(Republic of Ghana)
- Location: Western Africa
- Capital: Accra
- Language: English (official)
- Population: 24,791,060
- Total Area: 238,533 sq km
- Currency: Ghana Cedi
- Curious Alcohol Fact: Most citizens consume locally brewed gins than any other type of alcohol. However, Europeans beers, spirits and wines are also available.
- Annual Average Liquor Consumption: 2.96 liters
- Most Popular Drink: Palm Wine
The Republic of Ghana got its name from a title of the same name used for kings of the ancient Empire of Ghana. The term simply means ‘Warrior King’. Modern Ghana as we know it came into existence in 1957 with the amalgamation of two territories –the Gold Coast and the British Togoland. It was the same year that Ghana got independence from the British colonialists –the first nation in Africa to do so. A peaceful nation in a volatile region, Ghana is an important producer of cocoa, gold and timber. Since it is located very close to the Equator, the country has a warm climate.
Like many other nations on the continent, Ghana is a multiethnic and multireligious country. Some of the best-known ethnic groups include the Akan, Ewe, Mole-Dagbon, Gurma, Gurunsi, Hausa, Fulani and many others. Records indicate that almost 80 different languages are spoken all over the country. The major religions are Christianity, Islam and Traditional African Religion. Ghanaians are very hospitable and warm people, and they are known for being legendary hosts. They are known all over the globe and one of the most popular Ghanaians is Michael Essien, a footballer with Chelsea FC.
When it comes to food, Ghana is one interesting place to be. Throughout my stay in the country, I had the opportunity of sampling some of the most exotic dishes in Africa. The good thing is that a substantial proportion of Ghanaians are farmers and food crops are always in plentiful supply. It is only imperative that I mention some of these delicacies. One is fufu, and it is made from a paste of plantain and cassava flour. Popular in all the regions, fufu is usually taken with a spicy vegetable soup, which has been generously garnished with dry fish, meat and chicken. The meal is simply irresistible and I could not stop smacking my lips as I devoured a whole bowl of fufu at an Accra eatery.
Right from the time of the ancient empires, it has been the tradition of Ghanaians to ‘wash down’ their foods with refreshing drinks and to this day, the practice is in place. The most popular drink in Ghana is palm wine, made from the sap of the palm tree, which grows all over the country. In many of the villages and even in the urban centers, a meal is not complete without a cup of wine. Alcohol brands like Guinness, Star and Club are also quite common and you can purchase them from many of the local bars called ‘spots’.
While travelling from one region to the other, I observed that the most popular sport in this West African nation is soccer. The national team is christened Black Stars and is regarded as one of the best football teams on the continent. Ghana has also produced world-class footballers like Michael Essien and Sulley Muntari.
Story By World By Shotglass
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Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).
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