West African Nations - 2012

Ghana

This is the first former British colony that we visited and it was also the first in Sub-Saharan Africa to gain its independence and that occurred in 1957. Though it went through some troubled times with military coups and strongmen governing, since 1992 it has had a relatively stable government and counts itself a constitutional republic. It has free and fair elections every 5 years and the government is trying to create a strong economic base for the country through its natural resources of gold, timber, industrial diamonds, bauxite, rubber, fish, petroleum, silver, salt and limestone. Like the other countries it is hot and dry in the north and hot and humid in the south. It is a relatively flat country with most people involved in subsistence agriculture. The population is 25,242,000 people with a median age of 21 and a life expectancy of 61. The literacy rate for these people is 58% able to read and write English, the official language. The problems facing this country are the same as those facing the other ones already discussed: deforestation, overgrazing, habitat destruction, and significant poaching. The government is working with international organizations in an effort to create economic stability and create investment in the infrastructure and development of the country. Though Ghana has the same little huts along its highways and byways, we noticed immediately how much tidier everything is compared to the former French colonies. Efforts are made to keep the streets free of garbage and trash, the little huts are brightly colored and most are labeled with religious names, such as God’s Own Barber Shop, Heavenly Devotion Beauty Salon, God Will Help Us Fruit and Vegetables, The College of Theology and

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