Brief History of Ghana:Ghana used to be called the Gold Coast. The name was changed to Ghana because its thought that the present day natives ancestors were migrants from the ancient kingdom of Ghana.
The Portuguese were the first Europeans to arrive in 1470. They built a permanent trading base call Elmina Castle in 1482. Soon the British, Dutch, Danish, and Germans arrived. The British eventually made the Gold Coast a colony and a bordering area, the Togoland, a trust territory. Both of these areas would later become Ghana.
In 1957 Ghana was the first of the sub-Saharan colonies to become an independent nation.
The Geography of GhanaTotal Size: 239,460 square km
Size Comparison: slightly smaller than Oregon
Geographical Coordinates: 8 00 N, 2 00 W
World Region or Continent: Africa
General Terrain: mostly low plains with dissected plateau in south-central area
Geographical Low Point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Geographical High Point: Mount Afadjato 880 m
Climate: tropical; warm and comparatively dry along southeast coast; hot and humid in southwest; hot and dry in north
Major cities: ACCRA (capital) 2.269 million; Kumasi 1.773 million (2009), Tamale, Sekondi-Takoradi
The People of GhanaType of Government: constitutional democracy
Languages Spoken: English (official), African languages (including Akan, Moshi-Dagomba, Ewe, and Ga)
Independence: 6 March 1957 (from UK)
National Holiday: Independence Day, 6 March (1957)
Religions: Christian 63%, Muslim 16%, indigenous beliefs 21%
National Symbol: black star; golden eagle
National Anthem or Song: God Bless Our Homeland Ghana
Economy of GhanaMajor Industries: mining, lumbering, light manufacturing, aluminum smelting, food processing, cement, small commercial ship building
Agricultural Products: cocoa, rice, coffee, cassava (tapioca), peanuts, corn, shea nuts, bananas; timber
Natural Resources: gold, timber, industrial diamonds, bauxite, manganese, fish, rubber, hydropower, petroleum, silver, salt, limestone
Major Exports: gold, cocoa, timber, tuna, bauxite, aluminum, manganese ore, diamonds
Major Imports: capital equipment, petroleum, foodstuffs
Currency: cedi (GHC)
National GDP: $75,660,000,000
** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.
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