Today in History, exactly 63 years ago, on 6th March 1957. Ghana gained independence from their colonial masters. Happy Independence Day to Ghana.
The day is particularly important not only for Ghana but for the whole continent. On 6th March 1957, Ghana was the first sub-Saharan country to gain independence, under the leadership of Kwame Nkrumah, ending decades of white colonial rule.
Before the arrival of Europeans, Ghana was the location of the Ashanti, a powerful tribe in the region. The area had an abundance of natural resources, including gold and ivory, which attracted the attention of colonists.
While the Portuguese had been the first to establish a settlement in the region, the attractiveness of the local riches led to a struggle for control between many European nations.
In 1874, Britain took control over parts of the country, naming them the British Gold Coast.
Weakened by the efforts of World War II, Britain had begun the process of reducing its colonies around the world, including those Africa.
This desire was matched by a rising call for independence in the Gold Coast.
In 1947, the United Gold Coast Convention called for “self-government within the shortest possible time” following the Gold Coast legislative elections.
In 1951, Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah won a majority in the Gold Coast legislative election and in 1952.
Nkrumah was appointed the leader of the Gold Coast government.
The Gold Coast region declared its independence from the United Kingdom on 6th March 1957 and established the nation of Ghana.
Kwame Nkrumah went on to become the first Prime Minister of Ghana.
“I am convinced that it is dangerous for the independent African states to wait any longer for the United Kingdom to do its duty. The time has come for the independent African state to take the initiative in their own hands,” said Nkrumah at the height of African countries fight for independence from colonial rule.
Great crowds gathered in the streets of Accra at midnight, when the Gold Coast officially became the sovereign State of Ghana, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, lowered the Union Jack at the Parliament building and hoisted the red, green, and gold flag of the new country.
The full celebrations were not due to begin until after the State opening of Parliament by the Duchess of Kent, but the city was already in an excited mood.
The crowds were thickest round the Parliament building, which was ablaze with lights, and all traffic in the area was at a standstill.
As midnight approached a band marched into the district followed by a thousand dancers – adding to the din created by the crowd, car hooters and fireworks.
Just before midnight, Dr Kwame Nkrumah addressed the Legislative Assembly at its last session before it was prorogued by the Governor, Sir Charles Aden-Clarke.
6th March 2020
The 63rd Independence Day parade is scheduled to be celebrated on Friday 6th March 2020. The parade will be held in Kumasi for the first time in history.
The venue for the event is the Baba Yara Sports Stadium. The theme for Independence Day 2020 is “Consolidating Our Gains”.