History & Culture

Ghana Independence Day | First Black African Country To Become Independent

Ghana Independence Day | First Black African Country To Become Independent

Ghana Independence Day – 6th March 1957

Ghana’s Independence Day is a national holiday celebrated on the 6th of March every year. On the 6th of March 1957, Ghana raised its flag for the very first time in a crowd of about half a million people for the ceremony signaling the nation’s official transition to independence.

Ghana, previously known as the Gold Coast was renamed as ‘Ghana‘in the year 1957 on Ghana’s Independence Day. The Gold Coast was the name given to Ghana by the British Crown Colony from 1821 – 1957. Every 6th march is an official state holiday for the citizens of Ghana both within and in the diaspora to honour and celebrate the Heroes of Ghana who led the country to gain its independence.

In 1957, Ghana became the first black African country to gain complete freedom. Leaders from the east and west were present in Accra to witness the handover.

Some of the leaders that were present at Ghana’s Independence Day in 1957 include former U.S President Richard Nixon who was by then America’s running president. Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th president of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. He arrived in Ghana’s capital city Accra with a delegation that included civil rights leader Martin Luther King, and other prominent leaders.

Ghana was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to gain its independence from European colonial rule.

Ghana Independence day 6th March Parade

Every year on the 6th of March, a parade is held at The Independence Square currently known as the Black star square in Accra. Selected schools, farmers, and Government workers including nurses partake in the country’s annual march past parade. However, once every couple of years the march past parade is held in other parts of the country.

Since Ghana gained its independence, the 6th march parade has been held outside of the country’s capital only twice.

The first was held in Tamale, the capital city of the northern part of Ghana, and Kumasi, which is the capital city of the Ashanti region. In 2019, for the first time in history, the Ghana Independence Parade took place at the Aliu Mahama Sports Stadium in Tamale.

In 2020, Ghana celebrated its 63rd Independence Day anniversary at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi with the theme “Consolidating Our Gains.”

In 2021, for the first time in decades, the 6th march parade didn’t take place due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. The 64th Independence day celebration was suspended due to safety protocols put in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Year Theme Venue
2013 Investing in The Youth For Ghana’s Transformation Independence Square (Accra)
2014 Building a Better and Prosperous Ghana through patriotism and National Unity Independence Square (Accra)
2015 Achieving Transformation Through National Unity Independence Square (Accra)
2016 Investing in the Youth for Ghana’s Transformation Independence Square(Accra)
2017 Mobilizing for Ghana’s Future Independence Square (Accra)
2018 Ghana Beyond Aid Independence Square (Accra)
2019 Celebrating Peace and Unity Aliu Mahama Stadium (Tamale)
2020 Consolidating our Gain Baba Yara Sports Stadium (Kumasi)

Ghana’s First President

Kwame Nkrumah became the first-ever president and prime minister of the Republic of Ghana in 1957. He founded the Convention People’s Party (CPP) in the year 1949 after his departure from the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC).

After taking over from the British, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah ruled the country from 6th march 1957 – 1 July 1960. Kwame Nkrumah was the first man to lead an African colony to independence after World War II, He later died in exile in Conakry, Guinea, at the age of 62.

Ghana Independence Day | First Black African Country To Become Independent 3

He studied abroad for twelve years where he pursued his higher education. He was married to Helena Ritz Fathia Nkrumah, an Egyptian who was born in Zeitoun, Cairo. He had four(4) children, namely, Gamal, Francis, Samia, and Sekou Nkrumah. Kwame Nkrumah was an influential advocate of Pan-Africanism, and a member of the Organization of African Unity.

Ghana was the first black African country to become independent.


Did you know, Ghana was the first ever black African nation to gain independence?

In 1960, Kwame Nkrumah the first Prime Minister and President of Ghana announced Ghana a republic and himself president for life in 1964. He banned all opposition groups/parties.

He was ousted in 1966 by a military coup while out traveling to Peking. He later kicked the bucket in exile abroad in Romania in 1972.



Independence Square – Black Star Square


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Samuel Kwame Boadu