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Thu, 08.15.1878

George Grant, Merchant and Politician born

George Grant

*George Grant was born on this date in 1878. He was a Black African merchant and politician on the Gold Coast.

George Alfred Grant was born into an influential merchant family in Beyin, Western Nzema, Ghana. He was the son of William Minneaux Grant and Madam Adjua (Dwowa) Biatwi of the Aboradze clan. Grant was educated at Wesleyan School in Cape Coast and worked in the timber trade at Axim in the Ivory Coast. In 1896, he established the George Grant and Company. He prospered as a timber merchant with a flourishing export business. 

Grant visited Britain in 1905, and by the time the First World War broke out in 1914, he had built up business contacts with leading timber companies in Europe and the United States. Between 1914 and 1919, he chartered ships to transport timber to Britain and the U.S.A. He opened his offices in London, Liverpool, and Hamburg between 1920 and 1922 and had Gold Coast operations in Dunkwa, Sekondi, and Akim Abuakwa.

In 1926, he was appointed to the Legislative Council, representing Sekondi. Grant was also a member of the Aboriginal Rights Protection Society and was instrumental in many development projects, including introducing street lighting and pipe-borne water to Sekondi and Axim. During and after the Second World War, Grant realized that Africans in the Gold Coast were suffering many discriminatory colonial practices, and he decided to take steps to deal with the inadequacy of representation of African interests.

He invited J. B. Danquah and others to a meeting to launch a nationalist party to form the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC).   Kwame Nkrumah was elected UGCC secretary general.   Nkrumah later split from the UGCC to form the Convention People's Party (C.P.P.), and Grant eventually concentrated more on his businesses than politics. In 1955, he suffered an attack of apoplexy, from which he never wholly recovered.

However, they maintained contact, and Nkrumah visited him two days before Grant's death in Axim on October 30, 1956, at the age of 78. Called 'Paa' Grant, he has been called "the father of Gold Coast politics."  

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