A DEATH TRAP
Story: Reuben SACKEY, Rebecca TETTEY & Edinam AZAMELAH
The once elegant Black Star Square, also known as Independence Square is in ruins rotting away, the Today Newspaper can state on authority.
The 30,000 capacity public Square, is now the last option for public events as the state of the national edifice has become a death trap, posing danger to public lives and even workers there. Since the commissioning of the facility which hosted the historic national independence day on March 6th, 1957; Republic Day, July 1st, 1960 and the annual remembrance days of the two events, the Square has not seen any major maintenance, especially in recent times.
The Independence Square has also played hosts to many foreign dignitaries, national prayer sessions and other concert gatherings. A recent visit by this paper to the nation’s event centre confirmed the re-enactment of the lack of maintenance culture that has bedeviled almost every facet of Ghanaian lives. The current state of the Independence Square like many of the country’s historic monuments, our team of reporters can confirm is in total decay.
There is nothing appealing about the edifice. It rather constitutes a death trap and perhaps the only means of attracting is not about its historical reverence and relevance; but the possible scare as a death entrap. The Square has simply lost its cynosure of beauty and significance. The “new” Independence Square is engulfed in filth, weeds and simply being kept unkempt all these immediate past years.
The paper discovered with the current state of the Square, the country may not have a place similar to the original edifice and space built by Kwame Nkrumah to host or treat foreign dignitaries to national events like the Independence Day parade or a place to use for parade rehearsals; May Day celebrations among others.
Our reporters discovered that the roofing of the two of the monuments at the Square—the Liberation Day and the Black Star Square have badly been affected by the salty sea breeze. In fact, they have been ripped off, leaving the plastic chairs as perhaps the relics of the one’s attractive and shinning edifice that belied Ghana’s status as the Black Star of Africa.
It’s significant to note that the plastic chairs were fixed during the celebration of Ghana’s Golden Jubilee in President Kufuor’s administration on March 6, 2007. Even in the case of the chairs, some of them are broken beyond repairs and therefore had to be removed from the public space. Today further observed that, there were cracks in the walls and the stairs which serve as sitting venue for guests. The iron rods in the erected structures are also peeled off, while the electrical wires are gushed off from the walls hanging dangerously on the walls.
Aside these problems,the place is also occupied by squatters and drug addicts who are misusing the edifice. Ironically, this year’s May Day celebration in spite of its deplorable conditions, was held at the Independence Square where President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo addressed Ghanaian workers.
Independence Square (also known as “Black Star Square”) is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ghana. It was built in 1961 and it contains monuments to Ghana’s independence struggle, including the Independence Arch, Black Star Gate, and the Liberation Day Monument.
It also houses a statue of a soldier facing the Independence Arch— a symbol of the brave Ghanaian soldiers who lost their lives in the struggle for Ghana’s independence. The Independence Square is the second largest City Square in the world after the Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. With a capacity of about 30,000 people, the Black Star Square is a site for Ghana’s Independence Day parades which falls on the 6th of March every year and for all major national public gatherings and national festivals.
It is bordered by the Accra Sports Stadium and the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park. Its completion coincided with the state visit of Queen Elizabeth’s II to Ghana. The Black Star Square is sited between the 28th February Road and The Accra’s Southern Coastline.
On March 24, 1998, over 500,000 people gathered at the square to welcome former U.S. President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary Clinton. This event marked the first U.S. president to visit Ghana.
Other equally important events held at the place included; the state funeral of late the President Professor John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills ( August 10, 2012), the state funeral of the late former Vice-President Aliu Mahama ( On November 18, 2012) and the state funeral of the late former President Jerry John Rawlings ( On January 27, 2021).