Through the Lens of History

Ghana’s 20th century history, while often forgotten, is important for all of Africa. 

Ghana, led by Kwame Nkrumah, played a pivotal role in the decolonization of Africa after the Second World War. The first African country to gain independence in 1957, Ghana’s history to that point, and after it has been a very interesting, if not sombre, tail. It is this history that we had the pleasure of looking at while in Accra over the past weekend. After some goodbyes in Koforidua, we headed down to spend the weekend in the capital as a stopping point before venturing onwards to Takoradi.

A Day Out in Accra

A Day Out in Accra

Some of the sites that we saw in Accra included Black Star Square and Gate and the Kwame Nkrumah mausoleum. For me, the most interesting thing was going to the mausoleum and viewing the museum attached to it. Many people underestimate the importance that Nkrumah had, not only in Ghana, but in Africa as a whole. With Ghana being the first country to gain independence, Nkrumah sounded the alarm to the colonial powers that people were not going to take it any longer. Indeed, after a coup in 1966 removed him from power, Nkrumah went to Conarky and continued to write and fight the colonial chains around Africa. For me, Nkrumah was a pioneer and he wasn’t afraid to attack the injustices he saw. He might not be as popular as Patrice Lumumba, but what he did and what he represented was just as important. I was happy to pay my respects to him.

Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum

Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum

We have now settled in Takoradi. While we’re just beginning our projects here, it looks like it will continue to be a very positive experience for all of us. Plus, with the beach not less than a 10 minute walk away, there are ample opportunities to decompress after a long day of work. But that’s it for now. From the Soviet inspired monuments around Accra to the beaches of Takoradi, I bid you adieu.

A beach in Takoradi

A beach in Takoradi

– Robert Rankin, Youth Ambassador, Ghana, 2013

To read more about YCI’s programs in Ghana, click here. To read more blogs from our volunteers in Ghana, click here. 

YCI is currently recruiting for a number of projects in Ghana this Winter- check out our Program Calendar for more information!

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