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The area later became known for growing cacao, the source of cocoa beans.
Most of the other rivers, such as the Pra, the Ankobra, the Tano, and a number of smaller ones, flow directly south into the ocean from the watershed formed by the Kwahu Plateau, which separates them from the Volta drainage system.
Forts and castles, many of which still dot the Ghanaian coast today, were constructed by Europeans to protect their trade interests.
Although trading was originally centred on the gold that was readily available in the area (and from which the future British colony the Gold Coast would take its name), the focus shifted to the lucrative slave trade in the 17th century.
The country takes it name from the great medieval trading empire that was located northwest of the modern-day state until its demise in the 13th century.
Direct sea trade with Europe, established in the 15th century, had much impact on the area’s inhabitants, many of whom actively traded with the Portuguese, Dutch, British, and other Europeans.
In the east the predominant rocks are less than 65 million years old, though there is a patch of Cretaceous sediments (about 65 to 145 million years old) near the Ghana-Togo border.
To the west of Axim, near the Côte d’Ivoire frontier, the rocks date to the Cretaceous Period.Along the eastern edge of the Voltaian Basin, and extending from the Togo border to the sea immediately west of Accra, is a narrow zone of folded Precambrian rocks running northeast to southwest, forming the Akwapim-Togo Ranges, which vary in elevation from 1,000 to 3,000 feet (300 to 900 metres).The highest points in Ghana are found there, including Mount Afadjato (2,903 feet [885 metres]), Mount Djebobo (2,874 feet [876 metres]), and Mount Torogbani (2,861 feet [872 metres]), all situated east of the Volta River near the Togo border.Most of the remainder of the country consists of Paleozoic deposits (about 250 to 540 million years old), which are thought to rest on older rocks.The Paleozoic sediments are composed mostly of beds of shales (laminated sediments consisting mostly of particles of clay) and sandstones in which strata of limestone occur in places.Ghana’s administrative capital is the coastal city of Relief throughout Ghana is generally low, with elevations not exceeding 3,000 feet (900 metres).