Brief History of Indian Community in Ghana
According to folk stories of Sindhi community in Ghana, in the beginning of the 20th century, one Bhai Boolchand, the first Sindhi trader, came to settle in Gold Coast from Marseilles through Senegal. Nothing much is known about him. Later, in the year 1919, from Hyderabad, Sind (now West Pakistan), a Sindhi family of traders, M/s Metharam Jasoomal Bros. & Company, came from Dakar to establish business at Cape Coast with branches in Accra and Kumasi.
After a lapse of some years, there was split in the family business and one of the brothers got separated and opened a new business under the name of Tarachand Jassomals. This developed the growth of more other Sindhi firms with Indian staff in greater number. Mushrooming Indian trading companies started multiplying the number of Indian settlers in the country. The early Sindhi traders who opened the gateway to Ghana include Lilaram Thawardas, Mahtani Bros., M.G. Punjabi Bros., Hariram Bros., Wassiamal Bros., Nankani Bros., V. Lokumal Companies, and Motiram & Sons.
After India became independent in 1947, more traders and investors from India started arriving in Ghana.
The Indian community in Ghana – both NRIs and PIOs together - is approximately 10000+ strong. Predominantly, the Indian origin people in Ghana are of Sindhi origin whose ancestors first came to the country more than 70 years ago. (The Indian Association of Ghana was founded in 1937.) They are mostly in the trading business. However, some of them have started moving to small scale industries like pharmaceuticals, plastics, cement, steel products, etc. The other communities in large numbers include Gujaratis, Malayalees and Punjabis, who are more recent arrivals. They are mostly professionals in the field of accounting, marketing, pharmaceuticals, ICT and other related areas. Some of them occupy senior level positions in Ghanaian and multi-national organizations operating in Ghana.
Indian origin people in Ghana are regarded as peace-loving, hardworking and non-political and are well interwoven with the local community. A few have married Ghanaians while some have taken Ghanaian nationality. Indians have been among the top investors in terms of number of businesses in Ghana. Some of them do have major investments in other countries such as Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, Nigeria, etc. Many Indian companies have set up or are in the process of setting up their businesses in Ghana. These include TATA, Mahindra, Ashok Leyland, Airtel, Larsen & Toubro, NIIT, Shapoorji Pallonji, Mohan Exports, Angelique International, etc. Indian pharmaceutical products are fast becoming a major presence in Ghana to the advantage of the Ghanaian consumers.
Indian professionals in the ICT sector have been coming to Ghana for carrying out specific jobs for various companies, both Indian and foreign and are making a contribution to the host society. There are some Indian medical Doctors practicing in Ghana and, recently, few Indian Nurses have also come to Ghana for work. There are a number of Indian Priests and Nuns belonging to different Congregations working in Ghana.
The Indian community in Ghana try to keep their links with India and Indian culture by organizing Indian festivals like Diwali, Holi, etc.
A branch of the Delhi Public School has been opened near Tema, some 35 km. from Accra at the initiative of one Indian origin businessman. The School has already started classes and construction of its own school and hostel buildings are in progress.