Ghana is one of the most densely populated countries in West Africa. Ghana was formed from the merger of the British colony of the Gold Coast and the Togoland trust territory, Ghana in 1957 became the first sub-Saharan country in colonial Africa to gain its independence. Ghana endured a long series of coups before Lt. Jerry Rawlings took power in 1981 and banned political parties. In 1992 approval of a new constitution was granted and restoration of multiparty politics. Since the adoption of a new constitution in 1993 Ghana has become more politically stable.