Ghana has a total area of 238,500 sq km (92,090 sq mi). The distance from south to north is about 670 km (420 mi) and from west to east is about 560 km (350 mi).
The country is bordered by Côte d'Ivoire to the west, Togo to the east, and Burkina Faso to the north. The Gulf of Guinea of the Atlantic Ocean washes Ghana’s southern shore.
Ghana is generally characterized by flat plains and gently rolling hills. Forests cover 28 percent (2000) of the country’s area, while 23 percent (1999) of its area is farmed.
The country is divided into five distinct geographical regions. Coastal plains stretch across the southern portion of the country, featuring low sandy beaches interspersed with saltwater lagoons. A forested plateau region consisting of the Ashanti uplands and the Kwahu Plateau is located inland, in southwest and south central Ghana. The hilly Akwapim-Togo Ranges run north to south along the country’s eastern border. The Volta Basin takes up most of central Ghana. Finally, high plains characterize the northern third of the country. The country’s highest point is Mount Afadjoto, at 885 m (2,904 ft), in the Akwapim-Togo Ranges.
The population of Ghana is divided into some 75 ethnic groups. In 2000 the estimated population of Ghana was 18,412,247 (females-51%, males 49), giving the country an overall population density of 78 persons per sq km (201 per sq mi).
The most densely populated parts of the country are the coastal areas, the Ashantiregion, and the two principal cities, Accra and Kumasi.
About 70 percent of the total population lives in the southern half of the country. The most numerous peoples are the coastal Fanti, andthe Ashanti, who live in central Ghana, both of whom belong to theAkan family.
The Accra plains are inhabited by the Ga-Adangbe. Most of the inhabitants in the northern region belong to the Moshi-Dagomba or to the Gonja group.
For political and administrative purposes, Ghana is divided into 10 regions: Western, Central, Greater Accra, Easter, Volta, Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Northern, Upper West and Upper East. Each region is headed by a Regional Minister who is the direct representative of the government.
He is assisted by a regional co-ordinating council, which, among other things, co-ordinates and formulates integrated district plans and programmes within the framework of approved national development policies and priorities.
Under the regional administrations are 110 district administrations, each headed by a District Chief Executive. The District Chief Executive is also the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the District Assembly, which is the highest political and administrative authority in the district.