Kwame Nkrumah hailed at J. B. Danquah Lectures
A fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Science (GAAS), Professor Samuel Kingsley Botwe Asante, on Tuesday hailed Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah as the most profound uniting factor and source of pride for Africans, during the second of the three series 40th J. B. Danquah Memorial Lectures.
"Osagyefo made us proud of our African-ness - what emerges prominently throughout lecture two is undoubtedly the august personality of Kwame Nkrumah, whose name and the doctrine of Pan-Africanism, have been synonymous," he said
The irony of Prof. S. K. B. Asante's praises for Osagyefo stemmed out of the fact that the lecture was supposed to be in honour of J. B. Danquah, whose political beliefs and subsequent political tradition was at variance with that of Osagyefo's.
Moreover, the broad theme of the lecture; "Ghana and the Promotion of Pan-Africanism and Regionalism, was originally intended to bring to the fore, J .B. Danquah's unmentioned contributions to Pan-Africanism and Regionalism and also to Ghana's independence.
Prof. Asante had dedicated his first paper to what observers described as an attempt to re-write the history of Ghana, in that, for once, he claimed that J. B. Danquah and his colleague nationalists initiated Pan-Africanism long before Osagyefo came into nationalist politics.
Speaking in the second lecture on the topic "Ghana: An Advocate of Pan-Africanism as an Integrative Force and as a Movement of Liberation," he admitted that it was through Osagyefo Nkrumah's initiative that Pan-Africanism was brought to African soil for the first time.
"Under Nkrumah, Ghana succeeded in making Africans everywhere feel proud and in a real sense in galvanizing the spirit of African Personality in international organizations," he said.
Prof. Asante noted that till today Africans looked at everything that affected one part of the continent as affecting all of them, saying that most of that was due to the sense of dedication, of purpose, of single mindedness and inspired leadership of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
Prof. Asante said Osagyefo's articulation of African ambitions stirred the continent towards unity and the process accumulated immense political capital for Ghana, from which Ghana was to draw in later years.
He said even though Osagyefo's African unity goal in the 1960s was not realized as he proposed, the formations of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), of which Ghana's sitting president, John Agyekum Kufuor was the current chairman, was an apparent triumph for Nkrumah's Ghana.
Prof. Asante noted that so strong was Osagyefo's vision and inspiration for African unity that even people like Julius Nyerere of Tanzania and others who were opposed to it, later became apostles of that vision.
He noted that Osagyefo's achievement is bridging the gap between Sub-Saharan and North Africa through the institution of Pan-Africanism and Pan-Arabism in 1952, was particularly profound.
"Not only did Osagyefo marry an Egyptian, but also of the eight sovereign African states which participated in the April 1958 Accra conference, five were from North Africa – and at that conference, Osagyefo declared that if the desert divided Africans in North and South 'today, it unites us'."
He noted that Osagyefo vision of regionalism, encouraged a south-south horizontal economic corporation among African countries, to the complete exclusion of European imperialists, saying, that vision, more than anything, was the reason the current European Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations had not succeeded yet.