Skip to main content Skip to Search Box

Definition: Volta from Philip's Encyclopedia

West African river, c.470km (290mi) long, formed by the confluence of the Black Volta and White Volta rivers at New Tamale, central Ghana. The river flows S into the Gulf of Guinea at Ada. In 1965, it was dammed at Akosombo to form Lake Volta.


Summary Article: Volta
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Main river in Ghana, about 1,600 km/1,000 mi long, with two main upper branches, the Black Volta and White Volta. It has been dammed at Akosombo to provide power.

Course The headwaters (White Volta, Red Volta, and Black Volta) rise in the interior uplands of the Republic of Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta), uniting to flow the length of the Republic of Ghana to reach the Gulf of Guinea 75 km/47 mi east of Accra. The river system drains a funnel-shaped lowland of Voltaian sandstone and with its tributaries the Oti River and the Afram River converge to flow through a narrow gorge in the Akwapim Range, at Akosombo, where the Volta Dam was built and was inaugurated in 1966. The dam, 60 m/196 ft high, impounds a vast lake more than 400 km/248 mi in length, thus changing fundamentally the internal geography of Ghana.

Volta River project The Volta River Project was designed to exploit the potential for hydroelectric power, but also to provide irrigation water for the dry Accra Plains, below the dam, and to provide fishing and transport on the lake. The flooding of the lake involved the resettlement of 80,000 people.

© RM, 2018. All rights reserved.

Related Articles


Full text Article Volta, River
The Macmillan Encyclopedia

A river in West Africa. Its headstreams, the Black Volta and White Volta Rivers, join in N central Ghana to form the River Volta, which then...

Full text Article Volta
Merriam-Webster's Geographical Dictionary

\väl-tə, vōl-, vl-\ 1 River, Ghana; flows S into Bight of Benin; includes Lake Volta ab. 300 mi. (485 km.) long, and Black Volta...

Full text Article Volta River, Burkina Faso/Ghana
Penguin Encyclopedia of Places

River 1125 km (700 miles) long formed by the union of the Black Volta and the White Volta 64 km (40 miles) NW of Yeji in Ghana and...

See more from Credo