In 1957, Ghana, which was known as the Gold Coast--achieved independence from Britain under the leadership of its first president Kwame Nkrumah. As the leader of Ghana in the transition to independence, Nkrumah was a key force in the campaign for the end of colonial rule through boycotts, strikes, and civil disobedience. He was also a strong voice for Pan-Africanism, which he argues for in Africa Must Unite. Nkrumah was deposed in a coup in 1966, which was followed by a series of military regimes. Since the 1990s, Ghana has become one of the most politically and economically stable countries in West Africa.
Ghana is the home of several prominent political figures, including Ghanaian-born Kofi Annan who was the first black African to be elected as Secretary-General of the United Nations in 1996. John A. Kufuor's biography Between Faith and History tells Ghana's history through the story of an Oxford-educated lawyer who became Ghana's Deputy Foreign Minister, was imprisoned, and eventually became a democratically-elected President of Ghana.
Ghanaian has a rich literary history that reflects modern issues of immigration, globalisation, and the influence of Western ideas on traditional Ghanaian culture. Ghanaian-British philosopher and novelist Kwame Anthony Appiah explores these issues in Cosmopolitanism. The works by playwright Efua Sutherland blends indigenous dramatic forms with European theatrical techniques.
Paul Kenyon's I Am Justice tells the harrowing tale of a young Ghanaian man desperate to leave Africa in search of new opportunities in his idealised vision of England. London-born Ekow Eshun, formerly the artistic director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, tells the opposite story. Eshun's Black Gold of the Sun follows his journey from London to Ghana in search of his cultural roots.
Kwaw Ansah is Ghana's best known filmmaker, whose Héritage… Africa won the 11th FESPACO in 1989. John Akomfrah is a Ghanaian-English director who was born in Accra and founded the Black Audio Film Collective. His most recent film is Nine Muses, which explored the immigrant experience in Britain. El Anatsui is an influential Ghanaian artist, whose large-scale sculptures exploring the effects of globalisation and cross-cultural exchange on African history have been exhibited worldwide.