In the 1940s, African merchants, such as George Alfred Grant ("Paa Grant"), were ready to finance the organization of a political movement to assure their commercial interests in the face of unfair colonial practices. The party was founded by J. B. Danquah on 4 August 1947 as a combination of chiefs, academics and lawyers, including R. A. Awoonor-Williams, Edward Akufo-Addo, and Emmanuel Obetsebi-Lamptey.
On 10 December 1947, Kwame Nkrumah returned to the Gold Coast (modern-day Ghana) accepting Danquah's invitation to become the UGCC General Secretary. Big Six member Ebenezer Ako-Adjei recommended inviting Nkrumah, whom he had met at Lincoln University. Nkrumah was offered a salary of £250, and Paa Grant paid the boat fare from Liverpool to Ghana. Danquah and Nkrumah subsequently disagreed over the direction of the independence movement and parted ways after two years. Nkrumah went on to form the Convention People's Party and eventually became the first president of independent Ghana.