Ghana News - History

Ghana News - History

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Ghana News


In The News

Ex-Prez Kufuor is a force for good in Ghana’s political history - Bawumia

Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President of Ghana

The Vice President, Dr. Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia has heaped praises on former President of Ghana, John Agyekum Kufuor for his immense contributions to the political fortunes of Ghana.

According to Dr. Bawumia, former President Kufuor moved Ghana from HIPC to a frontier emerging market economy in his 8 years of rule.

He explained that Mr. Kufuor focused on growing the private sector, reducing poverty and restoring macroeconomic stability.

Dr. Bawumia said Mr. Kufuor introduced the landmark- National Health Insurance Scheme, School Feeding Program, Capitation Grant, Free Maternal Care, massive infrastructure among others.

His Excellency Mahamudu Bawumia said former President John Agyekum Kufuor did so many good things for this country which the generation to come will continue to be grateful.

Dr. Bawumia donated an amount of 50,000 cedis to this course.

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History of Ghana

Ghana's history prior to the 15th century is concentrated primarily on oral traditions. However, it is believed that people may have inhabited what is present-day Ghana from about 1500 BCE. European contact with Ghana began in 1470. In 1482, the Portuguese built a trading settlement there. Shortly thereafter for three centuries, the Portuguese, English, Dutch, Danes, and Germans all controlled different parts of the coast.

In 1821, the British took control of all of the trading posts located on the Gold Coast. From 1826 to 1900, the British then fought battles against the native Ashanti and in 1902, the British defeated them and claimed the northern part of today's Ghana.

In 1957, after a plebiscite in 1956, the United Nations determined that the territory of Ghana would become independent and combined with another British territory, British Togoland, when the entire Gold Coast became independent. On March 6, 1957, Ghana became independent after the British gave up control of the Gold Coast and the Ashanti, the Northern Territories Protectorate and British Togoland. Ghana was then taken as the legal name for the Gold Coast after it was combined with British Togoland in that year.

Following its independence, Ghana underwent several reorganizations that caused the country to be divided into 10 different regions. Kwame Nkrumah was the first prime minister and president of modern Ghana and he had goals of unifying Africa as well as freedom and justice and equality in education for all. His government, however, was overthrown in 1966.

Instability was then a major part of Ghana's government from 1966 to 1981, as several government overthrows occurred. In 1981, Ghana's constitution was suspended and political parties were banned. This later caused the country's economy to decline and many people from Ghana migrated to other countries.
By 1992, a new constitution was adopted, the government began to regain stability, and the economy started to improve. Today, Ghana's government is relatively stable and its economy is growing.

Nkrumah's Single Party State

Initially, Nkrumah rode a wave of support in Ghana and the world. Ghana, however, faced all the daunting challenges of independence that would soon be felt across Africa. Among these issues was its economic dependence on the West.

Nkrumah tried to free Ghana from this dependence by building the Akosambo Dam on the Volta River, but the project put Ghana deeply in debt and created intense opposition. His party worried the project would increase Ghana's dependence rather than lessen it. The project also forced the relocation of some 80,000 people.

Nkrumah raised taxes, including on cocoa farmers, to help pay for the dam. This exacerbated tensions between him and the influential farmers. Like many new African states, Ghana also suffered from regional factionalism. Nkrumah saw the wealthy farmers, who were regionally concentrated, as a threat to social unity.

In 1964, faced with growing resentment and afraid of internal opposition, Nkrumah pushed a constitutional amendment that made Ghana a one-party state and made himself the life president.

History: What You Did Not Know About Ghana

Ghana is among one of the countries in Africa and specifically in the western part of the continent.

Ghana is part of the Economic Community of West African States.

What Is The Meaning Of The Name Ghana?

Ghana means “Strong Warrior King” and is a title that was given to ancient Ghana Empire Kings.

The ancient Ghana Empire encompassed areas like Mali, Senegal, Southern Mauritania, and Guinea.

Is Ghana Rich Or Poor?

Ghana can be considered rich when it comes to natural resources.

Ghana is blessed with natural resources such as Gold, diamond, Bauxite, Timber, Oil, and many more.

However, in terms of economic development, Ghana is still very poor and is ranked 60th in the world.

What Type Of Country Is Ghana?

Ghana is is a western African Country in the Gulf Of Guinea.

Ghana is surrounded by neighbors like Cote D’Ivoire in the west, the north by Burkina Faso, in the east by Togo.

What is Someone From Ghana Called?

People who are born in Ghana and residents in the country are called Ghanaians.

Ghana has a population of over 30 million.

Achievements Of Ghana

Ghanaian Literature radio programme was one of the first in Africa.

Adinkra prints were developed by Ghanaians in the 13th century.

These are hand-printed and hand-embroidered for royals to use in devotional ceromonies.

Ghana has won the Africa Cup of Nations four times.

The FIFA U-20 world cup has been won once and participated in 3 times in 2006,2010 and 2014.

In the 2010 world cup, GHana was the 3rd African country to reach quarter-finals stage after Cameroun in 1990 and Senegal in 2002.

FIFA U-20 team is the only African team to be crowned Under 20 world champions in the continent.

U-17 team FIFA winners for 2 times in 1991 and 1995.

Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts Of Oak are the 5th and 9th best football teams in Africa.

Ghana In Olympics

In 2010 Ghana made its first appearance in the Olympics skiing with a score of 137.5.

Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong s the first Ghanaian to si in the Olympics.

Ghana has 4 Olympic medals with the last being in 1992.

Tourism In Ghana

Ghana receives over 1,087,000 tourists every year from America, South America, North America, Europe, and Asia.



A West African country bordering on the Gulf of Guinea, Ghana is bounded by Cte d'Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. It compares in size to Oregon, and its largest river is the Volta.


Several major civilizations flourished in the general region of what is now Ghana. The ancient empire of Ghana (located 500 mi northwest of the contemporary state) reigned until the 13th century. The Akan peoples established the next major civilization, beginning in the 13th century, and then the Ashanti empire flourished in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Called the Gold Coast, the area was first seen by Portuguese traders in 1470. They were followed by the English (1553), the Dutch (1595), and the Swedes (1640). British rule over the Gold Coast began in 1820, but it was not until after quelling the severe resistance of the Ashanti in 1901 that it was firmly established. British Togoland, formerly a colony of Germany, was incorporated into Ghana by referendum in 1956. Created as an independent country on March 6, 1957, Ghana, as the result of a plebiscite, became a republic on July 1, 1960.

Premier Kwame Nkrumah attempted to take leadership of the Pan-African Movement, holding the All-African People's Congress in his capital, Accra, in 1958 and organizing the Union of African States with Guinea and Mali in 1961. But he oriented his country toward the Soviet Union and China and built an autocratic rule over all aspects of Ghanaian life. In Feb. 1966, while Nkrumah was visiting Beijing and Hanoi, he was deposed by a military coup led by Gen. Emmanuel K. Kotoka.

Military Rule Gives Way to Civilian Government and Stability

A series of military coups followed, and on June 4, 1979, Flight Lt. Jerry Rawlings overthrew Lt. Gen. Frederick Akuffo's military rule. Rawlings permitted the election of a civilian president to go ahead as scheduled the following month, and Hilla Limann, candidate of the People's National Party, took office. Rawlings's three-month rule was one of Ghana's bloodiest periods, with executions of numerous government officials and business leaders. Two years later Rawlings staged another coup, charging the civilian government with corruption. As chairman of the Provisional National Defense Council, Rawlings scrapped the constitution, instituted an austerity program, and reduced budget deficits over the next decade. He then returned the country to civilian rule and won the presidency in multiparty elections in 1992 and again in 1996. Since then, Ghana has been widely viewed as one of Africa's most stable democracies. In Jan. 2001, John Agyekum Kufuor was elected president. In 2002, he set up a National Reconciliation Commission to review human rights abuses during the country's military rule. He was reelected in Dec. 2004.

In presidential elections in December 2008, Nana Akufo-Addo, of the governing New Patriotic Party, won just over 49% of the vote, and John Atta Mills, of the main opposition party, National Democratic Congress, took almost 48%. In the runoff election, necessary because neither candidate received 50% of the vote, Atta Mills eked out victory, with 50.23%. It was the closest election in Ghana's history.

President Atta died in July 2012. His four years in office were marked by stability and an increase in oil production. Vice President John Dramani Mahama was sworn in shortly after Atta's death. Mahama won the presidential election held in December, taking 50.7% of the vote. He prevailed over Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party.

Some key dates in Ghana's history:

1482 - Portuguese settlers arrive and begin trading in gold, ivory and timber with various Akan states.

1500s - Slave trade: Slavery overtakes gold as the main export in the region.

1600s - Dutch, English, Danish, and Swedish settlers arrive slave trade becomes highly organised.

1642 - The Portuguese relinquish their territory to the Dutch and leave the Gold Coast.

1807 - British dominance: British ban on slave trade from the Gold Coast becomes effective.

1874 - The Gold Coast is officially proclaimed a British crown colony.

1957 - Independence: Ghana becomes first black African colony to declare independence.

1964-1992 - Military rule: Succession of destabilising coups, Ghana is predominantly a one-party state.

1992 - New constitution, multi-party system is restored.

2010 - Offshore oil production starts, fuelling Africa's fast-growing economy.


The broadcasting service was originally known as Station ZOY, introduced on 31 July 1935 by the colonial Governor, Sir Arnold Hodson, [4] before it was renamed to the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation upon the country's independence in 1957. Throughout its history, it has been independent of the government's Information Services Department. [5]

Broadcasting began in Ghana on July 31, 1935, from a wired relay station opened in Accra. The brain behind the introduction of broadcasting into the country was the then Governor of the Gold Coast, Sir Arnold Hodson, affectionately known as the "Sunshine Governor".

He was ably assisted by a British radio engineer, Mr. F.A.W. Byron. By 17:00GMT on that historic day, gramophone records of martial and light music were relayed and at exactly 17:45GMT the voice of Sir Arnold Hodson came through to break the tension and the suspense with this explicit message:

“One of the main reasons for introducing the Relay Service is to bring News, Entertainment and Music into the homes of all and sundry. This will bring to an end the barriers of isolation and ignorance in the path of progress and also to enable the people of Gold Coast to improve on their very rich cultural music". [6]

The new broadcasting Service was code-named Radio "ZOY". It was manned by eight technicians and housed in a small bungalow on 9th Road near the Ridge Police Station in Accra. Broadcasting first began in four Ghanaian languages, namely Fanti, Twi, Ga, Ewe, and later Hausa. Part-time staff were engaged to translate and announce the news in these languages until 1943 when full-time staff were appointed. Between 1946 and 1953, the organisation was administered by the Public Relation Department, now the Information Services Department.

Mr. W. F. Coleman1960–70
Mr. S. B. Mfodwo 1970–72
Lt Col. J. Y. Assasie1975–81
Mr. Kwame Karikari 1982–84
Mr. L.W. FiiFi Hesse 1972–75 & 1984–90
Mr. George Aryee 1991–92
Mr. David Anaglate 1992–95
Dr. Kofi Frimpong 1995–99
Mr. Adanusa 1999–2000
Mr. Seth Ago - Adjetey 2000–02
Madam Eva Lokko 2002–05
Mr. Yaw Owusu Addo 2005–07
Mr. William Ampem-Darko 2007–10
Mr. Kwabena Sarpong-Anane November 2010–October 2011
Mr. Berifi Afari Apenteng November 2011–March 2013
Major Albert Don-Chebe (Rtd) May 2013 - May 2016
Dr. Kwame Akuffo Anoff-Ntow November 2016 -January 2018

On the recommendation of a commission set up in 1953, the Gold Coast Broadcasting Service (GCBS) was established and from there it became a department in its own right. On attainment of independence in 1957, the Gold Coast was renamed Ghana and the GCBS became Ghana Broadcasting System (GBS). The legislation that basically set up GBC as an establishment was National Liberation Council Degree number 226 (NLCD266) of 1968.

GBC operates the famous Ghana Television GTV (a channel for events that matter most to Ghanaians), which is broadcast nationwide on analogue terrestrial platform. Additionally, GBC runs four digital networks namely: GTV Sports+ (24-hour sports channel that provides premium sports programmes), GBC News (24-hour news and current affairs channel), GTV Life (Religious and cultural channel), Obonu TV (a channel for the people of Greater Accra and window for the Ga-Dangbe). It has branches or affiliate stations across the regional capitals.

The Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, which is also an agency overseen by the Ministry of Information, runs a training school that provides tuition in radio and TV broadcasting and engineering. [7]

Black Americans reconnect with roots in emotional trips to Ghana's 'Door of No Return'

"Africa is on the rise and African people are also ascending," one person said.

Black Americans reconnect with ancestral history in Ghana, where slaves left Africa

At Cape Coast Castle on the shores of the Ghanaian city, a sordid history belies its beauty.

The castle overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, a former slave-trade outpost, is home to the so-called "Door of No Return," through which millions of Africans were forced onto slave ships bound for the United States.

"Even though you may not know the exact village you come from, the township you come from, the clan -- the family -- you come from, you can be assured that this is one of the last places that our ancestors touched before leaving these shores," said Rabbi Kohain Halevi, a board member of the Diaspora African Forum, a nonprofit that in part helps connect visitors to their ancestral history.

Hundreds of years after those fateful voyages, millions of the descendants of those slaves have been returning to the castle -- creating a full-circle moment.

"That's why they say it's the 'Door of No Return,' because they believed at that time that if they erased all these things from ourselves, that we'd never find our way back home," Halevi said. "But look at the resiliency of the African spirit, and look at who you and I are -- that we made our way back home."

Watch the full story on "Nightline" TONIGHT at 12:35 a.m. ET on ABC.

Actor Boris Kodjoe is best known for his work on screen in films like "Brown Sugar" and the ABC TV series "Station 19," but when he's off screen, he says his mission is much bigger: bringing the Black diaspora back to Africa.

"When you walk the paths of the dungeons at these slave castles, whether it's Elmina or Cape Coast, you feel the spirits of your ancestors," Kodjoe said. "You feel the suffering and the pain and just the atrocities that took place there, and you realize at that moment that you're not a descendant of slaves, but you're a descendant of survivors."

"To survive the cruelty of the dungeons, to survive the cruelty of the ships and then to survive the terror and the pain of slavery infuses you with so much strength and also commitment to never give up," he added.

The 47-year-old actor, who was born in Vienna to a Ghanaian father and Austrian mother, co-founded the Essence Full Circle Festival in 2018, which coordinates trips for descendants of slaves to visit and invest in Africa. For him, the mission was personal.

"My background is different from a lot of African Americans, since my father is from Ghana. … So my roots, I never had to retrace. I'm very clear on what my family tree looks like, and that knowledge fills you with pride, but it also fills you with a sense of identity, a sense of culture, heritage," Kodjoe said.

It's this exact sense of empowerment that he seeks to share with the Black community.

Kodjoe helped organize two trips back to Ghana in 2018 and 2019 for Black Hollywood stars, influencers and entrepreneurs to "reconnect with their ancestry," he said. Among those invited were "Black-ish" star Anthony Anderson, supermodel Naomi Campbell and "The Wire" star Idris Elba.

The Full Circle Festival took guests to places with significance to the slave trade in Ghana, including the Door of No Return, the Assin Manso Slave River and Jamestown -- the oldest district in the nation's capital, Accra.

"Observing friends who were part of this pilgrimage, if you will, reconnect with their ancestry has been the most overwhelming and just fulfilling experience," Kodjoe said. "To see, in their eyes, the realization that their ancestry gives them roots and a sense of belonging and therefore a sense of purpose, [it] is such an important experience that you want everybody to have that experience."

Guests were told about their ancestors' history and given tours of Ghana's neighborhoods and beaches. They were also welcomed at President Nana Akufo-Addo's home for a reception dinner.

"There's a lot of history that's shared between the continent and the diaspora, if you will. So to me, Full Circle Festival represents the honoring of our ancestry but also the realization that we have to build this bridge between the diaspora and the continent in order to address those generational traumas that we have suffered on both continents," Kodjoe said.

A large part of the festival involves being honest about those traumas and examining the lingering emotional and economic effects of colonialism.

"There is this disparity that has been carried from one generation to the next over hundreds and hundreds of years," Kodjoe explained. "The goal is to first acknowledge our history and realize that this generational wealth didn't just appear but it was systematically prepared, and there were mechanisms put in place to ensure that certain people were at an advantage and others weren't."

In the United States, the median and mean wealth of Black families is 15% less than that of a white families, according to a 2019 survey from the Federal Reserve.

The wealth gap has been growing, according to the Brookings Institute, said in a 2020 report that the ratio of white family wealth to Black family wealth is higher today than it was at the start of the century -- a result in part of white families inheriting wealth.

Kodjoe says there are "actually certain steps we can undertake, collectively, to reduce that wealth gap and to make things right."

A large part of Kodjoe's efforts have been to rectify false narratives about Africa that persist to this day.

"We've been told so many lies in the past hundred years about Africa that have kept us from it," he said. "This newfound excitement and interest has ignited a wave of not just tourism but people coming to Africa to experience, not just the culture, but also investing in Africa."

Oil discovered

2007 June - Major off-shore oil discovery announced. President Kufuor says oil will turn Ghana into an "African tiger".

2007 September - The worst floods for more than 30 years cause widespread devastation, destroying much of the annual harvest.

2008 December - John Atta Mills elected president.

2009 July - Ghana secures a $600m three-year loan from the International Monetary Fund.

2010 December - Offshore oil production begins.

2011 July - President John Atta Mills chosen as ruling National Democratic Congress party's candidate for the 2012 presidential election, defeating Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings, wife of former President Jerry Rawlings.

2012 June - Thousands are displaced by communal violence in the east, sparked by the exhumation of the body of a Muslim cleric.

2012 July - President Mills dies, and is succeeded by John Mahama.

2013 Authorities arrest hundreds of Chinese and other migrants are working in unlicensed gold mines. The government says around 4,700 illegal miners, most of them Chinese, were deported in 2013.

2014 July - Thousands take to the streets to protest against the government's alleged mishandling of the economy.

2015 December - Twenty judges are sacked after being implicated in a high-profile bribe-taking scandal.

2017 January - Opposition candidate Nana Akufo-Addo sworn in as president after beating incumbent John Mahama in an election fought mainly on the country's faltering economic performance.

2017 October - Ghana and Ivory Coast set up a commission to implement an international ruling on a maritime border dispute involving oilfields.

2020 December - President Akufo-Addo wins re-election, although opposition candidate and former president John Mahama alleges fraud.