Ghana's first contact with Europeans occurred around 1470. The Portuguese began exploring the Fanti coast southern Ghana. Over the next ten years they built an export empire centered around the Elmina Castle. The exports focused mainly on mineral wealth, leading to the nickname the "Gold Coast".
Over the following two centuries the French, English, Dutch and Swedes followed into Ghana. The castle changed hands several times gaining a new name along the way before being taken by the Danes.