The Western Region of Ghana, reaching from the Côte d'Ivoire border in the west to the Central Region in the east, includes the large twin city of Sekondi-Takoradi on the coast, coastal Axim, and a hilly inland area including Elubo. It includes Ghana's southernmost location, Cape Three Points, where oil was discovered in commercial quantities in June 2007. The region enjoys a long coastline that stretches from Ghana's border with Côte d'Ivoire to the region's boundary with the Central Region on the east.
The Western Region has the highest rainfall in Ghana, lush green hills, and fertile soils. There are numerous small and large-scale gold mines. The culture is dominated by the Nzema, Wassa, Aowin, Sefwi, and Ahanta branches of the Akan culture; the main languages are Fante, Wassa, Sefwi, Ahanta, Nzema, and English. The religions are predominantly Christian and African Traditional Religions.
The founder of modern independent Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah, was born (and later temporarily buried) in the village of Nkroful west of Axim, where he once taught school in the 1930s.
The largest rivers are the Ankobra River, the Bia River, and the Pra River in the east, with the Tano River partly forming the western national border. The area is known for the village of Nzulezo, built entirely on stilts and platforms over water, and the Ankasa Protected Area. There is a series of imposing Portuguese, Dutch, British, and Brandenburgian forts along the coast, built from 1512 on.
The region has many post-secondary schools, including teachers' and nursing colleges, polytechnics, and a university at Tarkwa, the University of Mines and Technology.
Districts of Western Ghana
The Western Region of Ghana contains the following 13 districts:
Ahanta West District
Mpohor/Wassa East District
Nzema East District
Prestea-Huni Valley District (added in January 2011)
Shama Ahanta East Metropolitan District
Wasa Amenfi East District
Wasa Amenfi West District
Wassa West District
The regional minister for the Western Region in the government of Ghana is Paul Evans Aidoo of the National Democratic Congress. In July 2011, it was reported that Aidoo, a Catholic, had called for Ghana's Bureau of National Investigations to arrest all known gays and lesbians in the region, and called on landlords and tenants to inform on people they suspect of being homosexual. He was reported as saying, "Once they have been arrested, they will be brought before the law". (A provision in the criminal code section of Ghana's 1992 constitution condemns "unnatural carnal knowledge". The constitution guarantees human rights "regardless of race, place of origin, political opinion, colour, religion, creed or gender", but not sexuality.)