Nkrumahism is not a political label…far from it…it encapsulates the set of principles which guided our forefathers and patriots who fought for our Independence and right to self-government. It is the overwhelming effectiveness of these principles in liberating African States and charting the first steps for the emergence of Ghana and Africa as a whole as a formidable economic block that motivated the West to push for the overthrow of Nkrumah (and the Nkrumahist ideology for that matter) and the murders and overthrow of other Africa greats who were charting the path towards building Africa as a potential economic force on the globe…the greats like Patrice Lumumba and more were either murdered undermined or overthrown—a secret which the West has openly confessed to.
WHAT NKRUMAHISM IS ABOUT:
1. Socialism – An economic, legal and social framework which reiterates the fact that we are all well off when we safeguard the rights and needs of the most vulnerable in our society. In other words we are only as strong as our weakest link.
2. Self Determination-Putting Ghanaians and Africans for that matter front and centre in driving and directing our own affairs, finding African solutions to African problems and empowering our people in the process. You need not go far to see how far off course we have gone. For a Nation which boasted of industries and huge infrastructure built and owned by its nationals in the 60’s plus, now has to employ the services of foreign contractors to execute all major contracts in the country. What is most saddening about this is the fact that the foreign contractors after securing the contracts turn around and hire our own people as labourers and masons to do the work whilst they supervise. Well over 70% of the big industries and companies in the country are now owned by foreigners.
3. Pan Africanism-Realizing that we are stronger together .The Socio-Economic benefit of a unified African front cannot in any way be underestimated. In 2011 alone the nations of West Africa alone spent a total of 3.6 billion dollars on poultry and rice imports. Let’s pause and reconsider the impact on our communities if these hard earned dollars was spent locally in a region fraught with high levels of youth unemployment. Developing a vibrant economic partnership amongst African States is central to achieving this ideal. We have the resources on this blessed continent to deal with all our challenges. Our current status quo benefits most the nations of the west.
We were told African Unity Now was not the way to go and opted for a progressive unification. Now over 40 years on this path of progressive integration what are our achievements? Our plight has worsened and the lot of our people has been further worsened. Meanwhile in the same period we have cranked up the exports of our raw materials to feed the Western Industries thereby creating jobs for their youth and people. We then queue in our numbers at their embassies in our numbers seeking the opportunity to travel to the West to go take up jobs in the industries our raw materials enabled. We sold off luscious swathes of our Heritage to the West for next to nothing.
The very nations who advised and discouraged our leaders on the unification of Africa have since then united themselves along the very same lines they advised us against and are reaping the benefits, and continue to pursue even more lucrative Economic Partnership Agreements with a weak and divided African front. A trade agreement which we all agree will further worsen our plight and yet our leaders are clamouring to sign.
4. African personality- Projecting the African identity, telling the African Story from the African view and correcting the dehumanising complexes which we unconsciously imbibed over years of colonialism and continue to perpetuate unto ourselves through education systems which educates our people about the ways of the West with little regard for our culture, tradition and heritage. An educational system which has imposed a level of ignorance on the psyche of its nationals so much so that our Presidents have come to believe that eliminating traditional African prayers or libation from state functions is justified. There is the need for us to study and project the best of our African identity.
These enduring principles have stood the test of time and are more relevant today than ever. We have to revisit these principles and be guided by them , we have ignored them for decades now and as a result have lost our sense of identity, purpose and patriotism .We now grovel year in year out at the feet of the West for aide to run an economy principally primed to resource the economies of the West. I do not see how this is any different from what pertained under colonialism.
We mortgage off our mineral resources and turn around to pass local content laws to entreat the very people to whom we sold our birth right to allow us some space to benefit from our resources. How different is this from the stories of our forefathers giving up our lands for whisky and spice.
We need to wake to the ideals for which our fore fathers fought, were imprisoned, shed their blood, and some shipped off to prisons in faraway lands. Let’s resurrect the soul of our Nation, bring back the commitment to Nation and stand up tall as true sons of a great nation and a great continent. Yes! let’s stand up and be counted as AFRICANS proud of our Continent and our Heritage.
I am not blind to the fact that there are serious problems and challenges to overcome, but who said it was going to be easy…those who fought for our Independence were confronted with like challenges and they persevered. The flame of our resilient African spirit isn’t quenched we still bear the genes of our heroic ancestors, let’s take on this challenge.
This said, one will ask; how does this play into our current political structure? I believe that adopting these very basic pillars of Nkrumah’s ideals as the fundamental principles informing the vision and direction of this country, making them the ideals which we strive for as a people, an African Dream per say. We can then assess the campaign policies or manifesto programs of any political party or government as to how the said policies will work towards achieving our set goal. The lack of any such focus or ideals guiding our policy makers and successive governments has resulted in a fragmented development of the country with no clear focus as to what our developmental goals are.
Pushing for the adoption of these ideals across the continent or even within our regional blocks like the Ecowas etc. will restart the engine for the drive to building stronger trade and economic partnerships and integration between African states. This approach practically gives the people a template by which to assess their governments’ performance in ensuring our collective wellbeing. It will also motivate our leaders into taking serious steps within the various regional or continental organisations to begin work towards building a more united and formidable Africa.
For all this to work we all have a role to play, we are not helpless. Our leaders today and the bunch fomenting mayhem and bloodshed in some of our Countries today derive their power or authority from our active or passive acquiescence to their actions. We need a new reawakening transcending our individual state borders and the mental bonds that have effectively paralysed our youth and nations. Let’s use the internet, Facebook and all available social media tools to reach across our state lines and let the wakeup call reverberate across our continent to all youth groups, activists’ civil society groups across the continent. Let the world know “Our Generation is ready to take up the touch and move Africa Forward” for if not us, then whom?
Deputy Director Of Communication, CPP
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