Ghana’s progression since its independence in 1957 has been mostly favorable. The country boasts a diverse population of 27 million inhabitants and is the home of the former Ashanti Kingdom. One of West Africa’s most developmentally advanced nations, Ghana is also one of the region’s most influential states. With an estimated $37 billion economy based on the country’s valuable natural resources (especially gold and petroleum) as well as rapidly growing service sector displacing traditional agriculture, Ghana has West Africa’s second highest life expectancy. Despite these advantages, the country faces a number of serious issues. Erratic provision of electricity, lack of access clean water and sanitation services and wide disparities between urban and rural locations -- the latter home to most Ghanaians -- mean that significant areas of the country report high rates of disease and illness. 1 in 5 Ghanaians live in extreme poverty today, down from 1 in 2 in 1991.