Nana Joseph Kwame Kyeretwie Boakye Danquah (December 1895 – 4 February 1965) was a Ghanaian statesman, pan-Africanist, scholar and historian. He played a significant role in pre- and post-colonial Ghana. In fact, he is credited with giving Ghana its name. During his political career, he was one of the primary opposition leaders to Ghanaian president and independence leader Kwame Nkrumah.
Danquah was born on December 1895 in the Ghanaian town of Bepong in Kwahu in the Eastern region. He was descended from the royal family of Ofori Panyin Fie, once the rulers of the Akyem states, and still then one of the most influential families in Ghanaian politics. His elder brother is Nana Sir Ofori Atta I and he is the father of actor Paul Danquah.
J. B. Danquah entered the University of London immediately after completing secondary school and was educated in law and philosophy. He was the first continental African to receive a doctorate in law from the University of London. He also became the first president of the West African Students' Union.
Path to Independence
Danquah became a member of the Legislative Council in 1946 and actively pursued independence legislation for his country. He helped to found the pro-independence United Gold Coast Convention. His historical research led him to agree with Dr Kwame Nkrumah's proposition that on independence the Gold Coast be renamed Ghana after the early African empire of that name.
Among his writings are Gold Coast: Akan Laws and Customs and the Akim Abuakwa Constitution (1928), a play entitled The Third Woman (1943), and The Akan Doctrine of God (1944)