Bhai Boolchand was the first Indian to visit the ‘Gold Coast’
Not much is known about him, but it has now emerged that trade relations between Ghana and India were started by Bhai Boolchand, the first Indian to arrive in the Gold Coast -- Ghana’s colonial name -- in 1890. That’s some 67 years before the British colonial government granted the country independence, research by the Indian Association of Ghana has found.
“As far as our records show, Bhai Boolchand (of the Bhaiband Sindhworki trading community), landed on the shores of the Gold Coast in western Africa in 1890. Nearly twenty years later, in 1919, the first Sindhi company was established by two brothers – Tarachand Jasoomal Daswani and Metharam Jasoomal Daswani,” said the Indian Association.
The duo opened a store – Metharam Jassomal Brothers -- in the then capital city of Cape Coast in 1919.
Boolchand’s arrival, therefore, pre-dates the historical links between the two countries that were always thought to have started between Ghana’s first President, Kwame Nkrumah, and India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
Boolchand can thus be described as the one who paved the way for the arrival of other members of the Sindhi community, initially as traders and shopkeepers.
The Indian Association said more of this group arrived in the 1950s and 1960s, with a few venturing into manufacturing industries such as garments, plastics, textiles, insecticides, electronics, pharmaceuticals and optical goods.
“After 1947, the Gold Coast attracted the attention of some Indian multinational companies, and big names,” the
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