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11.02.2017 Opinion

When Did Akufo-Addo And His NPP Discover That Socialism Works?

When Did Akufo-Addo And His NPP Discover That Socialism Works?
LISTEN FEB 11, 2017

"...As Akufo-Addo's NPP was wont to holler J. B. Danquah's creed under Kufuor, and lately in their 2016 party manifesto, the policy of the New Patriotic Party is to, '...liberate the energies of the people for the growth of a property owning democracy...with right to life, freedom and justice, enrich life, property and liberty of each and every citizen.' In all 68 pages of that new 2016 Manifesto, 'property' appears just four times: twice in the Danquah creed itself; once for 'revenue mobilization'; once to serve a special interest group by creating a new court '...on the Creative Arts...'. With the 21st Century heating up in a globally competitive environment controlled by agile multinationals with more resources than many countries on this planet combined, did Akufo-Addo and company suddenly realize that at best Dr. J. B. Danquah was a marvelous theoretician who never, ever, did negotiate, plan, execute, evaluate, supervise, fund, or dedicate a single development project; or command other people to do any of those tasks? Except, of course, to agitate and resist those who were actually manning and driving Ghana’s nascent industrialization and development program until the overthrow, in February of 1966.. And now free One-District-One-Factory...and free $1 Million Per Voting Constituency...When did the “Rubber Meet The Road” for Serious Akufo-Addo?...", (Prof Lungu and Francis Kwarteng, 10 Feb, 2017).

Frequently, you will hear pragmatic Americans make a statement with the phrase, "the rubber meets the road." The rubber meets the road when you, the operator, when you the actor, when persons in the middle of an action, must make a momentous decision, take an action, do something from which they may never recover whole or in part, if they failed. On the other hand, if you failed to execute the action you took when you started, or did not take that action at all, or if you changed course right in the middle of that action when you said you wouldn't for principle's sake, at that point, any reasonable person could consider your credibility, your perseverance, your sincerity, your resolve to follow through, as having been torn to shreds just as a tire is consumed by the road on which it is driven.

Everyone, including members of a political party, associates in an apketeshie association, members of a marijuana smoking syndicate, even, have the freedom to change course in whatever they promise doing for themselves and their friends, guided and controlled by their own principles and speed. However, when they change course in the face of seeming adversity and reality, when they change their principles without notice before they have achieved what they told us in the face they would, any reasonable person, any mad man, any loser, even, can question their resolve, the principles they in truth stood for, what in fact they believed in, when they timely fail to explain exactly why.

When taxpayers are involved and it is the fortunes of a Nation-State founded by a singularly nation-centered personality, most of the people in the state, including those who in fact pay income taxes, would agree that it is especially important for the group to set the record as straight as possible, with speed and little talk. This especially applies to a political party operating out of character in a national and international environment of corruption (NIEC) that suddenly wins a national election and immediately assumes control of all governance, all treaties, all resources, all roads, and all manner of contracts worth billions of dollars.

What happened to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his NPP between their two electoral defeats and December 2016, on the way to the old Flagstaff House in Accra, Ghana?

What happened to the capitalist, property-owning principles of Akufo-Addo and his NPP?

Did Akufo-Addo and Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, behind closed doors, in the middle of the last election, suddenly decide to re-brand the NPP party according to a set of principles sharply at odds with the party they themselves inherited, and were the other political parties (NDC, CPP, PNP, etc.), too distracted and sharply obtuse to understand what was going on? Did the other parties and many Ghanaians not appreciate the real situation, that the NPP had in fact appropriated one or more of the other partys' organizing principles? You know, precisely the kind of community organizing principles Ghanaians in fact had before Akufo-Addo's forebears and Greedy Komla Gbedemah did the overthrew at the direction and control of/by the Johnson CIA.

Cameron Duodu, a long-standing virulent, rabid, and vocal critic of Kwame Nkrumah pointedly observed a few days to Akufo-Addo’s swearing-in ceremony:

“The CPP under President Kwame Nkrumah identified national priorities through its First and Second Development Plans, and published the plans for nation-wide discussion. There could not have been, for instance, anyone who had not heard about the Volta River Project before Akosombo power came online. We knew what was supposed to be achieved by Tema Harbour; factories were established with a rational objective in mind for them within an overall national development goal…If the Akufo-Addo Government is able to reintroduce the Nkrumah-type dynamism into our economy…it will be able to usher Ghana into a new era of self-confidence and ‘can-do’ patriotism that will at last do justice to our pride as a black nation that can match all others in achievement.”

Certainly, Cameron was not referring to the property-owning democracy of Akufo-Addo's NPP government considering Busia and Kufour's governments always impressed on Ghanaians that they were in the midst of creating for Ghanaians a property-owning democracy, a land of "Milk and Honey", as Kufour observed just recently. Surely, Cameron was not referring to the same property-owning democracy mantra which oddly did not assume a major policy staple in NPP’s electioneering and sloganeering campaign leading up to the general elections last November.

Like under Kwame Nkrumah, what we have under Akufo-Addo now looks exactly like a mixture of socialism and social democracy, with a gallon of capitalism thrust in there. What we have now is a deeply-buried strategic richness of socialist rhetoric that cries to be heard in the latest NPP political manifesto that was presented with moderate fanfare in the lead-up to the 2016 elections. Today, that same moderated socialist streak and unspoken rhetoric define the economic logic of the policy framework, vision, and tactics of Ghana's only "property-owning party".

It's all in the NPP political manifesto! Talking about the Government of Ghana allocating outright 1 factory to each administrative district!

Talking about the Government of Ghana allocating outright $1 million to every "voting constituency" without any capitalist or public interest conditions, just as long as the "constituencies" themselves use the funds on whatever they preferred.

It is all as free as free can get! Kwasi Adu published a long list of over 100 government-funded homes that suddenly became Kufour-gifted "properties" to NPP- and other Kufour-favored individuals and entities at the end of the Kufour presidency.

Free of any mortgage or cost, whatsoever. Free to use, free to sell, free property to own. The rubber meets the road! And so, today, one way property-owning democracy has begun to manifest itself is through vigilante seizure of public toilets, toll booths, vehicles, and other "state" properties by NPP and their foot-soldiers, just as they say some in the regime before them did to them. Then again in the article “Politicians and Phantom Promises,” Emmanuel Akli, of the Chronicle, wrote of the then-President John Kufuor, one of the notable faces of property-owning democracy thusly (our emphasis):

“His [Kufuor] Ministers and other government appointees were also grabbing state lands with careless abandon.”

Readers may still want to see Kwasi Adu’s piece, “Kufuor Dares Us, We Respond,” The Insight Newspaper, January 9, 2014, for a more detailed description of land grabbing under Kufuor.

Yet, it is also clear that it does not take rocket science to either know or conclude that property-owning democracy is fundamentally about crony capitalism. It is now clear to some observers why Akufo-Addo and the leadership of the NPP may have replaced their property-owning democracy mantra with a political philosophy and ideology that is generally built around a rich scaffolding of socialism, social democracy, and a quart of capitalism.

Rubber met the road! In 2008 and 2012, property-owning-democracy rhetoric did not fetch the NPP the kind of awe-inspiring political capital and appeal it needed to win elections. That is because discerning Ghanaians easily saw through all of that as a prank being played on their consciences, possibly explaining the party’s volte-face, on-and-off muffling of the property-owning-democracy rhetoric.

Property-owning democracy has proven to be empty rhetoric for the most part, incapable of inspiring Ghana, a Nation-State, to build up all its people in peace, fairness, and economic prosperity, among other people-centered values.

And so, like the NPP, Mr. Duodu seems to now have hope for Ghana and Ghanaians. That is to say, under Akufo-Addo’s stewardship of the country, should his new administration put its political and ideological ego aside and wisely appropriate the progressive ideals of Kwame Nkrumah. After all, there are many people who will argue that Akufo-Addo himself cut his teeth in politics on the back of Nkrumah and Nkrumahism.

Here, for instance, Kwesi Pratt recalls a conversation he had with Akufo-Addo (our emphasis):

“I have known Akufo-Addo very well and I have had several conversations with him. In one of those conversations, he [Akufo-Addo] told me that one February 24, 1966; his name was on the list of the CPP activists who were to be arrested and the only reason why he was not detained was the fact of his father being key in the events of those days. And I’m sure Nana himself will confirm this, because he’s told this story to many of us…”.

Pratt then concludes: “Be that as it may, if until February 24, 1966, Nana Akufo-Addo was active in the CPP, then all the things that he complains about are complaints of himself.”

Dr. Kwame Botwe-Asamoah has confirmed this account and variants of it for us through the medium of “autoethnography.” What is more, Akufo-Addo’s CPP and Nkrumahist credentials, his respect for Nkrumah, and his profound ideas may not be in doubt. For instance, speaking in South Africa in May of last year when he accepted an honorary doctorate, Dr. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo reminded his South African host, the leadership and students of the University of Fort Hare, and all Africans of his firm conviction in the capacity of progressive ideas of Kwame Nkrumah to bring Africa together through economic and industrial development. Said Akufo-Addo in part:

“Highlighting the importance of the work of his [Danquah’s] compatriot, Kwame Nkrumah, the NPP flagbearer stressed that African unity, through the political and economic union of the continent, remains the most effective context within which to maximise the collective power of the African peoples, and achieve the continent’s full potential...Others have done so in America, in Europe and in Asia. We must do the same in Africa. We cannot continue to be either the pawns or the victims of history. We have a huge, unique contribution to make to the growth of world civilisation. It is time for us to step forward…”.

Like Akufo-Addo, Kufuor also appreciated the progressive ideals and legacy of Nkrumah when he declared May 25 an African Union holiday in Ghana.

Ironically, though, and the above notwithstanding, Kwarteng advanced a similar argument as Cameron’s in an essay December 12, 2016, titled, “Is Akufo-Addo the Change Ghanaians Want?” In that paper, Kwarteng made the case that the property-owning democracy of the NPP can never transform Ghana in the same vein as, say, China’s or India’s radical scientific and technological—industrial—economic transformation, given that both have managed to lift hundreds of millions of its population out of poverty within a generation, that those unimaginable feats were not achieved through a hollow property-owning mantra.

Kwame Nkrumah did not have the liberty to be merely an arm-chair theoretician, a holler of empty, untested, unworkable, virgin rhetoric and political dogma!

Now, that is what was phenomenal for Ghana, back in 1964, exactly 53 years before Mr. Cameron Duodu wrote the first word in the essay we cite today.

That is what was phenomenal for Ghana, back in 1964, exactly 53 years ago when Akufo-Addo's forebears helped the Johnson CIA steal "Ghana’s Industrial Revolution As (Ghana) Toiled To Close Technology Gap". In the essay by Prof Lungu, an archived report from Ebony Magazine brought it all to light, in text and now solemn graphics, in Kodak black-and-white, long before Cameron Duodu's:

"....While the detractors of African independence are predicting that the continent will revert to the jungles once it is left on its own people’s rule, Ghana is wasting no time refuting that 'prophecy' with words...Key projects in Ghana’s effort to close the technology gap that separates it from the industrial world community are the already completed $81 million Port of Tema and the giant $210 million Volta River dam to be operational in 1966. The Tema harbor and adjacent Tema town, built on a site once occupied by a tiny fishing village, were officially opened early in 1962. Where only a decade ago indigenous fishermen had plied their ancient craft, thousands of Ghanaian men and women work today in ultra-modern industrial plants, live in comfortable homes and spend leisure hours in modern recreation....".

Nkrumah-type dynamism it was, surely! When all is said and done, a multi-trillion cedi question anxiously waiting for an answer rears its head, that is, why do we now have socialism in the camp of a party that long prided itself on property-owning democracy, free markets, and capitalism?

Didn't the rubber hit the road way back with the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS)?

Didn't the rubber hit the road with the free school feeding program?

And now free One-District-One-Factory? And now free $1 Million Per Voting Constituency? And now free One-Village-One Dam? And now free a Zongo Development Fund of undefined boundaries?

And now free Senior High School? Marry that one with not the "free school feeding program" and irony of all ironies, the idea that it was they, practically, who discontinued total free education under their military-cum-police-cum rascal civilian government 53 years ago.

So much FREE public interest welfare by properly-owning, capitalist democrats.

And so, in freedom, we can now state our case that maybe, just maybe, Akufo-Addo the political player, philosophically and ideologically, having grown up on Nkrumahism, has now come of age two scores and 13 years later.

A win is a win, and public policies and public goods that help people develop their local economies and communities are good public policies and useful public goods. Ghanaians will take a good win no matter where it comes from. Even so, as active citizens, as critical observers, the people can still analyze the idea that Akufo-Addo is at least, now, a closet socialist, a social-democrat who has just begun to come out. The practical question for so many observers and citizens these days then, is, when did Akufo-Addo and his NPP discover that socialism actually can work?

When did the rubber meet the road for Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo?

CONCLUDING REMARKS As we conclude, all we know is that at the end of the day it was the socialist mantra—call it social democratic mantra, if you will—not property-owning democracy—and capitalist populist rhetoric that finally won the day for Akufo-Addo and his NPP.

Also, we should never forget that Dr. J.B. Danquah, at best a marvelous political theoretician in colonial Ghana (the then-Gold Coast), one of the ideological and philosophical great-grandfathers of the NPP, and Madam Mabel Dove-Danquah, Danquah's his first wife (a most productive professional in her own right), named their one and only son Vladimir Danquah, after Vladimir Lenin. Yes, the more famous Russian leader, Lenin, the communist!

We do not know exactly when Cameron Duodu saw that light.

But, as we've shown, no more African-centered voice than Ebony Magazine in North America was there in 1964, long before Duodu's.

And still, we, as Akufo-Addo contemporaries, have little doubt that Akufo-Addo has been in possession of that “light” long before he officially assumed the presidency of Ghana, if his 2016 manifesto were to be our only guide. Predictably, it is whence Akufo Addo got some of his public exuberance and facade of incorruptibility.

It is all in that magnificent, historic photo, and the gift of a book of yore. And so, we shall not attempt to overstate our position that even property-owning democracy advocate Cameron knows how powerful and relevant Nkrumah and his progressive ideas were then, and still are, today.

The situation frothing with ironies upon ironies that appear rather opaque to so many politicians in the other parties (NDC, CPP, PNP, etc.), those who screamed death to “Nkrumah and socialism” have now warmed up to “socialism” and “social democracy.” And, if they were honest with themselves, they would all attest that the political economy Kwame Nkrumah worked so hard for and advocated for Ghana was essentially a mixed economy, a well-founded quest for an optimal fusion of socialism, social democracy and capitalism.

Those simpletons and traitors who chose to reduce Nkrumah’s complex formula of political economy and organization of Unitary Ghana into "socialism in Africa they did not want" were not merely absent-minded. Like Greedy Gbedemah, they were also mischievous. They literally did not understand or care about Kwame Nkrumah's multi-year development plans for Ghana. They did not know or care that those ideals were founded on a deep, inter-disciplinary, and broad spectrum of literature in development planning, regional-cum-national planning, welfare economics, and liberal doses of scientific, philosophical, and technocratic understanding of public administration and public management, of that age. And beyond, in visionary terms. After all, early in the 1960s, Kwame Nkrumah was talking about research and Ghana's KNUST harnessing solar power that could have been used to complement Akosombo Power and Light.

The newer simpletons and latter day loud-mouths should give us a Mount Afadjato-sized breaks. In fact, they themselves ought to be asking each other a few other serious questions, including these three:

(1) Seriously, when did the “Rubber Meet The Road” for Serious Akufo-Addo?

(2) Seriously, when did Serious Akufo-Addo and his NPP discover that Nkrumah's brand of socialism works?

(3) Seriously, shouldn't Serious Akufo-Addo apologize to Kwame Nkrumah, and to all Ghanaians, on behalf of himself, his father, Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia, and the entire New Patriotic Party?

When will Serious President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo make that big announcement?

REFERENCES 1. Cameron Duodu. “Let’s ‘Kick-Off ‘Ghana’s 60th Anniversary Of Independence Now!” January 4, 2017, (

2. Ghanaweb. “Rise Up To Meet Challenges Of Today’—Nana Addo Urges African Youth.” May 5, 2016, (

3. Kwame Botwe-Asamoah. “A Salute to President Kufuor on African Union Day.” June 12, 2002, (

4. Francis Kwarteng. “Danquah’s Father Passed On The Gene Of Statutory Rape To Nkrumah 1.” Ghanaweb. October 2, 2015, (

5. Ghanaweb. “Akufo-Addo Was An Active CPP Member—Pratt Alleges.” February 9, 2015, (

6. Prof Lungu. They Stole Ghana’s Industrial Revolution as Nation Toiled to Close Technology Gap!, (

VISIT WWW.GHANAHERO.COM/VISIONS, FOR MORE INFOR: See "Visions": Prof Lungu Says.... /\....Francis Kwarteng Says....

FOIB - Freedom of Information Bill (FOIB/FOI/Ghana), (

SUBJ: When Did Akufo-Addo And His NPP Discover That Socialism Works, by Prof Lungu & Francis Kwarteng.

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Professor N. Lungu
Professor N. Lungu, © 2017

The author has 183 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: ProfLungu

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