The Gold Coast Aborigines’ Rights Protection Society (ARPS) was formed in 1897 in the port city of Cape Coast, a hub of intellectual and political activism in colonial Ghana. The ARPS remained the voice of colonized Africans until its demise in the 1930s. The idea of forming the society had been incubated as early as 1895, but was shelved until May 17, 1897, when a meeting organized by the African intelligentsia in Cape Coast to protest the proposed Lands Bill of 1894 to 1897 culminated in the formation of the society. Thus, the main catalyst for the formation of the ARPS was the African intelligentsia’s protest against the Lands Bill. Had the Lands Bill been passed, it would have allowed the colonial government to take over so-called waste or public lands.
The Gold Coast ARPS then sent a delegation to London in order to advocate for the dismissal of the Lands Bill of 1897 in front of Joseph Chamberlain, the Secretary of State of Britain at the time. A notable aspect of the delegation is that it included not only members of the Gold Coast elite, but also "prominent merchants". It was through their meeting with Joseph Chamberlain that the Gold Coast ARPS was able to get support for the denunciation of the Lands Bill of 1897 and the assurance that "native law would remain and prevail with regard to devolution of land". The Gold Coast ARPS eventually fell out of fashion in exchange for newer nationalist movements, such as the National Congress of British West Africa (NCBWA) in 1920.
Jacob Wilson Sey, reputed to be the Gold Coast's first millionaire and President of the APRS, led the delegation.