Ghana, the Road to Independence, 1919-1957

Ghana, the Road to Independence, 1919-1957

Ghana, the Road to Independence, 1919-1957

Ghana, the Road to Independence, 1919-1957

Excerpt

On 6 March 1957 the former Gold Coast colony came to the end of its road to independence and celebrated its entry into the family of autonomous nations as the state of Ghana. The world, which is showing an ever-increasing consciousness of African affairs, has evinced much interest in this new state, the first British colony in tropical Africa to become a self-governing nation. Such interest is all to the good for both exact knowledge and sympathetic understanding are essential if the older nations are to assist these new states in a peaceful sharing of the full life of the free world. The recognition of this situation supports the need for the careful study of both the African continent as a whole and of each separate division with its complexity of individual characteristics and problems. A case study of one of these emergent states where a step by step working out of policy can be seen in detail is often more helpful than theoretical discussions and avoids the dangers of sweeping generalizations. This book is an attempt to provide such a survey of Ghana. The new nation is a comparatively small area with only about four and a half million inhabitants, but the Ghanaians are an intelligent people who are facing with vigour the basic problem of adjustment to modern conditions. Their territory is one of the richest and most promising of West Africa, and it is already evident that they will exercise much influence in the future destiny of the continent.

If world opinion has found much to praise in the conduct of the new state of Ghana, it has also found matter for blame -- although it must be acknowledged that it has not always done so with an understanding of the issues at stake. A study of the pre-independence history of Ghana, while throwing light on the difficulties of the present situation can at the same time, reveal something of the country's culture and basic traditions. It can make clear the policies followed by the British colonial authorities and the challenging problems which the people of Ghana had to meet as they forged ahead on their journey to independent statehood. The new edition of this book, after giving a rapid survey of the historical background covers in more detail the twentieth-century . . .

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