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Humans lived in the Ghana region for thousands of years, evolving into the Akan tribes. The first state is recorded from the 11th century and by the 13th century, a number of kingdoms existed trading gold. The Portuguese arrived in 1481, calling it The Gold Coast and Europeans began to contest the area for trading rights.
The British ultimately established some control from 1874 at which time the south was ruled by the powerful Kingdom of Ashanti. The British fought wars with the Akan states and were finally victorious against the Ashanti in the early 1900s.
In 1947, the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) called for self-government and in 1957 Ghana (the name of an ancient Empire which extended throughout western Africa), including the Gold Coast, Ashanti, the Northern Territories and part of Togoland, declared independence from the UK.
The country, which promoted Pan-Africanism and founded the Non-Aligned Movement, has been ruled by a series of military and civilian governments since then. Ghana's economy is strong and diversified owing to its relative stability and good governance.
Forests cover much of southern Ghana with grasslands to the north. Lake Volta in the central east is the world's largest artificial lake
Offshore production began in Ghana from the Saltpond field in 1978. The field was abandoned in 1985 and rejuvenated in 2002. Although other small shallow water oil fields may be developed no substantial new oil from shallow waters is forecast.
The discovery of deep water oil in 2007, which led to the Jubilee field coming onstream in 2010, has rapidly increased output from Ghana. Many nearby fields are in development and should sustain growth for a period. The TEN group of fields came onstream in 2016.
Associated gas resources from the Jubilee field were first utilised onshore in 2015 providing Ghana with substantial new indigenous supplies. Small volumes of marketed gas production and consumption had started in 2003 but, with deep water gas, the country is now unlikely to need further gas out of the West African Gas pipeline.
Ghana has no onshore production due to a lack of basin cover. None is forecast by Globalshift.
Map and National Flag
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Land area (sq kms)
Oil prod (000s b/d)
Gas prod (bcm/yr)
Oil cons (000s b/d)
Gas cons (bcm/yr)
Ghana is a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President is both head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system.
The 1992 constitution divides powers among the President (who is Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces), Parliament and Ministers of the Ghanaian Government. Parliament is a unicameral 275-member body plus the Speaker. elected for a 4-year term.
The oil and gas industry is overseen by the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum.
The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) is the NOC established in 1983 to support the development of petroleum resources. It is a partner in all petroleum agreements in Ghana. It also owns an exploration company known as Explorco.
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