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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

In 2001-2002, the Dutch and Ghanaian governments celebrated 300 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries, which started with the mission that West India Company official David van Nyendael undertook from the Dutch headquarters on the Gold Coast at Elmina to the court of the Asantehene Osei Tutu at Kumase. The original presence of the Dutch in West Africa goes back four centuries, and dates from the late sixteenth century. More than the historical archives of the other European nations do the Dutch archives therefore allow for a close-up study of Ghanaian history. Most of the governmental records for the period after the Second World War can be found in the archives of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and concern diplomatic affairs, diplomatic and economic treaties, and development cooperation.

Keywords: Dutch; Ghanaian government; Gold Coast; Netherlands; West Africa; West India Company

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