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Tuesday 24th October
Ghana Facts
The name of Ghana is derived from the title of the ruler of medieval "Ghana" - the Empire of Wagadugu. This West African kingdom was over four hundred miles from present-day Ghana.

Artifacts found in present-day Ghana suggest that the region was inhabited around 4000 BC.

Portuguese merchants began trading in Ghana in the fifteenth century.

Ghana was a centre of trade for gold, ivory and slaves.

The Abolition of the Slave Trade Act (1807) prohibited the slave trade within the British Empire. (Slaves in the British colonies did not gain their freedom until the 1830s. The Abolition of Slavery Act (1833) began the process leading to emancipation).

The coastal area of Ghana became a British Crown Colony in 1874.

The British colony was known as the Gold Coast.

Forty-four percent of the population living in Ghana belongs to the Akan ethnic group. The Ashanti people are from the Akan group.

The city of Kumasi was the capital of the Ashanti Empire.

A number of Anglo-Ashanti wars took place in place in the nineteenth century.

The Golden Stool of the Ashanti is traditionally a sacred symbol of the Ashanti people. In 1900 a request for the stool by the British Governor caused a major uprising.

Cocoa originates from South America and was brought to Ghana in the late nineteenth century by Tetteh Quarshie who established the first cocoa farm. The Ghanaian cocoa industry grew in importance with Ghana becoming a major cocoa producer.

Ghana achieved independence in 1957 and became a republic in 1960.

In 1957 the British region of Togoland became part of Ghana; the French area of Togoland became self-governing.

Ghana is a member of the Commonwealth.

A major off-shore oil discovery was announced in the summer of 2007.

Floods in 2007 affected countries in Africa, from east to west; a number of people lost their lives in flooding in Ghana.

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