Ghana

The word Ghana means "Warrior King" and it derives from the ancient Ghana Empire. This land was in fact inhabited in pre-colonial times by a number of ancient predominantly Akan Kingdoms. 

Trade with European states flourished after contact with the Portuguese in the 15th century. Eventually it would become a British Crown colony called Gold Coast. 

The merger of Gold Coast and the Togoland trust territory, officially formed Ghana in 1957, and it became the first sub-Saharan country in colonial Africa to gain its independence. A long series of coups resulted in the suspension of the constitution in 1981 and a ban on political parties. 

After a ten-year hiatus, political parties became legal again and many parties were formed. The major parties are the National Democratic Congress, the New Patriotic party and the Convention People’s Party.

Ghana has many natural resources, giving it a much higher per capita output than the poorer countries in West Africa. However, it is still dependent on trade and international assistance.

During colonial times, Ghana was best known for its gold and today is still a top producer of the world’s gold. Ghana also exports cocoa, timber, electricity, diamonds, bauxite and manganese. 

Recently (2007), an oilfield was discovered and oil exploration continues along with the production of oil.

  • Official Name: Republic of Ghana 

  • Population: 23,350,927

  • Capital City: Accra (pop. 2,905,726) 

  • Currency: Cedi

  • Languages: English (official), and others

  • Religions: Local traditions, Muslim, Christian 

  • Land Division: 12 regions including Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Central, Eastern, Greater Accra, Upper East, Upper West, Volta and Western.

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