Kwame Nkrumah

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Kwame Nkrumah (September 21, 1909 – April 27, 1972) was a Ghanaian politician and revolutionary. He was the first Prime Minister and President of Ghana, having led the Gold Coast to independence from Britain in 1957. An influential advocate of Pan-Africanism, Nkrumah was a founding member of the Organization of African Unity and winner of the Lenin Peace Prize in 1962. After twelve years abroad pursuing higher education, developing his political philosophy, and organizing with other diasporic pan-Africanists, Nkrumah returned to the Gold Coast (now called Ghana) to begin his political career as an advocate of national independence. He formed the Convention People’s Party, which achieved rapid success through its unprecedented appeal to the common voter. He became Prime Minister in 1952 and retained the position when Ghana declared independence from Britain in 1957. In 1960, Ghanaians approved a new constitution and elected Nkrumah President. As early as 1962 Prime Minister Nkrumah faced the challenges of nation building in the legacy of colonialism. Mounting economic troubles led to increased discontentment with Nkrumah, and Ashanti nationalism further threatened his presidency. However, Ghana under Kwame Nkrumah experience the fastest industrial growth in the history. He created job opportunities for Ghanaians, which turned one of the wealthiest and industrial countries for Africa. Ghana turned major exporter of Cocoa worldwide under, increase gold production, he builds the largest man-made lake Volta River which the generate electricity to the whole Ghana to date. He builds chaw roads, most popular among them is Tema Motorway. Also, he champions massive industrial drive, he turned the entire city of Tema into industrial hub.
Kwame Nkrumah was rather vocal about his ideas. He also embraced some Soviet ideas. He often referred to himself as “Africa’s answer to Lenin”. In 1963 he even got, at the time exclusive, the Lenin Peace prize. However, he did not agree to all the Marxism ideas and practices. In one of his essays where he outlines Christian, modern, and Marxist interpretations, he expressed his disagreement with the Marxist concept of ownership. He wrote on “the idealism and impracticability of communistic theories”. He also wrote that “communism seems to be unsuccessful in societies where it has been tried, because its principles are at variance with human nature, and even with the original nature of property itself”. Regardless of what political practices Nkrumah supported and what he disagreed with, his supreme Goal was an independent Ghana and a united, free, and dynamic Africa.
Kwame Nkrumah was named honorary co-president in Guinea, where he lived for the rest of his life.
He was into theatre and writing. One of his essays “Negro History: European Government in Africa” was published in The Lincolnian – Lincoln University student newspaper. He was also a member of the Philosophy Club at Lincoln University, and he has written over 20 books, including an autobiography. He wrote the book “Dark Days in Ghana” while being in exile. In 2000, listeners of BBC World Service voted him Africa’s man of the millennium.