Country Listing

Ghana Table of Contents



Government: A parliamentary democracy at independence in 1957, followed by alternating military and civilian governments. In January 1993, military government gave way to Fourth Republic after presidential and parliamentary elections in late 1992. The 1992 constitution divides powers among a president, parliament, cabinet, Council of State, and an independent judiciary. Government elected by universal suffrage.

Administrative Divisions: Ten administrative regions divided into 110 districts, each with its own District Assembly. Below districts are various types of councils, including fiftyeight town or area councils, 108 zonal councils, and 626 area councils. 16,000 unit committees on lowest level.

Judicial System: Legal system based on Ghanaian common law, customary (traditional) law, and the 1992 constitution. Court hierarchy consists of Supreme Court of Ghana (highest court), Court of Appeal, and High Court of Justice. Beneath these bodies are district, traditional, and local courts. Extrajudicial institutions include public tribunals, vigilante groups, and asafo companies. Since independence, courts relatively independent; this independence continues under Fourth Republic. Lower courts being redefined and reorganized under Fourth Republic.

Politics: Since mid-1992 political parties legal after ten-year hiatus. Under Fourth Republic, major parties are National Democratic Congress, led by Jerry John Rawlings, which won presidential and parliamentary elections in 1992; New Patriotic Party, major opposition party; People's National Convention, led by former president Hilla Limann; and (new) People's Convention Party, successor to Kwame Nkrumah's original party of same name.

Foreign Relations: Since independence, fervently devoted to ideals of nonalignment and Pan-Africanism, both closely identified with first president, Kwame Nkrumah. Favors international and regional political and economic cooperation. Active member of United Nations and Organization of African Unity. In 1994 President Rawlings elected chairman of Economic Community of West African States.

Data as of November 1994