On 6 March 1957, the British colony of Gold Coast became independent and assumed the name Ghana. Until 1957, 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 Pra; Ashanti,
which included today’s Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and parts of Easter Region. A name Ghana was assumed at independence for three reasons. First, some of the founding fathers of Ghana argued that the Akan of the Gold Coast, who constituted 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. 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, the name was not ethnically specific to any of the countries numerous ethnic groups, it will therefore engender the spirit of national coercion and consciousness.
The total land area of Ghana is 238,538 square kilometres (92,100 square miles); the southern coast line being 554 kilometres (334 miles) wide and the distance from the south to the north being 840 kilometres (522 miles). Ghana is located on the Gulf of Guinea and boarded on north by Burkina Faso on the east by the Republic of Togo and on the West by Cote d’Ivoire.
Today, the population of Ghana is about 22 million with the highest population densities on the urban areas. The principal ethnic groups are the Akans who constitute about 45% of the population is made up of the Ashanti, the Fanti, the Ahanta, the Guan, the Bonu, the Akyem, the Akwamu, the Kwahu, the Akwapim, the Sefwi and the Nzema; the Mole, Dagbani, 16% is made up of Nanumba, Dagbani, Mamprusi, Wala, Bruilsa, Frafra, Talensi and Kusasi; the Ewe, 13% made up of the Anlo, the Some, the Tongu and the Ewedome; the Ga-Adangbe, 9% made up of the Ga, the Shai or Adamgbe, the Ada and the Krobo or the Kloli; the Gurma, 4% and the Grusi, 2% made up of the Mo, the Sisala, the Kasena, the Vagala and the Tampolene,. Living among the Ewe are non-Ewe speaking groups such as the Akpafu, the Lolobi, the Likpe, the Santrokofi, the Nkonya, the Avatime, the Logba and the Tafii.
The peoples of Ghana are composed of two principal linguistic groups: the Gur and the Kwa group of languages, which are respectively spoken to the north and south of the Gurma and the Grusi and the speakers of Kwa are the Akan, the Guan, the Ewe and the Ga-Adamgbe.