We’ll soon meet Father Owusu who is coming to us from Ghana, West Africa. In preparation, here are some things to know about his home country of Ghana… This country is located on the West African gulf coast of Guinea on the Atlantic Ocean. The official language of Ghana is English but they also speak many “national” languages. Their government is a constitutional republic much like the US with a president and vice-president. The country is divided into 10 administrative regions, which would be similar to our US States with each region having its own capital. Ghana’s geography and ecology range from coastal savannahs to tropical rainforests. In the 1900s, Ghana’s borders were established as the British Gold Coast. It became independent of the United Kingdom in 1957.
Over 67% of the population is Christian (13% are Catholic). 23% are Muslim. Over 95% of Ghana’s children attend school and there are 8 national public universities.
Ghana is a poor country, with almost 1/4 of the population living in poverty. Almost half their labor force is employed in agriculture. Cacao is their most important cash crop. They also grow rice, cassava, peanuts, corn, and bananas. Ghana also mines gold, bauxite, aluminum, and diamonds. They have increased their oil production in recent years.
Ghanaians take life in a relaxed manner. One of their common phrases is “take time” – in other words, no need to rush! Ghana is hot and humid all year round, so Father is going to “enjoy” winter in Iowa!
We are excited to meet Father Owusu, welcome him to our parishes and learn much about our fellow Catholics who live halfway around the world!