Ghana: Struggle for Independence


Mini Paper #1

Ghana’s Fight for Independence

            Ghana, after serving many years under British colonial rule became the first African State to achieve independence in 1957 (Koeller 1).

            When the British colonized Ghana in 1821, their goal was to replace the slave trade with “legitimate trade” in British-manufactured goods (Koeller 1). Ghana, being rich in natural sources was the best thing the British could have wished for. It offered them gold and other natural resources such as ivory and salt. Ghana was also on the coast meaning it was an accessible port for trade. According to Kwame Appiah and Henry Louis, in 1844, the Fanti (the people who live on the coast) rulers signed an agreement with the British that became the legal stepping stone to colonial status for the coastal area (Koeller 1). Within the next 100 years Britain conquered more and more areas of The Coast of Gold, finally ending in an agreement with Ghana for their Independence.

            Ghana started its fight for Independence around 1830 about ten years after the British colonized it in 1821. Ghana fought for Independence for a very long time ultimately ending in 1957. On March, 6th, 1957, Ghana became the first free country in Africa.

            Ghana’s Independence was based solely on politics, and after independence one man was the whole center of it. Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah used the Preventive Detention Act in 1958 which provided for detention without trial for up to five years which was later extended to ten years. On July, 1960, a new constitution was adopted, changing Ghana from a parliamentary system with a prime minister to a republican form of government headed by a powerful president (Bureau of African Affairs 4). As you can see, Ghana was very serious and is still very serious about its political systems. Without its political leaders, Ghana would have never convinced the British why they should become an independent state.

            The main language spoken today in Ghana is English since Ghana was colonized by Britain. But just because English is the main and national language doesn’t mean there aren’t any other languages spoken. In fact there are over 250 tribal languages and dialects spoken today in Ghana (General Information on Africa 1).