Ghana; key historical events
Page last modified 14/11/2020
See also Africa for other African countries
For events in North Africa relating to the Islamic World and Arab Spring see also Islam & Middle East
2000, Jerry Rawlings stepped down from power. The oppoasition New Patriotic Party under John Kufuor gained power.
1996, Jerry Rawlings again won elections.
1992, Jerry Rawlings won elections in Ghana.
1989, Attempted coup against Rawlings, failed.
31/12/1981. Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings seized power in Ghana, ousting President Limann whom he accused of ruining the economy.
1980, Jerry Rawlings allowed a democratic election in Ghana.
4/6/1979, Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings led a military coup which deposed General Acheampong, who had ruled since 1972. Acheampong was then executed.
27/4/1972, Kwame Nkrumah, former Ghanaian president and Prime Minister, died. Ousted in a military coup in 1966 whilst he was in China, he died in Bucharest, Hungary.
13/1/1972, Kofi Busha, ruler of Ghana, was overthrown in a coup led by Ignatius Katu Acheampong (1931-79). Acheampong was himself overthrown (1978) and executed in 1979.
27/12/1971, Kofi Busia, Prime Minister of Ghana, signed an agreement with the IMF for economic aid on condition that he massively devalue the Ghanaian currency. Previously Busia had artificially manipulated prices in Ghana, keeping agricultural prices low so as to keep urbanites happy and boost Government revenue. However this resulted in a huge balance of payments deficit and foreign exchange shortage.
10/9/1966, Sir Seretse Khama became President of the Republic of Ghana.
24/2/1966, Kwame Nkrumah, President of Ghana since its independence in 1957, was overthrown by an army coup and went into exile in Guinea.
1964, Ghana became a One Party State.
23/1/1963, The Volta River Project, Ghana, to dam the River Volta, was inaugurated by Dr Nkrumah.
16/12/1961, The USSR agreed to make a loan to Ghana for the construction of the Volta River Project, for generating hydroelectric power.
28/9/1961, In Ghana, President Kwame Nkrumah imprisoned leading members of the opposition, claiming a plot to assassinate him.
1/7/1960. Ghana became independent (formerly Gold Coast and British Togoland). Kwame Nkrumah was its first President.
6/3/1957. Ghana, formerly known as the Gold Coast, became independent; the first British colony in Africa to do so. It had been a British colony since 1874. Dr Kwame Nkrumah became the first Prime Minsiter, in the capital, Accra. Nkrumah’s party had won the 1956 elections. The name Ghana was chosen by Nkrumah to inspire his people from the time when Africans had wealth and power. it was taken from the Islamic empire which ruled for centuries in Sudan during Europe’s Mediaeval times. On 7/3/1957 Ghana joined the United Nations.
1949, Nkrumah formed the Convention People’s Party (CPP).
22/6/1947, Jerry Rawlings, President of Ghana, was born.
18/9/1909, Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first Prime Minister, was born in Ankroful. He was President from independence in 1957 until an army coup sent him into exile in Guinea in 1966.
25/9/1901. Britain annexed the Ashante Kingdom (Ghana) as part of the Gold Coast.
3/3/1901, Yaa Asantewaa, the Queen of the Ashante Empire (in what is now Ghana) was arrested by British troops, bringing to an end the War of the Golden Stool that had started on March 28/3/1900.
14/11/1899, Britain concluded an agreement with Germany over the frontier between the Gold Coast and the German colony of Togo.
14/6/1898, At a convention in Paris, the boundaries of the British colony of the Gold Coast, (Ghana) were confirmed, as they stand now. Britain abandoned claims to Ouagadougou (present-day capital of Burkina Faso), further north.
1897, Lieutenants Henderson and Ferguson occupied Wa, in the far north-west of present day Ghana, where they were attacked by indigenous Senegalese peoples.
18/1/1896, British troops took Kumasi and took the Ashanti King prisoner in the Fourth Ashante (Ghana) War.
1889, An Anglo-French agreement confoirmed British control of Ghana, but only as far north as 9 degrees N (Ghana currently extends to 11 degrees N). See 14/6/1898.
1882, Captain R la Trobe Lonsdale reached Yendi, north of Salaga, also Bontuku to the west.
1876, Monsieur MJ Bonnat, travelling up the Volta River, reached Salaga.
4/2/1874, The Battle of Kumasi ended the Second Ashanti War. British control was consolidated in the inland regions of the Gold Coast. However British influence still did not extend into the ‘Northern Territories’ of Ghana, see 1876, 1882, 1897.
31/1/1874, Battle of Amoaful, Second Ashanti War.
1871, Britain had by now purchased all Dutch forts and Dutch-controlled territory in Ghana.
6/3/1844, Britain concluded an agreement with the indigenous Chiefs of the Gold Coast, giving the UK control over the territory’s legal system and judicial punishments.
1843, The British Government (Colonial office) resumed control of the forts. Maclean continued to direct ‘native affairs’ until his death in 1847.
1831, The administratorof the merchants (9/1828), a Mr George Maclean, concluded a treaty woth the Ashanti, that was disadvantageous to the Fan. By this means Maclean extended control inland over the wholee of the Gold Coast. Allegations that he tacitly encouraged slavery were overlooked in favour of his having achieved stability in the territory.
9/1828, Britain was considering pulling out of the Gold Coast colony, demolishing all the forts as they wer abandoned, due to its perpetual state of unrest. However a company of British merchants protested this move, and were aloowed to take over these forts, along with a grant of £4,000 a year from the British Government.
7/8/1826, The British defeated the Ashanti at Dodowa, near Accra (Ghana).
1824, The British colonial Governor of the Gold Coast, Sir Charles McCarthy, encouraged the Fan people, who had been subjugated by the Ashanti in 1811, to rise against them. This was a move to cause internal dissension within the indigenous inhabitants of Ghana, and facilitate British political control of the region.
1821, The African Company of Merchants was dissolved, and its forts taken over by the British Crown. The Company had been rendered unviable by the abolition of the slave trade in 1807.
1814, The Ashanti people gained supremacy over the coastal Fan people; see 1824.
1750, The English-based African Company of Merchants, which now superseded the Royal African Company, was constituted this year by Act of Anglish Parliament. Besides gold, it had a considerable trade in slaves, with some 10,000 a year being exported from Ghana. Many of these slaves were in fact prisoners of war previously captured by the Ashanti people.
1700s, Peak of the Akwamu Empire, which was now subsumed by the Ashanti Kingdom.
1672, King Charles II of England granted permission to the Royal African Company to build forts and trade in the Gold Coast (Ghana).
1651, The English fort of Kormantine was by now established in Ghana. The existence of this fort was a provocation to the Dutch, and a cause of war between the two countries in the 1660s. The Treaty of Breda confirmed Dutch supremacy over the former English forts/trading stations in Ghana, but the English simply built others.
1637, The Dutch drove the Portuguese out of the Gold Coast colony (now Ghana).
1553, English merchants were trading for gold with Ghana; this year they brought back 150 lbs (67 kg) of gold from there.
1481, The Portuguese established a trading post on the coast of Ghana, at Fort Elmina. Or, Elmina already existed in 1364(?).
1364, Norman merchants may have (?) traded for gold with the indigenous inhabitants at a place known as Elmina (La Mina)
1100s, Settlement of the northern forests by the Akan peoples.
1075, Kumbi, capital of Ghana, was plundered by the Almoravids, as they overran much of west Africa. Ghana never recovered from this, and continued overgrazing reduced the fertility of its territory.
800, The Kingdon of Ghana was becoming wealthy through its trade in gold and salt.