By Honourable Saka
21st September 2012 will mark the 103rd birthday of Kwame Nkrumah. This
day is also a continental holiday: a day all Africans are expected to
observe in honour of the Great Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah. On this day it
is expected that many African leaders, will as usual deliver political
speeches that seek to highlight the significance of Kwame Nkrumah in
Africa’s political history though many of them are not willing to follow
instead of making political speeches and celebrations that usually lead
to no physical results, the African people, especially the leaders
should use this opportunity and reflect upon the challenges we still
face as a people despite the fact that Nkrumah, Thomas Sankara, Marcus
Garvey, Julius Nyerere, and many others have already demonstrated the
way out many years ago. For me, the good news is that all these ideas
are well-documented in Nkrumah’s speeches and many of his books though
these books have been deliberately hidden from the African youth for
Nkrumah is not
just an international figure but a historic person who made lasting
contributions to all Africans and the Black race everywhere.
Undoubtedly, without Kwame Nkrumah, there would be no Nelson Mandela and
even Kofi Annan, a former Secretary General of the United Nations. To
many of us the youth, the greatest honour we yearn for Nkrumah, would be
the day when the African people will unite as one people and strive for
their common destiny, instead of leaders fighting among themselves and
sabotaging one another from behind the scenes.
Nkrumah’s focus on a united, free and economically viable Africa was
probably more paramount to him than his vision for Ghana his beloved
Therefore during his Independence Day Speech on March 6 1957 (in Ghana), Nkrumah proclaimed:
“The Independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked to the total liberation of the entire African continent”.
It was his
dream that Africans all over the world will unite, work together and to
address the challenges of the ordinary African together.
instead of celebrating his birthday merely as a public holiday by wining
and dining, the greatest honour which the African leaders can give to
Nkrumah would be to take the bold steps to implement his ideas for a
unified Africa. This must begin with a real political unity between
north, south, east, west and central Africa.
had a serious worry regarding the attitude of the African leaders in
their loyalty to their foreign masters as against their respective
citizenry. He bemoaned the danger of Neo-colonialism which has become
very common in modern Africa as “multi-party democracy”.
neo-colonialism, the people are divided from their leaders and, instead
of providing true leadership and guidance which is informed at very
point by the ideal of the general welfare, leaders come to neglect the
very people who put them into power and incautiously become instruments
of suppression on behalf of the neo-colonialists. (Kwame Nkrumah, Consciencism, pg 102).
politicians, though many of them usually have no money for political
campaigns, they are too desperate to win political elections at all
cost. As a result, these desperate politicians are willing to sign any
bogus “agreements” with their foreign sponsors to enable them secure
enough funds for their campaigns. They travel to the US, Britain,
France, Germany, Canada, to solicit for funds from abroad. When these
politicians finally win elections, they’re forced to implement policies
which they know will never be in the interest of the African people.
Those who promised to build industries end up selling off state-owned
institutions to these foreign capitalists who funded their campaigns
under the guise of “privatization”. As I speak, almost all major African
resources have been sold to foreign companies. They own our copper, our
gold, our dimond, our oil, our uranium, and many more. This is
gradually making the African people, a slave in their own land while
foreign capitalist take all the profits, usually without paying any tax.
investing enough resources into indigenous agriculture, African leaders
rather take glory in borrowing from the IMF. They then use these funds
to import rice from America and Europe while local rice farmers beg for
government support. Why would any African leader take glory in importing
food from America when the whole African land is fertile for the
cultivation of food? Why must famine be a problem in Africa if our
leaders truly have conscience?
Local Experts Abandoned for Foreign Advisers
Another serious challange we face in Africa is not because our
leaders do not know the way forward. The problem however is that we
currently have too many leaders whom because of "Aid" are always ready
to obey instructions from the IMF and the World Bank. Meanwhile it has
already been demonstrated by many African expercts that the IMF is
Africa's major problem but never the solution. In her book "Dead
Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There is a Better Way for
Africa", Dr Dambisa Moyo, a Zambian economic expert warns that “No
nation has ever attained economic development by aid." Yet, African
leaders continue to embrace aid whild they follow directives that
hinders our development.
is far easier for the proverbial camel to pass through the needle’s
eye, than for an erstwhile colonial administration to give sound and
honest counsel of a political nature to its liberated
territory. Therefore to allow a foreign country, especially one which is
loaded with economic interests in our continent, to tell us what political courses
to follow, is indeed for us to hand back our independence to the
oppressor on a silver platter”. –Kwame Nkrumah, (Consciencism, pg 102).
To prove the above point, Professor Akosa, in his
letter to Presidnet Obama upon his arrival in Ghana (2009) hilighted
what Nkrumah had been warining (above) regarding these economic
“Evidence also shows how the World Bank and
International Monetary Fund provided the advice and Technical Aid that
halted and reversed work by the Nkrumah Government that was to bring
relief and benefit to ordinary Ghanaians. Many have died through the
resulting poverty and Ghana has not progressed much since that time”.
demonstrated beyond all reasonable doubt that after all, the black man
is capable of managing his own Affairs. Unfortunately, today, the same
thing cannot be said of our current crop of African leaders, many of
whom continue to abandon their local expertise for the foreign
years, Ghana, a country that ought to be the torch-bearer of
Pan-Africanism and a strong advocate of Nkrumah’s ideologies,
Ghanaian leaders have rather been paying lip service to the local
experts. Almost any major infrastructural development in the country has
been awarded to a Chinese firm, a Korean company, an American firm or
their European allies, while the African professionals are left with no
A few days ago, the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA)
expressed disappointment with the introduction of some Chinese
contractors who have been tasked to reconstruct a market complex in Cape
Coast which is the home town of the late president Jonh Mills.
President John Mahama who was recently sworn into office after the
sudden death of John Mills, has over the weekend introduced the Chinese
contractors to the people of Cape Coast at the “Fetu Afayhe” (a festival
in Ghana) as those who are expected to start construction works on the
When the country recently discovered oil in large commercial
quantities, many were those who thought the local contractors were to
benefit from the black gold. Shockingly, the oil is now in full control
of Western firms while African firms wonder about with no jobs.
Why will African leader honour our great heroes by mere political
speeches when they ought to demonstrate this gesture? Of course I am not
suggesting that Africa must not do business with the East nor the West.
However, for the African leaders to serve the interest of their foreign
masters and to completely neglect the very people who put them into
power is my worry.
I therefore suggest that, as we celebrate our founding fathers and
acknowledge their contributions to our society, it is also very
important that we take the opportunity to examine the vision which the
founding fathers expected us to fulfil for the benefit of our people.
For there is no point for the current African leaders to honour Kwame
Nkrumah, whose vision they’re not ready to implement. The African people
are tired of the speeches. We now want to see action. For it is said
that Action speaks louder than words.
- Legislations must be introduced across Africa that will ban all
politicians from receiving funds (donations) from abroad for their
political campaigns. By so doing, the sovereignty of these countries can
remain intact without our leaders having to succumb to political
interferances from the outside world.
- The current African leaders must also lead by following the examples
of our forefathers. By merely paying lips service to the dream of
African unity is not good enough. Yes, the founding fathers did their
best. What are we also doing to ensure that the dreams of our founding
fathers will become a reality?
African leaders must join hands and supply copies of all books
written by Nkrumah especially “Neo-colonialism” to the schools so
that students can read and understand for themselves exactly what
Nkrumah expects from them. This is one of the ways by which we can
celebrate Nkrumah, by giving the youth the chance to learn for
themselves what Nkrumah has written.
Long live the African Union that must be!
The writer is a political analyst on African affairs, and a
well-known social commentator in Africa. As a strong Pan-Africanist, he
established the "Project Pan-Africa"
(PPA) to create a mental revolution across Africa. He is the editor of
“The Doctor’s Report”, your most reliable source of critical analysis on
African issues. Email him at: [email protected]. Also visit PPA at: www.projectpanafrica.org
Please join the revolution and support the project.