On the 6th of March 1957, Ghana became the first African state to achieve independence from the British with Osagefo Dr.Kwame Nkrumah as the first prime minister.Formally called the Gold Coast, it was one of the richest countries in Africa before it’s conquest by the British.
Till today, thousands of people including students, social workers, farmers among others gather at the independence square every 6th day of March to celebrate Ghana’s independence.
Osagefo Dr.Kwame Nkrumah
Colonization of Gold Coast begun when European countries were attracted to the Coast of Guinea by gold, ivory, timber and spices. The countries included the Portuguese, Danes, Swedes and British.
In 1824, the powerful king of the Ashantis, Osei Bonus, whose territory extended beyond present Ghana died. The British sort for a chance to break Asante control of gold coast trade and the first Anglo Asante war broke out. During the war, some Nfanti chiefs signed an agreement with the British in 1844 to pay tolls for protection and that became the legal stepping stone to colonial status for the coastal area.
Great Britain gradually conquered the Ashanti Kingdom between 1896 and 1910, made Ashanti and the northern part protectorates. This in effect gave them total control with about 50yrs to plunder the land. They overly mined the gold fields, harvested the land of it‘s wealth and carried away every pebble that shines. After 50yrs of plunder all the gold bars had arrived in England, leaving behind gold dust and that’s how Nkrumah renamed gold coast as Ghana.
Nkrumah (middle) declaring independence “Ghana our beloved country is free foreever”
The cheating and arrogance of the colonial rulers became very offensive. High positions were reserved for White men while Ghanaians became hewers of wood and drawers of water. Ghanaians approached the independent struggle on two fronts, internal and external.
The scholars who championed our cause externally and internally were popularly referred to as the BIG SIX. These leaders were Dr. J.B Danquah, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Obetsebi Lamptey, Akuffo Addo, William Ofori Atta and Ako Adjei.
Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah’s Gold Coast government issued a proposal for Gold Coast independence in May 1956. The British government agreed to a firm date for independence. On March 6, 1957, the state of Ghana, named after the medieval West African empire became an independent country.