Okyeman Cultural Association
Toronto - Canada

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HISTORY OF GHANA

Ghana was a British colony until 6th March 1957 when it got independence. In 1471, the Portuguese were the first Europeans to sail to the coast of Ghana. They found large deposits of gold so they named the country Gold Coast. The people they met were very friendly so they began trade with them. They also built forts along the coast. These forts were later used to hold slaves waiting for shipment to North America. It was a source of trade for the European countries who fought among themselves for control of the rich land. The British gained the upper hand and took control of the Gold Coast.

 After the partition of Africa by the Europeans, the area of present day Ghana came under British colonial rule. The Ashantis fought the British for a very long time to drive them from their land. Through the struggles of some politicians, the Gold Coast gained independence in 1957 and it was renamed GHANA after the ancient Ghana Empire. The name GHANA was adopted to usher in a new independent state. It was named after the ancient Ghana Empire which was rich in Gold and Warriors.

Take a look at some the leaders who fought for independence.They were known as the Big Six.

They included Dr. Kwame Nkrumah (who later became The President of Ghana), Obetsebi Lamptey, Ako Adjei, Akuffo Addo, Paa Willie, J.B Danquah. (Can you identify them? Take a try or ask an older Ghanaian)

This picture was taken on Independence Day 6th March 1957 at the old Polo Grounds in Accra. On this day Nkrumah declare "... our independence is meaningless, unless it is linked with the total liberation Africa". 

Sitting left to right:Mr. A.E. Inkumsah, Minister of Housing 2. Mr. Kojo Botsio, Minister of Trade and Labour 3. Mr. Kwame Nkrumah, the Prime Minister 4. Mr. K.A. Gbedemah, Minister of Finance 5. Mr. A Casely-Hayford, Minister of Communications
Standing left to right: 1. Mr. A.E.A. Ofori Atta, Minister of Local Government 2. Mr. N.A. Welbeck, Minister of Works 3. Mr. B. Yeboa-Afari, Minister of Agriculture 4. Mr. J.H. Alhassani, Minister of Health 5. Mr. J.B. Erzuah, Minister of Education 6. Mr. L.R. Abavana, Minister without Portfolio 7. Mr. Ako Adjei, Minister of the Interior 8. Mr. Krobo Edusei, Minister without Portfolio

 

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