Nana Joseph Kwame Kyeretwie Boakye Danquah was a Ghanaian statesman, pan-Africanist, scholar, lawyer and historian. He played a significant role in pre- and post-colonial Ghana, which was formerly the Gold Coast, and in fact is credited with giving Ghana its name. During his political career, Danquah was one of the primary opposition leaders to Ghanaian president and independence leader Kwame Nkrumah. J. B. Danquah was described as the “doyen of Gold Coast politics” by the Watson Commission of Inquiry into the 1948 Accra riots.
Danquah stood as a presidential candidate against Nkrumah in April 1960 but lost the election. On 3 October 1961, on the grounds of involvement with alleged plans to subvert the CPP government, he was arrested under the Preventive Detention Act. He was released on 22 June 1962. He was later elected president of the Ghana Bar Association.
Danquah was again arrested on 8 January 1964, for allegedly being implicated in a plot against the President. He suffered a heart attack and died while in detention at Nsawam Medium Prison on 4 February 1965.
After the overthrow of the CPP government in February 1966 by the National Liberation Council (NLC), Danquah was given a national funeral and rehabilitated.
The J. B. Danquah Memorial Lecture Series was inaugurated in 1968 in memory of Danquah, who was also a founding member of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences. The Danquah Institute was set up in commemoration of his work and to promote his ideas posthumously. Danquah Circle a roundabout at Osu in Accra was also named after him.