Gold Coast (region)

This article is about the African region. For other uses, see Gold Coast (disambiguation).
Gold Coast
Ghanaian Gold Coast
Flag Gold Coast Emblem
Gold Coast location in red
Gold Coast location in red
Status The Multinational State of the Republic of Ghana
Demonym Gold Coastian (Ghanaian)
   Total 238,535 km2
92,099 sq mi
   estimate about 25,366,462[1]
Time zone GMT (UTC+0)
   Summer (DST) GMT (UTC+0)

The Gold Coast is the gold rich region that is now the nation of Ghana on the petroleum sweet crude oil and natural gas rich Gulf of Guinea in West Africa, Africa.

Etymology and position

The Gold Coast, Slave Coast, Pepper Coast (or Grain Coast) and Ivory Coast were named after the main export resources there.[2]

Early uses of the term Gold Coast refer literally to the coast and not the interior.[2] It was not until the 19th century that the term came to refer to areas that are far from the coast.[2]

The Gold Coast was to the east of the Ivory Coast and to the west of the Slave Coast.[2]

Territorial entities

Gold Coast region territorial entities were:

Ghana is the legal name for the Gold Coast region comprising the following four separate parts, which immediately before independence enjoyed distinct constitutional positions:[2]

The Gold Coast Governors-General responsible for shepherding through the Gold Coast independence legislation Charles Arden-Clarke Lord Listowel explained that the name was chosen "in accordance with the wishes of the Gold Coastian population".[3]


1930s Stamp Gold Coast Golden Stool with George VI.

Gold Coast was first colonized by the Portuguese, with settlement in 1482 of the Portuguese Gold Coast.[2] In 1642 this became part of the Dutch Gold Coast, which had been colonized by the Dutch since 1598.[2] The Dutch stayed in the region until 1871, when the last of their settlements were taken over by the British Gold Coast.[2]

There was also the Brandenburger Gold Coast, which established a colony in the area in 1682.[2] It later became the Prussian Gold Coast.[2] In 1721 it was sold to the Dutch.[2] Sweden also had settlements in Gold Coast, with the Swedish Gold Coast established by the Swedes in 1650, but seized by Denmark in 1663, and made part of the Danish Gold Coast.[2] The Danes had been in the Gold Coast Since 1658.[2] In 1850 all of the settlements became part of the British Gold Coast.[2]

In 1774 a London lexicographer references a witness that "the king of Guinea, the greatest city in all the countries of Negroland, has a mass of gold of thirty pounds weight as it was naturally produced in the mines which is completely pure, tough and malleable without having been smelted".[4] The British had taken over all of Gold Coast by 1871.[2] They captured more territory inland in the late nineteenth century after the Ashanti wars.[2] In 1957,[2] the territory of Gold Coast was granted independence as Ghana.[2]

See also


  1. "Population Country Economy".
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 "The Legislation Providing for the Grant of Independence to Ghana" Journal of African Law, Vol. 1, No. 2 (Summer, 1957), pp. 99–112, Published by: Cambridge University Press
  3. HC Deb 11 December 1956 vol 562 cc229-326, Ghana Independence Bill, The Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (Lord John Hope) "First, there is the name "Ghana." This has been conferred on the new country in accordance with local wishes. It was the name of an ancient kingdom, in what is now French territory south of the Sahara, which has acquired great historic significance in the Gold Coast."
  4. Postlethwayt, Malachy. (1774). Universal Dictionary of Trade and Commerce. (4th edition). London: W. Strahan, J. & F. Rivington. Volume 1. "Africa"

Coordinates: 5°27′N 0°58′W / 5.450°N 0.967°W / 5.450; -0.967

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