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Ghana:
Geography

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Background
Definition
Formed from the merger of the British colony of the Gold Coast and the Togoland trust territory, Ghana in 1957 became the first sub-Saharan country in colonial Africa to gain its independence. Ghana endured a long series of coups before Lt. Jerry RAWLINGS took power in 1981 and banned political parties. After approving a new constitution and restoring multiparty politics in 1992, RAWLINGS won presidential elections in 1992 and 1996, but was constitutionally prevented from running for a third term in 2000. John KUFUOR succeeded him and was reelected in 2004. Kufuor is constitutionally barred from running for a third term in upcoming Presidential elections, which are scheduled for December 2008.
Location
Definition
Western Africa, bordering the Gulf of Guinea, between Cote d'Ivoire and Togo
Geographic coordinates
Definition
8 00 N, 2 00 W
Map references
Definition
Africa
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: 239,460 sq km
land: 230,940 sq km
water: 8,520 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
slightly smaller than Oregon
Land boundaries
Definition
total: 2,094 km
border countries: Burkina Faso 549 km, Cote d'Ivoire 668 km, Togo 877 km
Coastline
Definition
539 km
Maritime claims
Definition
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
Climate
Definition
tropical; warm and comparatively dry along southeast coast; hot and humid in southwest; hot and dry in north
Terrain
Definition
mostly low plains with dissected plateau in south-central area
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Afadjato 880 m
Natural resources
Definition
gold, timber, industrial diamonds, bauxite, manganese, fish, rubber, hydropower, petroleum, silver, salt, limestone
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 17.54%
permanent crops: 9.22%
other: 73.24% (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
310 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
Definition
53.2 cu km (2001)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Definition
total: 0.98 cu km/yr (24%/10%/66%)
per capita: 44 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
Definition
dry, dusty, northeastern harmattan winds occur from January to March; droughts
Environment - current issues
Definition
recurrent drought in north severely affects agricultural activities; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; poaching and habitat destruction threatens wildlife populations; water pollution; inadequate supplies of potable water
Environment - international agreements
Definition
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation
Geography - note
Definition
Lake Volta is the world's largest artificial lake


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