Between and , clusters of castles and forts were erected along the kilometer-long coastline of Ghana between Keta in the East and Beyin in the west. Back then, Ghana was called the Gold Coast due to its vast quantities of gold, and these strongholds served as fortified trading posts offering protection from other foreign settlers and threats from the African population. Placed strategically as links in the trade routes established by the Portuguese in the 15th century, who were the first settlers on the Gold Coast, the forts thereafter were seized, attacked, exchanged, sold and abandoned during almost four centuries of struggle between European powers for domination over the Gold Coast. From holding gold, ivory and other wares, the castles gradually imprisoned slaves, who were reduced to yet another commodity. But by this point, the irreversible and immeasurable damage was done, and from West Africa alone it is estimated that six million slaves had been shipped to other countries.
BBC - Travel - A pilgrimage to Ghana’s slave forts
A FEW centuries ago the African slave trade thrived at the European-built castles and forts clustered on Ghana's southern coast. Today the fortresses reveal some of the horrors of West Africa's past. No other stretch of African coastline carries the scars of history as this one does.
A waiter suddenly appeared with a large bag of sugar cane. Pat was born and grew up in London but her family was originally from Ghana. It is something of a pilgrimage. These fortified trading posts were built between and by the numerous traders — Portuguese, Swedish, English, Danish, Dutch — that plied this accessible coastline, initially in search of gold, then heavily involved in the slave trade. Built in by Portuguese traders, it was fortified and extended by the Dutch as slaves gradually became the main object of commerce on the coast.