Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah,...
"AKWAABA", It’s an expression you will hear several times daily as you travel around Ghana, one that will ring in your ears at night, and bring a smile to your face for weeks after you leave. Akwaaba! It means ‘Welcome’! And you will be.
Welcome to a Land of Sunshine, a nation with the reputation as the friendliest in Africa.
Welcome to a haven that combines the charms of a tropical beach idyll with a fascinating historical heritage, rich cultural variety, and some interesting wildlife in the national parks.
This friendly and stable multi-party democratic republic on Africa's west coast enjoys an expanding and vibrant economy built on gold, precious minerals, cocoa, timber and tourism. Ghana is also rapidly developing an economy and infrastructure that should see her join the newly industrialized economies shortly. Ghana practices a liberalised economy with a floating currency and a wide use of foreign exchange bureau.
Ghana has attractive investment incentive and guarantees for local and foreign investors. What makes Ghana unique is its history and heritage portraying its coastal castles, grim relics of the slave trade and its many regional festivals. All these are becoming a focus for eco-tourism. As such, in 2001, Eco-fest, the first ever, was held in Ghana.
Ghana has hundreds of kilometers of unspoilt beaches, over 10,000 hotel rooms in about 703 hotels, including 3, 4, 5 star hotels. There are top class restaurants, wildlife parks, and safe streets.
Ghana has modern telecommunication facilities as well as first class seaports and a modernized international airport in Accra. Recent development of modern hotels, convention facilities and theatres has made Ghana Africa's newest tourist and convention destination with Europe and the United States as its biggest markets. Kotoka Airport in Accra seems set to become a significant hub linking flights between these areas with much of West, East and Southern Africa.
Several international airlines, operate regular scheduled flights to Ghana from major cities in North America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Apart from the international airports, Ghana also has domestic airports in Kumasi, Sunyani, and Tamale. There are two harbours - Tema and Tarkoradi and an inland port in Fumesua in the Ashanti Region.
Please do not forget to bring your health certificate, to show that you have yellow fever vaccination. You are also advised to consult your doctor well in advance of your visit so that you may begin the usual anti-malarial treatment.
Bounded on the South by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by La Cote d`Ivoire, the east by Togo and the north by Burkina Faso, Ghana is a tropical country. Its southwestern part is located within the warm wet forest zone similar to the Amazon. Accra, the capital, is located in the dry equatorial zone. Kumasi is in the wet semi-equatorial region while further north is the tropical continental savanna. It lies between 4o and11o North of the equator and has a coastline of 540 km. Northern Ghana has a rainy season from about April to October. The rest of the year is hot and dry, with temperatures up to about 38o C. In Southern Ghana the rains last from April to June and again from September to October. Generally temperatures are between 2l Degrees Celsius - 32 Decrees Celsius.
Ghana’s currency is the cedi (¢), and comes in denominations of ¢1, ¢2, ¢5, ¢10, ¢20, and ¢50. Coins (pesewas) comes in denominations of ¢1, 50psw, 20psw, 10psw, 2pws, and 1pw. Foreign currency can be freely exchanged at any Forex Bureau in the country. Apart from Forex Bureau, some commercial banks also exchange foreign currency. Banks are normally open from 8:30am to 2:00pm, Monday through Thursday and until 3:00pm on Friday.
All banks and Forex Bureau accept travellers’ Cheques although the rate of exchange may be slightly lower than in a cash transaction.
The most widely accepted credit cards are American Express, Diners, and Visa. Your card may be used for payment at nearly all airlines, leading hotels, and major supermarkets.
Ghana offers a wide range of hotel accommodation for her growing economy and tourist industry: cosmopolitan, metropolitan, town and country hotels and park lodges of varying comfort, elegance and convenience abound. Ghana’s hotels are classified according to international star rating system with 5 star as the highest and one star the minimum internationally acceptable quality. In addition, there are local budget hotels.
Centuries of tradition of the people of Ghana and the diversity of the distinct ethnic groups have created a rich culture that is the splendid legacy of modern Ghana.
To the people of Ghana, the traditions of their ancestors are still an important part of their daily life. Traditional chiefs have historical authority over tribal and family matters. They are also custodians of land belonging to their respective clans or groups.
The nation’s diverse culture is depicted through its many exciting festivals, which are held throughout the year. These reflect the rich history and culture of tribal life in the regions.
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