What does the name "Ghana" mean?
The Republic of Ghana is a country in West Africa lying on the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean – see the shaded area on the map. Its neighbours are the Ivory Coast in the west, Burkina Faso in the north, and Togo in the east.
Ghana was famous for its extensive usage of gold, and for this reason became known as the “Land of Gold” by the Arabs during the period when trade developed across the Sahara.
“Gold Coast” is a term that relates to the British colonial period. By the late 19th century the British established control of the coast where Ghana is located. Ghana's current borders took shape, encompassing four separate British colonial territories, namely Gold Coast, Ashanti, the Northern Territories and British Togoland. These were unified as an independent dominion within the Commonwealth of Nations on 6 March 1957, becoming the first colony in sub-Saharan Africa to achieve sovereignty.
"Upright Fatherland" does not relate directly to Ghana but rather to its northern neighbour: it is the meaning of the name “Burkina Faso”.
The original meaning of the name “Ghana” is "Strong Warrior King". This was the title given to the kings of the mediaeval Ghana Empire in West Africa, which was located further north, roughly coincident with the territory of the modern-day republics of Mali, Senegal and southern Mauritania. On 6 March 1957 at midnight this name was then applied to the new nation of Ghana and later, in 1960, to the modern republic of Ghana.