A Brief History of Ghana: Background information when reading My First Coup d'Etat

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My First Coup d'Etat

And Other True Stories from the Lost Decades of Africa

By John Mahama

My First Coup d'Etat
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  • Hardcover: Jul 2012,
    336 pages.
    Paperback: May 2013,
    288 pages.

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Beyond the Book:
A Brief History of Ghana

The modern country of Ghana is named after the kings of a medieval civilization in West Africa, the Wagadugu Empire. Later absorbed into the Mali Empire, they were a significant power in trans-Saharan trade, with their capital city on the southern edge of the desert being a major port-of-call for traders and political movers and shakers. Much of Ghana's population today can trace their roots back to this ancient state. Ghana was reputed as having the richest gold mines in the world -- hence the Colonial name for the region, "The Gold Coast."

ghana Attracted by the country's riches, the Portuguese were the first to arrive in Ghana looking to trade in gold, pepper and ivory. To consolidate their position, in 1482, the Portuguese built one of the first European fortresses in sub-Saharan Africa -- in Elmina, on the Ghanian coast. The Portuguese managed to keep the other Europeans at bay for a good century until the Dutch, French and English started making inroads as well, setting up ...

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