Ghana was the first sub-Saharan African country to achieve independence, on March 6th 1957. Three years later, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was sworn into office as the first president and the republic holiday was proclaimed on July 1, 1960.
First July is the republic day in Ghana. It is celebrated to recognize the efforts and contribution of senior citizens to modern Ghana. This holiday commemorates Ghana becoming a republic on 1st July 1960.
However with the public holiday amendment act in 2019, by President Akufo-Addo, July 1 is no longer a holiday. The commemorative days which include African Union and republic day are now observed but not be observed as holidays.
The republic holiday has been removed from 1st July to 7thJanuary. Government believes this move falls in line with the 1992 constitution and Ghana’s political history. The rationale for the change according to government is to celebrate the longevity of the fourth republican constitution. Speaker of parliament, Professor Mike Ocquaye a pioneer for this changed once argued that, the 1st July holiday for the Republic Day is a dead initiative stating that 1st July 1960, which marks one of the republics of the past, is dead and abandoned, therefore the need for the change.
Some Nkrumahists on other hand severely criticized the change of the holiday as an attempt by the Akufo-Addo administration to downplay the role of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in achieveing a reputation status for Ghana.