British Empire
The end of the British empire - Ghana
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British newsreel clip showing events in the Gold Coast (Ghana) in 1951
(British Pathe, 1439.24, 'CPP Welcome Freed Leader')
  • Dr Kwame Nkrumah was the leading figure in the campaign to get independence for the Gold Coast from the British empire in the 1950s. He led the Convention People's Party. It wanted independence for the Gold Coast and also wanted the African peoples of West Africa to work together closely.
  • Nkrumah was born in the Gold Coast but developed a successful career in American universities. In the 1940s he began to campaign for independence for his home country. This campaign lasted well into the 1950s.
  • The British were not opposed to the idea of independence for West Africa. However, they were anxious that newly independent states would be stable and democratic.
  • This newsreel clip describes events in Ghana in 1951 when elections were held. Nkrumah won, even though he was in prison. The British released him and allowed him to form a new government, although Ghana remained part of the Empire.
  • The Gold Coast became the independent state of Ghana in 1957.
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