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Ghana

A map of Ghana, showing highland and lowland areas and vegetationGhana is a low-lying country situated in a part of West Africa once named the “Gold Coast” by European traders searching for gold. The north is a land of hot, grassy savanna, while rainforests dominate the south. Stretching across eastern and central Ghana is Lake Volta, by surface area the largest manmade lake in the world. Lying just to the north of the equator, much of Ghana has a tropical climate, with hot, wet weather all year round. Northern regions are drier, cooled for part of the year by a dry wind from the Sahara Desert. Today, the largest ethnic group in Ghana is the Akan peoples. In the 15th century, the Akan established a gold-trading kingdom. From the 17th century their Kingdom of Asante (also called Ashanti) was one of the region’s most powerful states.



A map of Ghana
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The Akan people keep up the tradition of having chiefs, known as nana. This female nana, called a “Queen Mother” in English, is...Read More >>The Akan people keep up the tradition of having chiefs, known as nana. This female nana, called a “Queen Mother” in English, is sitting on a traditional stool. The role of nana—which includes helping to solve local disputes—is passed down within families.

People

Around half of Ghanaians still live in the countryside, working as farmers and craftspeople. The other half of the nation has been drawn by the possibilities offered by the markets, factories and offices of big towns and cities. There are over 100 ethnic groups in Ghana, each with their own language and traditions. Around half of the population is Akan. The Asante, Akuapem, Akyem and Fante peoples of Ghana all belong to this ethnic group.

The flag of Ghana has stripes of red (for the blood shed in the fight for independence), gold (for the country’s mineral wealth) and green (for its forests and grasslands). The black star at the flag’s centre is a symbol of African emancipation (freedom).

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