The name Ghana was adopted from the ancient West African kingdom of Ghana which flourished between 750 and 1068AD and was located in what is now southern Mauritania and western Mali. It is believed that the Akan of modern day Ghana originally came from the area of this ancient empire. 

Ghana turns fifty

Lake Volta in the centre of Ghana is the largest man-made lake in the world. The lake covers 45% of the Ghana’s total land area.

The Asantehene is the traditional rule of the Ashanti people and the most prominent traditional ruler in Ghana. The Asantehene rules from Kumasi in the central Ghana and his power is symbolized by the golden stool ashanti-gye-nyame-sitting-stool(sikadwa).

Ghana was the first colonized country sub-saharan African to win back its independence, doing so in 1957. The first Prime Minister of Ghana was Kwame Nkrumah, who is particularly remembered for his fight against colonialism and as a founder leader of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU).

Ghana largest national park is the Mole National Park which covers 4660 square km. It lies in the Northern region of Ghana and is home to over 30 different species of mammals including Elephants, Hyenas, Antelopes, Buffalo and various primates.

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Ghana is made up of ten regions, These are Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Central, Eastern, Greater Accra, Northern, Volta, Western, Upper East, Upper West. The most populous region is the Ashanti region in the centre of Ghana and the least populous is the Upper West in the north.

Ghana’s major cities are Accra the capital and largest city, the historic city of Kumasi the capital of the Ashanti region, Cape Coast the old colonial capital of Ghana, Sekondi-Takoradi an important seaport and industrial centre, Tamale the main administrative centre of the north of Ghana and Koforidua another historic Ashanti town.

Ghana been one of Africa’s prominent footballing nations having won the African cup of nations four times (1963, 1965, 1978 and 1982) and reached the World Cup second round on their first appearance in 2006. Famous Ghanaian footballers include Michael Essien, Abedi Pele, Abdul Razak, Samuel Kuffour, Tony Yeboah and Robert Mensah.

Image courtesy of Duncan Stewart A Bronze Streetwise If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving

Ghana is considered to be one of the homes of Highlife, a genre of music that was extremely popular in the English speaking West Africa. Popular proponents of the music from Ghana included E.T Mensah, Jerry Hansen and Osibisa amongst others.

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Ghana is one of the major producer of gold in the world and the gold mines in Obuasi in Ashanti region are some of the largest in the world, every day about half a million dollars worth of gold is brought to the surface.

Elmina castle

Ghana boasts the title of being the country within sub-Saharan Africa to own the oldest European building called the Elmina Castle. Built in 1482 by the Portuguese, Elmina Castle is situated on the Atlantic shores, particularly in the central region. The name Elmina means the “mines of gold” in Portuguese due to the abundant supply of gold found along the Ghana’s modern day coast

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