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Kwame Nkrumah, Was His Ambition To Unite Africa A Selfish One?

Even decades past his death, the name, Kwame Nkrumah is still making waves in the political arena in Africa. Mention his name in a political conversation and you are bound to hear accolades heaped on him. So popular is the name that according to his uncle, some unscrupulous folks in Ghana are trying to profit from the name. But while he was alive, he was portrayed as a dictator, a money-grubber whose ambition of uniting Africa was motivated by selfish desires.

Yeah, despite all these accolades and aspersions, one has to wonder though, "Would Africa have been in a better position if Nkrumah had suceeded in uniting all the countries"? At first, I admired his basic ideology of uniting Africa to free the continent from the shackles of colonialism. But after much investigation, my respect for him has dwindled. The man was a tyrant in the first place, declaring himself the life president of Ghana, prior to his overthrow. He was alleged to have killed rivals of his, and remember that his dear friend was none other person than Sekou Toure (remember his infamous role in jailing Camara Laye's wife which led to their divorce seven years later.). He acquired all sorts of title, like the Osagyefo and several books have surfaced that there was a movement that sort of proclaimed him to be the sav,  of Ghana. Actually, there is a term that was used, but wont spell it because it is blasphemous to say the least. During his life in exile, he was so consumed in returning back to his country as a leader, that he was seperated from his wife and children during that time. When he was toppled in 1966, while on a foreign mission, his wife and kids were evacuated to Egypt and he flew back to conakry. His wife and children would not see him again till his death in 1972. Their conversation was limited to letters and perhaps phone calls. So, after reading about the storied leader of Ghana and his quest, his ambitions, I think they were motivated by selfish ones. As our people say, show me your friend and I will tell you who you are. His friendship with Sekou Toure was remarkably a peaceful one. His hospitable host, Toure even appointed him as the co-president of Guinea, but I think it was just a ceremonial title.

What do you all think? Today, Nkrumah's status as Africa's leading statesman is unchallenged, even by Mandela, as I read in one African Publication. A true Pan-African by heart, he remains a force to be reckoned with in African politics. His wife, the Egyptian lady even has a name printed on one of the attires in Ghana.

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19 answers

Yes, Africa would have been in a better position with all the countries united; with one African currency backed by african gold and one common African Army with nuclear power.

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Read in a magazine that prior to his overthrow, school children used to chant songs about the Osagyefo extolling him as one incapable of making mistakes. But if Africa were in unity, ol'boy, we would be an economic powerhouse in the world. Think of oil from Nigeria, cocoa from Ivory Coast, diamonds and other minerals from other African countries. Why cant we set aside our differences and monopolize our natural resources instead of relying on handouts from the west?

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Truly nkrumah was a pan-africanist, but back home in his country,ghana .nkrumah was a disaster. he commited some few political suicides and somersaults which cost him his post

firstly He arm twisted the legislative armsto make his[b] convention people party as the only party in ghana[/b].hence ghana became a one party state, can you imagine? he crushed all oppositons and im prisoned people who criticised him,the first casualty was his friend Dr J.b Danquah.

His second offence was dismissing of three supreme court justices because they accquited some guys who were alleged to overthrowing him, he even went as far killing those guys.

nkrumah might have good ideas, to unite africa, but to me it was all pipe dreams because his own ghana were not united, how come he wanted to unite africa. no doubt posterity has been fair to him.he is in the top 10 of world influential's black that EVER GRACED THE PLANET, BUT DEEP DOWN INSIDE ME, he doesnt merit the post, because of his domestic abuses and his flagrant abuse of the rule of law.

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But you see we will all profit from a united Africa. It could mean a better standard of living for Africans, better economies, peace of mind, free trade and so on. The Western media protrays us all as one entity, they rarely differentiate between the rich African countries and the poor African countries.

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Nkrumah was inspired by Dr James Aggrey.

http://www.grioo.com/info1408.html

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That is a possibility but think about this,

If i have the money and u have nothing and u come to me to be united, dont u think that the rich shall benefit more from the relationship? I am saying this because in africa, some countries are richer than others like south africa, stable economy of ethiopia and the growing economy of ghana, eritriea and some east african countries like brundi. We cant really compare these ones with countries like zimbawaea and sudan.

The wall must exist unless we establish a capital government,

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I think the idea of a United Africa sounds good, but I think the African Union(AU) just needs to be more efficient. We don't need to all come together and become a country, but if we could have the representatives from each country meet and discuss the issues within their individual countries and find solutions to their problems, i think Africa would be United.

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N'krumah's dream was genuinely panafricanist,not selfish. Moreover ,it was a threat to european interests in africa in a short and a long run. That's the main reason why he was overhrown by an imperialist coalition. Even today any african president who will try to push for african unity will face a "rebellion" within is own country. Nodoby in the so called democratic western or non western countries wants to see a tsrong africa.

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na me you dey ask ba? we never unite naija finish na Africa! where you wan start? I beg,

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@prince_onx, what's "19 gwridim topic"?19

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me i think it was a good idea

Africa needs to Unite!!!!

imagine a UNITED STATES OF AFRICA!!!!

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Yeah. Everyone thinks of ethicity when clamoring for presidency but shun it when it's time for "allocation" -- they feel the southerners are being "selfish" when they request a greater portion of the proceeds from their resources.

I'll do some research on Nkrumah when I have time. I have a Ghanaian friend however, who speaks of him only in glowing terms.

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True. And even there it doesn't always work. Look at Yugoslavia & Czechoslovakia.

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Good point chinani. If people use the example of the EU, I think they need to be reminded that Europe is the tiniest continent after Australia.

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Unite Africa? No sir. I'll always vote no. I'm not a fan of centralized power or big govts. It's my Igbo roots or maybe it's my idependence but as they say "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely". Uniting Africa would create some very powerful ppl and undercut others. Is this really what we want? Yes, things could be better and they will be. There is no quick fix.

Also, what about "self determination of native statess". This is one of (US Pres.) Wilson's Fourteen Principles and a basic building block of the League of Nations (now called the UN). There's so much common sense behind it, it cannot be ignored. FOr instance, Nigeriens (ppl from Niger) best know their own problem so who is the "President of Africa" or "PM" to tell them what to do?

And, the allocation of funds would not sit pretty w/ everybody and prolly not w/ anybody. Then to speak of resolving conflicts that are present. My dear friends, let us not forget some ppl have been fighting for decades. Just open your mouth to speak about the wahala between Ethopians & Eriteans. You might wish you hadn't when they look at you like "Who are you?" And these ppl are both (not all) Habeshas.

So no, let's put this Africa Unite(!) biz to bed O! Let's not forget Africa is twice the size of N. America. Yes that's right!!! Look it up! The size of Mother Africa is distorted (shrunk) to fit on globes and maps which are not drawn/depicted to scale. So when a man says "Unite Africa" it is no small small thing.

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No, I am not a Ghanaian, but a Nigerian residing abroad

You can do some research about Nkrumah on the internet. Fortunately, my community library's patnership with other libraries in California has made it possible to borrow some books on topics that would not have been found in the local library.

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I surport the idea to unite africa but that will never happen. atleast not in the next 1 million years.

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Ndipe

you have a very good point there, there could have been a self serving motive behind the idea, but also one that might have taken africa to a much respected height. Though i wonder what it would have been like if those dreams were realised. For one Africa would not be in such a sorry state. A continent so vast and naturally blessed could certainly pull resources together to enrich and better each state. Great idea,it certainly would have given african leaders one goal. but who know?

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Ndipe. I have two questions for you.

1. Are you Ghanaian?

2. Could you give some links or resources where we can do some Nkrumah research too?

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