Gold Coast, British West Africa / Colonial Film (1870s-1940s) Ghana during colonial, imperial times in its pre-independence, British colony state. The Gold Coast (now Ghana) became an official British colony in 1874. The Gold Coast’s name derives from its most treasured and valuable resource, which is gold. In the beginning of time, it was known as the Empire of Ancient Ghana which was well known for the Ashanti Kingdom. The Ashanti Kingdom, however, was actually the last kingdom to be conquered by the British to be incorporated in the Gold Coast British colony.