Conservationists push to better protect historical sites in Ghana

World Today

It’s a reminder of a grim chapter in World History. A structure that was once a slave fortress in Ghana’s Cape Coast was a main hub of the transatlantic slave trade.
Katerina Vittozzi reported this story from Cape Coast, Ghana.

Conservationists push to better protect historical sites in Ghana

Conservationists push to better protect historical sites in Ghana

It's a reminder of a grim chapter in World History. A structure that was once a slave fortress in Ghana's Cape Coast was a main hub of the transatlantic slave trade. CCTV's Katerina Vittozzi reported this story from Cape Coast, Ghana.

It’s one of Ghana’s most iconic places. Cape Coast Castle was named a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Heritage site more than 30 years ago. Conservationists are teaming up with Ghana’s museums agency to help to protect such key historical sites and secure them for future generations.

On the edge of the coast, the fort was built by European traders in the 17th century and later managed by the British who used it for defense and to trade, first timber and gold and then, people. The history is taught to school children who visit and draws visitors from around the world.

Over the course of 200 years tens of million of men, women and children were sold into slavery.

They would pass through this door, “The Door of No Return” and from here they’d be taken to the ships which would carry them to Europe and the Americas. Experts said its important to not be forgotten.

A recent deal, signed between Ghana’s Museum Board and leading conservationists, will legally protect historical locations including the Cape Coast Castle.

There’s also new agreements to raise public awareness about these sites’ legacies. Restoration is underway, but there’s a constant demand for funding.

Population growth and rapid urban development has placed many of Ghana’s historical sites under pressure.

Internationally-funded conservation drives have been able to protect some of the sites, it’s an ongoing fight to safeguard the past, so that it can inform the future.