In the West African nation of Ghana, every 1 July is Republic Day to commemorate the establishment of Ghana as an independent republic in 1960.
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Note: Republic Day is a Commemorative Day, hence it is not observed as a public holiday.
Before European colonisers ever arrived in what is now Ghana, the region was home to the famed Ashanti Empire, which was rich in such coveted luxury items as gold and ivory. Although the Portuguese were the first to discover the empire in the late 1400’s and several colonial powers fought for control, the British finally prevailed in the late 19th Century.
Following World War II, the British Empire was greatly weakened and could not hold onto its colonies as earlier. Ghana sensed the opportunity, and demonstrations for independence began. In 1952, independence leader Kwame Nkrumah was elected, and the British finally negotiated and agreed to allow Ghanan independence on 1 July, 1957.
Ghana was the first African colonial nation to become an independent republic. And although its subsequent history has been tumultuous, it has remained a free, democratic state since 1996.
Republic Day in Ghana is marked by family gatherings, patriotic programs, and the honouring of senior citizens. It is also a great off-day to use to explore Accra or tour natural wonders like the Wli Waterfalls.
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