Accra: City of Beauty and Wonder

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ghanaB.gif (6712 bytes)Ghana is bounded on the north and northwest by Burkina Faso, on the east by Togo, on the south by the Atlantic Ocean, and on the west by Côte d’Ivoire. Formerly a British colony known as the Gold Coast, Ghana became, in 1957, the first black nation in sub-Saharan Africa to achieve independence.

The country is named for the ancient empire of Ghana, from which the ancestors of the inhabitants of the present country are thought to have migrated. The total area is 238,537 sq. km (92,099 sq. mi.). Accra is Ghana’s capital and largest city.

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The climate of Ghana is tropical, but temperatures vary with season and elevation. Except in the north two rainy seasons occur, from April to July and from September to November. In the north the rainy season begins in April and lasts until September. Annual rainfall ranges from about 1100 mm (about 43 in) in the north to about 2100 mm (about 83 in) in the southeast.

The population of Ghana at the 1984 census was 12,296,081; the 1996 estimated population is 17,698,271, giving the country an overall population density of about 74 persons per sq. km (about 192 per sq. mi.). The most densely populated parts of the country are the coastal areas, the Ashanti region in the south central part of the country, and the two principal cities, Accra and Kumasi. About 70 percent of the total population lives in the southern half of the country. The most numerous peoples are the coastal Fanti, and the Ashanti, who live in central Ghana, both of whom belong to the Akan family.