Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Akan Gold

The Akan people are an ethnic group native to Ghana and the Ivory Coast. Ethnic Akans are the largest ethnic group in both countries and have a population of roughly 20 million people.

From the 15th century to the 19th century the Akan dominated gold mining and trading in the region and, from the 17th century on, they were among the most powerful groups in west Africa.
This wealth in gold attracted European traders. Initially the Europeans were Portuguese but, eventually the Dutch and British joined in the quest for Akan gold.

Akan people fought against the European colonists to maintain autonomy including many Anglo-Ashanti wars: the war of the Golden Stool, and other similar battles.
By the early 1900s all of Ghana was a colony or protectorate of the British while the lands in the Ivory Coast was under the French. On 6 March 1957, following the decolonization from the British, the Gold Coast was joined to British Togoland, and the Northern region, Upper East region and Upper West region of the Gold Coast to form Ghana.

Ivory Coast gained independence on 7 August 1960.