Ghana officially the Republic of Ghana, is a unitary presidential constitutional democracy, 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 square miles), 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 28 million spans a variety of ethnic, linguistic and religious groups. Five percent of the population practices traditional faiths, 67.2% adhere to Christianity and 23.6% are Muslim. Its diverse geography and ecology ranges from coastal savannahs to tropical rain forests.