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Ghana (/ˈɡɑːnə/ (About this soundlisten)), officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located along the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean, in the subregion of West Africa. Spanning a land mass of 238,535 km2 (92,099 sq mi), Ghana is bordered by the Ivory Coast in the west, Burkina Faso in the north, Togo in the east and the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean in the south. Ghana means "Warrior King" in the Soninke language.

The first permanent state in the territory of present-day Ghana dates back to the 11th century. Numerous kingdoms and empires emerged over the centuries, of which the most powerful was the Kingdom of Ashanti. Beginning in the 15th century, numerous European powers contested the area for trading rights, with the British ultimately establishing control of the coast by the late 19th century. Following over a century of native resistance, Ghana's current borders were established by the 1900s as the British Gold Coast. It became independent of the United Kingdom on 6 March 1957.

Ghana's population of approximately 30 million spans a variety of ethnic, linguistic and religious groups. According to the 2010 census, 71.2% of the population was Christian, 17.6% was Muslim, and 5.2% practised traditional faiths. Its diverse geography and ecology ranges from coastal savannahs to tropical rain forests.

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The Ghana Empire at its greatest extent

The Ghana Empire (c. 700 until c. 1240), properly known as Wagadou (Ghana or Ga'na being the title of its ruler), was a West African empire located in the area of present-day southeastern Mauritania and western Mali. Complex societies based on trans-Saharan trade with salt and gold had existed in the region since ancient times, but the introduction of the camel to the western Sahara in the 3rd century CE, opened the way to great changes in the area that became the Ghana Empire. By the time of the Muslim conquest of North Africa in the 7th century the camel had changed the ancient, more irregular trade routes into a trade network running from Morocco to the Niger river. The Ghana Empire grew rich from this increased trans-Saharan trade in gold and salt, allowing for larger urban centres to develop. The traffic furthermore encouraged territorial expansion to gain control over the different trade routes.

When Ghana's ruling dynasty began remains uncertain. It is mentioned for the first time in written records by Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī in 830. In the 11th century the Cordoban scholar Abuof traveled to the region and gave a detailed description of the kingdom. Read more...

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Wiki Loves Africa in Ghana

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