payment over fifty years. Later, theNRC nationalized all large foreign-owned companies. But these measures, whileinstantly popular in the streets, did nothing to solve the countrys real problems. Ifanything, they aggravated the problem of capital flow.Unlike the NLC of 1966, the NRC sought to create a truly military government;hence, in October 1975, the ruling council was reorganized into the Supreme MilitaryCouncil (SMC), and its membership was restricted to a few senior military officers.The intent was to consolidate the militarys hold over government administration andto address occasional disagreements, conflicts, and suspicions within the armedforces, which by now had emerged as the constituency of the military government.Little input from the civilian sector was allowed, and no offers were made to returnany part of the government to civilian control during the SMCs first five years inpower. SMC members believed that the countrys problems were caused by a lack oforganization, which could be remedied by applying military organization andthinking. This was the extent of the SMC philosophy. Officers were put in charge ofall ministries and state enterprises; junior officers and sergeants were assignedleadership roles down to the local level in every government department andorganization.During the NRCs early years, these administrative changes led many Ghanaians tohope that the soldiers in command would improve the efficiency of the countrysbloated bureaucracies. Acheampongs popularity continued into 1974 as thegovernment successfully negotiated international loan agreements and rescheduledGhanas debts. The government also provided price supports for basic food imports,while seeking to encourage Ghanaians to become self- reliant in agriculture and theproduction of raw materials. In the Operation Feed Yourself program, all Ghanaianswere encouraged to undertake some form of food production, with the goal ofeventual food self-sufficiency for the country. The program enjoyed some initialsuccess, but support for it gradually waned.Whatever limited success the NRC had in these efforts, however, was overridden byother basic economic factors. Industry and transportation suffered greatly as world oilprices rose during and after 1974, and the lack of foreign exchange and credit left thecountry without fuel. Basic food production continued to decline even as thepopulation grew, largely because of poor price management and urbanization. Whenworld cocoa prices rose again in the late 1970s, Ghana was unable to take advantageof the price rise because of the low productivity of its old orchards. Moreover,because of the low prices paid to cocoa farmers, some growers along the nationsborders smuggled their produce to Togo or Côte dIvoire. Disillusionment with thegovernment grew, particularly among the educated. Accusations of personalcorruption among the rulers also began to surface. Page 14 of 50
  15. 15. The reorganization of the NRC into the SMC in 1975 may have been part of a face-saving attempt. Shortly after that time, the government sought to stifle opposition byissuing a decree forbidding the propagation of rumors and by banning a number ofindependent newspapers and detaining their journalists. Also, armed soldiers broke upstudent demonstrations, and the government repeatedly closed the universities, whichhad become important centers of opposition to NRC policies.Despite these efforts, the SMC by 1977 found itself constrained by mountingnonviolent opposition. To be sure, discussions about the nations political future andits relationship to the SMC had begun in earnest. Although the various oppositiongroups (university students, lawyers, and other organized civilian groups) called for areturn to civilian constitutional rule, Acheampong and the SMC favored a uniongovernment, a mixture of elected civilian and appointed military leaders but one inwhich party politics would be abolished. University students and many intellectualscriticized the union government idea, but others, such as Justice Gustav Koranteng-Addow, who chaired the seventeen-member ad hoc committee appointed by thegovernment to work out details of the plan, defended it as the solution to the nationspolitical problems. Supporters of the union government idea viewed multipartypolitical contests as the perpetrators of social tension and community conflict amongclasses, regions, and ethnic groups. Unionists argued that their plan had the potentialto depoliticize public life and to allow the nation to concentrate its energies oneconomic problems.A national referendum was held in March 1978 to allow the people to accept or rejectthe union government concept. A rejection of the union government meant acontinuation of military rule. Given this choice, it was surprising that so narrow amargin voted in favor of union government. Opponents of the idea organizeddemonstrations against the government, arguing that the referendum vote had notbeen free or fair. The Acheampong government reacted by banning severalorganizations and by jailing as many as 300 of its opponents.The agenda for change in the union government referendum called for the drafting ofa new constitution by an SMC-appointed commission, the selection of a constituentassembly by November 1978, and general elections in June 1979. The ad hoccommittee had recommended a non-party election, an elected executive president, anda cabinet whose members would be drawn from outside a single house NationalAssembly. The military council would then step down, although its members couldrun for office as individuals.In July 1978, in a sudden move, the other SMC officers forced Acheampong to resign,replacing him with Lieutenant General Frederick W.K. Akuffo. The SMC apparentlyacted in response to continuing pressure to find a solution to the countrys economicdilemma. Inflation was estimated to be as high as 300 percent that year. There wereshortages of basic commodities, and cocoa production fell to half its 1964 peak. Thecouncil was also motivated by Acheampongs failure to dampen rising politicalpressure for changes. Akuffo, the new SMC chairman, promised publicly to hand overpolitical power to a new government to be elected by July 1, 1979.Despite Akuffos assurances, opposition to the SMC persisted. The call for theformation of political parties intensified. In an effort to gain support in the face ofcontinuing strikes over economic and political issues, the Akuffo government atlength announced that the formation of political parties would be allowed afterJanuary 1979. Akuffo also granted amnesty to former members of both NkrumahsCPP and Busias PP, as well as to all those convicted of subversion under Page 15 of 50
  16. 16. Acheampong. The decree lifting the ban on party politics went into effect on January1, 1979, as planned. The constitutional assembly that had been working on a newconstitution presented an approved draft and adjourned in May. All appeared set for anew attempt at constitutional government in July, when a group of young armyofficers overthrew the SMC government in June 1979.The Rawlings EraOn May 15, 1979, less than five weeks before constitutional elections were to be held,a group of junior officers led by Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings attempted acoup. Initially unsuccessful, the coup leaders were jailed and held for courtmartial .On June 4, however, sympathetic military officers overthrew the Akuffo regime andreleased Rawlings and his cohorts from prison fourteen days before the scheduledelection. Although the SMCs pledge to return political power to civilian handsaddressed the concerns of those who wanted civilian government, the young officerswho had staged the June 4 coup insisted that issues critical to the image of the armyand important for the stability of national politics had been ignored. Naomi Chazan, aleading analyst of Ghanaian politics, aptly assessed the significance of the 1979 coupin the following statement: Unlike the initial SMC II [the Akuffo period, 1978-1979]rehabilitation effort which focused on the power elite, this second attempt atreconstruction from a situation of disintegration was propelled by growing alienation.It strove, by reforming the guidelines of public behavior, to define anew the statepower structure and to revise its inherent social obligations. In retrospect the mostirreversible outcome of this phase was the systematic eradication of the SMCleadership. Their executions signaled not only the termination of the alreadyfallacious myth of the nonviolence of Ghanaian politics, but, more to the point, thedeadly serious determination of the new government to wipe the political slate clean.Rawlings and the young officers formed the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council(AFRC). The armed forces were purged of senior officers accused of corrupting theimage of the military. In carrying out its goal, however, the AFRC was caughtbetween two groups with conflicting interests, Chazan observed. These included the"soldier-supporters of the AFRC who were happy to lash out at all manifestations ofthe old regimes; and the now organized political parties who decried the undueviolence and advocated change with restraint. Despite the coup and the subsequentexecutions of former heads of military governments (Afrifa of the NLC; Acheampongand some of his associates of the NRC; and Akuffo and leading members of theSMC), the planned elections took place, and Ghana had returned to constitutional ruleby the end of September 1979. Before power was granted to the elected government,however, the AFRC sent the unambiguous message that "people dealing with thepublic, in whatever capacity, are subject to popular supervision, must abide byfundamental notions of probity, and have an obligation to put the good of thecommunity above personal objective."The AFRC position was that the nations political leaders, at least those from withinthe military, had not been accountable to the people. The administration of HillaLimann, inaugurated on September 24, 1979, at the beginning of the Third Republic,was thus expected to measure up to the new standard advocated by the AFRC.Limanns Peoples National Party (PNP) began the Third Republic with control ofonly seventy-one of the 140 legislative seats. The opposition Popular Front Party(PFP) won forty-two seats, while twenty-six elective positions were distributedamong three lesser parties. The percentage of the electorate that voted had fallen to 40percent. Unlike the countrys previous elected leaders, Limann was a former diplomatand a noncharismatic figure with no personal following. As Limann himself observed, Page 16 of 50
  17. 17. the ruling PNP included people of conflicting ideological orientations. Theysometimes disagreed strongly among themselves on national policies. Manyobservers, therefore, wondered whether the new government was equal to the taskconfronting the state. The most immediate threat to the Limann administration,however, was the AFRC, especially those officers who organized themselves into the"June 4 Movement" to monitor the civilian administration. In an effort to keep theAFRC from looking over its shoulder, the government ordered Rawlings and severalother army and police officers associated with the AFRC into retirement;nevertheless, Rawlings and his associates remained a latent threat, particularly as theeconomy continued its decline. The first Limann budget, for fiscal year 1981,estimated the Ghanaian inflation rate at 70 percent for that year, with a budget deficitequal to 30 percent of the gross national product . The Trade Union Congress claimedthat its workers were no longer earning enough to pay for food, let alone anythingelse. A rash of strikes, many considered illegal by the government, resulted, each onelowering productivity and therefore national income. In September the governmentannounced that all striking public workers would be dismissed. These factors rapidlyeroded the limited support the Limann government enjoyed among civilians andsoldiers. The government fell on December 31, 1981, in another Rawlings-led coup.The Second Coming of Rawlings: The First Six Years, 1982- 87The new government that took power on December 31, 1981, was the eighth in thefifteen years since the fall of Nkrumah. Calling itself the Provisional NationalDefense Council (PNDC), its membership included Rawlings as Chairman, BrigadierJoseph Nunoo-Mensah (whom Limann had dismissed as Army Commander), twoother officers, and three civilians. Despite its military connections, the PNDC made itclear that it was unlike other soldier-led governments. This was immediately provedby the appointment of fifteen civilians to cabinet positions.In a radio broadcast on January 5, 1982, Rawlings presented a detailed statementexplaining the factors that had necessitated termination of the Third Republic. ThePNDC Chairman assured the people that he had no intention of imposing himself onGhanaians. Rather, he "wanted a chance for the people, farmers, workers, soldiers, therich and the poor, to be part of the decision-making process." He described the twoyears since the AFRC had handed over power to a civilian government as a period ofregression during which political parties attempted to divide the people in order torule them. The ultimate purpose for the return of Rawlings was, therefore, to "restorehuman dignity to Ghanaians". In the Chairmans words, the dedication of the PNDCto achieving its goals was different from any the country had ever known. It was forthat reason that the takeover was not a military coup, but rather a "holy war" thatwould involve the people in the transformation of the socioeconomic structure of thesociety. The PNDC also served notice to friends and foes alike that any interference inthe PNDC agenda would be "fiercely resisted."Opposition to the PNDC administration developed nonetheless in different sectors ofthe political spectrum. The most obvious groups opposing the government wereformer PNP and PFP members. They argued that the Third Republic had not beengiven time to prove itself and that the PNDC administration was unconstitutional.Further opposition came from the Ghana Bar Association (GBA), which criticized thegovernments use of peoples tribunals in the administration of justice. Members of theTrade Union Congress were also angered when the PNDC ordered them to withdrawdemands for increased wages. The National Union of Ghanaian Students (NUGS)went even farther, calling on the government to hand over power to the attorney Page 17 of 50
  18. 18. general, who would supervise new elections.By the end of June 1982, an attempted coup had been discovered, and thoseimplicated had been executed. Many who disagreed with the PNDC administrationwere driven into exile, where they began organizing their opposition. They accusedthe government of human rights abuses and political intimidation, which forced thecountry, especially the press, into a "culture of silence."Meanwhile, the PNDC was subjected to the influence of contrasting politicalphilosophies and goals. Although the revolutionary leaders agreed on the need forradical change, they differed on the means of achieving it. For example, JohnNdebugre, secretary for agriculture in the PNDC government, who was laterappointed northern regional secretary (governor), belonged to the radical KwameNkrumah Revolutionary Guard, an extreme left-wing organization that advocated aMarxist-Leninist course for the PNDC. He was detained and jailed for most of thelatter part of the 1980s. Other members of the PNDC, including Kojo Tsikata, P.V.Obeng, and Kwesi Botchwey, were believed to be united only by their determinationeither to uplift the country from its desperate conditions or to protect themselves fromvocal opposition.In keeping with Rawlingss commitment to populism as a political principle, thePNDC began to form governing coalitions and institutions that would incorporate thepopulace at large into the machinery of the national government. Workers DefenceCommittees (WDCs), Peoples Defence Committees (PDCs), Citizens VettingCommittees (CVCs), Regional Defence Committees (RDCs), and National DefenceCommittees (NDCs) were all created to ensure that those at the bottom of societywere given the opportunity to participate in the decision making process. Thesecommittees were to be involved in community projects and community decisions, andindividual members were expected to expose corruption and "anti- social activities."Public tribunals, which were established outside the normal legal system, were alsocreated to try those accused of antigovernment acts. And a four-week workshopaimed at making these cadres morally and intellectually prepared for their part in therevolution was completed at the University of Ghana, Legon, in July and August1983.Various opposition groups criticized the PDCs and WDCs, however. Theaggressiveness of certain WDCs, it was argued, interfered with managements abilityto make the bold decisions needed for the recovery of the national economy. Inresponse to such criticisms, the PNDC announced on December 1, 1984, thedissolution of all PDCs, WDCs, and NDCs, and their replacement with Committeesfor the Defence of the Revolution (CDRs). With regard to public boards and statutorycorporations, excluding banks and financial institutions, Joint ConsultativeCommittees (JCCs) that acted as advisory bodies to managing directors were created.The public tribunals, however, despite their characterization as undemocratic by theGBA, were maintained. Although the tribunals had been established in 1982, the lawproviding for the creation of a national public tribunal to hear and determine appealsfrom, and decisions of, regional public tribunals was not passed until August 1984.Section 3 and Section 10 of the PNDC Establishment Proclamation limited publictribunals to cases of a political and an economic nature. The limitations placed onpublic tribunals by the government in 1984 may have been an attempt by theadministration to redress certain weaknesses. The tribunals, however, were notabolished; rather, they were defended as "fundamental to a good legal system" thatneeded to be maintained in response to "growing legal consciousness on the part of Page 18 of 50
  19. 19. the people."At the time when the foundations of these sociopolitical institutions were being laid,the PNDC was also engaged in a debate about how to finance the reconstruction ofthe national economy. The country had indeed suffered from what some described asthe excessive and unwise, if not foolish, expenditures of the Nkrumah regime. Thedegree of decline under the NRC and the SMC had also been devastating. ByDecember 1981, when the PNDC came to power, the inflation rate topped 200percent, while real GDP had declined by 3 percent per annum for seven years. Notonly cocoa production but even diamonds and timber exports had droppeddramatically. Gold production had also fallen to half its pre-independence level.Ghanas sorry economic condition, according to the PNDC, had resulted in part fromthe absence of good political leadership. In fact, as early as the AFRC administrationin 1979, Rawlings and his associates had accused three former military leaders(generals Afrifa, Acheampong, and Akuffo) of corruption and greed and of therebycontributing to the national crisis and had executed them on the basis of thisaccusation. In other words, the AFRC in 1979 attributed the national crisis to internal,primarily political, causes. The overthrow of the Limann administration by the PNDCin 1981 was an attempt to prevent another inept administration from aggravating analready bad economic situation. By implication, the way to resolve some of theproblems was to stabilize the political situation and to improve the economicconditions of the nation radically.At the end of its first year in power, the PNDC announced a four-year program ofeconomic austerity and sacrifice that was to be the first phase of an EconomicRecovery Program (ERP). If the economy were to improve significantly, there wasneed for a large injection of capital a resource that could only be obtained frominternational financial institutions of the West. There were those on the PNDCsideological left, however, who rejected consultation with such agencies because theseinstitutions were blamed in part for the nations predicament. Precisely because somemembers of the government also held such views, the PNDC secretary for finance andeconomic planning, Kwesi Botchwey, felt the need to justify World Bank (seeGlossary) assistance to Ghana in 1983:It would be naive and unrealistic for certain sections of the Ghanaian society to thinkthat the request for economic assistance from the World Bank and its affiliates meansa sellout of the aims and objectives of the Ghanaian revolution to the internationalcommunity. . . . It does not make sense for the country to become a member of thebank and the IMF and continue to pay its dues only to decline to utilize the resourcesof these two institutions.The PNDC recognized that it could not depend on friendly nations such as Libya toaddress the economic problems of Ghana. The magnitude of the crisis--made worseby widespread bush fires that devastated crop production in 1983-84 and by the returnof more than one million Ghanaians who had been expelled from Nigeria in 1983,which had intensified the unemployment situation called for monetary assistance frominstitutions with bigger financial chests.Phase One of the ERP began in 1983. Its goal was economic stability. In broad terms,the government wanted to reduce inflation and to create confidence in the nationsability to recover. By 1987 progress was clearly evident. The rate of inflation haddropped to 20 percent, and between 1983 and 1987, Ghanas economy reportedlygrew at 6 percent per year. Official assistance from donor countries to Ghanasrecovery program averaged US$430 million in 1987, more than double that of thepreceding years. The PNDC administration also made a remarkable payment of more Page 19 of 50
  20. 20. than US$500 million in loan arrears dating to before 1966. In recognition of theseachievements, international agencies had pledged more than US$575 million to thecountrys future programs by May 1987. With these accomplishments in place, thePNDC inaugurated Phase Two of the ERP, which envisioned privatization of state-owned assets, currency devaluation, and increased savings and investment, and whichwas to continue until 1990.Notwithstanding the successes of Phase One of the ERP, many problems remained,and both friends and foes of the PNDC were quick to point them out. Onecommentator noted the high rate of Ghanaian unemployment as a result of the belt-tightening policies of the PNDC. In the absence of employment or redeploymentpolicies to redress such problems, he wrote, the effects of the austerity programsmight create circumstances that could derail the PNDC recovery agenda.Unemployment was only one aspect of the political problems facing the PNDCgovernment; another was the size and breadth of the PNDCs political base. ThePNDC initially espoused a populist program that appealed to a wide variety of ruraland urban constituents. Even so, the PNDC was the object of significant criticismfrom various groups that in one way or another called for a return to constitutionalgovernment. Much of this criticism came from student organizations, the GBA, andopposition groups in self- imposed exile, who questioned the legitimacy of themilitary government and its declared intention of returning the country toconstitutional rule. So vocal was the outcry against the PNDC that it appeared on thesurface as if the PNDC enjoyed little support among those groups who hadhistorically molded and influenced Ghanaian public opinion. At a time when difficultpolicies were being implemented, the PNDC could ill afford the continued alienationand opposition of such prominent critics.By the mid 1980s, therefore, it had become essential that the PNDC demonstrate thatit was actively considering steps towards constitutionalism and civilian rule. This wastrue notwithstanding the recognition of Rawlings as an honest leader and theperception that the situation he was trying to redress was not of his creation. To movein the desired direction, the PNDC needed to weaken the influence and credibility ofall antagonistic groups while it created the necessary political structures that wouldbring more and more Ghanaians into the process of national reconstruction. ThePNDCs solution to its dilemma was the proposal for district assemblies. Ghana lies atthe heart of a region which has been leading sub-Saharan African culture since thefirst millenium BC in metal-working mining, sculpture and agriculture.Modern Ghana takes its name from the ancient kingdom of Ghana, some 800 km.(500 miles) to the north of present-day Accra, which flourished up to the eleventhcentury AD. One of the great sudanic states which dominate African history, thekingdom of Ghana controlled the gold trade between the min- ing areas to the southand the Saharan trade routes to the north. Ancient Ghana was also the focus for theexport trade in Saharan copper and salt. The coming of Europeans altered the tradingpatterns, and the focus of economic power shifted to the West African coast- line. ThePortuguese came first, seeking the source of the African gold. It lay too far inland forthem to reach; but on the Gold Coast they found a region where gold could beobtained, exported along established trade paths from the interior. Their fort at Elmina("the mine") was the first in a series of forts along the Gold Coast designed to repelthe other European seafarers who followed in their wake, all struggling for their shareof the profitable Gold Coast trade. In due course, however, slaves replaced gold as themost lucrative trade along the coast, with the European slave buyers using the fortsand adjoining buildings for their own accommodation and protection, as well as for Page 20 of 50
  21. 21. storing the goods, mainly guns and gunpowder, which they would barter for slaves.Some of the forts were also used for keeping newly acquired slaves pending thearrival of the ships sent to collect them. The history of the various forts, given later inthis guide, graphically expresses how the various European trading nations fought forour gold, ivory and later, slaves. But while Europeans quarrelled over access to thecoastal trade, and despite the appalling depredations of the slave traders, which leftwhole regions destroyed and depopulated, the shape of modern Ghana was being laiddown. At the end of the 17th century, there were a number of small states on the GoldCoast; by 1750, these had merged, by conquest or diplomacy, into two: the Asanteempire, and the Fantes. By the 19th century, the Asantes were seeking mastery of thecoast, and especially access to the trading post of Elmina. By this time the British hadwon control of the coastal trade from the other European nations, and their interestscould not tolerate further Asante expansion - more so since the Asante Empire wasknown for its sophisticated admin- istrative efficiency and would have been difficultor im- possible to best at trade. Nevertheless it took a series of military campaignsover some 50 years before the British were finally able to force the Asantes to give upsovereignty over their southern possessions. In a final campaign in 1874 the Britishattempted, without success, to seize Asante; they were however able to take Kumasiand exact a huge ransom for it in gold; and the vast Asante empire shrunk to theAsante and Brong-Ahafo regions of modern Ghana. Meanwhile, the Fantes too hadbeen uniting and organising, and in 1868 formed themselves into a confederacy undera king-president with a 15,000 strong army, a civil service and a constitution. In 1871the British arrested the Fante leaders for "treason". They were however freed a monthlater, but the con- federacy never recovered from the blow. In 1874 the British for-mally established the British Crown Colony of the Gold Coast, "legalizing" a colonialpolicy which had in fact been in force since the signing of the bond between thecoastal Chiefs and the British in 1844, despite the fact that the Chiefs never cededsovereignty to the British under the bond, though some of them allowed Britishintervention in judicial matters.The Asante and Fante traditions of education and organisation, and their urge forautonomy, remained throughout the years of British colonial rule. The Gold Coastwas regarded as the showpiece of Britains colonies: the richest, the best educated, thefirst to have an elected majority in the legislature and with the best organized nativeauthorities. The Gold Coast riots in 1948, which marked the start of the peoplesagitation for independence, were instrumental in changing British policy and drovehome the point that colonialism had no future. But a long struggle still lay ahead - andthe man who was the catalyst of that struggle was Dr. Kwame Nkrumah Born in 1909,Dr. Kwame Nkrumah trained as a teacher at Achimota College in Ghana and then inthe United States and Britain, where he obtained his degrees. He became prominent asa leader of West African organisations in London and was invited to return to Ghanaas general secretary of the United Gold Coast Convention. In 1949 he broke away tofrom the Convention Peoples Party with the slogan Self-Government Now.In February 1951 the party swept to victory in the polls and became the leaders ofGovermnent business in the colonys first African government. The Gold Coast hadbecome the first British colony in Africa to achieve self-government. On 6 March1957 Ghana achieved independence - again, the first British colony in Africa to do so- with Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah as its first Prime Minister. On 1st July,1960 itbecame a republic with Kwame Nkrumah as its first President. Page 21 of 50
  22. 22. Ghana spearheaded the political advancement of Africa and Dr. Nkrumah laid thefoundations for the unity later expressed in the formation of the Organization ofAfrican Unity (OAU). He was a firm supporter of the Commonwealth and the Non-Aligned movement. On 24th February 1966, the government of Dr. Nkrumah wasoverthrown by the Ghana armed forces and the police. A National Liberation Council(NLC), headed by Lt. General Joseph Arthur Ankrah, was formed to administer thecountry.General Ankrah was removed from office in April 1969 and Lt. General AkwasiAmankwa Afrifa became the Chairman of the NLC, which later gave way to a three-man Presidential Commission with General Afrifa as chairman. The Commissionpaved the way for a general election in 1969 which brought into power the ProgressParty government, with Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia as Prime Minister and Mr. EdwardAkufo Addo as president.The Ghana armed forces again took over the reins of government on 13th January1972, and Colonel (later General) Ignatius Kutu Acheampong became the Head ofState and Chairman of the National Redemption Council (NRC). The name of theNRC was later changed to the Supreme Military Council (SMC). GeneralAcheampong was replaced by General F.W.K. Akuffo in a palace coup in July 1978.The SMC was overthrown on 4th June 1979, in a mass revolt of junior officers andmen of the Ghana armed forces. Following the uprising, an Armed ForcesRevolutionary Council (AFRC) was set up under the chairmanship of Flt.-Lt. JerryJohn Rawlings. The AFRC carried out a house-cleaning exercise in the armed forcesand society at large, while restoring a sense of moral responsibility and the principleof accountability and probity in public life. The AFRC was in office for only threemonths and, in pursuance of a programme already set in motion before the uprising,allowed general elections to be held. On 24th September 1979, the AFRC handedover power to the civilian administration of Dr. Hilla Limann, leader of the PeoplesNational Party which had won the elections. In the wake of the continuing downwardplunge of the country, the Limann administration was overthrown on 31st December1981, ushering in a new revolutionary era of far-reaching reforms and rehabilitation atall levels. Flt.-Lt. Rawlings became the Chairman of a nine-member ProvisionalNational Defence Ruling Council, (PNDC) with Secretaries of State in charge of thevarious ministries being responsible to the PNDC . Immediately on assumption ofoffice, the PNDC set up a National Commission for Democracy (NCD) charged withfor- mulating a programme for the more effective realisation of true democracy. TheGovemment of the PNDC also provided for the establishment of elected DistrictAssemblies to bring local government to the grassroots.In 1990, the NCD, at the prompting of the PNDC, organised forums in all the 10regions of the country at which Ghanaians of all walks of life advanced their views asto what form of government they wanted. These views were collated and analysed bythe NCD whose final report indicated that the people want- ed a multi-party system ofgovernment. This led to the appointment of a Committee of Experts to draw upconstitutional proposals for the consideration of a Consultative Assembly. TheAssembly prepared a draft constitution based on proposals submitted to it by thePNDC, as well as previous constitutions of 1957,1969 and 1979, and the report of theCommittee of Experts. The final draft constitution was unanimously approved by the Page 22 of 50
  23. 23. people in a referendum on April 28,1992. Among other things, the Constitutionprovides for an Executive President elected by universal adult suffrage for a term offour years and eligible for re-election for only one additional term. In the presidentialelections held on November 3, 1992, Flt.-Lt- Rawlings who stood on the ticket of theNational Democratic Congress (NDC), garnered 58.8% of the 3,989,020 votes cast tobeat to second place his closest rival Prof. Albert Adu Boahen representing the NewPatriotic Party who polled 30.4% of the votes. Other contestants for the presidencywere former president Dr. Hilla limann of the Peoples National Convention (6.7%),Mr. Kwabena Darko of the National Independence Party (2.8%) and Lt-Gen.Emmanuel Erskine representing the Peoples Heritage Party (1.7%). In theparliamentary elections held on December 29,1992, the Progressive Alliance made upof the National Democratic Congress, the National Convention Party and the EgleParty won 198 seats out of a total of 200, within the Alliance the NDC won 189 seats,the NCP had 8, the Egle Party 2, and Independents 2. Four parties - the NPP, PNC,NIP and PHP - boycotted the parliamentary elections, disatisfied with the pro posedelection strategy.The Fourth Republic was inaugurated on January 7,1993 with the swearing-in of Flt.Lt. Rawlings as President and his running mate, Mr.K.N. Arkaah as Vice President.The newly elected Parliament was opened on the same day and elected, Mr. JusticeD.F. Annan as Speaker.1996: Rawlings was re-elected for a second termIn the December 7, 2000 elections, John A. Kufuor of the New Patriotic Party (NPP),won the largest share of the presidential vote with 48.17% of the vote, compared to44.54.% for Rawlings vice-president and hand-picked successor, John Atta Mills ofthe NDC. The NPP also won 100 of the 200 seats in Parliament. The NDC won 92seats, while independent and small party candidates won eight seats. In the December28 run-off election, with pledges of support form the other five opposition parties,Kufuor defeated Mills by winning 56.73% of the vote and the NPP picked up oneadditional MP by winning a by-election, giving them 100 seats and a majority inParliament. Both rounds of the election were observed, and declared free and fair by alarge contingent of domestic and international monitors. President Kufuor took theoath of office on January 7, 2001, becoming the first elected president in Ghanashistory to succeed another elected president. He was re-elected in December 2004 fora second four-year term, becoming the first civilian president (without a militarybackground) to fully serve his tenure and go ahead to be re-elected.Political outlookUnder Jerry Rawlings rule, Ghana became the most politically stable and prosperousnation in West Africa and provided a model of development for the rest of sub-Saharan Africa. This may continue under President Kufuor if the new government andopposition remain mindful of the turbulence in neighbouring Cte dIvoire and try toquell some of the grassroots violence seen during the last general election and inDagbon in 2002.Political instability and the intervention of the military is unlikely, particularly givenKufuors ability to turn the Ghanaian economy around since he came to power.Despite his outbursts, Rawlings career as a serial coup maker appears to be over.Nevertheless, following his inauguration in January 2001, President Kufuor appeared Page 23 of 50
  24. 24. to backtrack on many popular policies which brought him electoral success.Apparently more interested in appeasing Western donors and international financialinstitutions than bolstering his own popularity, Kufuor pledged a period of austeritymeasures. He claims he is fully aware of the dangers this could pose to Ghanaspolitical stability. In his swearing-in ceremony he warned that the ailing economywould put severe strains on our peoples beliefs and enthusiasm for the democraticprocess unless donors step up their assistance.Culled from the booklet "GHANA - a brief guide" a publication of the GhanaInformation Services Department 1994.Ghanaweb added more infoEducation in Ghana‘The purpose of education is to replace an empty mind with an open one." - MalcolmForbes’Ghana has over 12,130 primary schools, 5,450 junior secondary schools, 503 seniorsecondary schools, 21 training colleges, 18 technical institutions, two diploma -awarding institutions and five universities serving a population of 17 million; thismeans that most Ghanaians have relatively easy access to good education. In contrast,at the time of independence in 1957, Ghana had only one university and a handful ofsecondary and primary schools. In the past decade, Ghanas spending on educationhas been between 28 percent and 40 percent of its annual budget.Basic educationPrimary- and middle-school education is tuition-free and will be mandatory whenenough teachers and facilities are available to accommodate all the students. Studentsbegin their 6-year primary education at age six. Under educational reformsimplemented in 1987, they pass into a new junior secondary school system for 3 yearsof academic training combined with technical and vocational training.Senior Secondary educationAfter basic school, pupils may enter Senior secondary (or technical/vocational)schools for a three-year course, which prepare them for university education. Studentsusually study a combination of three (in some cases, four) elective subjects and anumber of core subjects. For example, a science student could study AdditionalMathematics, Chemistry, Biology and Physics as his elective subjects. An artsstudents might study Georgraphy, Economics and Literature as his elective subjects.In addition to the elective subjects, there are core subjects, which are those studiedby all students in addition to their electives. The core subjects include Mathematics,English and Science.At the end of the three year senior secondary course, students are required to sit forthe West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations (WASSCE). Studentswho obtain aggregate 18 or better (six is best) can enter the university. Usually, thescore is determined by aggregating the students grades in his elective subjects. Theaggregate score is then added to the aggregate score of his best core subjects, withscores in English and Mathematics considered first. Page 24 of 50
  25. 25. So if an arts students scores A in Geography, B in Literature and C in Economics,hed obtain an aggregate score of 6 for his electives (i.e. A=1; B=2 & C=3...F(fail)=6).His best electives are then added. If he obtain B in English, C in Mathematics andA in Social Studies, his best core aggregate will be six. Therefore, his overallaggregate score will be 12 and he qualifies for admission into a university. Onceagain, an overall aggregate score of six is best.Tertiary education. Entrance to universities is by examination following completion of senior secondaryschool. School enrollment totals almost 2 million: 1.3 million primary; 107,600secondary; 489,000 middle; 21,280 technical; 11,300 teacher training; and 5,600university. Education is mainly in EnglishGeographyLocationWestern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean betweenCote dIvoire and TogoLatitude: 5 degrees, 36 minutes northLongitude: 0 degrees, 10 minutes eastLand boundaries: total 2,093 km, Burkina Faso 548 km,Cote dIvoire 668 km, Togo 877 kmCoastline: 539 kmMap references: Africa, Standard Time Zones of the WorldArea -total area: 238,540 km2; land area: 230,020 km2 ;comparative area: slightly smaller than OregonMaritime claims:  contiguous zone: 24 nm  continental shelf: 200 nm  exclusive economic zone: 200 nm  territorial sea: 12 nm  International disputes: noneGEOGRAPHYGhana is located on West Africas Gulf of Guinea only a few degrees north of theEquator. Half of the country lies less than 152 meters (500 ft.) above sea level, andthe highest point is 883 meters (2,900 ft.). The 537-kilometer (334-mi.) coastline ismostly a low, sandy shore backed by plains and scrub and intersected by severalrivers and streams, most of which are navigable only by canoe. A tropical rain forestbelt, broken by heavily forested hills and many streams and rivers, extends northwardfrom the shore, near the Cote dIvoire frontier. This area, known as the "Ashanti,"produces most of the countrys cocoa, minerals, and timber. North of this belt, thecountry varies from 91 to 396 meters (300-1,300 ft.) above sea level and is covered bylow bush, parklike savanna, and grassy plains. Page 25 of 50
  26. 26. The climate is tropical. The eastern coastal belt is warm and comparatively dry; thesouthwest corner, hot and humid; and the north, hot and dry. There are two distinctrainy seasons in the south-May-June and August-September; in the north, the rainyseasons tend to merge. A dry, northeasterly wind, the Harmattan, blows in Januaryand February. Annual rainfall in the coastal zone averages 83 centimeters (33 in.).The manmade Volta Lake extends from the Akosombo Dam in southeastern Ghana tothe town of Yapei, 520 kilometers (325 mi.) to the north. The lake generateselectricity, provides inland transportation, and is a potentially valuable resource forirrigation and fish farming. Climate TODAY’S WHEATHER The climate of Ghana is tropical, but temperatures vary with season and elevation. Except in the north two rainy seasons occur, from April to July and from September to November. In the north the rainy season begins in April and lasts until September. Annual rainfall ranges from about 1,100 mm (about 43 in) in the north to about 2,100 mm (about 83 in) in the southeast. The harmattan, a dry desert wind, blows from the northeast from December to March, lowering the humidity and creating hot days and cool nights in the north. In the south the effects of the harmattan are felt in January. In most areas the highest temperatures occur in March, the lowest in August. The average annual temperature is about 26 oC (about 79oF). Annual Rainfall: 736.6mm / 29" Temp January: 27 Sunny skys Feb 28 ---" - March 28 ---" --- April 28 light rains May 27 heavy rains June 26 " July 25 light rains August 24 Scattered showers September 25 " October 26 Sunny skies November 27 ---"--- December 28 Sunny skies (dry) Weather Accra, Ghana Weather cant be forecast more than a week or so in advance, but weather averages are good indicators of what to expect any month. Page 26 of 50
  27. 27. Average Average Average Warmest Coldest Average Month dew high low ever ever precipitation point JAN. 87 77 100 64 71 0.6 FEB. 88 79 102 68 74 1.1 MARCH 88 79 102 68 75 2.2 APRIL 87 79 97 68 75 3.5 MAY 86 78 101 66 75 5.3 JUNE 83 76 102 64 74 7.8 JULY 81 75 100 68 72 2.0 AUG. 80 74 100 64 71 0.7 SEP. 82 75 102 68 72 1.7 OCT. 84 76 101 69 73 2.5 NOV. 87 77 102 70 74 1.3 DEC. 86 77 97 70 73 0.8 Latitude: 5 degrees, 36 minutes north Longitude: 0 degrees, 10 minutes east Tropical and humid; Whole country: average low: 20,5C (69F), average high 26C (79F). Accra: average daily temperature is 30C (86F). The coolest time of year is between June and September when the main rainfall occurs. Variations in temperature both annually and daily are quite small. The minimum teperature is around 23C (73F). warm and comparatively dry along southeast coast; hot and humid in southwest; hot and dry in northNatureLand And Natural ResourcesGhana is a lowland country, except for a range of hills on the eastern border. Thesandy coastline is backed by a coastal plain that is crossed by several rivers andstreams, generally navigable only by canoe.In the west the terrain is broken by heavily forested hills and many streams and rivers.To the north lies an undulating savanna country that is drained by the Black andWhite Volta rivers, which join to form the Volta, which then flows south to the seathrough a narrow gap in the hills.Plants and AnimalMuch of the natural vegetation of Ghana has been destroyed by land clearing foragriculture, but such trees as the giant silk cotton, African mahogany, and cedar arestill prevalent in the tropical forest zone of the south. The northern two-thirds of thecountry is covered by savanna-a grassland with scattered trees. Animal life has alsobeen depleted, especially in the south, but it remains relatively diverse and includes Page 27 of 50