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Ghana, officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by the 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".Ghana was inhabited in pre-colonial times by a number of ancient predominantly Akan kingdoms, including the inland Ashanti Empire, the Akwamu, the Bonoman, the Denkyira, and the Mankessim Kingdom among others. Non-Akan states created by the Dagomba also existed. Prior to contact with Europeans trade between the Akan and various African states flourished due to Akan gold wealth. Trade with European states began after contact with the Portuguese in the 15th century. In 1874 Britain established control over some parts of the country assigning these areas the status of Gold Coast crown colony. The Gold Coast achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1957, becoming the first African nation to do so in sub-saharan Africa.Ghana is a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation Zone, the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, and an associate member of La Francophonie. Ghana is the second largest cocoa producer in the world, and one of the world's largest gold producers and Ghana is home to Lake Volta, the largest artificial lake in the world by surface area.

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