Ghana, officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country in West Africa. It borders the Ivory Coast to the west, Burkina Faso in the north and Togo to the east. It was inhabited in pre-colonial times by a number of ancient kingdoms, including an inland Ashanti kingdom and various Fante states along the coast. Trade with European states flourished after contact with the Portuguese in the 15th century, and the British established a crown colony, Gold Coast, in 1874. Ghana became independent in 1957. Accra is the capital and largest city. The country's population in 2005 was 21,029,853. It was the first African country to obtain its independence from Britain.