Ghana i/ˈɡɑːnə/, officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located in West Africa. It is bordered by Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south. The word Ghana means "Warrior King" and is derived from the ancient Ghana Empire.
Ghana was inhabited in pre-colonial times by a number of ancient predominantly Akan kingdoms, including the inland Ashanti Empire, the Akwamu, the Akyem, the Bonoman, the Denkyira, and the Fante among others. Non-Akan states created by the Ga and Ewe also existed as did states by the Gonja, Dagomba and others. Prior to contact with Europeans trade between the Akan and various African states flourished due to Akan's gold wealth. Trade with European states began after contact with the Portuguese in the 15th century, and the British established the Gold Coast Crown colony in 1874 over parts but not all of the country.
The Gold Coast achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1957, becoming the first sub-Saharan African nation to do so, and the name Ghana was chosen for the new nation to reflect the ancient Empire of Ghana, which once extended throughout much of west Africa. Ghana is a member of the South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation Zone, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Economic Community of West African States, the African Union, and an associate member of La Francophonie. Ghana is the second largest producer of cocoa in the world and is home to Lake Volta, the largest artificial lake in the world by surface area. The economy of Ghana has been listed as The World's Fastest Growing Economy in 2011 with an economic growth of about 20.146 % for the year 2011 in economic research led by Economy Watch with data coming from the IMF's tracker of GDP Growth in constant prices in the national currency.
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