Kwame Nkrumah

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The Right Honorable
Kwame Nkrumah
PC
Kwame Nkrumah (JFKWHP-AR6409-A).jpg
1st President of Ghana
In office
1 July 1960 – 24 February 1966
Preceded by Elizabeth II
as Queen of Ghana
Himself
as Prime Minister of Ghana
Succeeded by Joseph Arthur Ankrah
3rd Chairperson of the Organisation of African Unity
In office
21 October 1965 – 24 February 1966
Preceded by Gamal Abdel Nasser
Succeeded by Joseph Arthur Ankrah
as Chairman of the National Liberation Council
1st Prime Minister of Ghana
In office
6 March 1957 – 1 July 1960
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor-General Charles Arden-Clarke
The Lord Listowel
Preceded by Himself as Prime Minister of the Gold Coast
Succeeded by Himself as President
1st Prime Minister of the Gold Coast
In office
21 March 1952 – 6 March 1957
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor-General Charles Arden-Clarke
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Himself as Prime Minister of Ghana
Personal details
Born (1909-09-18)18 September 1909
Nkroful, Gold Coast
(now Ghana)
Died 27 April 1972(1972-04-27) (aged 62)
Bucharest, Romania
Political party United Gold Coast Convention (1947–1949)
Convention People's Party (1949–1966)
Spouse(s) Fathia Rizk
Children Francis (out of wedlock)
Gamal
Samia
Sekou
Alma mater Lincoln University, Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania
London School of Economics
University College London
Gray's Inn
Religion baptized Roman Catholic; by 1957, "non-denominational Christian"[1]

Kwame Nkrumah PC (1909?[a] – 27 April 1972) led Ghana to independence from Britain in 1957 and served as its first prime minister and president. Nkrumah first gained power as leader of the colonial Gold Coast, and held it until he was deposed in 1966.

An influential 20th-century advocate of Pan-Africanism, he was a founding member of the Organization of African Unity and was the winner of the Lenin Peace Prize in 1963. He envisioned himself as an African Lenin.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Gold Coast[edit]

Kwame Nkrumah was born in about 1909 in Nkroful, Gold Coast. Although his mother, whose name was Nyanibah, later stated his year of birth was 1912, Nkrumah wrote that he was born on 18 September 1909, a Saturday, and by the naming customs of the Akan people was given the name Kwame, that being the name given to males born on a Saturday. During his years as a student in the United States, though, he was known as Francis Nwia Kofi Nkrumah, with Kofi being the name given to males born on Friday. The name of his father is not known; most accounts say he was a goldsmith. According to Ebenezer Obiri Addo in his study of the future president, the name "Nkrumah", a name traditionally given to a ninth child, indicates that Kwame likely held that place in the house of his father, who had several wives. Kwame, though, was the only child of his mother.[b][3]

Nkroful was a small village, in the far southwest of the Gold Coast, close to the frontier with the French colony of the Ivory Coast. His father did not live with the family, but worked in Half Assini before his death while Kwame was a boy. Kwame Nkrumah was raised by his mother and his extended family, who lived together in traditional fashion, with more distant relatives often visiting. He lived a carefree childhood, spent in the village, in the bush, and on the nearby sea.[4]

Nkrumah's mother sent him to the elementary school run by a Catholic mission at Half Assini, where he proved an adept student.[5] He progressed through the ten-year elementary programme in only eight. By about 1925 he was a student-teacher in the school, and had been baptised into the faith. While at the school, he was noticed by the Reverend Alec Garden Fraser, principal of the Government Training College (soon to become Achimota School) in the Gold Coast's capital, Accra. Fraser arranged for Nkumrah to train as a teacher at his school.[5][6] here, Columbia-educated deputy headmaster Kwegyir Aggrey exposed him to the ideas of Marcus Garvey and W. E. B. Du Bois. Aggrey, Fraser, and others at Achimota taught that there should be close co-operation between the races in governing the Gold Coast, but Nkrumah, echoing Garvey, soon came to believe that only when the black race governed itself could there be harmony between the races.[7][8]

After graduating from Achimota in 1930, Nkrumah was given a teaching post at the Catholic primary school in Elmina, and after a year there, was made headmaster of the school at Axim. In Axim, he started to get involved in politics and founded the Nzima Literary Society. In 1933, he was appointed a teacher at the Catholic seminary at Amissa. Although the life there was strict, he liked it, and considered becoming a Jesuit. Instead, he decided to further his education. Nkrumah had heard journalist and future Nigerian president Nnamdi Azikiwe speak while a student at Achimota; the two men met and Azikiwe's influence increased Nkrumah's interest in black nationalism. The young teacher decided to further his education. Azikiwe had attended Lincoln College, a historically black college in Chester County, Pennsylvania, south of Philadelphia, and he advised Nkrumah to enroll there. Nkrumah, who had failed the entrance examination for London University gained funds for the trip and his education from relatives. He traveled by way of Britain, where he learned, to his outrage, of Italy's invasion of Ethiopia, one of the few independent African nations. He arrived in the United States, in October 1935.[9]

United States[edit]

According to historian John Henrik Clarke in his article on Nkrumah's American sojourn, "the influence of the ten years that he spent in the United States would have a lingering effect on the rest of his life."[10] Nkrumah had sought entry to Lincoln some time before he began his studies there; on 1 March 1935, he had sent the school a letter noting that his application had been pending for more than a year. When he arrived in New York in October 1935, he traveled to Pennsylvania, where he enrolled despite lacking the funds for the full semester.[11] However, he soon won a scholarship that provided for his tuition at Lincoln. Nevertheless, he remained short on money through his time in the United States.[12] To make ends meet, he worked in menial jobs, including as a dishwasher. On Sundays, he visited black Presbyterian churches in Philadelphia and in New York.[13]

As a student in the United States, Nkrumah proved successful, gaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and sociology in 1939. Lincoln then appointed him an assistant lecturer in philosophy, and he began to receive invitations to be a guest preacher in Presbyterian churches in both Philadelphia and New York. In 1939, Nkrumah enrolled both at Lincoln's seminary and at the Ivy League University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He gained a Bachelor of Theology degree from Lincoln in 1942, the top student in the course, and earned from Penn the following year both a Master of Arts degree in philosophy and a Master of Science in education.[14]

Nkrumah spent his summers in Harlem, a center of black life and thought. He found housing and employment in New York City with difficulty and involved himself in the community. He spent many evenings listening to and arguing with street orators, and according to Clarke,

These evenings were a vital part of Kwame Nkrumah's American education. He was going to a university—the university of the Harlem Streets. This was no ordinary time and these street speakers were no ordinary men ...The streets of Harlem were open forums, presided over [by] master speakers like Arthur Reed and his protege Ira Kemp. The young Carlos Cook, founder of the Garvey oriented African Pioneer Movement was on the scene, also bringing a nightly message to his street followers. Occasionally Suji Abdul Hamid, a champion of Harlem labor, held a night rally and demanded more jobs for blacks in their own community ... This is part of the drama on the Harlem streets as the student, Kwame Nkrumah walked and watched.[15]

Nkrumah was an activist student, organizing a group of expatriate African students in Pennsylvania and building it into the African Students Association of America and Canada, becoming its president. Some members felt that the group should aspire for each colony to gain independence on its own; Nkrumah urged a Pan-African strategy.[16] Nkrumah played a major role in the Pan-African conference held in New York in 1944, which urged the United States, at the end of the Second World War, to help ensure Africa became developed and free.[17]

His old teacher, Aggrey, had died in 1929 in the United States, and in 1942, Nkrumah led traditional prayers for Aggrey at the gravesite. This led to a break between him and Lincoln, though after he rose to prominence in the Gold Coast, he returned in 1951 to accept an honorary degree.[18][19] Nevertheless, Nkrumah's doctoral thesis remained uncompleted. He had adopted the forename Francis while at the Amissa seminary; in 1945 he took the name Kwame Nkrumah.[16]

Just as in the days of the Egyptians, so today God had ordained that certain among the African race should journey westwards to equip themselves with knowledge and experience for the day when they would be called upon to return to their motherland and to use the learning they had acquired to help improve the lot of their brethren . . . I had not realized at the time that I would contribute so much towards the fulfillment of this prophecy.

Kwame Nkrumah, The Autobiography of Kwame Nkrumah (1957)[1]

Nkrumah read books about politics and divinity, and tutored students in philosophy. In 1943 Nkrumah met Trinidadian Marxist C. L. R. James, Russian expatriate Raya Dunayevskaya, and Chinese-American Grace Lee Boggs, all of whom were members of an American-based Trotskyist intellectual cohort. Nkrumah later credited James with teaching him "how an underground movement worked".[20] Federal Bureau of Investigation files on Nkrumah, kept from January to May 1945, identify him as a possible Communist.[21] Nkrumah was determined to go to London, wanting to continue his education there now that the Second World War had ended.[22] James, in a 1945 letter introducing Nkrumah to Trinidad-born George Padmore in London, wrote: "this young man is coming to you. He is not very bright, but nevertheless do what you can for him because he's determined to throw Europeans out of Africa.”[20]

London[edit]

Nkrumah returned to London in May 1945 and enrolled at the London School of Economics as a PhD candidate in anthropology. He withdrew after one term and the next year enrolled at University College, with the intent to write a philosophy dissertation on “Knowledge and Logical Positivism”. His supervisor, A. J. Ayer, declined to rate Nkrumah as a “first-class philosopher”, saying, “I liked him and enjoyed talking to him but he did not seem to me to have an analytical mind. He wanted answers too quickly. I think part of the trouble may have been that he wasn't concentrating very hard on his thesis. It was a way of marking time until the opportunity came for him to return to Ghana.”[23] Finally, Nkrumah enrolled in, but did not complete, a study in law at Gray's Inn[23]

Nkrumah spent his time on political organising. He and Padmore were among the principal organizers of the Fifth Pan-African Congress in Manchester. The congress elaborated a strategy for supplanting colonialism with African socialism. They agreed to pursue a federal United States of Africa, with interlocking regional organizations, governing through separate states of limited sovereignty. They planned to pursue a new African culture without tribalism, democratic within a socialist or communist system, synthesizing traditional aspects with modern thinking, and for this to be achieved by nonviolent means if possible.[24] Among those who attended the congress were the venerable W.E.B. Dubois and some who later took leading roles in leading their nations to independence, including Hastings Banda of Malawi (then the British colony of Nyasaland) and Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya.[25]

The congress sought to establish ongoing African activism in Britain in conjunction with the West African National Secretariat (WANS) to work towards the decolonization of Africa. Nkrumah became the secretary of WANS. In addition to seeking to organise Africans to gain their nations' freedom, Nkrumah sought to succor the many West African seamen who had been stranded, destitute, in London at the end of the war, and established a Coloured Workers Association to empower and succor them.[26] Both the U.S. State Department and MI5 watched Nkrumah and the WANS, focusing on their links with Communism.[27] Nkrumah and Padmore established a group called The Circle to lead the way to West African independence and unity; the group aimed to create a Union of African Socialist Republic. A document from The Circle, setting forth that goal, was found on Nkrumah upon his arrest in Accra in 1948, and was used against him by the British authorities.[28]

Return to the Gold Coast[edit]

United Gold Coast Convention[edit]

The 1946 Gold Coast constitution gave Africans a majority on the Legislative Council for the first time. Seen as a major step towards self-government,[29] the new arrangement prompted the colony's first true political party, founded in August 1947, the United Gold Coast Convention. The UGCC sought self-government as quickly as possible. Since the leading members were all successful professionals, they needed to pay someone to run the party, and their choice fell on Nkrumah at the suggestion of Ako Adjei. Nkrumah hesitated, realising the UGCC was controlled by conservative interests, but decided that the new post gave him huge political opportunities, and accepted. After being questioned by British officials about his Communist affiliations, Nkrumah boarded the MV Accra at Liverpool in November 1947 for the voyage home.[30][31]

After brief stops in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and the Ivory Coast, he arrived in the Gold Coast, and after a brief stay and reunion with his mother in Tarkwa, began work at the party's headquarters in Saltpond on 29 December 1947.[32] Nkrumah quickly submitted plans for branches of the UGCC to be established colony-wide, and for strikes if necessary to gain political ends. This activist stance divided the party's governing committee, which was led by J. B. Danquah. Nkrumah embarked on a tour to gain donations for the UGCC and establish new branches.[33]

Despite the fact that the Gold Coast was politically more advanced than Britain's other West Africa colonies, there was considerable discontent. Postwar inflation had caused public anger at high prices, leading to a boycott of the small stores run by Arabs which began in January 1948. The cocoa bean farmers were upset because trees exhibiting swollen-shoot disease, but still capable of yielding a crop, were being destroyed by the colonial authorities. There were about 63,000 ex-servicemen in the Gold Coast, many of whom had trouble obtaining employment, and felt the colonial government was doing nothing to address their grievances. Both Nkrumah and Danquah addressed a meeting of the Ex-Servicemen's Union in Accra on 20 February 1948, which was in preparation for a march to present a petition to the governor. When that demonstration took place on 28 February, there was gunfire from the British, prompting the 1948 Accra Riots, which spread throughout the country.[34] According to Nkrumah's biographer, David Birmingham, "West Africa's erstwhile "model colony" witnessed a riot and business premises were looted. The African Revolution had begun."[35]

The government assumed that the UGCC was responsible for the unrest, and arrested six leaders, including Nkrumah and Danquah. The Big Six were initially incarcerated together in Kumasi,[36] increasing the rift between Nkrumah and the others, who blamed him for the riots and their detention. After the British learned that there were plots to storm the prison, the six were separated, with Nkrumah sent to Lawra. They were freed in April 1948. Many students and teachers had demonstrated for their release, and been suspended; Nkrumah, using his own funds, began the Ghana National College. This, among other activities, led UGCC committee members to accuse him of acting in the party's name without authority. Fearing he would harm them more outside the party than within, they agreed to make him honourary treasurer. Nkrumah's popularity, already large, was increased with his founding of the Accra Evening News, which was not a party organ, but was owned by Nkrumah and others. He also founded the Committee on Youth Organization (CYO), originally intended as a youth wing for the UGCC, but which soon broke from it under the motto "Self-Govenment Now". The CYO united students, ex-servicemen, and even market women. Nkrumah recounted in his autobiography that he knew that a break with the UGCC was inevitable, and wanted the masses behind him when the conflict occurred.[37][38] Nkrumah's appeals for "Free-Dom" appealed to the great numbers of underemployed youths who had come from the farms and villages to the towns. "Old hymn tunes were adapted to new songs of liberations which welcomed traveling orators, and especially Nkrumah himself, to mass rallies across the Gold Coast."[39]

Convention People's Party[edit]

Red cockerel, ”Forward Ever, Backward Never”: Convention People's Party logo and slogan

Beginning in April 1949, there was considerable pressure on Nkrumah from his supporters to leave the UGCC and form his own party. On 12 June 1949, he announced the formation of the Convention People's Party (CPP), with the word "convention" chosen, according to Nkrumah, "to carry the masses with us".[40] There were attempts to heal the breach with the UGCC; at one July meeting, it was agreed to reinstate Nkrumah as secretary and disband the CPP. But Nkrumah's supporters would not have it, and persuaded him to refuse the offer and remain at their head.[41]

The CPP appropriated the red cockerel as its symbol—a familiar icon for local ethnic groups, and a symbol of leadership, alertness, and masculinity.[1][42] Party symbols and colors (red, white, and green) appeared on clothing, flags, vehicles, and houses.[1] CPP operatives drove red-white-and-green vans across the country, playing music and rallying public support for the party and especially for Nkrumah. These efforts were wildly successful, especially because previous political efforts in the Gold Coast had focused exclusively on the urban intelligentsia.[1]

The British convened a select commission of middle-class Africans, including all of the Big Six except Nkrumah, to draft a new constitution that would give Ghana more self-government. Nkrumah saw, even before the commission reported, that its recommendations would fall short of full dominion status, and began to organise a Positive Action campaign. Nkrumah demanded a constituent assembly to write a constitution.. When the governor, Charles Arden-Clarke, would not commit to this, Nkrumah called for Positive Action, with the unions beginning a general strike to begin on 8 January 1950. The strike quickly led to violence, and Nkrumah and other CPP leaders were arrested on 22 January, with the Evening News banned.[43] Nkrumah was sentenced to a total of three years in prison, and he was incarcerated with common criminals in Accra's Fort James.[44]

Nkrumah's assistant, Komla Agbeli Gbedemah, ran the CPP in his absence; the imprisoned leader was able to influence events through smuggled notes written on toilet paper. The British prepared for an election for the Gold Coast under their new constitution, and Nkrumah insisted that the CPP contest all seats. The situation had become calmer once Nkrumah was arrested, and the CPP and the British worked together to prepare electoral rolls. Nkrumah stood, from prison, for a directly-elected Accra seat. Gbedemah worked to set up a nationwide campaign organisation, using vans with loudspeakers to blare the party's message. The UGCC failed to set up a nationwide structure, and proved unable to take advantage of the fact that many of its opponents were in prison.[45]

In the February 1951 legislative election, the first general election to be held under universal franchise in colonial Africa,the CPP was elected in a landslide.[46] The CPP secured 34 of the 38 seats contested on a party basis, with Nkrumah elected for his Accra constituency. The UGCC won three seats, and one was taken by an independent. Arden-Clarke saw that the only alternative to Nkrumah's freedom was the end of the constitutional experiment. Nkrumah was released from prison on 12 February, receiving a rapturous reception from his followers.[47] The following day, Arden-Clarke sent for him and asked him to form a government.[48]

Leader of Government Business and Prime Minister[edit]

Nkrumah faced multiple challenges as he assumed office. He had never served in government, and needed to learn that art. The Gold Coast was composed of four regions, multiple former colonies amalgamated into one, and Nkrumah sought to unite them under one nationality, and bring the country to independence. Key to meeting the challenges was convincing the British that the CPP's programmes were not only practical, but inevitable, and Nkrumah and Arden-Clarke worked closely together. The governor instructed the civil service to give the fledgling government full support, and the three British members of the cabinet took care not to vote against the elected majority.[49]

Prior to the CPP taking office, British officials had prepared a ten year plan for development. With demands for infrastructure improvements coming in from all over the colony, Nkrumah approved it in general, but halved the time to five years. The colony was in good financial shape, with reserves from years of cocoa profit held in London, and Nkrumah was able to spend freely. Modern trunk roads were built along the coast and within the interior. The rail system was modernised and expanded. Modern water and sewer systems were installed in most towns, where housing schemes were begun. A new harbour at Tema, near Accra, began to be constructed, and the existing port, at Takoradi, was expanded. An urgent programme to build and expand schools, from primary to teacher and trade training, was begun. From 1951 to 1956, the number of pupils being educated at the colony's schools rose from 200,000 to 500,000.[50] Nevertheless, the number of graduates being produced was insufficient to the burgeoning civil service's needs, and in 1953, Nkrumah announced that though Africans would be given preference, the country would be relying on expatriate European civil servants for several years.[51]

Nkrumah's initial title was Leader of Government Business in a cabinet chaired by Arden-Clarke. Quick progress was made, and in 1952, the governor withdrew from the cabinet, leaving Nkrumah as his prime minister, with the portfolios that had been reserved for expatriates going to Africans.There were accusations of corruption, and of nepotism, as officials, following African custom, attempted to benefit their extended families and their tribes.[52] The recommendations following the 1948 riots had included elected local government rather than the existing system dominated by the chiefs. This was uncontroversial until it became clear that it would be implemented by the CPP. That party's majority in the Legislative Assembly passed legislation in late 1951 that shifted power from the chiefs to the chairs of the councils, though there was some local rioting as rates were imposed.[53]

Nkruman's retitling as prime minister had not given him additional power, and he sought constitutional reform that would lead to independence. In 1952, he consulted with the visiting Colonial Secretary, Oliver Lyttelton, who indicated that Britain would look favourably on further advancement, so long as the chiefs and other stakeholders had the opportunity to express their views. Accordingly, beginning in October 1952, Nkrumah sought opinions from councils and from political parties on reform, and consulted widely across the country, including with opposition groups. The result the following year was a White Paper on a new constitution, seen as a final step before independence. Published in June 1953, the constitutional proposals were accepted both by the assembly and by the British, and came into force in April of the following year. The new document provided for an assembly of 104 members, all directly elected, with an all-African cabinet responsible for the internal governing of the colony. In the election on 15 June 1954, the CPP won 71, with the regional Northern People's Party forming the official opposition.[54]

A number of opposition groups formed the National Liberation Movement. Their demands were for a federal, rather than a unitary government for an independent Gold Coast, and for an upper house of parliament where chiefs and other traditional leaders could act as a counter to the CPP majority in the assembly. They drew considerable support in the Northern Territory and among the chiefs in Ashanti, who petitioned the British queen, Elizabeth II, asking for a Royal Commission into what form of government the Gold Coast should have. This was refused by her government, who in 1955 stated that such a commission should only be used if the people of the Gold Coast proved incapable of deciding their own affairs. Amid political violence, the two sides attempted to reconcile their differences, but the NLM refused to participate in any committee with a CPP majority. The traditional leaders were also incensed by a new bill that had just been enacted, which allowed minor chiefs to appeal to the government in Accra, bypassing traditional chiefly authority. The British were unwilling to leave unresolved the fundamental question as to how an independent Gold Coast should be governed, and in June 1856, the Colonial Secretary, Alan Lennox-Boyd announced that there would be another general election in the Gold Coast, and if a "reasonable majority" took the CPP's position, Britain would set a date for independence.[55] The July 1956 election saw results almost identical to that four years previously, and on 3 August the assembly voted for independence under the name Nkrumah had proposed in April, Ghana. In September, the Colonial Office announced independence day would be 6 March 1957.[56][57]

The opposition was not satisfied with the plan for independence, and demanded that power be devolved to the regions. Discussions took place through late 1956 and into 1957. Although Nkrumah did not compromise on his insistence on a unitary state, the nation was divided into five regions, with power devolved from Accra, and the chiefs having a role in their governments. On 21 February 1957, the British prime minister, Harold Macmillan, announced that Ghana would be a full member of the Commonwealth of Nations with effect from 6 March.[58]

Ghanaian independence[edit]

Out: the old Gold Coast flag symbolizing the supremacy of the British Empire.
In: Nkruma's new flag of Ghana, symbolizing African nationalism and abundance.

As a leader of this government, Nkrumah faced many challenges: first, to learn to govern; second, to unify the four territories of the Gold Coast; third, to win his nation's complete independence from the United Kingdom. Nkrumah was successful at all three goals. Within six years of his release from prison, he was the leader of an independent nation.

At 12 noon on 6 March 1957, Nkrumah declared Ghana independent. The country became a Commonwealth realm. He was hailed as the Osagyefo - which means "redeemer" in the Akan language.[59] This independence ceremony included the Duchess of Kent and Governor General Charles Arden-Clarke. With 600-plus reporters in attendance, Ghanaian independence became one of the most internationally reported news events in modern African history.[60]

Queen Elizabeth II remained sovereign over Ghana from 1957–1960. William Hare, 5th Earl of Listowel was the Governor-General, and Nkrumah remained Prime Minister. On 6 March 1960, Nkrumah announced plans for a new constitution which would make Ghana a republic, headed by a president with broad executive and legislative powers. The draft included a provision to surrender Ghanaian sovereignty to a Union of African States. On 19, 23, and 27 April 1960 a presidential election and plebiscite on the constitution were held. The constitution was ratified and Nkrumah was elected president over J. B. Danquah, the UP candidate, 1,016,076 to 124,623. Ghana remained a part of the British-led Commonwealth of Nations.[1] Simultaneously, Nkrumah remained Leader of Government Business and Prime Minister.[61]

Nkrumah designed the new national flag of Ghana, inverting Ethiopia's green-yellow-red Lion of Judah flag and replacing the lion with a black star. Red symbolizes bloodshed; green stands for beauty, agriculture, and abundance; yellow represents mineral wealth; and the Black Star represents African freedom. Nkrumah was the first of the new African statesmen to emulate the Ethiopian flag as a symbol of resistance to colonialism.[62] The country's new coat of arms, designed by Amon Kotei, includes eagles, a lion, a St. George's Cross, and a Black Star, with copious gold and gold trim.[63] Philip Gbeho was commissioned to compose the new national anthem, “God Bless Our Homeland Ghana”.[64]

As a monument to the new nation, Nkrumah opened Black Star Square near Osu Castle in the coastal district of Osu, Accra. This square would be used for national symbolism and mass patriotic rallies.[65]

Under Nkrumah's leadership, Ghana adopted some socialist policies and practices. Nkrumah created a welfare system, started various community programs, and established schools.

Social and cultural policies[edit]

Education[edit]

In 1951, the CPP created the Accelerated Development Plan for Education. This plan set up a six-year primary course, to be attended as close to universally as possible, with a range of possibilities to follow. All children were to learn arithmetic, as well as gain “a sound foundation for citizenship with permanent literacy in both English and the vernacular”. Primary education became compulsory in 1962. The Plan also stated that religious schools would no longer receive funding, and that some existing missionary schools would be commandeered by government.[66]

We in Ghana, are committed to the building of an industrialized socialist society.  We cannot afford to sit still and be mere passive onlookers.  We must ourselves take part in the pursuit of scientific and technological research as a means of providing the basis for our socialist society, Socialism without science is void. […]
We need also to reach out to the mass of the people who have not had the opportunities of formal education.  We must use every means of mass communication – the press, the radio, television and films – to carry science to the whole population – to the people. [...]
It is most important that our people should not only be instructed in science but that they should take part in it, apply it themselves in their own ways.  For science is not just a subject to be learned out of a book or form a teacher.   It is a way of life, a way of tackling any problem which one can only master by using it for oneself.  We must have science clubs in which our people can develop their own talents for discovery and invention.

Kwame Nkrumah “Speech delivered by Osagyefo the President at the Laying of the Foundation Stone of Ghana's Atomic Reactor at Kwabenya on 25th November, 1964”[67]

In 1961, Nkrumah laid the first stones in the foundation of the Kwame Nkrumah Ideological Institute created to train Ghanaian civil servants as well as promote Pan-African ism. In 1964, all students entering college in Ghana were required to attend a two-week "ideological orientation" at the Institute.[68] Nkrumah remarked that "trainees should be made to realize the party's ideology is religion, and should be practiced faithfully and fervently."[69]

In 1964, Nkrumah brought forth the Seven Year Development Plan for National Reconstruction and Development, which identified education as a key source of development and called for the expansion of secondary technical schools. Secondary education would also include “in-service training programmes”. As Nkrumah told Parliament: “Employers, both public and private, will be expected to make a far greater contribution to labour training through individual factory and farm schools, industry-wide training schemes, day release, payment for attendance at short courses and evening classes”. This training would be indirectly subsidized with tax credits and import allocations.[67]

In 1952, the Artisan Trading Scheme, arranged with the Colonial Office and UK Ministry of Labour, provided for a few experts in every field to travel to Britain for technical education. Kumasi Technical Institute was founded in 1956. In September 1960, it added the Technical Teacher Training Center. In 1961, the CPP passed the Apprentice Act, which created a general Apprenticeship Board along with Committees for each industry.[67]

Culture[edit]

Nkrumah with Egyptian Egyptologist Pahor Labib at the Coptic Museum, 1956

Nkrumah promoted Pan-African culture, calling for international libraries and cooperative efforts to study history and culture. He decried the norms of white supremacy and Eurocentrism imposed by British textbooks and cultural institutions. He wore a traditional northern robe, fugu, but donned Kente cloth, from the south, for ceremonies, in order to symbolize his identity as a representative of the whole country. He oversaw the opening of the Ghana Museum on March 5, 1957; the Arts Council of Ghana, a wing of the Ministry of Education and Culture, in 1958; the Research Library on African Affairs in June, 1961; and the Ghana Film Corporation in 1964.[70] In 1962, Nkrumah opened the Institute of African Studies.[67]

A campaign against nudity in the northern part of the country received special attention from Nkrumah, who reportedly deployed Propaganda Secretary Hanna Cudjoe to respond. Cudjoe also formed the Ghana Women's League, which advanced the Party's agenda on nutrition, raising children, and wearing clothing. The League also led a demonstration against the detonation of French nuclear weapons in the Sahara.[71][72] Cudjoe was eventually demoted with the consolidation of national women's groups, and marginalized within the Party structure.[72]

Laws passed in 1959 and 1960 designated special positions in parliament to be held by women. Some women were promoted to the CPP Central Committee. Women attended more universities, took up more professions including medicine and law, and went on professional trips to Israel, the Soviet Union, and the Eastern Bloc. Women also entered the army and air force. Most women remained in agriculture and trade; some received assistance from the Co-operative Movement.[1][71]

Nkrumah's image was itself widely disseminated, for example, on postage stamps and on money, in the style of monarchs—providing fodder for accusations of a Nkrumahist personality cult.[73]

Media[edit]

In 1957, Nkrumah created a well-funded Ghana News Agency to generate domestic news and disseminate it abroad. In ten years time the GNA had 8045 km of domestic telegraph line, and maintained stations in Laogs, Nairobi, London, and New York City.[74]

To the true African journalist, his newspaper is a collective organizer, a collective instrument of mobilization and a collective educator—a weapon, first and foremost, to overthrow colonialism and imperialism and to assist total African independence and unity.

Kwame Nkrumah at the Second Conference of African Journalists; Accra, November 11, 1963[74][75]

Nkrumah consolidated state control over newspapers, establishing the Ghanaian Times in 1958 and then in 1962 obtaining its competitor, the Daily Graphic, from the Mirror Group of London. As he wrote in Africa Must Unite: “It is part of our revolutionary credo that within the competitive system of capitalism, the press cannot function in accordance with a strict regard for the sacredness of facts, and that the press, therefore, should not remain in private hands.” Starting in 1960, he invoked the right of pre-publication censorship of all news.[74]

The Gold Coast Broadcasting Service was established in 1954 and revamped as the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation. Many television broadcasts featured Nkrumah himself, commenting for example on the problematic “insolence and laziness of boys and girls”. Before celebrations of May Day, 1963, Nkrumah went on television to announce the expansion of Ghana's Young Pioneers, the introduction of a National Pledge, the beginning of a National Flag salute in schools, and the creation of a National Training program to inculcate virtue and the spirit of service among Ghanaian youth. Quoth Nkrumah (to Parliament, on October 15, 1963), “Ghana's television will not cater for cheap entertainment or commercialism; its paramount objective will be education in its broadest and purest sense.”[67]

As per the 1965 Instrument of Incorporation of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, the Minister of Information and Broadcasting had “powers of direction” over the media, and the President had the power, “at any time, if he is satisfied that it is in the national interest to do so, take over the control and management of the affairs or any part of the functions of the Corporation”, hiring, firing, reorganizing, and making other commands at will.[74]

Radio programs, designed in part to reach non-reading members of the public were a major focus of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation. In 1961, the GBC formed an external service broadcasting in English, French, Arabic, Swahili, Portuguese, and Hausa. Using four 100-kilowatt transmitters and two 250-kilowatt transmitters, the GBC External Service broadcast 110 hours of Pan-Africanist programming to Africa and Europe each week.[74]

He refused advertising in all media, beginning with the Evening News of 1948.[74]

Economic policy[edit]

The Gold Coast had been among the wealthiest and most socially advanced areas in Africa, with schools, railways, hospitals, social security and an advanced economy.

Nkrumah attempted to rapidly industrialize Ghana's economy. He reasoned that if Ghana escaped the colonial trade system by reducing dependence on foreign capital, technology, and material goods, it could become truly independent. However, overspending on capital projects caused the country to be driven into debt—estimated as much as $1 billion USD by the time he was ousted in 1966.[76]

After the Ten Year Development Plan, Nkrumah brought forth the Second Development Plan in 1959. This Plan called for the development of manufacuturing: 600 factories producing 100 varieties of product.[61]

The Statutory Corporations Act, passed in November 1959 and revised in 1961 and 1964, created the legal framework for public corporations, which included State Enterprises. This law placed the country's major corporations under the direction of government Ministers. The State Enterprises Secretariat office was located in Flagstaff House and under the direct control of the President.[77]

After visiting the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and China in 1961, Nkrumah apparently became still more convinced of the need for state control of the economy.[77]

Nkrumah's time in office was initially successful, with forestry, fishing, and cattle-breeding expanded, production of cocoa (Ghana’s main export) doubled, and modest deposits of bauxite and gold exploited more effectively. The construction of a dam on the Volta River (launched in 1961) provided water for irrigation and hydro-electric power, which produced enough electricity for the towns as well as for a new aluminum plant. Government funds were also provided for village projects in which local people built schools and roads,[78] while free health care and education were introduced.[79]

A Seven-Year Plan introduced in 1964 focused on further industrialization, emphasizing domestic substitutes for common imports, modernization of the building materials industry, machine making, electrification, and electronics.[61]

Energy projects[edit]

Nkrumah's advocacy of industrial development, with help of longtime friend and Minister of Finance, Komla Agbeli Gbedema, led to Volta River Project: the construction of a hydroelectric power plant, the Akosombo Dam on the Volta River in eastern Ghana. The Volta River Project was the centerpiece of Nkrumah's economic program. On February 20, 1958, he told the National Assembly: "It is my strong belief that the Volta River Project provides the quickest and most certain method of leading us towards economic independence". Ghana invoked assistance from the United States, Israel, and the World Bank in constructing the dam.[80]

Kaiser Aluminum agreed to build the dam for Nkrumah, but restricted what could be produced using the power generated. Nkrumah borrowed money to build the dam, and placed Ghana in debt. To finance the debt, he raised taxes on the cocoa farmers in the south. This accentuated regional differences and jealousy. The dam was completed and opened by Nkrumah amidst world publicity on 22 January 1966.

Nkrumah initiated the Ghana Nuclear Reactor Project in 1961, created the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission in 1963, and in 1964 laid the first stone in the building of an atomic energy facility.[81][82]

Cocoa[edit]

In 1954, world price of cocoa rise from £150 to £450 per ton. Rather than allowing cocoa farmers to maintain the windfall, Nkrumah appropriated the increased revenue via central government levies, then invested the capital into various national development projects. This policy alienated one of the major constituencies that helped him come to power.[83]

Prices continued to fluctuate. In 1960, one ton of cocoa sold for £250 in London. By August 1965, this price had dropped to £91, one fifth of its value ten years previous.[24]

Political developments[edit]

25 pesewas (Ȼ0.25) coins depicting Kwame Nkrumah: “Civitatis Ghanensis Conditor” (“Founder of the Ghanaian State”)

Preventive Detention Act[edit]

From 1958 onward, Nkrumah's regime became increasingly authoritarian. That year, partly in response to the Gold Miners' Strike three years earlier, he introduced the Trade Union Act, which made strikes illegal. While Nkrumah had organized strikes just a few years before, he now opposed industrial democracy because it conflicted with rapid industrial development. That same year, he suspected suspected opponents in parliament of plotting against him. To muzzle them, he wrote the Preventive Detention Act, which gave his government sweeping powers to arrest and detain anyone charged with treason or otherwise deemed a security risk for up to five years. This law effectively suspended due process of law, since prisoners were often held without trial. The only legal method of recourse was personal appeal to Nkrumah himself.

When the railway workers went on strike in 1961, Nkrumah ordered strike leaders and opposition politicians arrested under the Trade Union Act of 1958. He told the unions that their days as advocates for the safety and just compensation of miners were over, and that their new job was to work with management to mobilize human resources. Wages must give way to patriotic duty because the good of the nation superseded the good of individual workers, Nkrumah's administration contended.

The Detention Act led to widespread disaffection with Nkrumah’s administration. Some of his associates used the law to arrest innocent people to acquire their political offices and business assets. Advisers close to Nkrumah became reluctant to question policies for fear that they might be seen as opponents. When the clinics ran out of pharmaceuticals, no one notified him. Some people believed that he no longer cared. The police came to resent their role in society, particularly after Nkrumah gave most of their duties and responsibilities to the National Security Service and regiments from his personal guard. Nkrumah disappeared from public view out of a fear of assassination following multiple attempts on his life.

Opposition to tribalism[edit]

Illegal Asante flag, with colors symbolizing gold, ancestral power, and the forest, and Golden Stool symbolizing Asante political authority[62]
Porcupine flag, symbolizing Asante motto, “If you greet us with peace, we will greet you with peace. But if you greet us with war, then we will greet you with war.”[62]

Nkrumah also sought to eliminate “tribalism”, a source of loyalties held more deeply than those to the nation-state . Thus, as he wrote in Africa Must Unite: “We were engaged in a kind of war, a war against poverty, and disease, against ignorance, against tribalism and disunity. We needed to secure the conditions which could allow us to pursue our policy of reconstruction and development.” To this end, in 1958, his government passed “An Act to prohibit organizations using or engaging in racial or religious propaganda to the detriment of any other racial or religious community, or security the elections of persons on account of their racial or religious affiliations, or for other purposes in connection therewith.”[84] Nkrumah attempted to saturate the country in national flags, and declared a widely-disobeyed ban on tribal flags.[62]

Kofi Abrefa Busia of the United Party (Ghana) gained prominence as an opposition leader in the debate over this Act., taking a more classically liberal position and criticizing the ban on tribal politics as repressive. Soon after, he left the country.[70]

During his tenure as Prime Minister and then President, Nkrumah succeeded in reducing the political importance of the local chieftancy (e.g. the Akan chiefs and the Asantahene. These chiefs had maintained authority during colonial rule through collaboration with the British authorities; in fact, they were sometimes favored over the local intelligentsia, who made trouble for the British with organizations like the Aborigines' Rights Protection Society. The Convention People's Party had a strained relationship with the chiefs when it came to power, and this relationship became more hostile as the CPP incited political opposition chiefs and criticized the institution as undemocratic. Acts passed in 1958 and 1959 gave the government more power to destool chiefs directly, and proclaied government of stool land—and revenues.[85] These policies alienated the chiefs and led them look favorably on the overthrow of Nkrumah and his Party.[86]

Increased power of the Convention People's Party[edit]

In 1962, three younger members of the CPP were brought up on charges of taking part in a plot to blow up Nkrumah's car in a motorcade. The sole evidence against the alleged plotters was that they rode in cars well behind Nkrumah's car. When the defendants were acquitted, Nkrumah sacked the chief judge of the state security court, then got the CPP-dominated parliament to pass a law allowing a new trial. At this second trial, all three men were convicted and sentenced to death, though these sentences were subsequently commuted to life imprisonment. Shortly afterward, the constitution was amended to give the president the power to summarily remove judges at all levels.

In 1964, he proposed a constitutional amendment which would make the CPP the only legal party and himself president for life of both nation and party. The amendment passed with 99.91 percent of the vote, an implausibly high total that led observers to condemn the vote as "obviously rigged."[87] In any event, Ghana had effectively been a one-party state since independence. The amendment transformed Nkrumah's presidency into a de facto legal dictatorship.

Civil service[edit]

After substantial Africanization of the civil service in 1952–1960, the number of expatriates rose again from 1960–1965. Many of the new outside workers came not from England but from Russia, Poland, Chechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Italy, and the United Nations.[88]

Foreign policy and military[edit]

Nkrumah and his family meeting Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser during the 1965 OAU Summit in Accra.

Nkrumah actively promoted a policy of Pan-Africanism from the beginning of his Presidency. This entailed the creation of a series of new international organizations, which held their inaugural meetings in Accra. These were:

  • the First Conference of Independent States, in April 1958;
  • the more inclusive All-African Peoples' Conference, with representatives from 62 nationalist organizations from across the continent, in December 1958;
  • the All-African Trade Union Federation, meeting in November 1959, to coordinate the African labor movement;
  • the Positive Action and Security in Africa conference, in April 1960, discussing Algeria, South Africa, and French nuclear weapons testing; and
  • the Conference of African Women, on July 18, 1960.[24][80]

Meanwhile, Ghana withdrew from colonial organizations including West Africa Airways Corporation, the West African Currency Board, the West African Cocoa Research Institute, and the West African Court of Appeal.[24]

In 1960, Nkrumah negotiated the creation of a Union of African States, a political alliance between Ghana, Guinea, and Mali. Immediately there formed a women's group called Women of the Union of African States.[71]

Nkrumah was a leading figure in the short-lived Casablanca Group of African leaders, which sought to achieve Pan-African unity and harmony through deep political, economic and military integration of the continent in the early 1960s prior to the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity.[89]

Nkrumah was instrumental in the creation of the Organisation of African Unity in Addis Ababa in 1963.[70] He aspired to create a united military force, the African High Command, which Ghana would substantially lead, and committed to this vision in Article 2 of the 1960 Republican Constitution: “In the confident expectation of an early surrender of sovereignty to a union of African states and territories, the people now confer on Parliament the power to provide for the surrender of the whole or any part of the sovereignty of Ghana.”[24][90]

He was also a proponent of the United Nations, but critical of the Great Powers' ability to control it.[80]

Nkrumah opposed entry of African states into the Common Market of the European Economic Community, a status given to many former French colonies and considered by Nigeria. Instead, Nkrumah advocated (in a speech given April 7, 1960):

an African common market, a common currency area and the development of communications of all kinds to allow the free flow of goods and services. International capital can be attracted to such viable economic areas, but it would not be attracted to a divided and balkanized Africa, with each small region engaged in senseless and suicidal economic competition with its neighbors.[80]

Armed forces[edit]

In 1956, Ghana took control of the Royal West African Frontier Force (RWAFF), Gold Coast Regiment, from the British War Office. This force had formerly been deployed to quell internal dissent, and occasionally to fight in wars: most recently, in World War II, against the Japanese in India and Burma. The most senior officers in this force were British, and, although training of African officers began in 1947, only 28 of 212 officers in December 1956 were indigenous Africans. The British officers still received British salaries, which vastly exceeded those allotted to their Ghanaian counterparts. Concerned about a possible military coup, Nkrumah delayed the placement of African officers in top leadership roles.[91] [92]

Nkrumah quickly established Ghanaian Air Force, acquiring fourteen Beaver airplanes from Canada and setting up a flight school with British instructors. Otters, Caribou and Chipmunks were to follow.[91] Ghana also obtained four Ilyushin-18 aircraft from the Soviet Union. Preparation began in April 1959 with assistance from India and Israel.[93]

The Ghanaian Navy received two inshore minesweepers with 40- and 20-milimeter guns, the Afadzato and the Yogaga, from Britain in December 1959. It subsequently received the Elmina and the Komenda, seaward defense boats with 40-millimeter guns.[91] The Navy's flagship, and training ship, was the Achimota, a British yacht constructed during World War II. In 1961, the Navy ordered two 600-ton corvettes, the Keta and Kromantse from Vosper & Company and received them in 1957. It also procured four Soviet patrol boats. Naval officers were trained at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth.[94] The Ghanaian military budget rose each year, from $9.35 million (US dollars) in 1958 to $47 million in 1965.[95]

The first international deployment of the Ghanaian armed forces was the Congo (Léopoldville/Kinshasa), where Ghanaian troops were airlifted in 1960 at the beginning of the Congo crisis.[91] One week after Belgian troops occupied the lucrative mining province of Katanga, Ghana dispatched more than a thousand its own troops to join a United Nations force.[96] The use of British officers in this context was politically unacceptable, and this event occasioned a hasty transfer of officer positions to Ghanaians.[91][97] The Congo war was long and difficult.[96] On January 19, 1961, the Third Infantry Battalion, mutinied. On April 28, 1961, forty three men were massacred in a surprise attack by the Congolese army.[98]

Ghana also gave military support to rebels fighting against the government of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), which had declared independence from Britain in 1965.

Relationship with Communist world[edit]

Nkrumah with Ernesto “Che” Guevara, January 1965

In 1961, Nkrumah went on tour through Eastern Europe, proclaiming solidarity with the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China.[24]

In 1963, Kwame Nkrumah was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize by the Soviet Union.

Political philosophy[edit]

Nkrumah Hall at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania

Nkrumah called himself “a scientific socialist and a Marxist” and is considered relatively orthodox in his Marxism–Leninism.[99] He generally took a non-aligned Marxist perspective on economics, and believed capitalism had malignant effects that were going to stay with Africa for a long time. Although he was clear on distancing himself from the African socialism of many of his contemporaries, Nkrumah argued that socialism was the system that would best accommodate the changes that capitalism had brought, while still respecting African values. He specifically addresses these issues and his politics in a 1967 essay entitled "African Socialism Revisited":

"We know that the traditional African society was founded on principles of egalitarianism. In its actual workings, however, it had various shortcomings. Its humanist impulse, nevertheless, is something that continues to urge us towards our all-African socialist reconstruction. We postulate each man to be an end in himself, not merely a means; and we accept the necessity of guaranteeing each man equal opportunities for his development. The implications of this for socio-political practice have to be worked out scientifically, and the necessary social and economic policies pursued with resolution. Any meaningful humanism must begin from egalitarianism and must lead to objectively chosen policies for safeguarding and sustaining egalitarianism. Hence, socialism. Hence, also, scientific socialism."[100]

Nkrumah was also best-known politically for his strong commitment to and promotion of Pan-Africanism. He was inspired by the writings of black intellectuals such as Marcus Garvey, W. E. B. Du Bois, and George Padmore, and his relationships with them. Much of his understanding and relationship to these men was created during his years in America as a student. Some would argue that his greatest inspiration was Marcus Garvey. Although he also had a meaningful relationship with C.L.R. James. Nkrumah looked to these men in order to craft a general solution to the ills of Africa. To follow in these intellectual footsteps Nkrumah had intended to continue his education in London, but ultimately found himself involved in direct activism. Then, motivated by advice from Du Bois, Nkrumah decided to focus on creating peace in Africa. Nkrumah's dedications to pan-africanism in action attracted these intellectuals to his Ghanaian projects. Many Americans, such as Du Bois and Kwame Ture, moved to Ghana to join him in his efforts. These men are buried there today.[101] His press officer for six years was the Grenadian anticolonialist Sam Morris. Nkrumah's biggest success in this area was his significant influence in the founding of the Organisation of African Unity.

Nkrumah also became a symbol for black liberation in the United States. When in 1958 the Harlem Lawyers Association had an event in Nkrumah's Honor, diplomat Ralph Bunche told him:

We salute you, Kwame Nkrumah, not only because you are Prime Minister of Ghana, although this is cause enough. We salute you because you are a true and living representation of our hopes and ideals, of the determination we have to be accepted fully as equal beings, of the pride we have held and nurtured in our African origin, of the freedom of which we know we are capable, of the freedom in which we believe, of the dignity imperative to our stature as men.[80]

Overthrow[edit]

Kwame Nkrumah with U.S. President John F. Kennedy, March 8, 1961

In February 1966, while Nkrumah was on a state visit to North Vietnam and China, his government was overthrown in a military coup led by Emmanuel Kwasi Kotoka and the National Liberation Council. President Nkrumah himself alluded to possible American complicity in the coup in his 1969 memoir ‘Dark Days in Ghana’, though he may have mainly based this conclusion on falsified documents shown him by the KGB.[102]

Evidence for American involvement is, however, real. In 1978 John Stockwell, former Chief of the CIA's Angola Task Force, wrote that agents at the CIA's Accra station "maintained intimate contact with the plotters as a coup was hatched." Afterward, "inside CIA headquarters the Accra station was given full, if unofficial credit for the eventual coup... None of this was adequately reflected in the agency's written records." [103] Later that same year, Seymour Hersh of the New York Times, citing "first hand intelligence sources," defended Stockwell's account, claiming that "many CIA operatives in Africa considered the agency's role in the overthrow of Mr. Nkrumah to have been pivotal." [104] These claims have never been verified,[105] though declassified MI5 documents have indicated that a British espionage agent known as "Swift" had managed to infiltrate the inner circles of the Nkrumah government.[102]

Following the coup, Ghana also realigned itself internationally, cutting its close ties to Guinea and the Eastern Bloc, accepting a new friendship with the Western countries, and inviting the International Monetary Fund and World Bank to take a lead role in managing the economy. With this reversal, accentuated by the expulsion of immigrants and a new willingness to negotiate with Apartheid South Africa, Ghana lost a good deal of its stature in the eyes of African nationalists.[24]

Exile, death and tributes[edit]

Memorial to Kwame Nkrumah in Accra
Kwame Nkrumah's grave inside the Kwame Nkrumah memorial in Accra

Nkrumah never returned to Ghana, but he continued to push for his vision of African unity. He lived in exile in Conakry, Guinea, as the guest of President Ahmed Sékou Touré, who made him honorary co-president of the country. He read, wrote, corresponded, gardened, and entertained guests. Despite retirement from public office, he felt that he was still threatened by western intelligence agencies. When his cook died mysteriously, he feared that someone would poison him, and began hoarding food in his room. He suspected that foreign agents were going through his mail, and lived in constant fear of abduction and assassination. In failing health, he flew to Bucharest, Romania, for medical treatment in August 1971. He died of prostate cancer in April 1972 at the age of 62.

Nkrumah was buried in a tomb in the village of his birth, Nkroful, Ghana. While the tomb remains in Nkroful, his remains were transferred to a large national memorial tomb and park in Accra.

Over his lifetime, Nkrumah was awarded honorary doctorates by Lincoln University, Moscow State University; Cairo University in Cairo, Egypt; Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland; Humboldt University in East Berlin; and many other universities.[106]

In 2000, he was voted Africa's man of the millennium by listeners to the BBC World Service, being described by the BBC as a "Hero of Independence," and an "International symbol of freedom as the leader of the first black African country to shake off the chains of colonial rule."[107]

In September 2009, President John Atta Mills declared 21 September (the 100th anniversary of Kwame Nkrumah's birth) to be Founder's Day, a statutory holiday in Ghana to celebrate the legacy of Kwame Nkrumah.[108]

Works by Kwame Nkrumah[edit]

A postage stamp from the Soviet Union marking the 80th anniversary of his birth
Independence Arch in Accra
"The essence of neo-colonialism is that the State which is subject to it is, in theory, independent and has all the outward trappings of international sovereignty. In reality its economic system and thus its political policy is directed from outside." (Introduction)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Rooney (1988), Kwame Nkrumah, p. 7. “There is no official record of Nkrumah's date of birth, but by his own reckoning it was Saturday, 18 September 1909, and by local custom, because it was Saturday, he was called Kwame.” But cf. Sherwood (1996), Kwame Nkrumah: the years abroad, p. 17. “Kwame Nkrumah was born on Nkroful in Western Ghana probably on 21st September 1909. The exact date is not known as birth certificates were not issued in those days.” With footnote: “In a biography drafted in the USA Nkrumah gave his birthdate as 21 September 1912, GNA:SC21/1/119. Basil Davidson in Black Star (Allen Lane, London, 1973, p. 19) states that Nkrumah's baptismal records give the date as 1909
  2. ^ Nyanibah survived her son, watching over him throughout his life. For a time after his death, she guarded his tomb. See Birmingham, p. 3.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g George P. Hagan, “Nkrumah's Leadership Style—An Assessment from a Cultural Perspective”, in Arhin (1992), The Life and Work of Kwame Nkrumah.
  2. ^ Mazrui 1966, p. 9: "There is little doubt that, quite consciously, Nkrumah saw himself as an African Lenin. He wanted to go down in history as a major political theorist—and he wanted a particular stream of thought to bear his own name. Hence the term 'Nkrumahism'—a name for an ideology that he hoped would assume the same historic and revolutionary status as 'Leninism'."
  3. ^ Addo, pp. 50–51.
  4. ^ Rooney, p. 7.
  5. ^ a b Rooney, pp. 7–8.
  6. ^ Owusu-Ansah, p. 239.
  7. ^ Rooney, p. 9.
  8. ^ Addo, pp. 53–54.
  9. ^ Rooney, pp. 9–12.
  10. ^ Clarke 9–10.
  11. ^ Clarke, p. 10.
  12. ^ Rooney, p. 12.
  13. ^ Birmingham, p. 4.
  14. ^ Rooney, pp. 13–14.
  15. ^ Clarke, p. 11.
  16. ^ a b Rooney, pp. 14–15.
  17. ^ Rooney, p. 16.
  18. ^ Addo, pp. 62–65.
  19. ^ Owusu-Ansah, p. 32.
  20. ^ a b Sherwood, p. 114.
  21. ^ Sherwood, pp. 106–107.
  22. ^ Addo, p. 70.
  23. ^ a b Sherwood, p. 115.
  24. ^ a b c d e f g Gebe, Boni Yao (March 2008). "Ghana's Foreign Policy at Independence and Implications for the 1966 Coup D’état" (PDF). Journal of Pan African Studies 2 (3). 
  25. ^ Rooney, p. 23.
  26. ^ Rooney, pp. 24–25.
  27. ^ Sherwood, pp. 173–178.
  28. ^ Rooney, p. 25.
  29. ^ Rooney, pp. 26–27.
  30. ^ Owusu-Ansah, p. 316.
  31. ^ Rooney, pp. 27–28.
  32. ^ Rooney, pp. 30–31.
  33. ^ Rooney, pp. 36–37.
  34. ^ Rooney, pp. 38–39.
  35. ^ Birmingham, pp. 18–19.
  36. ^ Addo, p. 85.
  37. ^ Rooney, pp. 40–43.
  38. ^ Addo, pp. 86–87.
  39. ^ Birmingham, p. 24.
  40. ^ Addo, p. 88.
  41. ^ Addo, pp. 88–89.
  42. ^ Fuller, pp. 24–26.
  43. ^ Fisher, pp. 169–174.
  44. ^ Rooney, pp. 55–56.
  45. ^ Rooney, pp. 56–57.
  46. ^ Birmingham, pp. 34–35.
  47. ^ Bourret, pp. 175–177.
  48. ^ Rooney, p. 61.
  49. ^ Birmingham, pp. 37–38.
  50. ^ Rooney, pp. 82–83.
  51. ^ Bourret, p. 178.
  52. ^ Birmingham, pp. 40–43.
  53. ^ Rooney, pp. 181–182.
  54. ^ Bourret, pp. 183–186.
  55. ^ Bourret, pp. 187–191.
  56. ^ Birmingham, p. 58.
  57. ^ Owusu-Ansah, p. lii.
  58. ^ Bourret, pp. 200–201.
  59. ^ Zimmerman, Jonathan (2008-10-23). "The ghost of Kwame Nkrumah". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
  60. ^ Rooney (1988), Kwame Nkrumah, pp. 4–5.
  61. ^ a b c S. Asamoah Darko, "The Development and Patterns of Manufacturing Industries in Ghana, 1951–1965", in Arhin (1992), The Life and Work of Kwame Nkrumah.
  62. ^ a b c d Fuller, Building the Ghanaian Nation-State, pp. 29–33.
  63. ^ Fuller, Building the Ghanaian Nation-State, pp. 37–38.
  64. ^ Fuller, Building the Ghanaian Nation-State, pp. 34–37.
  65. ^ Fuller, Building the Ghanaian Nation-State, pp. 121–122.
  66. ^ E. A. Hazel, “Education in Ghana, 1951 – 1966”, in Arhin (1992), The Life and Work of Kwame Nkrumah.
  67. ^ a b c d e E. A. Haizel, “Education in Ghana, 1951 – 1966”, in Arhin (1992), The Life and Work of Kwame Nkrumah.
  68. ^ "National Reconciliation Commission Report". 2004. p. 251 
  69. ^ Nkrumah's Deception of Africa. Ghana Ministry of Information. 1967. 
  70. ^ a b c George P. Hagan, “Nkrumah's Cultural Policy”, in Arhin (1992), The Life and Work of Kwame Nkrumah.
  71. ^ a b c Takiwah Manuh, “Women and their Organizations during the Convention Peoples' Party Period”, in Arhin (1992), The Life and Work of Kwame Nkrumah.
  72. ^ a b Jean Allman, “The Disappearing of Hannah Kudjoe: Nationalism, Feminism, and the Tyrannies of History”; Journal of Women's History 21.3, 2009.
  73. ^ Fuller, Building the Ghanaian Nation-State, pp. 39–80.
  74. ^ a b c d e f P. A. V. Ansah, “Kwame Nkrumah and the Mass Media”, in Arhin (1992), The Life and Work of Kwame Nkrumah. Also see: “Media”, in Owusu-Ansah (2014), Historical Dictionary of Ghana, pp. 211–213.
  75. ^ Opening of the Second Conference of African Journalists: November 11, 1963”, Osagyefo Dr. Dwame Nkrumah Infobank.
  76. ^ "Political and Economic History of Ghana". sjsu.edu. Retrieved 2012-01-09. 
  77. ^ a b K. B. Asante, "Nkrumah and State Enterprises", in Arhin (1992), The Life and Work of Kwame Nkrumah.
  78. ^ Norman Lowe, Mastering Modern World History.
  79. ^ "The Road to Ghana's Healthcare Financing - From Nkrumah to Health Insurance.
  80. ^ a b c d e Obed Asamoah, "Nkrumah's Foreign Policy, 1951–1966", in Arhin (1992), The Life and Work of Kwame Nkrumah.
  81. ^ GAEC Documentation Committee, ”Ghana Atomic Energy Commission: At a Glance”; Third Edition; Kwabenya: RPB, GAEC, July 1998.
  82. ^ Nkrumah lays foundation for atomic reactor .. in 1964”, Ghana Review International 120, March 2007 (on GhanaWeb, 11 April 2007). Also see text of speech hosted by Ghana Atomic Energy Commission.
  83. ^ "Cocoa Price Issue Splits Gold Coast". New York Times. December 30, 1954. 
  84. ^ Kwame Nkrumah, Africa Must Unite (1983), p. 74; quoted by George P. Hagan, “Nkrumah's Cultural Policy”, in Arhin (1992), The Life and Work of Kwame Nkrumah.
  85. ^ Kwame Arhin, “The Search For 'Constitutional Chieftancy'”, in Arhin (1992), The Life and Work of Kwame Nkrumah.
  86. ^ Pinkney (1972), Ghana Under Military Rule, p. 25.
  87. ^ Anthony, S. (1969). "The State of Ghana". African Affairs 68 (273): 337–39. JSTOR 720657. 
  88. ^ Joseph R. A. Ayee, "Public Sector Manpower Development During the Nkrumah Period 1951–1966", in Arhin (1992), The Life and Work of Kwame Nkrumah.
  89. ^ Pierre Englebert & Kevin C. Dunn (2013), Inside African Politics, London: Lynne Reinner, p. 320–321.
  90. ^ Egon Schwelb, “The Republican Constitution of Ghana”; American Journal of Comparative Law 9.4, Autumn 1960.
  91. ^ a b c d e Eboe Hutchful, “The Development of the Army Officer Corps in Ghana, 1956–1955” ; Journal of African Studies 12.3, Fall 1985.
  92. ^ Baynham (1988), Military and Politics in Nkrumah's Ghana, pp. 22–32.
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  96. ^ a b Baynham (1988), Military and Politics in Nkrumah's Ghana, p. 93. “Within a week, 1,193 Ghanaian soldiers were in Léopoldvile and 192 more were waiting for transport in Accra with 156 trucks and 160 tons of stores. In terms of its resources, Ghana made one of the heaviest manpower contributions to the Congo. By the end of August 1960, she had 2,394 army officers and men in the country. The Ghana contingent remained for three of the four years of the UN operations, contributing a total of more than 39,000 man-months.”
  97. ^ Baynham (1988), Military and Politics in Nkrumah's Ghana, p. 94.
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  99. ^ Ama Biney, “The Legacy of Kwame Nkrumah in Retrospect”; ; Journal of Pan African Studies 2.3, March 2008.
  100. ^ Kwame Nkrumah, "African Socialism Revisited", 1967.
  101. ^ Afari-Gyan, Kwadwo. "KWAME NKRUMAH, GEORGE PADMORE AND W.E.B. DU BOIS." RESEARCH REVIEW NS VOL.7 (1991): 1-5. Print.
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  103. ^ Stockwell, John (1978). In Search of Enemies: A CIA Story. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. p. 201n. ISBN 0-393-00926-2. 
  104. ^ Hersh, Seymour (09-05-1978), "CIA Said to Have Aided Plotters Who Overthrew Nkrumah in Ghana," New York Times. Reprinted in: Ray, Ellen; Schaap, William; Van Meter, Karl; Wolf, Louis (1979). Dirty Work 2: The CIA in Africa. Secaucus, N.J.: Lyle Stuart Inc. pp. 159–162. ISBN 0-8184-0294-6. 
  105. ^ John Prados, Safe For Democracy: The Secret Wars of the CIA (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2006), p. 329.
  106. ^ "Education For Leadership: The Vision of Kwame Nkrumah". kwamenkrumahcentenary.orgm. Retrieved 2012-01-09. 
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  108. ^ "Nkrumah's birthday declared a holiday". modernghana.com. September 4, 2009. Retrieved January 5, 2013. 

Bibiography[edit]

  • Addo, Ebenezer Obiri (1997). Kwame Nkrumah: A Case Study of Religion and Politics in Ghana. University Press of America. ISBN 978-0-7618-0785-8. 
  • Birmingham, David (1998). Kwame Nkrumah: The Father of African Nationalism. Ohio University Press. ISBN 978-0-8214-1242-8. 
  • Bourret, F. M. (1960) [1949]. Ghana—The Road to Independence (revised ed.). Stanford University Press. OCLC 414362. 
  • Clarke, John Henrik (October 1974). "Kwame Nkrumah: His years in America". The Black Scholar 6 (2): 9–16. JSTOR 41065759. 
  • Fuller, Harcourt (2014). Building the Ghanaian Nation-State. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-137-44856-9. 
  • Mazrui, Ali (2004). Nkrumah's Legacy and Africa's Triple Heritage Between Globalization and Counter Terrorism. Ghana Universities Press. ISBN 978-9964-3-0296-2. 
  • Owusu-Ansah, David (2014). Biographical Dictionary of Ghana (4th ed.). Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-0-8108-7242-4. 
  • Rooney, David (1988). Kwame Nkrumah: The Political Kingdom in the Third World. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 978-0-312-02479-6. 
  • Sherwood, Marika (1996). Kwame Nkrumah: The Years Abroad 1935–1947. Freedom Publications. ISBN 978-9988-7716-0-7. 
  • Thompson, W. Scott (1969). Ghana's Foreign Policy 1957–1966. Princeton University Press. OCLC 2616. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Arhin, Kwame (1993). The Life and Work of Kwame Nkrumah. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, Inc. ISBN 9780865433953 (08543395X)
  • Baynham, Simon (1988). The Military and Politics in Nkrumah's Ghana. Westview Special Studies on Africa. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, Inc. (Frederick A. Praeger), ISBN 0-8133-70639
  • Davidson, Basil (2007) [1973]. Black Star: A View of the Life and Times of Kwame Nkrumah. Oxford, UK: James Currey. ISBN 978-1-84701-010-0. 
  • Defense Intelligence Agency, "Supplement, Kwame Nkrumah, President of Ghana", 12-January-1966.
  • James, C. L. R. (1977). Nkrumah and the Ghana Revolution. London: Allison & Busby. ISBN 0-85031-461-5. 
  • Mazrui, Ali (1966). "Nkrumah: The Leninist Czar". Transition (26): 8–17. JSTOR 2934320. 
  • Mwakikagile, Godfrey (2006). "Nyerere and Nkrumah: Towards African Unity". Nyerere and Africa: End of an Era (Third ed.). Pretoria, South Africa: New Africa Press. pp. 347–355. ISBN 0-9802534-1-1. 
  • Mwakikagile, Godfrey (2015), Western Involvement in Nkrumah's Downfall. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: New Africa Press. ISBN 9789987160044
  • Pinkney, Robert (1972). Ghana Under Military Rule 1966–1969. London: Methuen & Co Ltd. ΙSBN 0-41675080X
  • Poe, D. Zizwe (2003). Kwame Nkrumah's Contribution to Pan-African Agency. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-203-50537-9. 
  • Sanders, Charles L. (September 1966). "Kwame Nkrumah: the Fall of a Messiah". Ebony (USA). 
  • Tuchscherer, Konrad (2006). "Kwame Francis Nwia Kofie Nkrumah". In Coppa, Frank J. Encyclopedia of Modern Dictators. New York: Peter Lang. pp. 217–20. ISBN 0-8204-5010-3. 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
New office Leader of the Convention People's Party
1948–1966
Succeeded by
Position abolished
Political offices
New office Prime Minister of the Gold Coast
1952–1957
Position abolished
Prime Minister of Ghana
1957–1960
Vacant
Title next held by
Kofi Abrefa Busia
Minister for Foreign Affairs
1957–1958
Succeeded by
Kojo Botsio
Minister for Defence
1957–1960
Succeeded by
Charles de Graft Dickson
Preceded by
Krobo Edusei
Minister for the Interior
1958
Succeeded by
Ashford Emmanuel Inkumsah
Preceded by
Elizabeth II
as Queen of Ghana
President of Ghana
1960–1966
Succeeded by
Joseph Arthur Ankrah
Preceded by
Ebenezer Ako-Adjei
Minister for Foreign Affairs
1962–1963
Succeeded by
Kojo Botsio
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Gamal Abdel Nasser
Chairperson of the Organisation of African Unity
1965–1966
Succeeded by
Joseph Arthur Ankrah