Modern Ghana takes its name from the ancient kingdom of Ghana that flourished, north of the present day state, between the 4th and 11th centuries A.D. The history of Ghana, however, dates back ever further to the Sudanic empires of West Africa that controlled the trade in gold and salt to and from the Trans-Saharan trade routes. In later Ghana history Portuguese came in search of gold, which they found in abundance. The Portuguese soon began to build several forts along what became known as the Gold Coast, where their gold was shopped to Europe. The Portuguese also gained great profit in the slave trade. After the years of slavery were ended, the British took over the forts created buy the Portuguese to use as customs posts. Tribes such as the Ashanti profited greatly from the arrangements. In later wars with homeland tribes the British declared the Gold Coast a crown colony. Cocoa exports became the backbone of the economy, followed by gold, timber, and diamonds. By WW1 the Gold Coast was the most prosperous colony in Africa, with the best schools and civil service. Later, in 1957, Ghana became the first country in colonial Africa to gain its independence.
Ghana is located in Western Africa, bordering the Gulf of Guinea, between the Ivory Coast and Togo. The area of Ghana is slightly smaller than Oregon. Ghana's usual climate is tropical and warm. It has mostly low plains and a small plateau in the central region. One of the major lakes in Ghana is Lake Volta, the world's largest artificial lake. Natural resources of Ghana are gold, timber, industrial diamonds, bauxite, manganese, fish, rubber, and hydropower. The major industries of Ghana are mining, levering, light manufacturing, aluminum smelting, and food processing. Agricultural products of Ghana include cocoa, rice, coffee, cassava, peanuts, corn, shea nuts, bananas, and timber. Its major exports include gold, cocoa, timber, tuna, bauxite, aluminum, manganese ore, and diamonds....
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