Ghana The Gold Coast, now known as Ghana, is one of many civilizations of Africa. It was a British Colony until March 6, 1957, when it became independent as the State of Ghana. In 1471, the Portuguese invaded this area and became involved in gold trade, giving the region the name, The Gold Coast. They built forts to protect their monopoly of gold trade from merchants representing other nations. In 1642, the Dutch West India Company captured all Portuguese strong posts and they devoted their interests in slave trading rather than gold trading.
In the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, the Gold Coast was one of the chief West African sources of slave export. At the beginning of the Nineteenth Century the countries involved in slave trading began abolishing it as illegal and immoral. The British abolished it in 1807, the Danish is 1804 and the Dutch in 1814. In 1821, British forts were transferred from private ownership to government control. The Gold Coast became a British colony and the new government was known as the British Colony of Sierra Leone.
In 1850, there was movement to establish a constitution. In 1851, an assembly convened to establish a legislative body of 84 members, as a result of mass rioting. In 1853, a Supreme Court was established to maintain justice and to ensure that the citizens would obey the laws of Britain. In 1895, municipal governments were established for the larger towns of; Accra, Cape Coast and Sekondi. In 1954, after many years as a British Colony, the Gold Coast wrote a second Constitution giving over the power of running the country to native Africans, citizens of the region.
The only exception was External Accord, Defense and Police, which were still primarily white government positions, representing white people’s interests. The Gold Coast’s industry consisted of; aluminum, oil refineries, gold refineries, vehicle assembly, canneries, sugar production, cocoa processing, etc. The region provided a wealth of natural resources for merchants who cared to develop them. There were many important leaders in Ghana. When a portion of Ghana was known as Ashante, Ose Tutu was the founder of the Kingdom of Ashante, in 1680. Kwame Nkramah was the first Prime Minister and President of Ghana.
J.B. Danquah was a founder of and head figure of the United Gold Coast Connection. After Nkramah became President of Ghana, Danquah opposed his policies and was imprisoned for his ideas. The first African member of the Legislative Council, in the early part of this century, was J.E. Casely-Hayford.
In 1969, Dr. Kofi A. Busia became Prime Minister, but a military coup ousted him in 1972. In 1979, Dr. Hilla Limann, a popular career diplomat from Northern Ghana, became President. On March 6, 1957, when the Gold Coast together with British Togo became an autonomous state, within the Commonwealth, and became the independent African Country of Ghana.
It was named Ghana after the ancient kingdom of Ghana, that lay along the Niger River. On July 1, 1966, the name was changed to The Republic of Ghana. The civilization of the Gold Coast is now the Republic of Ghana.