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 is constantly ranking among the top three in Africa for freedom of the press and freedom of speech. The broadcast media is the strongest, with over 420 FM stations in operation. The country has 41.69 million mobile telephone subscriptions placing Ghana with one of the highest regional telephone penetration rate of 132.8%.
The economy remains highly dependent on the export of primary commodities such as gold, cocoa, and oil/gas making the country vulnerable to potential slowdowns in the global economy and commodity price shocks. The Government of Ghana is seeking to diversify and industrialize, in particular through agro-processing, mining, and manufacturing. Ghana has been chosen to host the Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat. The African Union has launched the operational phase of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which will be the world’s largest free trade area by number of countries once it is fully up and running.
The country has a tropical climate, characterized most of the year by warm temperatures (generally 21 – 32C; 70 – 90F), constant breezes and sunshine. There are two rainy seasons, from March to July and from September to October, separated by a short dry season in August and a relatively long dry season from mid-October to March.