Kwame Nkrumah: World Peace, African Unity and a United Ghana

Kwame Nkrumah: World  Peace, African Unity and a United Ghana

Ade Sawyerr  on the 40th Anniversary of the passing of the Osagyefo

I start this retrospective with a quotation on African Unity by Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah and here I quote

“We all want a United Africa, United not only in our concept of what unity connotes, but united in our common desire to move forward together in dealing with all the problems that can best be solved only on a continental basis.”  Kwame Nkrumah

I intend to talk about Kwame Nkrumah and his contribution to World Peace, African Unity and a United Ghana against the back drop of current events.

World Peace and Unity

Few people view Nkrumah as a man of peace; they perceive him more at home in supporting the freedom fighter movements in Africa, but there was a time when Nkrumah’s stature in the world was that of a peacemaker.

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Kufour’s legacy – dishonouring the name of Osagyefo Nkrumah

Kufour’s legacy – dishonouring the name of Osagyefo Nkrumah
By: Sawyerr, Ade, (2008-02-25)

07.05.07 Kufuor Several years ago, I met with President Kufour. It was a chance meeting; he was campaigning to be President of Ghana and had visited England. I was fortunate to have been invited to a Diwali festival that Tony Blair was attending and Mr Kufour had come along with a view of seeking audience with Blair who was then the prime minister.

Ade Sawyerr is partner in Equinox Consulting, a management consultancy that provides consultancy, training and research that focuses on formulating strategies for black and ethnic minority, disadvantaged and socially excluded communities in Britain. He also comments on social, political and development issues. He can be contacted by email on jwasawyerr@gmail.com or through http://www.equinoxconsulting.net

I looked up and saw this bloke who looked familiar – I approached him and we had an engaging discussion for upwards of 30 minutes till he was called away. I liked his confidence – he was going to be president of my country so I wanted to know his views on a variety of issues and where Ghanaians stood with him.

I must admit that though he carried himself very well and listened well during our exchange, I concluded that I did not like his politics. When he became president, I wished him well in an open letter that I wrote to him. I asked that he run the country well, I asked that he should rid the country of corruption and that he should do his best till my own party came on the scene. I however asked that he should keep wise counsel and consult wisely on things that were contentious in terms of holding our country together.

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The case for preventive detention under Nkrumah

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The case for preventive detention under Nkrumah

Ekow Nelson and Professor Michael Gyamerah

Part I – Introduction

For all the criticism Nkrumah endured from much of the Western press and the opposition in Ghana, he did not kill any political opponents nor did he massacre groups of people opposed to him. Indeed in his often cited work – “Ghana without Nkrumah-The Winter of Discontent”, Irving Markovitz acknowledges that although “[t]here was considerable unrest and dissatisfaction, several assassination attempts against Nkrumah, and constant rumors of coups…[Nkrumah’s] government … made conciliatory gestures toward its opponents both within and outside its ranks, and showed every sign of having attained a durable balance of interests.”  Markovitz concludes, in a piece published two months after Nkrumah’s overthrow amidst a flurry of the wildest allegations, that by the time of the coup in 1966 “Ghana was neither a terrorized nor a poverty-stricken country”.

In any discussion about Nkrumah, however, the narrative of his critics quickly gravitates toward detention without trial, a derogation from the principle of habeas corpus which was neither unique to Ghana nor without precedent even in advanced democracies of the United States and United Kingdom or a large democracy like India, whose own Prevention Detention Act provided the template for Ghana’s version.

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A fitting and deserving honour to Kwame Nkrumah – Civitatis Ghaniensis Conditor

A fitting and deserving honour to Kwame Nkrumah – Civitatis Ghaniensis Conditor

By Ade Sawyerr – London March 2009

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It is with some sadness that I respond to the thrash that goes for history that is being represented about the role of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah and why some in our country still continue to dishonour his name by turning the politics of identity into the politics of envy.  Nkrumah rightly deserves his place as the Founder of the nation of Ghana.  I am sad because the objections are rather shrill and petty and in most cases go against the substance of what President Atta Mills in his wisdom proposes to do.

It is correct that the independence movement did not start with Nkrumah but neither did it start with the UGCC.  It started long before that but it was the singular effort of one man Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah that won us independence and for that we should be thankful.


The agitation for our independence can be traced to the opposition to British rule from the turn of the century that solidified under the radical Aborigine Rights Protection Society.  The scene up to the 1940s was dominated by political battles with the more moderate National Congress of British West Africa. Both these movements were represented on the Legislative Assembly and both were also national in nature.  As these disagreements sapped the energy of both groups and distracted them from properly articulating the needs of the people, the UGCC emerged. But there were other parties such as National Democratic Party, several sectional and special interest and tribal parties such as the Northern Peoples Party, Anlo Youth Association, Togoland Congress, Federation of Youth, Muslim Association Party, Ghana National Party, National Liberation Movement, and Ghana Congress Party the successor party to the United Gold Coast Convention.  All these parties played a part sometimes malign but most times benign to enable us achieve independence as a sovereign nation.

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The challenge of democracy – Can Obama deliver on his promise to Africa?

The challenge of democracy – Can Obama deliver on his promise to Africa?

Ade Sawyerr © London July 2009
On Friday 10th July 2009 and Saturday 11th July 2009, the whole world had its eyes trained on Ghana. Everyone wanted to hear what this son of Africa who had become leader of the whole world was going to say to help solve some of the chronic problems facing the continent.
Obama exceeded all my expectations and gave a speech that only he could give; he had an excellent grasp of the issues and it was clear that although he was critical of our African leaders, there was an implied promise that he would help to make things better. He also excelled in trying to go beyond the leaders to talk to the youth.
This was clearly a speech that had been written for the leaders as well as for the masses but in the event, we are told that weather conditions did not permit him to address the masses, though some believe that it was more for security considerations; so he had to ask the leaders to take the message to the youth. I was disappointed in the choice of the venue. I had expected that what I still call the Black Star Square should have been used so that there would have been more opportunity for the youth to hear him speak. The lighting was poor and the video feed was atrocious, Ghana could have spent a little bit more money to have got that right. This was an occasion when we should have been truly in the spotlight so to speak, but we failed.
This is the same country that could spend money to buy 250 cars to celebrate 50th anniversary of our independence and yet could not invest in getting the whole world to listen to the clear message of promise from Obama.