The name Ghana
The name Ghana
Today, we call our country Ghana, but a few years
ago it was called the Gold Coast. The Europeans who
came to trade along the West African coast gave our
country the name Gold Coast because they found that
the people of this country were very rich and had lots
of gold to sell. They saw that the coastal people wore
gold jewelrey. For example, the chiefs wore gold chains
and golden sandals and carried gold rods.
In 1874, the Gold Coast became a British colony and
very slowly the British extended their rule inland from
the coast t ocover the Asante Empire and later the
peoples of the north. By this time our country had
boundaries very similar to the ones we have today.
The British did not give this large new country a
different name. The whole land was called the Gold
Coast Colony and Protectorate.
On 6 March 1957, the Gold Coast won its independence
from the British. When we became independent
we no longer wanted our country to be called by the
name given to it by Eruopean traders and rulers. We
wanted an African name of which we could feel proud.
We chose Ghana. Ghana was the name of a great
empire that existed long ago near the land of our nation
and, like our own country, this old kingdom was rich
in gold. It was a powerful kingdom when many of the
European countries were very backward. The poeple
of ancient Ghana lived rather like the Akan people
of our own country. Some historians think that the
Akans might have come from ancient Ghana.
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