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21.09.2020 Opinion

Nkrumah, An Icon Of Pan-Africanism And Epitome Of Great Leadership

By Johnson Offei Nyarko
Nkrumah, An Icon Of Pan-Africanism And Epitome Of Great Leadership
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21st September 2020 marks the birth of Ghana's premier political leader, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. It would have been his 111th birthday if he was still alive.

Dr. Nkrumah is dead and gone for far too long but his name and memory never leaves our shores, conversations, history books and televisions.

In fact, his legacy appears more relevant than any other leader's who served the Gold Coast and has served the country Ghana. This is why many have coined the maxim "Nkrumah never dies". His legacy lives on forever.

Some believed he was a messiah sent from above and to others, he was some leader who had no kind. Together with his colleague leaders, the outstanding bravery of some ex-servicemen and his exemplary role towards independence led to Gold Coast's famous achievement which is, Ghana being the first sub-saharan country to gain self-government or independence from British colonial rule in 1957.

On the night of declaration of Ghana as an independent nation, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah said that "the Blackman is capable of managing his own affairs". Also, he announced on the eve that "Our independence is meaningless unless it is linked up to the total liberation of Africa".

These statements were relevant at the time and even still relevant in modern times. It actually turned neighbouring colonial states on to fight and break the colonial yoke. Subsequently, Guinea gained her independence from France with Nkrumah's help. The man Nkrumah earned himself nicknames and laurels for his bravery, perseverance and selfless leadership. Some were;

1. "Osagyefo" (The redeemer)

2. Nkrumah show boy

3. Iron boy

4. Handsome boy from Nzema

5. Deliverer of Ghana

6. Hope of millions of down trodden blacks.

7. Star of Africa

8. Nkrumah the destiny man, etc.

His achievements as first President of Ghana baffled many even as of today at a time when Ghana has Crude Oil but has not achieved so much. His achievements continue to be a talk of discussion in our politics after the cessation of his life. Ghana witnessed immense improvements in virtually every sector.

In Education,

1. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah built a number of Senior Secondary (High) Schools including:

Mfantsiman Secondary School, Ofori Panyin Secondary School, Techiman Secondary School, Winneba Secondary School, Swedru Secondary School, Apam Secondary School, Dormaa Secondary School, Tema Secondary School, Oda Secondary School, and the Labone Secondary School.

2. Kwadaso College of Education,

Atebubu Training College, Berekum Training College, Fosu Training College and the Enchi Training College, Ghana National College of Cape Coast, etc were Colleges of Education that he put up.

3. He again saw to the building of the following Universities and Institutes; Kumasi Technical Institute (now University) , Ajumako School of Languages (now under UEW), Accra Polytechnic (now Accra Technical University), University of Cape Coast (UCC), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Institute of African Studies, Kwame Nkrumah Institute of Economics and Political Science (now south campus of UEW), made University of Ghana (then University College of Gold Coast affiliated to university of London) a full fledge university to award its own degrees and became their first chancellor, among others.

4. Dr Nkrumah instituted free education policy for primary and middle schools (JHS) to ensure that every child of school age had education in Ghana.

In the area of health,

He built the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (previously Kumasi central hospital), made Korle Bu a teaching hospital and expanded its capacity by constructing the medical, maternity, surgical and child health blocks. He established the Ghana Medical School. Free medical care to all citizens. Established GIHOC pharmaceuticals. Built several hospitals and clinics.

For factories and Industries,

1. Abosso Glass Factory

2. Zuarungu Meat Factory

3. Wenchi Tomato Factory

4. Kade Match Factory

5. Akosombo Textiles Limited

6. Kumasi Shoe Factory

7. Pwalugu Tomato Factory

8. Asutuare Sugar Factory

9. Komenda Sugar Factory

10. Kumasi Jute Factory

11. Nsawam Cannery, Brick and Tile Factory

12. Tarkwa Bonsa Tyre Factory

13. Bolgatanga Meat Processing Factory

14. Bolgatanga Rice Mill Factory

15. GIHOC Fibre Products Company, etc.

State owned enterprises and companies

1. Ghana Black Star Line with almost 15 ships

2. Bank of Ghana (BoG)Ghana

3. Commercial Bank (GCB)

4. Agricultural Development Bank (ADB)

5. National Investment Bank (NIB)

6. State Insurance Company (SIC),

7. Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT),

8. Ghana Oil Company (GOIL)

9. Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GHAPOHA)

10. Tema Oil Refinery (TOR)

11. The National Management and Productivity Institute

12. Ghana Film Industries, Accra

13. Ghana Airways Corporation

14. Ghana National Trading Corporation

15. Cocoa Marketing Board (COCOBOD)

16. Tema Steel Works

17. VALCO, etc.

Osagyefo is also known on record to have built done or established the following;

1. Ghana Museums

2. Ghana Film Corporation

3. Ghana News Agency

4. Ghana Broadcasting Corporation

5. Atomic Reactor Station

6. Akosombo Dam

7. Restructured the British Military base into Accra (now Kotoka) International Airport.

8. Tema Motorway

9. Tema Harbour

10. Adomi Bridge

11. State Farms and Institutes

All of these achievements took the exemplary leader less than 10 years to accomplish. In spite of Dr. Nkrumah's shortcomings and downfalls, whatever Ghana is today, we owe it to his ideas and innovation.

#Long live Nkrumah

#Long live Ghana

By: Johnson Nyarko

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