Drs. Tsegezab Gebregergis
“I can see no security for African states unless African leaders like ourselves have realised, beyond doubt, that salvation for Africa lies in unity” (Kwame Nkrumah, “The Same”).
In this brief exposition accompanying this video, I am going to discuss who Nkrumah is, his ideas and vision. In doing so, I aim to show that the idea of African continental unity is the child of the fertile brain of Kwame Nkrumah.
So who was Kwame Nkrumah?
Kwame Nkrumah was an Ghanaian dedicated anti-imperialist revolutionary and Pan-African nationalist and the first Prime Minister and President of Ghana and founder of the People’s Convention Party which became the ruling party in Ghana in 1958 under Nkrumah’s leadership. He was born on September 21 1909 in Nkroful, Ghana, and died on April 27 1972 in Bucharest, Romania, while undergoing treatment in hospital.
Nkrumah: The author
Kwame Nkrumah was the author of several important revolutionary books focusing on the liberation of Africa from colonialism, on apartheid South Africa, on neo-colonialist rule, on the interference and intervention of Western imperialism in the affairs of Africa and on the need to establish African continental unity. His major works include: 1. Africa Must Unite; 2. Neo-Colonialism: The Highest Stage of Imperialism; 3. Consciencism: Philosophy and Ideology for Decolonization; 4, Towards Colonial Freedom: Africa in the Struggle against World Imperialism; 5. Selected Speeches of Kwame Nkrumah; 6.Dark Days in Ghana; 7. I Speak of Freedom; 8. Voice From Conakry; 9. Ghana Autobiography of Kwame Nkrumah; 10. Challenge of the Congo; 11. The Struggle Continues; 12. Revolutionary Path; and 13. The Same.
These books by the prolific Kwame Nkrumah are very important and should be read and studied by all progressive and revolutionary Africans who would like to see the creation of a continental African unity as envisaged by Nkrumah and the revolutionary transformation of African societies.
Nkrumah: The determined & farsighted thinker and politician
Kwame Nkrumah was indeed a great and proud son of Africa. Unfortunately, he was born too early and died too soon. It is my strong personal belief that, had Nkrumah been born in the late Fifties and become President of Ghana in the late Seventies, he would certainly have achieved the noble project and vision he envisaged for a Government of African Continental Unity. He would also have become the first president of an all-African Continental Unity Government. However, his lofty political aim did not make any headway in his time because the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was dominated then by agents and puppets of US, British and French imperialism. Nevertheless, no matter what happened, Kwame Nkrumah’s dream of creating an African Continental Government will be realised sooner than most of us might believe. This is because the very idea that “Africa Must Unite”, as propagated by Nkrumah, is the deepest aspiration of every living African today.
It is therefore very important that the readers of Mdrebahri understand clearly that the seminal idea of Continental African Unity is the idea of the great and dedicated son of Africa, Kwame Nkrumah.
In his book, Neo-Colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism (1965), Nkrumah told Africa and the world in his incisive and penetrating language:
“Africa is a paradox which illustrates and highlights neo-colonialism. Her earth is rich, yet the products that come from above and below her soil continue to enrich, not Africans predominantly, but groups and individuals who operate to Africa’s impoverishment (P.1).”
Nkrumah elucidated further: “If Africa’s multiple resources were used in her development, they could place her among the modernised continents of the world. But her resources have been, and still are being, used for the greater development of overseas interest (ibid, p.2).
Africa and its people are still very poor and still being actively raped by the greedy imperialist powers today precisely because we failed to understand and implement the timely and far-reaching teachings of Kwame Nkrumah summed up in the theme “Africa Must Unite”.
In his speech at the closing session of the Casablanca Conference, on January 7 1961, Nkrumah prophetically warned the assembled African heads of state:
“If we do not formulate plans for unity and take active steps to form political union, we will soon be fighting and warring among ourselves, with imperialists and colonialists standing behind the screen and pulling vicious wires to make us cut each other’s throats for the sake of their diabolical purposes in Africa.”
Nkrumah also told us, in the preface to “I Speak of Freedom” (1961): “Divided we are weak; united, Africa could become one of the greatest forces for good in the world.”
Likewise, he proudly told us in “The Same” (page xiv): “We [Africans] have to prove that greatness is not to be measured in stockpiles of atom bombs. I believe strongly and sincerely that, with deep-rooted wisdom and dignity, the innate respect for human lives, the intense humanity that is our heritage, the African race, united under one federal government, will emerge not as just another world bloc to flaunt its wealth and strength, but as a Great Power whose greatness is indestructible because it is built not on fear, envy and suspicion, nor won at the expense of others, but founded on hope, trust, friendship and directed to the good of all mankind.”
Therefore, after all is said and done, I strongly believe that only the full realisation and implementation on a continental level of Kwame Nkrumah’s teachings, summed up in the philosophical wisdom of the simple phrase “Africa Must Unite”, can save Africa from humiliation, political marginalisation in world affairs, underdevelopment and the economic plunder and pauperisation of its people and enable it to take its rightful place in the world.
Glory to Kwame Nkrumah, the great son of Africa!