Today in 1972, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah passed on to eternity ( 21 September 1909– 27 April 1972 ). But before he did, he told us that, “As far as I am concerned, I am in the knowledge that death can never extinguish the torch which I have lit in Ghana and Africa. Long after I am dead and gone, the light will continue to burn and be borne aloft, giving light and guidance to all people.”
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 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.
His administration was both nationalist and socialist. Thus, it funded national industrial and energy projects, developed a strong national education system and promoted a national and pan-African culture. Under Nkrumah, Ghana played a leading role in African international relations during the decolonization period.
In 1964, a constitutional amendment made Ghana a One-party state, with Nkrumah as president for life of both nation and party. Nkrumah was deposed in 1966 by the National Liberation Council which under the supervision of international financial institutions privatized many of the country’s state corporations. Nkrumah lived the rest of his life in Guinea, of which he was named honorary co-president.
Nkrumah never dies