Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Harcourt Fuller

Second Advisor

Kathryn Wilson

Third Advisor

John Way


In 1957 Ghana became the first nation in Sub-Saharan Africa to achieve independence from a European colonial power. During this time Kwame Nkrumah’s government concerned itself with the creation of a national identity that would speak to the new African Personality and Nkrumah’s Pan-African goals. In Nkrumah’s national project, regional cultural and economic contributions were at times subsumed. The absence of an identifiable national cuisine is a lens into ethnic conflict generated in part by the crafting of the national identity. I argue that in general the absence of a national cuisine represents the strength of the desire to maintain regional cultural boundaries in Ghana. Additionally, the structural challenges that Ghana faces, and apprehension surrounding its colonial legacy, impede the development of a national cuisine.