On 4th August 1947, the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) was founded at Canaan Lodge in Saltpond, proclaiming its mission towards self-government in the shortest possible time, putting in motion the active drive towards Independence.
The core foundation members and dignitaries at the event included Alfred George Grant, Paa Grant, Gold Coast Merchant, Joseph Boakye Danquah, Francis Awoonor Williams, Edward Akufo Addo, J Quist Therson, E. Ako Adjei, Emmanuel Odarquaye Obetsebi-Lamptey, William Ofori Atta, Ex-Sergeant J. E. Wesley, Mrs. J. B. Eyeson, Mr Modesto Apaloo, Mr and Mrs. Magnus Sampson, Rev F. E. Ekuban and Rev Gaddiel-Acquaah, Nana Hammah II, Omanhene of Enyan Denkyira, and others rulers from Akyem Abuakwa, Kotoku, and Ashanti.
Modern statehood in Ghana was formed over a series of events and acts, dating back to the nineteenth Century, through acts of constitution-making, like those by the Fante Confederation, and later the formation of political pressure groups, such as the Aborigines Right Protection Society (ARPS), the National Council for the British West Africa (NCBWA), the Ratepayers Association, and the Ga Manbii Party, through to the forming of the UGCC, the boycott and riot of 1948, leading to the Watson Commission, the formation of the CPP, the Coussey Committee, and finally, the apotheosis of all these events, Independence, in 1957.
The exhibition highlights several of the groups and individuals that formed who we are today, centering on the historic day, 4th August 1947, and the individuals it brought together, such as Paa Grant, J.B. Danquah, E.O. Obetsebi-Lamptey, William Ofori-Atta, V.B. Annan, E. Ako Adjei of the UGCC; as well as the individuals that led the way, such as J.E. Casely-Hayford, John Mensah Sarbah, E.J.P. Brown, and J.W.Sey of the ARPS, and the groups that came after, such as the Watson Commission, including Kwame Nkrumah, and of course, The Big Six.
Pictures were gathered from the Deo Gratias Studio, Information Services Department and National Archive.
The exhibition and the exploration into the roots of our modern nationhood will continue and expand, from 9th August onwards, at the ANO Institute of Contemporary Arts.
Exhibition on the United Gold Coast Convention,
National Theatre, August 2017