The Independence Day of Ghana is celebrated on 6th March.
Declaration of Independence :
Ghana declared independence from United Kingdom on 6th March 1957. This was the result of the efforts of “The Big Six” leaders of Ghana, who in 1947 formed United Gold Coast Convention which called for the self-governance. In 1949, Convention People’s Party was formed by Kwame Nkrumah, who was also a member of the Big Six, and led the party in the struggle for freedom. In 1957, demanding for self-governance, the coastal Gold Coast region declared independence from United Kingdom. Ghana became independent on 6th March 1957 and the first African nation to do so.
The scene of the independence was set in August 1947 when The Big Six (Ebenezer Ako-Adjei, Edward Akufo-Addo, Joseph Boakye Danquah, Emmanuel Obetsebi-Lamptey, Kwame Nkrumah and William Ofori Atta) formed the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) which was exploring ways to independence. Kwame Nkrumah became the General Secretary of the convention. In February 1948, 68 ex-servicemen, protesting against the rising cost of living were killed and injured in a police firing, leading to public outrage and protests. Government suspected the role of UGCC and arrested Kwame Nkrumah and other leaders. After the release, Kwame Nkrumah led the youth movement in 1948 and hitchhiked across the nation proclaiming that Gold Coast now needs self-governance. Cocoa farmers and trade unions supported the movement and built a powerful base to form the Convention People’s Party (CPP) in 12th June 1949. Nkrumah also organized a campaign called “Positive Action” which included non-cooperation, strikes, boycotts and civil disobedience. The regime immediately arrested Nkrumah and its many supporters. This act earned Britain international protests and severe internal resistance. Following this, first general elections were organized in 1951 under universal franchise in which CPP won in a landslide. After the release, Nkrumah declared Ghana independent on 6th March 1957 and became its first Prime Minister.
The country has several traditional and modern music styles due to its cosmopolitan and geographical position in Africa. Traditional north music consists of mix melodic nature such as Kologo and Gonjey, which are composed on stringed and wind instruments with poly-rhythms played on talking drums. Gyil music is also very common while northern style also has a long traditional history of Griot praise singing. Ghanaian pop and Hip-life music genre are also famous in the country. The National Anthem “God Bless Our Homeland Ghana” was written and composed by Philip Gbeho.
The annual celebration is observed every year 6th of March which is characterized by street parties, parades by security personnel and school children at Independence Square Osu. The President takes the salute and delivers a speech on behalf of the government. There are also live musical stage performances and cultural displays by traditional dance groups to mark the day.
Ghana customs and traditions are predominantly inclined towards ancient kingdoms of the Akan and the country is home to diverse multicultural society. Ghanaian major cuisines include staple food with sauce or soup that has some protein source. The indigenous celebration includes Odwira and Homowo (harvest rituals) celebrated by Akan and Ga- Adangbe people. In South Ghana, fermented maize drinks like Asaana and palm wine are common. Women wear traditional dresses like kente clothing which is handwoven into different patterns.
The Government of Ghana is a Unitary Presidential Constitutional Republic where Parliament is unicameral. English is the official language while there are several indigenous languages spoken by the different ethnic groups. Ghana is home to world’s largest gold and diamonds mines and the second largest cocoa producer in the world. Lake Volta of Ghana is the largest artificial lake in the world by surface area.