The Black Star Square, also known as Independence Square, stands as a significant public square in Accra, Ghana, flanked by the Accra Sports Stadium and the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park. This iconic space is a focal point for various national events and the annual independence celebrations. It serves as the premier venue for civic and military parades in Ghana, holding a deep place in the country’s history and culture.
Constructed in 1961, during the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Ghana, the Black Star Square is situated between the 28th February Road and Accra’s Southern Coastline. Notably, it is one of the largest public squares globally, offering ample space for gatherings and commemorations.
The inception of the Black Star Square is intertwined with Ghana’s journey to independence. Kwame Nkrumah, the first prime minister and president of the newly formed Ghana after liberation from British rule, commissioned the square’s construction to honor the nation’s newfound sovereignty. This endeavor coincided with Queen Elizabeth II’s visit and was subsequently named Black Star Square.
Each year, on March 6th, Ghana’s Independence Day parade takes place at the Black Star Square. This event holds immense significance, especially exemplified by the Golden Jubilee celebration in 2007, marking the 50th anniversary of Ghana’s independence from British colonialism. The Golden Jubilee parade, led by President John Kuffour, stands as a notable highlight.
The architecture of the Black Star Square includes stands with a capacity for 30,000 attendees. The square showcases three monuments that encapsulate the struggle for liberation and independence: the Independence Arch, the Liberation Day Monument, and the Black Star Gate, also referred to as the Black Star Monument. Among these, a statue of a soldier facing the Independence Arch pays tribute to those who sacrificed their lives in the fight for Ghana’s freedom.
The Black Star Square has witnessed several historic events, underlining its enduring importance. In 1998, over half a million people congregated at the square to welcome former U.S. President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton, marking the first visit of a U.S. president to Ghana. Additionally, the square has hosted state funerals, including those of late President John Atta Mills in 2012, former Vice-President Aliu Mahama in 2012, and late former President Jerry Rawlings in 2021.
As a symbol of Ghana’s resilience, struggle, and unity, the Black Star Square remains an iconic landmark and a cherished site for celebrations, commemorations, and national gatherings.
Source Pictures: allaboutaccra