Ghana Turns 59: Quick Facts And Prospects

On Sunday, March 6, 2016, Ghana celebrated her 59th independence anniversary. The nation marked the occasion with a public holiday on the next day, Monday, March 7th. In the spirit of reciprocation, it is reported that President Uhuru Kenyatta was present at the event. President Mahama had earlier been present in the past Kenyan independence celebration. Also present for this event was the President of Guinea-Bissau, Jose Mario Vaz.

In his speech, President Mahama asserts that the hopes and dreams of their founding father – Dr. Kwame Nkrumah has been fulfilled. He said this implying that Ghana is a proud African nation that is not willing to brood over past years of colonization. Towing a similar line in his address during the launch of the ‘End child marriage’ campaign, the president also stressed the need to pass down the spirit of patriotism through words and action to the younger generation. He also stressed the need for a joint effort to foster peace and unity in the nation.

See Also: Ghana Joins In The Fight To Abolish Child Marriage In Africa

“We cannot encourage conversations and activities that are meant to weaken our moral or limit our potential at this particular moment… The changes we make lift them [children] higher to provide them with a solid foundation on which they too can build this nation.”

In his national address at the Black Star square, Ghanaian president did take acknowledgement of the challenges that the people face. He urged the people to be optimistic and accept the hurdles side by side to the achievements that the country has had.

Brief History:


Ghana is a west African country found along the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean. It is a neighboring nation to Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Togo. Ghana is a tropical area with about 27 million people (2014 estimate) and counting.

It was first colonized in the 15th century by the Portuguese. To their stunning amazement they found Gold and this made the west African nation to be popularly referred to as the Gold coast. Later the region was under the control of indigenous Akwamu and Ashanti kingdoms.

Gaining her independence in 1957, Ghana was the first sub-Saharan colony to be free from imperialism. You cannot talk about the Ghana independence without talking about Dr Kwameh Nkrumah, who pioneered the movements that led to freedom. He became the nation’s first Prime Minister.

In 1972, the military took over the government and that registered a whole lot of brutality. This is where Jerry John Rawlings comes in with his group; they deposed the brutal government. After a second coup execution, Rawlings took over the leadership of Ghana. He served 2 terms and in that time registered significant transformations in Ghana. Rawlings later handed over to John Kufour; Kufour handed over to John Atta Mills who preceded the current president, President John Mahama

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According to Wikipedia, Ghana is the 9th largest African economy by purchasing power parity and nominal GDP; the 2014  61st most peaceful country in the world; and Forbes 11th most friendly country in the world (2011 ). Ghana is known to have one of the world’s largest oil reserves and is distinct for her rich and colorful culture.

The flag of Ghana, consist of red(for freedom fight), gold (treasure), green (natural wealth) colors with a small-sized but conspicuous black star at the center. This pattern was designed by Theodosia Salome Okoh in 1957, and has long remained the official flag of Ghana till date.

The Way Forward:

The idea of going border-less like some African countries have is nothing short of broadening her economic opportunities and allowing a wide range of investment. Ghana is gradually going border-less for this same reason.

President Mahama announced that Ghana will begin to offer visas on arrival to citizens of all 54 African Union (AU) member states starting in July. This is line with the AU 2063 agenda, that proposed a single African passport policy. Already Rwanda and Mauritius have implemented the policy.

In other words, Ghana’s visa policy which was open to only the 15 ECOWAS countries has been extended to more African countries. Inciting the need for a more integral African relationship, the president thinks it’s a good idea to be familiar with French, which is largely spoken in Africa as a lingua franca.

A border-less Ghana will not only boost domestic and intra-national tourism but also unify African nations for the better.

See Also: Imagine Having An African Union Passport In The Year 2063