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General News of Tuesday, 23 July 2002

Source: gna

Battle of Katamanso is important for all Ghanaians

Katamanso (Greater Accra) -- A university lecturer has said the Battle of Katamanso that was fought 176 years ago determined the course of the Gold Coast history when Ashantis were forced to renounce their claim of lordship over any of the southern states.

The Reverend Dr Samuel Sackey Quarcoopome of the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, said the Ga-Adamgbe won the war and prevented Ashantis from dominating the coast. He was speaking on: "The Slave Routes And The History of Katamanso" at Katamanso at the weekend as part of the Pre-Emancipation Day celebration.

"At a period in time, Ashantis were collecting taxes from castles and forts along the cost, while the Assins, the Denkyiras and the Akwamus were also paying rent to them." But this was stopped when the Ashantis were defeated at Katamanso.

"Events after the war gave the British great influence in the Gold Coast and forced other European powers, especially the Danes and the Dutch, to leave the castles and the forts," he claimed.

Dr Kojo Gavna, Senior Lecturer at Archaeology Department of the University of Ghana, Legon commended succeeding chiefs of Katamanso for protecting the sacred forest where the battle of Katamanso was fought and the entire Katamanso land by not selling portions to developers to make Ghana lose a tourist attraction.

He said he had led final year students of his Department to study the pre-history of Katamanso and the battlefield, adding that what they had discovered are a number of artefacts that were vital for tourism.

Historical evidence at the National Archives classifies the Battle of Katamanso as one of the "Anglo-Asante Wars". The British used rockets for the first time in that war. Indeed it was the British firepower that won the war.