July 19, 1959: Ghana, Guinea, and Liberia form the Community of Independent African States

July 19, 1959: Ghana, Guinea, and Liberia form the Community of Independent African States

Ghana, Guinea, and Liberia were the first West African countries to achieve independence. Ghana gained independence from Great Britain on March 6, 1957 while Guinea gained independence from France on October 2, 1958. Liberia as a nation-state remained independent from western colonizers since its founding in 1847. The nations were led by Kwame Nkrumah, Ahmed Sekou Toure, and William Tubman, respectively.

July 18, 1958: Preventive Detention Act promulgated

July 18, 1958: Preventive Detention Act promulgated

Protests from within the country fomented soon after independence, principally in Ashanti Region where many of the chiefs did not support Nkrumah. Nkrumah had many of these chiefs de-stooled. In 1958 Nkrumah was certain that a foreign backed assassination plot had been planned against him after an MP was charged with smuggling weapons into the country for a planned infiltration of the Ghanaian Army. Nkrumah determined that a heavier hand was necessary to rule and enforced the Preventive Detention Act. This decree allowed the prime minister to incarcerate individuals for up to five years (later extended to ten in 1959 and indefinitely in 1962) without charge or trial. Only Nkrumah had the power to exonerate or release these individuals. Opponents saw this act as a blatant restriction of individual freedom and a violation of human rights.

July 17, 1956: CPP wins 71 of 104 seats in Legislative Assembly Elections

Parliament House of Ghana

Parliament House of Ghana

In 1954 a new constitution was approved in the Gold Coast to establish an all-African legislature to be elected by the citizenry directly. This marked a massive change in direction from the colonial regime which appointed governors and ministers on behalf of the Queen of the United Kingdom.

1956 posed a very important political event in Ghana's independence movement. Kwame Nkrumah's government proposed terms of independence to the British government. The British agreed to conditions of independence if a reasonable majority could be obtained in the Gold Coast Legislative Assembly following a direct election. Nkrumah's Convention Peoples Party won a 68% majority of the seats allowing for a transition toward independence per the agreed terms. On March 6, 1957 the Gold Coast was granted its independence from Great Britain and formed the new nation of Ghana, becoming the first sub-Saharan colony to achieve independence from European colonists.

July 17, 1900: Kumasi surrenders to British forces under Sir Frederick Hodgson

July 17, 1900: Kumasi surrenders to British forces under Sir Frederick Hodgson

The Anglo-Ashanti wars were a series of bloody conflicts fought throughout the 19th century which precipitated the transition of power in modern day Ghana from Ashanti sovereignty inland--and strong influence throughout the region--to British colonial rule in the entirety of what was to become the Gold Coast.

The last of these series of battles culminated in the Fifth Anglo-Ashanti War, colloquially known as "The War of the Golden Stool" or the "Yaa Asantewaa War."

July 14, 1886: British and Germans demarcate eastern boarder of the Gold Coast

From the time of the first European contact with Portuguese traders in 1478, different regions of modern day Ghana have been dominated by Ashanti, British, Dagomba, Danish, Dutch, Ewe, German, Portuguese, and Swedish groups along with people native to Ghana controlling smaller portions (Akyem, Fante, Ga, etc.).

British (left) and French Togoland. The land to the west of the green-highlighted territory was granted to the Gold Coast by the treaty. After the dissolution of German Togoland, the Gold Coast absorbed the green territory.

British (left) and French Togoland. The land to the west of the green-highlighted territory was granted to the Gold Coast by the treaty. After the dissolution of German Togoland, the Gold Coast absorbed the green territory.

By the conclusion of the 19th century, the British consolidated most of the land we know as Ghana to be the British Gold Coast. On July 14, 1886 a border for the Easternmost section of the country was agreed upon between the Germans and British to separate the Gold Coast from Togoland. The agreement stipulated that Togoland would contain the territories of Towe, Kowe, and Agotime while the Gold Coast would retain Aquamoo and Peki. North of Peki, the Volta River was agreed to function as the border. In future decades, all of these territories would be absorbed into the Gold Coast.

July 14, 1824: Ashanti attack on Cape Coast Castle was repulsed

July 14, 1824: Ashanti attack on Cape Coast Castle was repulsed

The first of three Anglo-Ashanti wars took place from 1823 to 1831 between the British and the Ashanti Kingdom. The wars were due to the Ashanti's ambition to conquer the coastal regions of Ghana which were already under British colonial rule. The coastal tribes (primarily the Fante and Ga people) relied on the British for protection from Ashanti ambitions. The British also had an incentive to weaken the Ashanti Empire as the Ashantis were friendly with the Dutch, who were commercial rivals of the British. This adversarial relationship came to a head in the third Anglo-Ashanti war in 1873.

July 12, 1893: The British and French divide the Gyaaman state

July 12, 1893: The British and French divide the Gyaaman state

The former Gyaaman state is an example of a former sovereign African kingdom, now in multiple countries. The Gyaaman administrative center in the 1890s was centered in the kingdom's capital of Sampa, which is in modern day Ghana. The center of commerce was in the market town of Bonduku. The French and English reached an agreement to divide their lands at this point.

July 11, 2009: US President Barack Obama visits Ghana

July 11, 2009: US President Barack Obama visits Ghana

Following the 2009 election the world sensed a great movement of hope, collaboration, and change with the election of President Barack Obama. It was at the height of this fervor that the first black American president visited Ghana in July of that year. In a highly anticipated visit, President Obama held official meetings with President John Atta Evans Mills and his associates. President Obama also became the first US President to deliver a speech to the Ghanaian Parliament and to visit a slave departure point when he visited Cape Coast Castle.

July 8, 1861- Accra Market officially opened by Major Bromwell

Makola Market, formerly Accra Market

Makola Market, formerly Accra Market

On July 8th, 1861 the current governor of Ghana, Governor Major Bromwell, opened the Accra Market officially. It later became reconstructed as Makola Market in 1924 which resides in the center of the city of Accra. On August 18, 1974 the market was destroyed by the Rawlings government due to the belief that the market was hurting Ghana's economy due to accusations that banned goods were being sold at the market. Makola Market is being reconstructed as of 2016. This market is dominated by female traders and the sales mainly consist of fresh produce clothes, jewelry, and imported goods.

July 2, 1894: The Mossi sign a treaty with the British at Ouagadoudu.

Three pence from the year of the treaty

Three pence from the year of the treaty

The Mossi Kingdoms were a number of powerful kingdoms in modern Burkina Faso which ruled the region of the upper Volta river for centuries. The kingdoms were founded when warriors from the Mamprusi area, in modern Ghana moved into the area and intermarried with the local people.

In 1894, the British sent George Ekem Ferguson who convinced the leaders of the Mossi Kingdoms to sign a treaty for British protection at Ouagadoudu the main Mossi Kingdom by Wobogo the ruler of Ouagadoudu.

 

 

July 2, 1864: British expedition to Ashanti abandoned


The Anglo-Ashanti wars were a series of five battles between the Ashanti Empire and the invading British Empire along with British-allied African states between the years 1824 and 1901. These wars were the result of Ashanti forces trying to gain a strong control of the coastal areas of modern Ghana.

At the conclusion of the second war, the British were forced to retreat due to a lack of troops and increasing sickness. There were casualties on both sides but the Ashanti were able push them back.

July 1st 1960: Kwame Nkrumah becomes Ghana's first president and Ghana officially becomes a Republic

Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's First President

Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's First President

Three years after gaining political independence on July 1st, 1960. Ghana became a republic. On this day the then Prime Minister, Kwame Nkrumah was sworn into office, becoming Ghana's first president. By becoming a republic, Ghana became free from all forms of colonialism and has been managed by both civilian and military forces. Being the first sub-Saharan African country to gain independence, Ghana was the beginning of the colonial liberation of other African countries. This day is observed as a public holiday and all citizens are advised to reflect on the political strides made by the country.

June 26: Dr. Busia in exile, expelled from Parliament -- 1959

June 26: Dr. Busia in exile, expelled from Parliament -- 1959

Nkrumah became increasingly paranoid that there were threats to his life from political opposition and passed the Preventive Detention Act in 1958. This act allowed for the incarceration of an individual for five years with no charge or trial, with only Nkrumah having the power to exonerate the accused. Believing that his life was in danger, Busia fled the country in 1959 and continued his academic career in Europe, taking a professorship at the University of Leiden before become a fellow at St. Antony's College, Oxford University. While on the run, Busia was expelled from Parliament on 26 June, 1959.

June 23: Gov. Guggisberg announces plan to increase African recruitment in Government service -- 1921

June 23: Gov. Guggisberg announces plan to increase African recruitment in Government service -- 1921

Prior to 1921 the priority of the British Empire was to develop Ghana for the priority of European capitalists and the crown without focus on native development. A fervent nationalist movement began forming in Ghana in the late 20th century and soon after the appointment of Governor Gordon Guggisberg in 1919, the Crown faced heavy pressure for drastic reforms to benefit the native Ghanaian population.