Ghana is a country located in West Africa, bordered by the Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire) to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south. Formed from the merger of the British colony of the Gold Coast and the Togoland trust territory, Ghana, in 1957, became the first sub-Saharan country in colonial Africa to gain its independence. Ghana is divided into ten regions, and its capital is Accra. The official language of Ghana is English, and the currency is the Ghana cedi (GHS). Ghana constantly ranks among the top three in Africa for freedom of the press and freedom of speech. The broadcast media is the strongest, with radio being the most far reaching medium of communication. These put Ghana in an enviable political position, and provides it with formidable social capital.

Political Profile/Structure/System

The political system of Ghana takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic. As a result of this the President of Ghana is both head of the state and head of the government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. The Ghanaian political system also has the government divided into three different branches, viz the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary. The seat of government is at Osu Castle, with the parliament being unicameral in nature. The constitution of Ghana was approved on 28th April, 1992, though the country got its freedom long time back on 6th March, 1957. The constitution of Ghana's political system declares Ghana to be a unitary republic with sovereignty residing in the Ghanaian people. It calls for a system of checks and balances, with powers shared between the president, its unicameral parliament, the council of state, and its independent judiciary. The constitution stipulates the concept of power sharing.

Elections and Political Parties

Ghana has a multi-party system, However, there are two dominant political parties (the National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party), with extreme difficulty for anybody to achieve electoral success under the banner of any other party. Ghana elects on national level a head of state, the president, and a legislature. The president is elected for a four-year term by the people. The Parliament of Ghana has 275 members, elected for a four-year term in single-seat constituencies.[citation needed] The presidential election is won by having more than 50% of valid votes cast, whilst the parliamentary elections is won by simple majority, and, as is predicted by Duverger's law, the voting system has encouraged Ghanaian politics into a two-party system, creating extreme difficulty for anybody attempting to achieve electoral success under any banner other than those of the two dominant parties. Elections have been held every four years since 1992. Presidential and parliamentary elections are held alongside each other, generally on 7 December.

Elections and Political Parties ContDolor Sit Amet

AThe Electoral Commission of Ghana is the official body in Ghana responsible for all public elections. Made up of seven members, its independence is guaranteed by the 1992 Ghana constitution. The current commission was established by the Electoral Commission Act (Act 451) of 1993.

Participation and Inclusion

Ghanaian women have made considerable progress towards participating more effectively in politics and issues of public concern. In spite of this, a myriad of challenges still inhibit the participation of women in politics in Ghana.


By the Numbers.

Elections Lower or single house Seat: 275; women: 35; % women: 12.7% Education The increase in enrolment was higher for girls than for boys, thus further narrowing gender gaps. The national primary gender parity index (GPI) has improved from 0.93 to 0.95. A similar trend is observed in the poorest and most remote areas, confirming that abolishment of school fees benefits the poor. The increase in enrolment has, however, led to a number of emerging challenges, including shortages of teachers (especially in remote areas), a shortage of school infrastructure, and implications for financing that could negatively affect the quality of teaching and learning, and thus learning outcomes. Enrolment went up from about 500,000 students in 2004-2005 to more than 800,000 in 2005-2006, an increase of 67 per cent. During the same period, the primary net enrolment rate increased from 59.1 per cent to 68.8 per cent, while net enrolment at the junior secondary level increased from 31.6 per cent to 41.6 per cent.