Formerly Gold Coast, Ghana became independent from Britain on March 6, 1957, the first black African colony to achieve independence. Ghana occupies the pinnacle spot in Pan-African history having lit the torch for African Emancipation and became home to famous Pan-Africanists such as W.E.B. Du Bois and George Padmore. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah whose mausoleum adds to Accra’s landscape was Ghana’s first President.
European power struggles between the 15th and 19th centuries started with the Portuguese who built Elmina Castle in 1482 followed by the Dutch, Swedes, Danes, Prussians and the British looking for fortunes in gold and ivory.
This intense commercial rivalry ended with the growth of the tragic trade in slavery – all 42 European castles and fortifications being used as dungeons for the millions who lost their lives or whose descendants compose the African diaspora today. Cape Coast Castle, one of the best preserved, is becoming an official museum of the Slave Trade.
- Over 30 forts and castles including Elmina and Cape Coast Castles are recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Monuments.
- Sites of wars between the British and the indigenous population especially the Ashanti peoples.
- The Mausoleums of great Pan-Africanists like Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois; memorials to George Padmore and others.