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Cluster of peoples inhabiting southern Ghana, eastern Côte d'Ivoire, and parts of Togo. Their languages are of the Kwa branch of Niger-Congo languages. In the 14th–18th centuries several Akan states, notably the Fante confederacy and the Asante empire, formed in regions where gold was produced and traded. Many of the Akan, who number some 16 million, work in urban districts.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Akan, visit Britannica.com.