Countries in West Africa Part 2


Ghana (formerly the Gold Coast) is a country in West Africa. The capital of Ghana is Accra. The country borders Côte d’Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. Before colonial times, the country consisted of a number of kingdoms.

Fort Christiansborg, now Osu Castle, was the largest Danish base on the Gold Coast in present-day Ghana, and was the shipping port for the Danish slave trade to the sugar plantations in the Caribbean. The ships were usually part of the so-called triangle trade.

According to Nexticle, Ghana is rich in many elements, but mining is particularly concentrated on gold, diamonds, manganese and aluminum.

Ghana has been plagued by political instability and military coups. But since the mid-1990s, some political calm has fallen across the country.

Watch a documentary about the problems with the gold rush in Ghana here.


1471 – Trade with European countries flourishes after contact with the Portuguese in the 15th century.

1598 – The Dutch arrive in Ghana.

1652 – Sweden establishes a fort called Carolusborg.

1657-1660 – Karl Gustav war e. The Danes conquered Carolusborg in 1658, but lost it the following year to the Dutch. However, Denmark had already founded Fort Frederiksborg, and in 1661 Fort Christiansborg was founded. It has since become the headquarters for the Danish colonial presence in the area.

1658-1850 – Denmark-Norway had possessions on the Gold Coast during this period. Plantations were established and gold, ivory and slaves were bought and sent to the Danish West Indies.

1850 – Denmark sells its colonies in Africa and India and Fort Christiansborg later becomes the headquarters of the British colony administration in the Gold Coast Colony. The building is today used as Ghana’s presidential square and is today named after the Osu district in central Accra.

1874 – The British establish a crown colony, calling the area the Gold Coast.

1957 – Ghana gains independence.

1960 – Kwame Nkrumah becomes Ghana’s first president.

1979 – June 4. Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings carried out his first coup and executed several of the former leaders. Rawlings quickly handed over power to a civilian government, but as early as December 31, 1981, he took power again.


Guinea-Bissau is a country in West Africa, bordering the Atlantic Ocean. Guinea-Bissau borders Guinea and Senegal. Previously, the country was a Portuguese colony and known as Portuguese Guinea. The name of the country’s capital, Bissau, was independently added to the country’s name to avoid confusion with the Republic of Guinea.


1956 – The African Party of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde Independence ( PAIGC ) is founded by the Marxist Amílcar Cabral in 1956, with the aim of gaining independence for Cape Verde and Portuguese Guinea (today Guinea-Bissau).

1974 – Guinea-Bissau is the first Portuguese colony in Africa to gain independence – even before the overthrow of the António Salazar dictatorship.


The Republic of Niger is a country located in western Africa, named after the Niger River. Niger borders Nigeria and Benin to the south, Burkina Faso and Mali to the west, Algeria and Libya to the north and Chad to the east. A large part of the country is located in the Sahel Belt.

From ancient times, Niger is divided into two regions, each with its own history and culture – the nomads in the north and the farmers in the south. Throughout history, the area has been the subject of clashes between different peoples.

Niger is divided into seven regions and one capital district (Niamey). The regions are divided into 36 departments (départements) which in turn are divided into 265 municipalities (communes).

Women are systematically discriminated against, and between 5-20% of them are subjected to circumcision.


20th century – French colonization began at the turn of the century, but the French met with opposition from the nomadic people of Tuareg in particular.
1922 – Niger becomes a French colony and becomes part of French West Africa.

1956 – Niger regains political influence as France abolishes inequal voting rights.

1958 – Niger becomes an autonomous state under France.

1960 – August 3. Niger became independent.

1974 – A drought strikes Niger. The drought, combined with allegations of corruption, resulted in the government losing all support and being overthrown by a military coup. Seyni Kountché then led the country until his death in 1987, after which General Ali Saibou took over.

1993 – Niger’s first democratic government is held.

1999 – Mamadou Tandja wins the presidential election and is re-elected five years later.

2000 – A demand emerges from parts of society to impose sharia, Islamic law, which is practiced in the Muslim part of Nigeria. The Sharia debate has led to political tensions in the country. Today, religion and state are kept separate in Niger.

2009 – Tandja tries to change the constitution so he can stay in power. This led to internal unrest and international condemnation.

2010 – February 18 – President Tandja is overthrown in a military coup after trying to change the constitution so he could be re-elected.