Formerly known as the Gold Coast because of the deposits of gold once found in its soil, and “the fever coast” because so many early Western visitors had their first bout with malaria there, Ghana became independent from Britain in 1957 and has since earned the reputation of being a warm and welcoming country. Ghana is the hub of highlife music, which can be heard bounding from most every boombox and taxi radio (more on highlife below), and has become well known for its very public religious devotion. It was also the home of Pan-Africanist leader Kwame Nkrumah, who African respondents to a BBC survey voted “The Man of the Millennium” and whose vision of a modern, industrialized continent inspires millions of Africans to this day.

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