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Ghana and the Slave Trade

Introduction

Slave trade operations can be considered as a primary reason for the underdeveloped state of many nations of the African continent. This historic malpractice and abuse of power of the colonial ruling countries devastated the given region. The Republic of Ghana is one of the main examples of how the trans-Atlantic slave trade left its devastating footprint on the prosperity of the population. The key elements of the trade and its ramifications are manifested in its time length of the operation, the target population, and the overall depopulation.

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Main body

A significant number of slaves were taken from Ghana, and it was a major piece of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. It is important to note that Ghana’s former colonial ruling country was Britain. The Republic of Ghana gained its independence from Britain on March 6, 1957 (Boddy-Evans, 2017). The earliest reports suggest that slaves from Ghana were shipped from 1681 until 1807, which is the date of the abolition bill passed in the parliament of Britain (Ross, 2007). However, the given practice did not end with the official bill, which means that the slave trade operated in Ghana for more than 126 years. Considering the fact that the earliest reports do not correspond to the first operation, it is safe to claim that the length of the slave trade was at least more than 150 years. Evidently, the trans-Atlantic slave trade had significant ramifications on the Republic of Ghana. It is stated that the most productive part of the population was taken from Ghana, with ages ranging from 18 to 40 (Ross, 2007). This means that the remaining section of the nation was mostly older adults and children. It had a serious impact on the overall development of the country both during and after the slave trade because able-bodied people are the major driving force of the progression.

The trans-Atlantic slave trade led to massive depopulation in Ghana, which have an effect till the modern times. For example, it is estimated that the size of the population would have reached 50 million people by 1850, which would be manifested in a more productive workforce (Ross, 2007). In addition, the familial relationships were fractured, which means that many children grew up fatherless and motherless. Ghana also could not resist the colonization process because the majority of able-bodied individuals were not present in the country (Ross, 2007). This severely weakened Ghana in the political arena and its interests were disregarded. These effects are still felt by the Republic of Ghana today because, in many regions, there is no electricity and proper access to water (Ross, 2007). The slave trade is one of the main reasons for Ghana being a highly underdeveloped nation in comparison to Western former colonial ruling countries. The overall infrastructure and good economics cannot be fully established due to the progression gap created by the slave trade.

The cessation of the slave trade was only possible as a result of the application of an integrated system of economic, political, administrative, and military measures. The latter was manifested in the bill of abolition, which officially prohibited the slave trade. However, the operation did not stop immediately, and the major part of the damage to the nation was already done before the bill. Healthy and able-bodied parts of the population were taken, which led to the gap in the development of Ghana. Therefore, the main recommendation to improve the current state of Ghana is to provide the region with more benefits from former colonial ruling nations. This can include educational grants, employment opportunities, attractive conditions for Ghanaian businesspeople, and political reassurance in the form of protection. In addition, Britain can give the former colony open trade area, where Ghana can freely sell its products, and British citizens can open businesses in the region. This will lead to more employment opportunities for the local population as well as economic prosperity. These strategies are feasible both politically and operationally because Ghana can offer their resources and acquire better access to education and partnership deals. In short-term, this approach can be integrated gradually, where Britain gives benefits to Ghanaian students in terms of scholarships and grants, which will significantly bolster the development of the nation’s professional competence among the working population. Other elements can be implemented step by step, which will result in mutual benefit for both parties. In the long-term, Ghana will at least catch up to Britain’s level of economic development without damaging the former colonial ruling country’s progression. It is especially feasible due to the fact that Britain is leaving the European Union, and thus, the political influences of Europe’s countries will not affect the given approach.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the trans-Atlantic slave trade needs to regarded as a main cause of Ghana’s development gap. The trade led to severe depopulation and the loss of a capable workforce, which hindered the nation’s overall power and progress. In addition, the period of the operation was substantially long, and its effects can be fully reversed by short-term plans. Therefore, Britain should aid Ghana by creating a mutual agreement for open trade and access to valuable resources.

References

Boddy-Evans, A. (2017). Chronological list of African independence. Web.

Ross, W. (2007). Slavery’s long effects on Africa. BBC News. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, March 6). Ghana and the Slave Trade. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/ghana-and-the-slave-trade/

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