Example Of Research Paper On Cultural Awareness Paper On The Republic Of Ghana
Type of paper: Research Paper
Topic: Politics, Armed Forces, Government, Economics, Water, Army, Environment, President
Introduction The People’s Republic of Ghana is a united presidential constitutional democratic and a self-governing multinational country whose location is along the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Guinea, in the West African Sub-region. The land mass of the Republic of Ghana is 238,535 km2 while the international land borders at a length of 2093 kilometers. The countries neighboring Ghana include Burkina Faso from the North, Ivory Coast from the west, the Gulf of Guinea from the south, and Togo from the east. The word Ghana in Mande (Soninke language), means a warrior king. By the year 2014, Ghana had a population estimated to be 27 million. In terms of geography, Ghana has various forms including woodlands, savannah, forests, springs, coastal lines, cave systems, estuaries, mountains, nature reserves, and wildlife parks. Ghana boasts of 560 kilometers long coastal line with various culturally significant assortment including castles, harbors, and ports.
Political system of Ghana The political system of Ghana is composed of a president who acts as the head of both the government and the state. The Ghanaian political organization allows multi-party system where there are more than one political party. Power is exercised by three main arms of the government that is the executive, legislature, and the judiciary. Executive authority is given to the president’s office together and the council of the state. The president of the Republic of Ghana plays the role of national head, government head, and the armed forces commander in chief. The president is also vested with the powers of appointing the vice president. The legislative functions of the government are vested in the parliament. The Ghanaian parliament is composed of 230 members and the speaker. The parliament debates over various bills that are then passed into law with the consent of the president. The members of parliament are elected for a four-year period through simple majority rule for various constituencies in the country(Lentz 178). This voting system has encouraged a system of two parties in Ghana, and it is usually very difficult for a candidate running for another party outside the two, to achieve political success. The judicial system of Ghana is independent of the two other government arms. The Supreme Court is given the powers to make a ruling on the constitutionality of any action taken by the legislature or executive and deemed by an aggrieved citizen to be unconstitutional. The judiciary has jurisdiction over any criminal and civil matters. The court system derives most of its formation from the judicial system of Britain.
Military system of Ghana Ghanaian military system is usually a unification of armed forces of Ghana known as the Ghana Armed Forces that comprises of various branches including the Navy, Air Force, and The Army. The Ministry of Defense and the Chief of Defense Staff in Ghana are responsible for the supervision of the Ghanaian Armed Forces. The commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces is the Republic of Ghana’s president (Ghana 96). The president also plays the role of a supreme military commander of two other military bodies that is the Border Guard Unit and the President’s Own Guard Regiment. The Ghana Army is composed of two commands with the southern command headquartered in Accra while the Northern Command is headquartered in Kumasi. It also consists Ghana Regiment’s six Infantry Battalions with three each at both south and northern commands. Other parts of the Ghana Army include two airborne companies from the North Command, a battalion for ensuring state security, a training Battalion, a single staff college, one signals regiment, a Logistics Group, a single artillery regiment, and two Engineer Regiments. The armed forces of Ghana use a mix of modern military technologies in its operations. The most common weapons include modern 16s, Type 56 assault rifles, Ak-47s, Ads amphibious rifles, and an armor consisting of personal armor and ballistic vests. Most of the secondary equipment used by Ghana Armed Forces and other military groups are manufactured externally from countries such as Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and China. The Air Force of Ghana has its headquarters in Accra at the Burma Camp. The Ghana Air Force military has its doctrine and mission being to perform both internal and external counterinsurgency operations, as well as provision of logistical support to the Ghana Army. The Ghana Navy on the other side has a mission of providing defense to the territory of Ghana and its waters, protection of fishery, Lake Volta internal security, and exclusive economic zone. The Armed Forces of Ghana apart from dealing with safety issues also engages in various business activities including owning a military, private bank, military hospitals, and military schools.The Economy of Ghana Ghana’s economy consists of assorted and wealthy base of resources made up of primary manufacturing and exportation of digital technology commodities in combination with the automobiles and construction of ships and exportation. Ghana possesses one of the highest GDP per capita among other African countries thanks to its rich and diverse hydrocarbon exports together with industrial minerals. According to recent studies, Ghana makes it to the list of the top ten fast growing economies in the world as well as the fastest growing economy among African countries. The economy of Ghana is expected to continue growing in the current period as it is being bolstered by increased production of oil and gas, increased investments in the private sector, increased developments in the public infrastructure, and continued political stability. Ghana has significantly progressed so as to meet millennium development goals; apart from maternal and infant mortality, employment and sanitation, the country has done well in reducing extreme poverty and provision of access to clean drinking water. It is also on track to achieving other targets in education, gender, and hunger.The growth of Ghanaian economy has been rising for the past few years and has maintained an annual average of 6% in the last six years. This growth has been based on broad developments in numerous areas but has mainly been steered by industrial sectors that are service oriented. There has been one main problem to the Ghanaian economy, which is broadening of the budget deficit that has continued for a significant period now. This has led to a significant constraint in economic and debt sustainability. Inflation has also been on the rise due to various factors such as the steady increase in water and electricity tariffs, and Subsidies removal in the prices of petroleum. Apart from significant gold and unprocessed cocoa exports, and food processing, Ghana is a country that is somewhat incorporated into the global value chains mainly due to its infant industry. However, in comparison to its regional peers, Ghana has the industrial ability to export and by that become an important regional value chains driver among the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) countries. The fact that Ghana is geographically close to ECOWAS markets and other factors such as the expected rise in consumption coupled with lower standard requirements offers industrial firms in Ghana a chance to expand and ensure an increase in their productivity.
Social Aspects of Ghanaian Culture The social stratification system in Ghana follows both modern and pre-colonial patterns. Traditionally, Kingdoms were divided into three basic classes: commoners, royals, and slaves. The Royals were the noble class and had exclusive rights to fill up the central offices of the king while for the Akan groups, the queen mother. Those in office acquired economic and political privileges on the basis of state control on the process of foreign trade. This system was unlike that of Europeans as nobilities as special status was only accorded to those in office and did not extend to their extended families. There was also no particular domination over the land. Additionally, the Royals’ class regularly intermarried with the commoners due to the lineage out-marriage rule. Slavery usually occurred as domestic bondage, where a slave enjoyed numerous rights including the ability to get married to a non-slave and also acquire their property.Currently, slavery is no longer existent but traditional royalties still exist although westernized elites have superseded them. Modern stratification in Ghana is based on education and to a lesser extent wealth. The two current social stratification bases have led to significant social mobility since the attainment of independence. There has been an emergence of marked wealth differences in the Ghanaian societies, but this issue has been restrained by the extended family support commitments together with communal rights that a high percentage of Ghanaians hold in the land. Standard indicators of social stratification in contemporary Ghanaian society include expensive western and traditional clothes, and luxury cars such as the Mercedes-Benz.
Infrastructural aspects of Ghana Ghana has advanced infrastructure platforms when compared to most of the countries in Africa. The country has impressive coverage of levels of electricity, GSM signals, and rural water. Most of the road network in Ghana is in good or relatively fair condition. There has been an adoption of institutional reforms on ports, roads, water supply sectors, and ICT. The most pressing factor in Ghana’s infrastructure is the power industry; this is due to the rapid growth in demand, outdated transmission assets, and periodic hydrological shocks that leave relying on oil-based power generation that is usually very costly. Remarkably high losses in the distribution of water leave a small amount to reach end customers who are by that exposed to irregular supplies. Ghana spends around 1.2 billion dollars annually on infrastructure that amounts to 7.5% of the GDP. A further amount of up to 1.1 billion dollars is annually lost to various inefficiencies especially in the underpricing of power. The yearly infrastructure funding gap lies at around 0.4 billion dollars per year; this difference is mainly related to water and power. Due to the recent discovery of oil, Ghana can, for this reason, raise extra funds from improved tax receipts. Ghana has numerous secure areas on which it can create a solid economic base from which it can finance incremental efforts in infrastructure.
Given its environment, Ghana is one of the wealthy countries in the Sub-Sahara Africa due to the variety of natural resources characterizing the country. One of the major natural resource associated with its environment is country’s forest. Intuitively, the economic development of the country solely depends on the environment especially the forest cover. Ghana’s environment is a host of primary rainforest and extensive forest cover. However, it is worth noting the overexploitation of these resources in addition to the absence of environmental awareness, has exacerbated the deforestation issue in the country. While studying its environment, it is also important to consider the type of agriculture practiced in the area given that it also forms part of the country’s economy. The people practice mostly subsistence agriculture and cutting down of fuel wood, which forms the basis for the loss of forest in the country. The environment has been associated with desertification especially in parts of the deforested lands. The rate at which the people are cutting the trees has led to radical encroachment of deserts in the area.
Apart from the forested areas, the environment has been complimented with major national parks, especially Kakum National Park. The park is a site for thousands of visitors who come to the country every year to admire the environment around. Some of the notable features are canopy walkway and variety of wildlife that have thronged the area. Monkeys, bongos and forest elephants are among the major wildlife, which have made the environment more appealing. Kakum is just an example of an environment under protection in Ghana. To be precise, almost 15% of the Ghana’s environment is under protection, which has seen the government participating actively in curbing logging. In conclusion, an individual can say that the environment of Ghana is represented by 3,725 species of plants, 729 birds, 222 mammals, 131 reptiles, and 90 fish species(Asante 137).
Climate and weather
The climate of Ghana is tropical, even though the temperatures do fluctuate with respect to season and elevation. The country experiences an all-year round hot and humid climate while the mean daily temperature vary in the peripheries of 30 Celsius. Worth noting is the number of the rainy seasons that most of the parts in the country experiences. There are two rainy seasons, notable in part of Ghana, occurring from April to July and the other setting off from September to November. In which case, May, June and October are the wettest months of the year. The drier areas, especially Tamale found in Northern Ghana does not experience the rains of October. The north of Ghana is notable of harmattan wind, from November to March, characterized by dry hot wind. The dry hot wind blow sand wind originating from North East in the Sahara desert. The harmattan wind lowers the humidity of the north triggering cool nights and hot days during the months. The south of Ghana also witnesses the effect of harmattan wind but only in January. Most areas experience highest temperatures during March and the lowest occurring in August.
The Coast of Ghana experiences dryness and sunshine features more than in areas found inland. Accra, which is one of the biggest coasts, has so far remarkable weather and is hottest from November to January. However, cool temperature is dominant during the nights especially East of Ghana. The following is a graph giving a general view of the prevailing climate in the country:
Figure 1: Graph describing the climate in Ghana
Generally, in terms of terrain, Ghana is considered a low relief country. However, this does not extend to the East that is characterized by mountain ranges forming on the land. The inland areas featuring Atlantic coast features an almost low-lying plain. In which case, the low plains are subdivided into four sub-regions in the coastal savanna. This consists of Volta Delta, Accra Plains, and Akan Lowlands, whichlengthens to eastward across the Accra plains and ends at the Akwapin-Togo ranges.
Further, the country comprises of the Volta Delta, a strong geographical feature that prolongs to Gulf of Guinea. The delta usually extends to the extreme Southeast end. Some of the materials notable in The Delta are rock formations, which consist of sandstone that form thick layers, limestone and deposit of silt. The flatness of The Delta plus its featureless trait makes it look even younger. Over the centuries, the delta developed outwards leading to the formation of sandbars along the mouth of Volta in addition to the smaller rivers that end into the Gulf thereby triggering the development of arrays of lagoons.
Apart from the young Volta Delta, Accra plains also form a flat and featureless terrain. The plains slope downwards to the Gulf from a height measured at 150 meters (Briggs & Kim 3). Array of ridges and valleys characterize the topography of the Accra especially in the East of the city. This gives an area consisting of hills and slopes that the local farmers use for cultivating their crops. The nature of the area makes the farmers practice shifting cultivation because of the swampiness featuring at the low-lying areas. The low-lying area gets swampy during the rainy season and also when the sandbars block the rivers. Accra plains bear a potential of containing large-scale cultivation if the involved authority was to introduce irrigation in the area.
When exploring the West of the city, there are low plains covered by broader valleys in addition to low hills featuring headlands, which are usually rocky. However, the flatness of the land is of major importance when studying this area where the most notable vegetation is grass and scrub. On a map, coconut palms form dots of the thick patches at the coastline. Further, the coastline is made of the many commercial centers such as Winneba and Cape Coast. Most of the people living in this coastline specialize in fishing in the sea using duout canoe.
At the Akan Lowlands, there are several basins ranging from those of Densu River to Tano River. These basinsare considered as pillars of Ghana’s economy. The Densu River Basin features undulating topography as evident by urban centers found there. Craggy summits characterize most of the hills thereby forming a landscape with unique and striking appearance. On the upper zone of the Densu is the Pra River Basin, which is flat and supports cocoa and food production for farmers in the area. Generally, the topography of Pra River Basin makes it suitable for the production of food just like Densu River Basin. Kwahu plateau, found in the Ashanti Uplands strikingly extends 193 km from Koforidua to Wenchi with an elevation of around 450m.
Briggs, Philip, and Kim Wildman.Ghana: The Bradt Travel Guide. Chalfont St. Peter: Bradt Travel Guides, 2010. Print.
Asante, Michael S. Deforestation in Ghana: Explaining the Chronic Failure of Forest Preservation Policies in a Developing Country. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2002. Print.
Lentz, Carola. Ethnicity and the Making of History in Northern Ghana. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2006. Print.
Ghana: Country Study Guide. Washington, DC: International Business Publications, USA, 2000. Print.