Ghana has come very far, having now enjoyed over six decades of being free from its colonisers and oppressors.
When Dr. Kwame Nkrumah declared the country’s independence on March 6, 1957, even he could not have envisaged what was to become of the nation 62 years on.
The journey has been filled with mixed reactions and expectations, however, there is definitely more room for improvement.
While Ghana has not developed to the required level, the nation has still managed to chalk successes in critical sectors, including education and health.
The country has also sustained its reputation as a beacon of peace and democracy in Africa.
As Ghana marks its 62nd Independence Day Anniversary, YEN.com.gh take a look at eight key achievements of the country:
1. 1960: Ghana became a Republic
After gaining freedom from British rule, Ghana took another major step in his fledgling democracy to become a Republic.
July 1, 1960 is the day on which Ghana became an independent republic state and the day was historic in West Africa.
After then Prime Minister, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah proclaimed Ghana as a Republic, he became the country’s first President.
2. 1978: Ghana won African Nations Cup for a record third time and got to keep the trophy
In 1978, Ghana chalked a major success when it comes to sports by becoming the first country to win the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) for keeps.
Having won the coveted trophy in 1963 and 1965, the Black Stars returned to win it for the third time in 1978.
Ghana went on to win the AFCON again in 1982 but, unfortunately, the country has since failed to win any major trophy at senior level.
3. 1992: Writing of new constitution and restoration of democracy after decades of military rule
Having returned to democracy after decades of military rule, the 1992 constitution was written to serve as the guide for all Ghanaian citizens.
The constitution was the foundation of Ghana’s Fourth Republic and has since not been changed, although there have been some amendments over the years.
Ghana previously had three constitutions – 1969, 1979 and 1992 – but the current one is what is now officially regarded as containing the laws of the land.
4. 1997: Appointment of Kofi Annan as UN secretary-general
The year 1997 was one of pride for every Ghanaian due to Kofi Annan’s rise to become the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN).
The Ghanaian diplomat was one of the most respected men in the world while he was alive and was even a co-recipient of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize.
Kofi Annan was also the chairman of The Elders, an international organization founded by Nelson Mandela, as he gained global acclaim for his role in establishing the Sustainable Development Goals to aid Africa countries.
5. 2006: Qualification to first ever FIFA World Cup after decades of trying
Ghana has always been known as a powerhouse when it comes to African football, but the nation finally made its debut in the World Cup in 2006.
Boasting a talented squad containing the likes of Michael Essien, Stephen Appiah, John Mensah and captain Stephen Appiah, Ghana made its first appearance at the global showpiece.
Although the Black Stars did not win it, they made a mark by reaching the round of 16 stage, before being eliminated by Brazil.
6. 2007: Discovery of oil in commercial qualities in Ghana
Ghana discovered the Jubilee Oilfield and many other oilfields in the year 2007, after many years of experiments and searches.
Currently, the Jubilee Oilfield contains up to 3 billion barrels (480,000,000 m3) of sweet crude oil.
As a result, the country is now able to explore both oil and has in large quantities, although a chunk of that has been outsourced.
7. 2009: Visit of Barack Obama to Ghana - his first trip to Sub-Saharan Africa as US president
In July 2009, then United States (US) President Barack Obama made Ghana his first African destination.
Obama was welcomed by Ghana late former President John Evans Atta-Mills and he went on to deliver a speech at Ghana’s Parliament.
The historic visit of Ghana was part of Obama’s first international trips when he became President of the US.
8. 2010: Record-equaling quarter final finish at World Cup in South Africa
Ghana has had a historic journey when it comes to football in Africa, but it was at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa that the world truly got to recognize the nation.
The Black Stars impressively made it to the quarter-final of the competition, becoming only the second African side to do so after Senegal in 2002.
In fact, Ghana had one foot in the semi-final of the World Cup, until a goal-line handball by Luis Suarez in the box and a subsequent penalty miss by Asamoah Gyan ultimately proved costly as Uruguay advanced.
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