The history of Ghana must definitely come with colonial rule. When there is a mention of colonial rule, there’ll surely come slave trade in the then Gold Coast colony. But what are the basics of the slave trade back in the day? Some forts were built purposely for such a purpose and it includes Fort Prinzenstein located in Keta in the Volta Region.
Slave trade came into Gold Coast as a second thought since the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British did not originally come into the coasts of the country for this reason. The colonial masters at the time came into the country to trade in gold and ivory tusks. Try to learn also about the University of Ghana, The Pride of Ghana’s Tertiary Education
The whites at the time of their gold trade engaged the services of the Gold Coasters as labour and it was in the process of this engagement that they found out the black man was physically stronger and can be engaged in more labour work in their respective countries hence the inception of the slave trade in Gold Coast.
As mentioned earlier in our introduction, one of the forts that helped in the slave business is Prinzenstein. Many forts were built but it was only Prinzenstein that presented itself at the eastern part of the Volta River.
Keta served as an open port for foreign transport until the construction and operationalization of the Tema Harbour in the west in 1962. Since the end of the slave business, the fort has been designated a World Heritage property.
The Danish presence in Keta back in the day was an advantage for the locals because it gave them the privilege to get paid jobs that could help them to cater solely for their family and friends.
In 1783 however, the people of Anlo, who were and are the locals of Keta began waging violence against the whites. The then local Danish agent, the Governor of Christiansborg raised an army of locals who disliked the Anos. This made the Danes defeat the Anlo and impose a treaty in 1784 which allowed them to build Fort Prinzenstein and obliged the Anlo to trade only with them.
From the time of its raising, the fort was used as basically as a dungeon for slaves awaiting transportation to Asia. In 1850 the fort, along with the rest of the Danish Gold Coast was sold to Britain.
This was when Keta became a British colony turning the fort to be used as a prison for a period before it was partially destroyed by the sea in 1980. Trying to keep the remains of the fort for the future generations, the ICOMOS Ghana in together with the Ghana Museum and Monuments Board and the Danish Embassy in 1991 made some effort towards its protection, however, the impact of the effects continued.
Fort Prinzenstein is visited by tourists from every part of the world including the United Kingdom, USA, Germany, Benin, France, Norway, Switzerland, Denmark, and Finland.