The Republic of Ghana is a country located in West Africa that borders Côte d'Ivoire (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" and derives from the Ghana Empire.
Ghana was inhabited in pre-colonial times by a number of ancient predominantly Akan Kingdoms, including the Akwamu on the eastern coast, the inland Ashanti Empire and various Fante and non-Akan states, like the Ga and Ewe, along the coast and inland. Trade with European states flourished after contact with the Portuguese in the 15th century, and the British established a Crown colony, Gold Coast, in 1874.
The Gold Coast achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1957, becoming the first sub-Saharan African nation to do so and the name Ghana was chosen for the new nation to reflect the ancient Empire of Ghana, which once extended throughout much of west Africa. Ghana is a member of many international organizations including the Commonwealth of Nations, the Economic Community of West African States, the African Union, La Francophonie (Associate Member) and the United Nations. Ghana is the second largest producer of cocoa in the world and is also home to Lake Volta, the largest artificial lake in the world.