Ghana is mostly known for its historic and diverse culture which is displayed through the music, the food, the welcomeness of the people and its rich landscapes and nature. There are so many interesting facts about Ghana, that if you live there or you’re planning to move, you definitely should know about it!
As much as the perception of the country is positive, unfortunately, Africa as a whole, may still be perceived in the eyes of the west as a continent that needs “help” and lacks development. However, Ghana and other countries across this rich and vast continent, are bursting with talent, potential and very interesting information that should be shared.
In this article we will share 13 interesting facts about Ghana that prove how culturally rich and varied this country is.
1. “Ghana” means “Warrior King”
Have you ever wondered what the meaning of “Ghana” actually is? Does it even have a meaning? It has, and a very powerful one! Ghana means “Warrior King” in mande language, which is spoken in several countries around West Africa. ‘Ghana’ was also the title given to kings of the medieval West African Ghana Empire.
2. Accra is amongst the 15 most expensive cities to live in Africa
Based on the cost of living index 2022 by Statista, Accra is the 11th most expensive city to live in, Senegal, Ethiopia and Ivory Coast being the top 3.
This is no surprise looking at what Ghana is currently experiencing with its economic meltdown, a plunging currency, and high costs of living among other issues. As per Numbeo’s study, a single person’s estimated monthly costs of living in Accra, without rent, are 4,832 ghs (380 euros), versus monthly living costs for a family of 4 of 17,325 ghs (1,300 euros).
3. The word “Cedi” means “cowrie shell”
Ghana’s currency is the Ghana Cedi. In Akan “Cedi” means “cowrie”. The cowrie shell has a great significance in Ghana and Africa in general, especially because it used to be the most universal form of currency in the world.
In 1991, the coin for 20 cedi began to feature the image of the beloved shell.
4. Ghana Is Sub-Saharan Africa’s Second Most Peaceful Country
According to the Global Peace Index (GPI) report in 2022, Ghana is the second most peaceful country in Sub-Saharan Africa. With an overall score of 1.76, placing it 40th most peaceful nation in the world amongst 163 countries around the world.
5. Ghana has the most unique coffins in the world
A group of men who call themselves the “fantasy coffin makers” make the most unique coffins in the forms of animals, cars, ships, buildings and many more designs that will definitely surprise you.
6. The world’s biggest man-made lake is found in Ghana
Lake Volta is the world’s biggest man-made lake. It has a storage capacity of 24,000,000 acre-feet (153,000,000,000 cubic m) of water. In the 1960s the Akosombo Dam was built and since then has served the people of Ghana in many ways. Lake Volta has proved to be a fantastic way for Ghana to generate electricity, provide transportation and irrigation.
7. If you or your child is named “John” in Ghana, you are in luck!
Since 1992, all of the elected and instated presidents have been named John. Maybe that’s a great head start if you want to get into politics in Ghana?!
8. Buying chocolate is expensive
Did you know that Ghana is the world’s second largest exporter of cocoa? (Ivory Coast being the first). Following the logic, Ghana having so much cacao should mean that the supply of chocolate is vast and in turn cheap to buy a chocolate bar right? Well that is not the case.
A chocolate bar in Ghana can cost on average 60 ghs. This is not cheap in comparison to any local meal which can keep you full for the whole day and can cost you 20 ghs. Can this be why Ghanaians do not really eat that much chocolate despite being from the country which has the most cocoa in the world?
9. Ghana is home to the fastest man in the world to run backwards
Ferdie Ato Adoboe set a world record in 1983 and got into the Guiness Book of World Record by running 100 metres backwards in 12.7.
10. West Africa’s Largest Open-Air Single Market is located in Ghana
Kejetia Market located in Kumasi, is the largest single market within the West African region. Among all the facilities it has, you can find over 10,000 stores, a police station, a clinic, social recreational centre, and a mosque.
These kinds of markets are great because they help create employment which in turn helps boost a nation’s gross domestic product.
11. Ghana has a space program
Were you aware about the fact that in 2017 Ghana launched a nano-satellite into space? The name of this very first object Ghana put into space was The GhanaSat -1. It was part of a project called the Kyushu Institute of Technology Birds-1 program which helps countries build their first satellite.
It was used to monitor environmental activities along Ghana’s coastline until 2019, which is when the satellite de-orbited and returned to earth.
12. You will try the best jollof in Ghana
The “jollof wars” between a few neighboring African countries like Nigeria, Senegal and Liberia, will always be ongoing and debatable. Some support Nigeria, whilst others are totally pro Ghanaian jollof. Every country develops its own style of preparing it, but Ghana seems to always be on the top 🙂
13. In Ghana you get a chance to expand your knowledge on languages
English is Ghana’s official language, but it is home to over 250 dialects. Check out some of our tips on how to learn Ghanaian languages.