The Ministry of the Interior in Ghana has officially declared Friday, August 4, 2023, as a Statutory Public Holiday in honour of Founders’ Day. This day will be observed throughout the country as a day of significance and remembrance.
Founders’ Day holds historical importance in Ghana as it marks the contributions of successive generations of Ghanaians who played pivotal roles in liberating the country from colonial rule.
The decision to designate this day as a public holiday was part of a broader initiative by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who proposed amendments to the Public Holiday Act in 2018.
The Public Holidays Amendment Bill, 2018, which was presented by Minister of the Interior, Ambrose Dery, led to the cancellation of three existing public holidays and introduced two new holidays. As a result, Founders’ Day was designated on August 4, while September 21 was set aside as a memorial day for Ghana’s first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, in recognition of his significant role in the fight for Ghana’s independence on March 6.
The three holidays affected by this amendment were the Republic Holiday, previously observed on July 1, the African Union (AU) Holiday, observed on May 25, and the original Founders’ Day, which fell on Kwame Nkrumah’s birthday, September 21.
According to the bill’s explanation, August 4 was chosen to replace Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day because it holds historical significance as the day when Ghana’s independence movement began in 1947. On this date, Ghanaian patriots such as George Alfred Grant, J.B. Danquah, R.A. Awoonor-Williams, Edward Akufo-Addo, Ebenezer Ako Adjei, and various chiefs formed the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC). The UGCC was founded on the principles of the Fante Confederacy of 1868 and the Aboriginal Rights Protection Society of 1897, with a shared mission of achieving Ghana’s independence.
While Founders’ Day has been established as an official public holiday, two opposition political parties, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the Convention People’s Party (CPP), have indicated that they might consider scrapping the holiday if they come into power.