Kwame Nkrumah was a Ghanaian politician and revolutionary . He was the first prime minister and president of Ghana . He lead the Gold Coast (former name for ghana ) to independence from Britain in 1957.
Kwame was born in September 1909 , had his early education in Ghana before proceeding to United States to finish his post graduate education. Been naturally drawn to political at an early age , Nkrumah went to England in 1945 where he organized the 5th pan-African congress in Manchester.
Nkrumah returned home late 1947 where j.b Danquah has formed UGCC (United Gold Coast convention) a party with a moderate and gradualist approach to achieve Gold Coast independence where Nkrumah was made a general secretary. Nkrumah began to create a mass base for the movement. Unfortunately an extensive riot occurred in February 1948 and British briefly arrested Nkrumah and other leaders of UGCC.
Nkrumah left UGCC when an ensuing issue occurred and in 1949 formed a new political party CPP ( convention people’s party) – a party that was committed to immediate self -government. In January 1950, Nkrumah initiated a campaign “ positive action ’ involving non violent protests,strikes and non cooperation within the British colonial authorities.
In the ensuing crisis, Services throughout the country were disrupted and Nkrumah again was arrested and sentenced to one year imprisonment. In February 8, 1951 during the first Gold Coast general election , Gold Coast demonstrated great support for CPP and they won and were eclectic to parliament. Nkrumah was released from prison to become a leader . In 1952, he was made prime minister of Gold Coast .
Nkrumah in government came with great opportunities for Ghanaians as he built schools, health facilities, new roads and gave them career opportunities. Unfortunately it became evident that Nkrumahs government was authoritarian as he legalized the imprisonment without trial of those he regarded as security risks in March 1958.
By a plebiscite of 1960, Ghana became a republic and Nkrumah became its president . He concentrated his attention on campaigning for the political unity of black Africa. His administration became involved in magnificent but financially dangerous development projects, so that the once prosperous country became crippled with foreign debt. Contraction of the economy led to widespread labor unrest and to a general strike in September 1961.
In August 1962, there was an attempted assasination of Nkrumah at kulugungu which of cos was the first of the several other attempts. Meanwhile the economic crisis in ghana worsened and shortages of food and other goods became chronic . On February 24, 1966 while Nkrumah was visiting Beijing, the army and police in Ghana seized power. Nkrumah found asylum in Guinea when he left Beijing and spent the remaining of his life there . He died of cancer in Bucharest Romania in 1972.
Major information and important dates:
Kwame Nkrumah was born 21 September 1909 in Nkroful Ghana.
Died : 27 April 1972 in Bucharest Romania .
Spouse : Fatiha Nkrumah
Awards : CAF platinum award.