Kwame Nkrumah was an African politician. He was well known as the First Prime Minister, then President Of Ghana. During his tenure in both offices, he always held to mind the importance of a United Africa and he always fought towards achieving that goal. Like every other leader, he was prone to successes and failures but that didn’t deter him from putting conscious and evident efforts in all his dealings, politically and otherwise.
Kwame Nkrumah was born Francis Nwia-Kofi Ngonloma in Nkroful, a town in Gold Coast to his parents whom he saw as great inspiration. He attended Elementary school at Half Assini where his father worked as a goldsmith and his mother, a salesperson. He went to a school for teachers in Accra, then became a teacher himself. In 1935 he went to Lincoln University in the United States. He learned more about Communism. His education continued at the University of Pennsylvania, from 1939 to 1943. In 1945, he went to London and organized an international conference for African freedom. At that time, he changed his name to “Kwame”.
Kwame Nkrumah led Ghana to attain independence from the British his government made a lot of development projects and his foreign policies, including his active contribution to the formation of the Organisation of African Union and Pan-African movement in general.
In this regard, President Atta Mills who adores President Nkrumah, for instance, has suggested that a holiday should be established on President Nkrumah’s birth day, to honour him. In contrast, the critics of President Nkrumah advocate that his government was a failure and the overthrown of his government by military is justified. The critics support their argument by citing:
• his Prevention Detention Act (detention without trial), harsh treatment of opponents including some held in detention till their death;
• the outlawing of opposition movement, declaring Ghana one party state and making himself life president; and
• the economic blunders causing the Ghanaian economy to deteriorate.
But these critics never gave valid arguments to support their motion and accusations. It is a fact that during the reign of President Nkrumah, major development projects took place in Ghana. And if anything at all, it is only Governor Guggisburg, who ruled Ghana on behalf of the British around 1925, and built Korle-bu Hospital, Achimota College, railway lines between Kumasi, Accra and Takoradi, roads etc, could come any close to the pace that President Nkrumah developed Ghana. The economic legacies of President Nkrumah include the building of Tema township, the Accra-Tema Motorway, Komfo Anokye Hospital in Kumasi, University of Science and Technology, University of Cape Coast, polytechnics and second school around the country, Akosombo Dam, Adome bridge, and many other infrastructure.
Really, since President Nkrumah, no other government in Ghana has embarked on such a massive infrastructural development. Clearly, some of the infrastructures listed above still remain the main infrastructure in many sectors of Ghana. He made a significant impact in Ghanaian politics and the economy as a whole. Critics can as well get their facts straight and iron it out with the right authorities.
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