The Republic of Ghana is a country in West Africa. It borders 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 was the source of the name "Guinea" (via French Guinoye), which has been used to refer to the West African coast (reflected in the Gulf of Guinea).
Ghana was inhabited in pre-colonial times by a number of ancient kingdoms, including the Ga-Daŋmes on the eastern coast, the inland Empire of Ashanti and various Fante and Ewe states along the coast and inland. Trade with European states flourished after contact with the Portuguese in the 15th century, and the British established a crown colony, Gold Coast, in 1874.
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 western Africa. Ghana is a member of many international organisations including the Commonwealth of Nations, the Economic Community of West African States, the African Union and the United Nations.
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