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The name “Ghana”
Some five decades ago, on 6th of March 1957, the British colony of Gold Coast (Ghana’s former pre-independence name) became independent and assumed the name Ghana. Before that year, the Gold Coast consisted of the Gold Coast colony which comprised British processions on the Gold Coast littoral and extended less than one hundred miles inland up to the river Pra; The Ashanti, which then included today’s Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and parts of Easter Region.
For those wondering where the name Ghana was assumed? There are mainly three reasons. First, the “Ghana” was not ethnically specific to any of the country’s numerous ethnic groups. This name was therefore though to help engender the spirit of national coercion and consciousness. Second, the spectacular example of ancient Ghana in building a great African empire that endured for three centuries was emulating by the emergent nation. Finally, some of the founding fathers of Ghana argued that the Akan (an ethnic group in Ghana) of the Gold Coast, who constituted nearly 45% of the population, were descendants of the ancient Ghana Empire that flourished from the 9th to the 13th Centuries between the Sahara and head waters of the Senegal and Niger rivers.