22.09.2023 Feature Article

A vision beyond his years – the unparalleled foresight of Kwame Nkrumah

A vision beyond his years – the unparalleled foresight of Kwame Nkrumah
22.09.2023 LISTEN

As much as Dr. Kwame Nkrumah had his flaws when it comes to seeing Africa develop and Ghana to be specific, he was an exceptional leader to say. Despite his unhealthy human rights records against those who opposed him, his ideas of a free-aid and independent Africa were ahead of his times. He paid a heavy price for his vision of a self-sustainable Africa away from the dependence of our colonial masters.

It is true to say that the independent construct of Ghana was a nominal one for leaders of the 20th and 21st century. They preach prose and act poetry when it comes to actual implementation. The Ghanaian concept of comparing ourselves to the outside world when it suits us and quickly chicken out when it does not, will continue to hunt us if we remain that way.

I'm just wondering whether Ghana will again get a leader in the heart of Kwame whose drive for industrialization abounds. Had it not been him our electricity challenges would have been worse off.

Kwame was a kind of a breed who did not want to be fed by the external world and was all about Africa First. Many historians believe that his overthrow was directly linked to his stands on making Africa a basket of her own fruits.

Today, we are seeing "factories" established with so much controversy as to its actual operation. The legacy of Akosombo Dam in Kwame is keeping Ghana 'bright in DumSor' because of the lack of maintenance culture.

Kwame was a person who would refuse to wear a watch until the majority of his people could afford one and his state transportation was minimal. For this reason, he established Tema Harbour, constructed Tema Motorway, got us a Tomato Factory in Wenchi, Bolgatanga Rice Mills, the Zuarungu Meat Processing Factory at Aboso, Kumasi Shoe Factory, Tarkwa Bonsa Factory, Kade Match Factory, Saltpond Ceramics, Takoradi Flour Mill, Bamboo Factory, Tema Food Complex, Nsawam Cannery, Takoradi Paper Mill and others. Can we ask ourselves how many of those factories still operate to standards?! Even with the factories we claim to establish today, it is a sham! Because we import goods which were supposed to be produced by the factories we claim to establish. Even matches, we import! What happened to job creation if all those factories were to be in operation!

Kwame, as a leading Pan Africanist, saw the need to have faith in our health system by putting the needed structures in place so that presidents who will come after him will not have to jet out of the country in the name of seeking healthcare services. For that reason, the Ghana Medical School was established to give health education, the Kumasi Central Hospital (now Komfo Anokye Hospital); he upgraded Kole Bu to a teaching hospital status, GIHOC Pharmaceuticals, and many others.

It is important to state that State Farms and Institutes were established to give true meaning to the nation's interest in leading the agricultural sector as an example for citizens to emulate. Now, our agricultural experts are theoretically and successfully arm-chaired with a lot of bookish success to real success on the field.

The sad reality of the dwindling progress of all sectors of our national life is the Ghanaian love for godfathers over the development of the country. Political parties in the world and most especially Ghana are in the lead in championing the promotion of godfathers and godsons as part of a new wave into the modern political dispensation. So we mix national development with political interest without having regard for competence.

It therefore presupposes that everything that has to do with employments in terms of appointments and issues related to the management of a sector, district or region has a bit of unfair lobbying which normally has everything to do with “who are you in the party?, do you know a big political wig who has influence in the party? To what extent are you close to such a personality? Can you call the person (political godfather) to actually confirm knowing you? Can you ask the person (godfather) to personally write to us and detailing his relationship with you? Are you a member of our party? What evidence do you have to explain your claim of membership? These and many others are what constitute eligibility of a job applicant in Nkrumah Ghana.

With political colours clouding a party foot soldier, he sees nothing wrong with his country being sold cheap to a Chinese investor like peanuts. They will defend same with the higher altitude of their voices coupled with lawlessness. Will Nkrumah who laid down his life to see Ghana and Africa, as a whole, prosper, and be happy with our current status! If Ghana were your own company, would you have run it the same way as she has been run?

Kwame, who was a disciple of the schools of Marxism-Leninism showed in his economic running of the country. He did not only achieve a sterling economic turn-around but a great one in the area of industrialization. Like many great men such as Abraham Lincoln, Angel Merkel, Nelson Mandela, Meaza Ashenafi, Martin Luther King Jr. Wiston Churchill, George Washingon, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Mahatma Gandhi, none were without blame just like Kwame Nkrumah. Kwame’s modus operandi is not uncontested as his rivals’ complained bitterly about curtailing free speech and many others under his leadership. Nonetheless, his contributions stand supreme till date as compared to our modern day presidents.

Had he been around much longer, his country would have been in a much better economic situation today. In fact, Ghana would have been better off, if not a super-rich country today.

By: Abdul-Razak Lukman
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