Patrice Lumumba was not the only one to die for Pan Africanism; from Martin Luther to Malcolm X, from Tom Mboya to Thomas Sankara, the forces against Pan Africanism are alive and well – and sadly, too many good men have died for the cause. The other major victim of the Pan-Africanism movement was Kwame Nkrumah, who was undoubtedly one of Africa’s foremost freedom fighters, nationalists, writers, and thinkers, that influenced a generation of Pan-African nationalists and freedom fighters, and the founding member of the Organisation of African Unity.
In 1958, a year after it achieved independence from colonial rule, Ghana hosted a conference of African leaders, the first such gathering to ever take place on the continent. By the invitation of Ghana’s newly elected prime minister, Kwame Nkrumah more than 300 leaders from 28 territories across Africa attended, including Patrice Lumumba of the still-Belgian Congo, and Frantz Fanon of Algeria, which was then living still under French colonial rules. It was a time of unlimited potential for a group of people determined to chart a new course for their homelands. But the host Nkrumah wanted his guests not to forget the dangers ahead of them.
“Do not let us also forget that colonialism and imperialism may come to us yet in a different guise—not necessarily from Europe.”
Ghana under Kwame Nkrumah experiences the fastest industrial growth in the history of the country. He create job opportunities for Ghanaians, which turn out to be one of the wealthiest and most industrialized countries in Africa; and his county became the major exporter of Cocoa in the world, the West African county increased gold production, and he was also able to build the largest man-made lake Volta River which generate electricity to the whole Ghana to date. Not only that he also build chaw roads, most popular among them being Tema Motorway, and champion massive industrial drives, that turned the entire city of Tema into an industrial hub.
Inside Ten Year Development Plan he had, Nkrumah brought the Second Development Plan in 1959, which planned for the development of 600 industrial factories in the county. In his tenure, the Pan-Africanist leader also built schools, railways, and hospitals, introduce social security system, and more. As a matter of fact, Nkrumah build the Ghanaian economy on the idea of self-reliance, by arguing the Continent of Africa is fit to engage in trade independently within itself, otherwise, they end up in a new form of colonialism called Neo-colonialism.
In this piece, we pay homage to the Pan-African nationalist, Kwame Nkrumah by remembering the words he left us with in his quest to see the liberation, unification, and development of Africa.
“I am not African because I was born in Africa but because Africa was born in me.”
“It is clear that we must find an African solution to our problems, and that this can only be found in African unity. Divided we are weak; united, Africa could become one of the greatest forces for good in the world.”
“Countrymen, the task ahead is great indeed, and heavy is the responsibility; and yet it is a noble and glorious challenge – a challenge which calls for the courage to dream, the courage to believe, the courage to dare, the courage to do, the courage to envision, the courage to fight, the courage to work, the courage to achieve – to achieve the highest excellencies and the fullest greatness of man. Dare we ask for more in life?”
“We face neither East nor West; We face forward.”
“Africa is a paradox which illustrates and highlights Neo-colonialism. Her earth is rich, yet the products that come from above and below the soil continue to enrich, not Africans predominantly, but groups and individuals who operate to Africa’s impoverishment.”
“The forces that unite us are intrinsic and greater than the superimposed influences that keep us apart.”
“It is far better to be free to govern or misgovern yourself than to be governed by anybody else.”
“Independence is only the prelude to a new and more involved struggle for the right to conduct our own economic and social affairs.”
“Those who would judge us merely by the heights we have achieved would do well to remember the depths from which we started.”
“Action without thought is empty. Thought without action is blind.”
“Any meaningful humanism must begin from egalitarianism and must lead to objectively chosen policies for safeguarding and sustaining egalitarianism.”
“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.”
“We were still regarded as representing the infancy of mankind. Our highly sophisticated culture was said to be simple and paralyzed by inertia, and we had to be encumbered with tutelage.”
“Capitalism is a development by refinement from feudalism, just as feudalism is development by refinement from slavery . Capitalism is but the gentlemen’s method of slavery.”
“We have awakened. We will not sleep anymore. Today, from now on, there is a new African in the world! “
“Africa is one continent, one people, and one nation. The notion that in order to have a nation it is necessary for there to be a common language, a common territory and common culture has failed to stand the test of time or the scrutiny of scientific definition of objective reality.”