Ghana History

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GHANA

The Portuguese first came to the area in 1471, lured by gold and slavery. The British, Danes, and Dutch all came to trade slaves here and this is where most American slaves originated. After the abolition of the slave trade, the British made the region a protectorate in 1871 and a colony in 1886. In 1952, Kwame Nkrumah became the colony's prime minister and later, the country's first prime minster after independence was achieved in 1960. Blessed with gold and diamonds, the country seemed poised for development and economic wealth. But Nkrumah began to look to the Communist bloc; he also outlawed opposition in 1964. In 1966, Nkrumah was ousted by a military council. Though there have been some civilian governments since, in 1981 another military man took power. Flt. Lt Jerry Rawlings had been unable to improve Ghana's serious economic difficulties until the World Bank intervened. In 1989, Ghana managed a 6% growth rate, although political instability remains. In 1994, fighting erupted between the Konkomba and Manumba peoples in the north of the country, leaving many dead and over 150,000 refugees.

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