A Brief Description of Ghana

Ghana is a sub-Saharan country situated along the Atlantic coast of West Africa. The total land area is approximately 240,000 square kilometers. The distance from north to south measures about 672 kilometers, and 560 kilometers from east to west. Ghana is bordered to the east by Togo, west by Cote D’Ivoire, to the north by Burkina Faso, and to the south by the Gulf of Guinea. Ghana is believed to be the country that is nearest to the center of the earth, with the Greenwich Meridian that passes through Tema, a coastal town in Ghana, meeting the equator off the shores of Ghana. Based on the 2013 census data, Ghana’s population is estimated to be around 25.9 million, divided across ten regions that form the administrative divisions of the republic. Ghana has an agrarian economy with estimated 60 percent of the population engaged in subsistence agriculture. The country is a parliamentary democracy with a 275-seat unicameral legislature governed under a constitution with a president who serves as both head of state and head of government (Columbia University, 2012). Both the president and the legislature are elected by universal adult suffrage for four-year terms; the president’s tenure is limited to two terms. Administratively, there are 6 metropolitan and 55 municipal councils that are subdivided into 212 districts that form the district assemblies.

Ghana was among the first sub-Saharan African countries to allow Europeans to settle on their soil in the fifteenth century, one of the earliest to be colonized in 1874, and one of the first to gain independence from the Europeans in 1957 (Salm & Falola, 2002). It is estimated that 69 percent of the population is Christian (Pentecostal and other Protestant churches, and Roman Catholic) and 16 percent is Muslim, with the remainder following traditional religions (Nelson, Ingols, Christian-Murtie, & Myers, 2013).

Ghana is a multi-ethnolinguistic country with English as the official language. It is a country that can be described as a conglomeration of tribes each of which has unique characteristics that define their traditional leadership development and general livelihood. However, there are general modalities of leadership development that cut across all tribes in the country. For the purpose of this chapter, emphases will be on the general modalities for traditional leadership development.

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