Ghana (/n/ (About this soundlisten)), officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located along the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean, in the subregion of West Africa. Spanning a land mass of 238,535 km2 (92,099 sq mi), Ghana is bordered by the Ivory Coast in the west, Burkina Faso in the north, Togo in the east, and the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean in the south. Ghana means "Warrior King" in the Soninke language.The first permanent state in the territory of present-day Ghana dates back to the 11th century. Numerous kingdoms and empires emerged over the centuries, of which the most powerful was the Kingdom of Dagbon and the Kingdom of Ashanti. Beginning in the 15th century, the Portuguese Empire, followed by numerous other European powers, contested the area for trading rights, until the British ultimately established control of the coast by the late 19th century. Following over a century of native resistance, Ghana's current borders were established by the 1900s as the British Gold Coast. It became independent from the United Kingdom on 6 March 1957.Ghana's population of approximately 30 million spans a variety of ethnic, linguistic and religious groups According to the 2010 census, 71.2% of the population was Christian, 17.6% was Muslim, and 5.2% practised traditional faiths. Its diverse geography and ecology ranges from coastal savannahs to tropical rain forests.Ghana is a unitary constitutional democracy led by a president who is both head of state and head of the government. Ghana's growing economic prosperity and democratic political system have made it a regional power in West Africa. It is a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Group of 24 (G24) and the Commonwealth of Nations."God Bless Our Homeland Ghana" is the national anthem of Ghana; it was adopted in 1957.The music for the national anthem was originally composed by Philip Gbeho and sung to lyrics written by Emmanuel Pappoe-Thompson. However the words were revised by a literary committee in the Office of the then head of state, Kwame Nkrumah. Michael Kwame Gbordzoe has made claims to the current lyrics being used saying that it was written by him after the overthrow of President Nkrumah. A competition was held and Kwame Gbordzoe, who was then a student at Bishop Herman College, presented the current lyrics which was chosen to replace "Lift High The Flag Of Ghana" which had been officially adopted after independence and used as Ghana's National Anthem during Nkrumah's regime.The current text was chosen some time after the 1966 coup in Ghana. Philip Gbehos text that was discarded at that time started with:Lord God our Father we pray thee,Be thou our guide in all our ways,May we unite together, proclaim the dawn of our new day!Children of Ghana arise and uphold your causeAnd blaze the trail of freedom far and wide,O God our Father harken to our calland bring us peace here in our fatherland.The current lyrics of the "God Bless Our Homeland Ghana" national anthem that has been in use since the 1970s were written by Michael Kwame Gbordzoe while a student within the framework of a national competition, and is accompanied by Ghana's national pledge.Thus, the officially current lyrics of "God Bless Our Homeland Ghana" are as follows:First stanzaGod bless our homeland GhanaAnd make our nation great and strong,Bold to defend foreverThe cause of Freedom and of Right;Fill our hearts with true humility,Make us cherish fearless honesty,And help us to resist oppressors' ruleWith all our will and might for evermore.Second stanzaHail to thy name, O Ghana,To thee we make our solemn vow:Steadfast to build togetherA nation strong in Unity;With our gifts of mind and strength of arm,Whether night or day, in the midst of storm,In every need, whate'er the call may be,To serve thee, Ghana, now and for evermore.
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