Paa Grant Honoured
• With Caprice Flyover
GOVERNMENT HAS decided to name the newly-built flyover at Caprice, in Accra, after Paa Grant, a Gold Coast merchant, for his immense role in the struggle for independence.
Government has further directed various sector Ministers to look at other areas of honouring others, like Paa Grant, who contributed significantly to the nation’s development in diverse ways.
Hon. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing announced this on the floor of parliament yesterday while contributing to a statement on the achievements of Paa Grant.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Jomoro, Lee Ocran, who read the statement, said although Paa Grant was a businessman he was worried about the country’s political fortunes.
“Through his business operations, the suppression of the aspirations of the indigenous people became very clear to him. He decided to do something about the situation.
“In 1947, he conceived the idea of forming a political movement to fight for the eventual independence for the Gold Coast.”
Paa Grant therefore discussed his ideas with some prominent lawyers including Mr R.S. Blay, a Sekondi-based legal practitioner.
“Thus, the United Gold Coast Convention was born with Paa Grant as its president, supported by Mr R.S. Blay as his first Vice, Dr J.B Danquah, as his second vice, and Ako Adjei, secretary.
“Paa Grant remained the main financier of the UGCC and it was he who sent £100 to Dr Kwame Nkrumah to come back to the Gold Coast to take up the General secretaryship of the UGCC after he had been recommended to the Convention by Mr Ako Adjei,” he said.
Hon Ocran described Paa Grant as “the man who offered his personal resources for the emancipation of Gold Coast citizens but has not been accorded the honour he deserves”.
The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Hon Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu said he recently visited Axim, where he located his grave with much difficulty.
He suggested Paa Grant’s house be bought by the Museums and Monuments Board and preserved as a national monument.
Apart from the advantages of preserving it as a monument, the building could also serve as a tourist attraction to generate same revenue for the state.
The MP for Evalue-Gwira, Hon Kojo Armah said “Though Paa Grant was from Axim, he was not for Axim.”
The Minority Leader, Alban Bagbin, described Paa Grant as the father of the movement for democracy, and said the country should go beyond naming flyovers after him.
He called for extensive research to be conducted about Paa Grant to immortalize him for his contribution towards the country’s attainment of independence.
George Alfred Grant, popularly called Paa Grant, was born at Beyin in Western Nzema, on August 15, 1878, although his hometown was Axim.
He was educated at the Wesleyan School, Cape Coast, and privately under the care of Joseph D. Abraham, a wealthy merchant of Cape Coast and a friend of his father’s.
After completing his education, young Grant was employed in the timber business where he worked hard to establish his own timber firm, George Grant and Company, in 1896. By the time the First World War broke out in 1914, George Grant had established business contacts with principal timber companies in Europe and America. As his business progressed, he visited Europe to open offices in Liverpool, Hamburg and London.