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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Ghana \Gha"na\ (g[aum]"n[.a]) prop. n. A country in Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Cote d'Ivoire and Togo, with Burkina Faso bordering on the north, with a population of 17,698,271 (July 1996 est), and a total area of 238,540 sq km. The government is a constitutional democracy, and the capital city is Accra.

Note: It has a tropical climate, being warm and comparatively dry along the southeast coast, hot and humid in southwest and hot and dry in the north. Its terrain is mostly low plains with a dissected plateau in the south-central area. The official language is English, and several African languages are spoken, including Akan, Moshi-Dagomba, Ewe, and Ga. The population is comprised 99.8% of black Africans and 0.2% European and other nationalities. The major tribes are: Akan 44%, Moshi-Dagomba 16%, Ewe 13%, and Ga 8%. The religious composition is 38% indigenous beliefs, 30% Muslim, 24% Christian and 8% others. The unit of currency is the new cedi; 1 new cedi (C) = 100 pesewas. The exchange rates for the cedi were: new cedis per US$1 - 1,246.11 (September 1995), 956.71 (1994), 649.06 (1993), 437.09 (1992), 367.83 (1991). Navigable waterways include the Volta, Ankobra, and Tano Rivers, providing 168 km of perennial navigation for launches and lighters.
--CIA Factbook 1996

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

since 1957, name of the former Gold Coast; from the name of a former tribal chieftain, whose name itself is a form of a royal title, hence, "king."


Ghana , officially the Republic of Ghana, is a sovereign 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 km, 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. The word Ghana means "Warrior King" in the Soninke language.

The territory of present-day Ghana has been inhabited for millennia, with the first permanent state dating 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. In 1957, it became the first sub-saharan African nation to declare independence from European colonisation.

A multicultural nation, Ghana has a population of approximately 27 million, spanning a variety of ethnic, linguistic and religious groups. Five percent of the population practices traditional faiths, 71.2% adhere to Christianity and 17.6% are Muslim. Its diverse geography and ecology ranges from coastal savannahs to tropical jungles. Ghana is a democratic country led by a president who is both head of state and head of the government. Ghana's economy is one of the strongest and most diversified in Africa, following a quarter century of relative stability and good governance. Ghana's growing economic prosperity and democratic political system has made it a regional power in West Africa. It is a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Group of 24 (G24).

Ghana (disambiguation)

Ghana, or the Republic of Ghana, is a nation in West Africa.

Ghana may also refer to:

  • Ghana Empire, a geographically different medieval West African empire
  • Għana (folk music), a type of Maltese folk music
  • Ghana (album), a CD compilation by The Mountain Goats
  • Lotte Ghana, Ghana is the name of the chocolate bars made by the Japanese company Lotte
Ghana (album)

Ghana is third in a three-part series of compilations of songs by The Mountain Goats that have appeared on various releases. It is preceded by Protein Source of the Future...Now!, and Bitter Melon Farm.

Ghana (Mbeya ward)

Ghana is an administrative ward in the Mbeya Urban district of the Mbeya Region of Tanzania. According to the 2002 census, the ward has a total population of 3,973.

Ghana (Commonwealth realm)

Ghana was a Commonwealth realm between 6 March 1957 and 1 July 1960, before it became the Republic of Ghana. It was the first western African country to achieve independence.

British rule ended in 1957, when the Ghana Independence Act 1957 transformed the British Crown Colony of the Gold Coast into the independent sovereign Commonwealth realm of Ghana. The British monarch remained head of state, and Ghana shared its Sovereign with the other Commonwealth realms. The monarch's constitutional roles were mostly delegated to the Governor-General of Ghana. The royal succession was governed by the English Act of Settlement of 1701. The following governors-general held office in Ghana during the commonwealth realm period:

  1. Charles Noble Arden-Clarke (6 March – 24 June 1957)
  2. William Francis Hare, 5th Earl of Listowel (24 June 1957 – 1 July 1960)

A referendum was held on 27 April 1960, with 88.47% percent of the Ghanaian people voting in favour of a republic, 11.53% against. The republic was declared and the monarchy abolished on 1 July 1960.

Elizabeth II did not reside in or visit Ghana between 1957 and 1960, but she did visit:

  • 1961 (9–20 November): as Head of the Commonwealth
  • 1999 (7–9 November): as Head of the Commonwealth

Kwame Nkrumah held office as prime minister (and head of government). Following the abolition of the monarchy, a presidential election was held, which Nkrumah won, and subsequently he became the first President of Ghana.

Usage examples of "ghana".

Shortly after Britain formally applied for membership in the European Common Market, a meeting of the Commonwealth Economic Con-, sultative Council was convened at Accra, in Ghana, to explore the difficulties to Commonwealth trade that might arise.

His work was finished in 1067, some thirteen years after Ibn Yasin, the Almoravid ruler of North Africa, had marched southward to invade those lands and had captured Aoudaghast, a tributary city of Ghana.

But it was not until 1076 that another Almoravid leader, Abu Bakr, could take the capital of Ghana itself.

Benin, Togo, Ghana, and the Ivory Coast to the west, and Cameroon, Rio Muni, Fernando Po, Gabon, and Congo to the south.

Here in 1934 -- making another contribution to the riddle of interwoven cultures in Africa--Curle saw triangular niches in turnbled thorn-grown brickwork of a kind which may be seen, to this day, in the brick buildings of Darfur and in other buildings of greater age as far west as Kumbi Saleh, probable site of one of the capitals of ancient Ghana.

In her sixties, in socks and sandals, floral dresses scoop-necked for the climate showing the weathered hide of her bosom as two worn leather cushions crumpled together, she bore her trophies from Nigeria, Ghana, Angola, Mozambique, from Tanzania and Kenya, from little Swaziland and Lesotho, back to America.

It was this gold which had built the power of Ghana, and that of the Mandingo empire.

English-Welsh-Norman-Breton-Angevin host marched toward Edinburgh, ships were landing parties of crusaders along the east coastdescendants of Vikings from the Kingdom of Denmark-Norway, Goths from Sweden, Frisians and Flemings, Burgundians, French, Leonese, Portuguese, Granadans, fighting men representing most of the small states that made up the Holy Roman Empire, a few Switzers, some Italians of various kinds, Castilians, Navarrese, Moors, and even a few scarred, black-skinned noble knights of the Kingdom of Ghana.

Vikings from the Kingdom of Denmark-Norway, Goths from Sweden, Frisians and Flemings, Burgundians, French, Leonese, Portuguese, Granadans, fighting men representing most of the small states that made up the Holy Roman Empire, a few Switzers, some Italians of various kinds, Castilians, Navarrese, Moors, and even a few scarred, black-skinned noble knights of the Kingdom of Ghana.

Hudson Bay Eskimos, Chukchi shamans, Lapps, Yakuts, Semang pygmies, the North Borneo cults, the Trhi-speaking priests of Ghana.

Otei, and the documents conveying said ship to one Don Abdullah de Baza, rendered in Spanish, Arabic, and one of the languages of Ghana, were given to the Spaniard by a one-eyed Arab who came aboard and introduced himself as the third partner of Otei, him they called al-Ain.

After the Ivory Coast and Kenya had fallen upon hard times, Ghana was acclaimed by some Africanists as the new African “success story,” with a relatively stable government, led by a charismatic and somewhat-benevolent military dictator, Jerry Rawlings.

They were the grandchildren of the Borelli legacy, the business and government leaders of such nations as Nigeria, Australia, Argentina, India, the Pan-Arab League, Ghana, Kenya, Pakistan, New Zealand, and other nations who had taken control of the world in the century after the great Shut Down.

It was only later, after the economic facts of life had forced several ex-colonial countries to federate into groups sharing a common European language - such as Mali, Dahomey and Upper Volta into Dahomalia, and Ghana and Nigeria into RUNG - that they became aware of a curious phenomenon.

The Europeans essentially roamed the shores of West Africa, taking advantage in turn of the collapse of the Jolof empire in Senegam-bia, of the conquests of the Manez and Fulani peoples in the region of Sierra Leone and Guinea, of the expansions of the Benin and Oyo states in the vicinity of Yorubaland, and of the conquests of the Ashanti and various Akan peoples along the Gold Coast of Ghana.