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Episode 1

This year is very special for Africa: Seventeen African states that gained political independence in 1960 are celebrating 50 years of existence as self-governing nation-states. And the number of countries gaining independence was to double over the next three years, as the wind of change swept through Africa.

In Africa at 50: The wind of Change, Tanzanian journalist Adam Lusekelo presents some personal reflections and reminiscences from five Africans living through those momentous events in five former British colonies.

We hear from Elizabeth Ohene who was 12 years old when the Gold Coast achieved independence from Britain in 1957. As Africa's first post- independence leader, Kwame Nkrumah became a hero to millions all over the continent, inspiring others in their struggles against colonial powers. Ghana was the forerunner in the race to independence, which for many other countries was just beginning as the wind of change swept through Africa.

But Elizabeth's father remained unimpressed. He opposed the union of the British protectorate of Togoland with the newly-independent state of Ghana, and kept the young Elizabeth home from school so that she could not take part in independence celebrations. As a result she was suspended from school- the first of many run-ins she would subsequently have with authorities.

Elizabeth Ohene describes how by 1960, Ghana had become a magnet for many other would-be independence movements, and several future leaders found inspiration and funding in Accra.

Producer: Ruth Evans
A Ruth Evans production for Radio 4.

Release date:

15 minutes

Last on

Fri 5 Nov 2010 13:15

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