The oldest finds originate from the Middle Palaeolithic, where among other things. the important find site Asokrochona hears. Findings of microlith collections from Late Stone Age have been made in several places. Around 1500 BC settlements with microliter finds, stone tools and pottery were found. Heavy logs and tip chops have probably been used in the cultivation of jams and oil palm.
Iron mining went on from the 100 century AD near Begho, which developed into a large settlement about 1000 AD. and reached its peak in the period 1400-1800. This development is in line with many other impressive urban centers that participated in a northern-oriented distance trade.
- Countryaah: Check to see the location of Ghana on the world map. Also covers major mountains, rivers and lakes in Ghana.
From around 1100, a number of rival small states emerged in Ghana. In the 1300s, men came to northern Ghana and in the 16th century Hausa people. Mamprusi, Gonja, Dagomba and Nanumba were founded during the 1300s and 1400s as centralized states. The economy was based on trade in gold and coal nuts. In the 18th century, around 100 state-formations were known in present-day Ghana. The most successful people were Ashanti and Fanti. The former established Ashanti as a significant kingdom in central Ghana. To see more information other than history, please visit Abbreviationfinder to learn more about climate, population, government, and economy for the country of Ghana.
Portuguese explorers arrived in 1471, and soon Portuguese and other Europeans established trading stations along the coast, leading to a radical change in trade; from having previously (approximately 700–1600) been mainly directed north towards the Sudan States, it now came to the south towards the European trading stations. The Elmina Fort on the Guinea Coast, founded in 1482 by the Portuguese, was the first of a long line of European slave stations and settlements on the coast of Ghana. In the following years, British, Dutch, Danish, Brandenburg and Swedish trading stations and fortifications were established (compare the African Company and Cape Coast). Slaves, gold and ivory were the most important commodities. During the 19th century, the British reached a dominant position in the coastal area, now called the Gold Coast. From about 1860, the Dutch played the role, and in 1874 the Gold Coast became the British crown colony. Ashanti in the north had been defeated militarily but was still independent, as were the smaller state formations in northern Ghana. It was not until 1901 that Ashanti was annexed by the British and became a British protectorate.
Already in the late 19th century opposition to British colonialism emerged, especially among the educated African elite. After the Second World War, political parties began to emerge with demands for independence. The United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) was founded in 1947 with Kwame Nkrumah as its leader. In June 1949, Nkrumah broke with the UGCC and formed the Convention People’s Party (CPP), which demanded immediate independence for the colony. In 1956, residents of British Togoland voted for accession to the Gold Coast to form an independent state, which took place under the name Ghana in March 1957.
In 1960, the Republic of Ghana was proclaimed, and Nkrumah became the country’s first president. In the elections that preceded independence, CPP had won a landslide victory, and in 1964 it became the only allowed party. Nkrumah declared that he sought a “democratic socialism” based on industrialization, land reform and socialist education. Foreign left intellectuals had a great influence on his politics, and during the 1960s his ideology served as a model for other African states. He was not as successful in the domestic politics field. His economic policies were strongly criticized, and movements based on traditional African ideologies or neo-colonial thinking conspired against him. Nkrumah was overthrown at a coup in 1966 and died in a national escape in 1972.
After three years of military rule, free elections were announced in 1969. Kofi Busia, who represented the Progress Party (PP), became new prime minister, since a new constitution made the post less important. However, continued financial problems led to new military coups in 1972, 1978 and 1979. In the latter, Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings seized power. He allowed free elections and returned power to civilian politicians, however, after only having executed three former heads of state, among others, and threatened with a new coup if they did not get organized in the country. As the problems continued, Rawlings seized power again on New Year’s Eve in 1981. Now harsh cleansing took place, the property of corruption-accused politicians was confiscated, political parties were banned and economic reform began. The military junta, who called himselfProvisional National Defense Council (PNDC), initially received a lot of popular support, but continued financial problems led to a number of new coup attempts. Internal dissatisfaction and pressure from important donors led from 1990 to a debate about a return to democratic rule.
A new constitution was adopted in a referendum in 1992, and shortly thereafter a number of new parties were formed. Supporters of the military government formed the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to represent the interests of the PNDC; several other parties said to manage the legacy of Nkrumah. In November 1992, the first multi-party was held for the presidential post. Rawlings, who resigned from his army service, was nominated as a candidate for the NDC, winning just over 58 percent of the vote. The opposition claimed that there were cheats and refused to stand in the parliamentary elections in December of that year, when the NDC together with the Allied Every Ghanaian Living Everywhere(EGLE) got 190 out of Parliament’s 200 seats after very low turnout. When Rawlings officially took office, the PNDC was dissolved. Rawlings was able to continue as president despite growing political tensions, including ethnic contradictions over land rights. In the 1996 presidential election, Rawlings was re-elected with 57 percent of the vote. The NDC returned sharply in the parliamentary elections, but retained its majority. The New Patriotic Party (NPP) now emerged as the only opposition party of importance. This tendency towards a de facto two-party system has subsequently been reinforced.
Despite receiving praise from the outside world for a strong economic recovery during Rawling’s later reign, domestic dissatisfaction with corruption, legal arbitrariness and in-depth economic reforms continued. The general elections in 2000 therefore resulted in a change of power. Since Rawlings agreed to resign in accordance with the 1992 Constitution, NPP candidate John Kufuor prevailed in the presidential election over NDC candidate, Vice President John Atta Mills. In the parliamentary elections, the NPP received a scarce majority. Although the new government placed great emphasis on a peaceful change of power, Kufuor made some settlements with the past. A National Reconciliation Commission was set up to investigate abuses and corruption under Rawling’s rule and previous military dictatorships, the three ex-presidents executed on Rawling’s order were officially reinstated and reburied and militants were banned from engaging in political parties. Celebration of the anniversaries of Rawlings both coups was banned.
During Rawling’s tenure, the Government placed great importance on following the recommendations of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank on market economy reforms and rural development. Former governments mainly supported urban areas and the southern parts of the country. After the change of power in 2001, the NPP-dominated government turned its attention to alleged serious corruption under the old regime, especially in connection with the privatization of state-owned enterprises. The NPP government wanted to promote the growth of private enterprise.
In December 2004, Kufuor was re-elected with a good margin, and the NPP strengthened its majority in parliament. In the 2008 elections, however, NPP candidate Nana Akufo-Addo was barely defeated by NDC’s John Atta Mills, while NDC retained its position as the largest party in parliament with 114 out of 230 seats. Atta Mills passed away quickly in July 2012 and was succeeded by Vice President John Dramani Mahama. He won the election in December of the same year but was defeated in the 2016 presidential election by Akufo-Addo, former Minister of Justice and Foreign Affairs. At the same time, the NDC, which won in 2012, lost power in Parliament to the NPP, which received 169 out of 275 seats.