John Agyekum Kufuor
(pronounced "john AG-yeh-come KOO-foo-or")
"I am ready to be efficient, to turn the economic and social tables…around, positively, so as to get the economy and society moving progressively into advancement. I am ready to do this and, if it would mean my being unpopular, it's just unfortunate. I'm ready to be very tough, but tough for a purpose…[to get] everything moving in the right direction for Ghana as quickly as possible."
The Republic of Ghana occupies 238,540 sq km (92,100 sq mi) of territory in western Africa. The capital is Accra, located on the southern coast. Its southern boundary is the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean; to the east it is bordered by Togo; to the north by Burkina Faso; and to the west by Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast). In 2002, the population was estimated at 22.2 million people, made up of the Akan, Moshi-Dagomba, Ewe, and Ga ethnic groups. Just over 1% of the population are of European or other non-African extraction. English is the official language of government and business, although as many as 75 African languages and dialects are spoken as well. Approximately 63% of Ghanaians profess Christian beliefs and 16% are Muslim. However, 21% adhere to indigenous religious practices, indicating that a significant proportion have adopted new religions without discarding traditional systems.
The Ghanaian economy is heavily reliant on agriculture and mineral extraction. Chief exports include gold, cocoa, timber, and tuna. Real growth in gross domestic product (GDP) in 2001 was 3%; it was forecast to reach 4.8% by 2003. Per capita GDP stood at US $1,980 in 2001. The currency of Ghana is the cedi . Inflation, which has been a scourge, continued to be a problem in the early years of the twenty-first century. It was estimated at 22.8% in 2000, rising to 25% in 2001; however, it was forecast to decline to 14% by 2002, and to 7% by 2003. Unemployment stands at 20% and underemployment is also problematic.
Office of the President
PO Box 1627