Gerald M. Boodoo, Ph.D.

Director of the Center for African Studies
Center for African Studies
104 Rockwell Hall
600 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15282
Phone: 412.396.1929

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    Formerly a British colony of the Gold Coast and a Togoland trust territory, Ghana became the first independent sub-Saharan colony in colonial Africa in 1957. All political parties were banned when Lt. Jerry Rawlings took power in 1981 until a new constitution was approved in 1992, restoring multiparty politics.

    Ghana is rich with natural resources, and its biggest business is agriculture: cocoa, rice, cassava, peanuts, corn, shea nuts, bananas. Other industries are mining, lumbering, light manufacturing, aluminum smelting, food processing, cement and small commercial ship building.

    • A 2000 census showed that most Ghanaians are Christian, predominantly Penecostal/Charismatic.
    • Risk of major infectious disease, such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis A and malaria, is high. Deaths caused by diseases and high infant mortality rates result in only 3.6 percent of the population living to be 65 years old or older.
    • Ghana's literacy rate is 57.9 percent and most people attend school till age 10.
    • Hoping to boost its economic growth, oil production at Ghana's offshore Jubilee field began in mid-December 2010 and estimated oil reserves have jumped to almost 700 million barrels.

    Duquesne leads professionals to explore energy and environmental research in Ghana.

    (Source: CIA World Fact Book)