Land and People
Modern Ghana comprises the former British colony of the Gold Coast and the former mandated territory of British Togoland. It is bordered by the Côte d'Ivoire on the west, Burkina Faso on the north, and Togo on the east. The coastal region and the far north of Ghana are savanna areas; in between is a forest zone. The country's largest river is the Volta; the damming of the river for a hydroelectric station at Akosombo (1964) created the enormous Lake Volta. In addition to the capital (Accra), other important cities are Kumasi, Tema, Sekondi-Takoradi, Cape Coast, and Tamale.
Ghana's population is composed of many ethnolinguistic groups, the principal of which are the Akan (Ashanti and Fanti), Mole-Dagbani, Ewe, and Ga-Adangme. English is the official language. Some 69% of the population is Christian (Pentecostal and other Protestant churches, and Roman Catholic) and 16% is Muslim (living mainly in the north), with the remainder following traditional religions.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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