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Ghana, until independence from British colonial rule on March 6, 1957, was known as the Gold Coast. The country is named after one of the ancient Sudanese Empires which flourished between the 4th and 10th centuries. Three years after independence (1960) Ghana became a Republic with Dr Kwame Nkrumah, leader of the Convention Peoples Party (CPP) as the first President. Under Dr Nkrumah, Ghana made rapid and remarkable progress in education, industrial and infrastructural development and in the provision of social services. At the same time, the country played a leading role in international affairs, particularly in the struggle for the liberation of dependent countries in Africa, and African unity. The country played an active role in a number of international organisations including the United Nations and its specialised agencies, the Commonwealth, the Organisation of African Unity Now African Unionand the Non-Aligned Movement. However, on February 24, 1966, the Ghana Armed Forces, in cooperation with the Police Service, overthrew the CPP Government in a coup. Until 1991, there were series of upheavals that ushered in period of instability . From 1991, Ghana returned to democratic rule.

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