On 5 March 1957, Britain formally transferred power to independence leader
The Duke of Kent is the British
representative at events to remember
the occasion, which triggered a chain
reaction as other African nations
moved towards independence.
African leaders, including South
Africa's Thabo Mbeki, Robert Mugabe
of Zimbabwe and Olusegun
Obasanjo from Nigeria, attended
Singer Stevie Wonder was expected to
perform a version of his track Happy Birthday dedicated to Ghana.
In the capital and beyond, the country's Black Star flag fluttered from
electricity poles, car windows and palm trees.
On the streets of the city, many celebrated. "When you look at how our
friends have suffered, by God's grace we are here, we have reason to be
proud," Nora Kattah told Reuters.
Our correspondent says many of the years following independence were
like a rollercoaster, with coups and economic meltdown, but recent stability
has offered hope.
The country is often cited as an
example of stability, steady growth, and
low inflation, with increases in its
output of major exports including
cocoa and gold.
But others have questioned the
wisdom of holding lavish celebrations
while many in the country remain
without basic services.
President Jerry Rawlings, who ruled
for almost two decades, has criticised
the events and boycotted them.
In a statement, he said he would not share a stage with "the same people
who have taken every opportunity to denigrate us".
"Politically our leaders have failed us," Accra resident Emmanuel Danso
"Only politicians or people who know people live well in this country," he