Celebrating Ghana’s Independence Day with a series of rare historical film footage
Ghana, formerly known as the Gold Coast became one of the first Africa states to gain independence from Britain on 6th March 1957. Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first ever President oversaw the county’s independence from Great Britain. Photos of that era can be seen here: Photos to recall historical moments of Ghana’s independence.
To celebrate Ghana’s independence this year, we have put together a series of videos that document political events leading to Ghana’s independence and a documentary style film footage of its more recent history.
The first video chronicles the Gold Coast / Republic of Ghana’s History from 1945 to 1966 under the first Prime Minister and then President of Ghana Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. This documents Ghana during the Colonial period and when it achieved independence in 1957. Events leading up to the overthrow of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s in 1966 by a military junta are also touched on in some detail. The film also covers the history behind how the Akosombo Volta Dam was built.
Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s Legacy (Mostly A Silent Video)
This film documents the legacy of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah the Founding Father of Ghana. It relates to the period between 21st September 1909 to 27th April 1972. Kwame Nkrumah was born on September 21st, 1909 in Nkroful, Ghana (then Gold Coast). Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was the leader of Ghana and its predecessor state, the Gold Coast, from 1951 to 1966. He was hailed as the Osagyefo – which means “redeemer” in the Twi language. Kwame Nkrumah was an influential 20th-century advocate of Pan-Africanism, who agitated for not only the independence of Ghana, but Africa as a whole. He was a founding member of the Organization of African Unity and was the winner of the Lenin Peace Prize in 1963. On February 24th 1966 he was overthrown by a military coup. He then fled to Conakry, Guinea where he soon developed skin cancer and flew to Romania where he died in April 1972.
Ghana’s History Part 2 / The Gold Coast (1966-2000)
In this film, Ghana’s history between 1966 to 2000 is documented. The film is mainly based on the years that followed after Dr. Nkrumah was overthrown. These were years characterised by dictatorship and a number of military coups. This docu film features all the Presidents of Ghana and military dictators that governed or as some may more accurately put it, misgoverned Ghana after Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s overthrow. These include Lieutenant General Joseph Arthur Ankrah, Lieutenant General Emmanuel Kwasi Kotoka from the National Liberation Council, Kofi Abrefa Busia, Ignatius Kutu Acheampong, Dr. Hilla Limann and Jerry John Rawlings. J.J Rawlings ruled as a military dictator and then as an elected President until the year 2000.
Ghana’s History Part 3 / Republic of Ghana (2000-2008)
In the year 2000, Ghanaians after 11 years of Jerry John Rawlings ruling as a military dictator went to the polls to vote twice for Jerry John Rawlings. JJ as he is known served two terms in office as a democratically elected President.. Rawlings had ruled from 1981 to the year 2000 spending almost 20 years in power.
After JJ Rawlings had served two terms the next general election took place in December 2000 with the New Patriotic Party (NPP) coming out on top with their flag bearer John Agyekum Kufour winning the election. John Agyekum Kufour was sworn into office in January 2001. President John Kufour brought stability, economic growth, and further development to the Republic of Ghana. Kufour was praised for massive infrastructure development, as well as attracting foreign investment. The improvement in agriculture was astonishing and there was a better management of Ghana’s two main exports, gold and cocoa. He also changed the Ghana cedi currency, converting it into a new Ghana cedi which had the same value and equated with the old one, thus making transactions faster and easier. Kufour was also responsible for helping create the Golden Jubliee, which was established in 2007 when Ghana celebrated 50 years of independence from Britain (the United Kingdom). Just as Rawlings did, John Kufour served two terms leaving office in e in late 2008. His reign was not, however, devoid of criticism of corruption, croynism and tribalism.
Ghana’s 2008 General Election (2008-2009)
The 2008 Ghana general election was peaceful by all accounts. The NDC a.k.a. National Democratic Congress’ late Professor John Evans Atta Mills and the NPP a.k.a. New Patriotic Party’s Nana Danquah Akuffo Addo campaigned long and hard for the election. It was a general election to remember and one that tested Ghana’s peace and democracy. The election had to be held twice after neither of the candidates garnered the votes needed to win outright. The President elect was Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, who won by 50 %, surpassing Nana Akuffo Addo who had 49%. In 2012 the people of Ghana had another election which was slated for December 7th. Another “John”, John Mahama Dramani, the vice President for the late John Atta Mills beat the National Patriotic Party’s flag bearer, Nana Akuffo Addo.