These forts, many of which still stand, were built by the politically and economically dominant European nations of the period: Spain , Portugal , the Netherlands , Denmark, France and England. Heavily fortified against attacks from pirates and from any European nations with which they may have been at war, the forts allowed these slave-trading nations to increase their shipments, develop strong commercial networks in Africa and provide their colonies with a continuous supply of slave labour. Portugal was the first nation to capture and trade in enslaved Africans and quickly developed a commercial network in the region. The new fort had a considerable effect on Africans living in the region. Elmina declared itself an independent state at the urging of the Portuguese, whose governor then took control of the town's affairs.
Lomboko was a slave factory in what is today Sierra Leone, controlled by the infamous Spanish slave trader Pedro Blanco. Lomboko was scattered across several small islands at the mouth of the Gallinas River , near Sulima on the Gallinas coast. By , about 2, slaves a year were coming out of the Gallinas River, despite the slave trade being illegal. In , a British Royal Navy expedition attacked the slave factory: the Royal Marines freed the slaves and then destroyed Lomboko completely. The fortress plays a prominent part in the Steven Spielberg film Amistad. The slave liberation and destruction of the fortress is portrayed in the film's climax.
It was originally a Portuguese "feitoria" or trading post , established in , which they named Cabo Corso. However, in the Swedish Africa Company constructed a timber fort there. It originally was a centre for the trade in timber and gold. It was later used in the trans- Atlantic slave trade. They were used to hold slaves before they were loaded onto ships and sold in the Americas , especially the Caribbean.
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. Along a mile span, more than 25 stone structures remain as testaments to the slave trade that reached across the Gulf of Guinea to the Americas from the mid's to the late 's.