BRIEF HISTORY OF GHANA EMPIRE
The Ghana empire was also known as Wagadou/ouagadugou by the Arabs.The the meaning of Ghana is Warrior kings or Chiefs,the Empire was one of the great empires in sub-Sahel Africa and some part of the world,it’s wealth and magnificent architecture was awesome and still some of the ruins can be found at certain sites. It was at its peak during the 7th to 13th century and it’s precise area can be found between the Senegal and Niger Rivers.
Diaba was their king but Dinga Cisse became the king after tricking Diaba pretending to be the eldest son,so the kingship later continued from the Cisse’s clan instead of Diaba. Cisse was it’s first major King but history suggest that several undocumented kings ruled before the empire becoming popular and prosperous .
The capital of this great and wonderful empire was Kumbi Saleh,the capital was divided into two,one for the Muslim traders and other part for the king.It was divided by four regions/provinces and it was headed by a Fado. The empire flourished mainly because of the tax and tolls collected from the conquered states and the Gold and Salt trade at Wangara as well as caravans coming from places like Tripoli,Sigilmasa and Tunis.
Their main religion is that of a traditional religion,it’s the usual predominant African religion before the emergence of the Europeans and the Arabs .Oral traditions has it that a sacred python was worshiped during Ghana’s hay days and a maiden has to be scarified for the python deity,though Ghana later accepted the Islamic religion.
History suggest that people from present Ghana had ancestors linked with the ancient Ghana and this can be feasible through the people of the Northern Ghana(Mamprussi), Dagomba and the Gonja as well
as the Akans.
As always is the case for most African empires,the empire came to an end because of the influx of foreigners and tribal wars.Ghana empire came to an end during the 11th to the 13th century and mainly because of the invasion by the Almoravid’s other sources also says that they neglected their state deity.
GHANA DURING COLONIAL DAYS
Ghana is bordered by the Burkina Faso in the North, Ivory Coast in the West, Togo in the East and the Gulf of Guinea or the Atlantic Ocean in the south.
The capital city of modern Ghana is Greater Accra Region and it’s divided into Sixteen provinces or regions namely,Greater Accra(Accra),Central(Cape Coast),Ashanti(Kumasi),Bono-Ahafo,Bono East,Ahafo(Sunyani),Volta,Oti,Eastern,Northern,Savanna(Tamale),Western,Western North,Upper East and West,North East.
Note:Before,there were ten regions/provinces but six newly ones was created recently after the referendum.
According to history the name Ghana(modern) was borrowed from the old Ghana empire.Before Ghana was colonized by the Europeans,there were great independent kingdoms or empires such us the Bonomanso Empire,the Ashanti Empire, the Akwamu, the Denkyira,the Fanti/Mankessim Kingdom,Ga Adangbe,The Gonja etc.
Ghana was called the Gold Coast by the British but the Portuguese who came to Ghana in the 15th Century found so much gold between the rivers Ankobra and the Volta that they named the place El-Mina,meaning The Mine.Later,The English colonizers took the name Gold Coast,all this shows how rich Ghana was before the Europeans arrived.
In 1482, the Portuguese built a castle in Elmina. Their chief aim was to trade in Gold,Ivory,Meleguetta pepper also known as the grains of paradise and the diabolic and inhuman slave trade. King John II of Portugal sent Don Diego D’Azambuja to build the Elmina castle in 1481.
In 1598 the Dutch joined them and built forts at Komenda,Kormantsi,Sekendi etc.In 1637 they captured the castle from the Portuguese and Fort St Anthony at Axim in 1642.Later,other European traders followed the trend in mid 18th century.These are the English, Danes,Swedes,Brandenburg(Germans) etc.By the latter part of 19th century the Dutch and the British were the only traders left and when the Dutch withdrew in 1874, Britain made the Gold Coast a crown colony until Ghana’s independence in 1957 AD.
In the early 40s,the consciousness and intention of Ghanaians to be free from the autocratic and imperial rule of their colonial masters got intense.They wanted to be free to control their own affairs and dignity,Africans and the then Ghanaian leaders took this inspiration of gaining their independence from the Ethiopians,they were the only country in Africa that never got colonized by the Europeans and they even went on to shutter and defeated the Italians during the battle of Adwa.
The battle was led by His Imperial Majesty emperor MenelikII. Remember that,Ethiopia is also the first to convert to Christianity and Islam(Bilal is from Abysinia/Ethiopia) during the emergence of these religions,for this reason,they were really a beacon of hope for the African leaders at that time to also emulate their traditions and norms that factored them to defeat the Italians.
The speech in which His imperial majesty Haile Selasie gave during the league of nations was the main paradigm that triggered the spirit of Africans to fight for their right.It also pinched the European powers to also beware of the maturity of the Africans at that time.
In Ghana,our leaders during that time were the famous,radical and influential BIG SIX, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah,J.B.Danquah,Ako Adjei,Obetsebi Lamptey,Edward Akuffo Addo and Sir Nana Wiliam Ofori Atta,these courageous and patriotic citizens decided to use that privilege to fight for their rights and Independence from the British rule.
During that time,a lot of disturbances broke out,like the boycotting of all the European goods,killing of Coporal Atipoe,seargeant Adjettey and corporal Odartey Lamptey and Demonstrations all over the country.
The example and bravery of the Ethiopians prompted most African leaders to also use the color of Africa which is the RED,GOLD(YELLOW) AND GREEN color which most African countries have in their flags as a sign of African-ism and consciousness of Africans.
Ghana during those times took their inspirations from the Ethiopians and the great black African thinkers during that time like Henry Sylvester-Williams,W.E.B. Du Bois,Marcus Garvey,Malcolm X,Dr. Kwegyir Aggrey etc.
Upon the heat and uprising during that time,THE BIG SIX collectively decided to lead Ghana to freedom and independence after the formation of the United Gold Coast convention(U.G.C.C).
In 1957 something remarkable in our history today took shape and that thing which happened is MYGHANA MAN(Ghana my country),what happened gave birth to the name Ghana and the image Ghana,because the name GHANA signifies the position and future of Ghanaians and Africans as a whole.That is why Ghana’s independence aided other African countries to realize the wave of consciousness which is driven Africa at that time.
On the Eve of 6th of March 1957 Ghana finally became an independent nation and free from the British rule.Though not free in Socio-political view but free to control their own affairs in their own country.
The first person who became the president or prime minister of the new Ghana Republic was Dr. Kwame Nwiah Nkrumah with the ticket from the Convention People’s Party(C.P.P) after breaking away from the U.G.C.C,stating the fact that the latter party and leaders wanted independence gradually but He,Kwame Nkrumah want self-government now.