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25.02.2006 General News

Nkrumah's policies still relevant for Africa's Devt


Accra, Feb.25 GNA - Dr. Yao Graham, Coordinator of the Third World Network on Saturday stated that Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah was the only Ghanaian leader who consciously sought to develop and implement policies that would have been a model for other African countries. He said the practical logic of this was the declaration that "Ghana's independence was meaningless unless was linked up with the total liberation of the rest African continent".

Dr Graham was speaking at the public lecture organized by the Socialist Forum of Ghana (SFG) in commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of the disgraceful and shameful overthrow of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and his Convention people's Party government on February 24, 1966. The lecture, which was well attended brought together people from the academia, civil society groups and various political parties that share in Nkrumah's philosophies of self-reliant.

Dr. Graham said despite the portrayal of the economic policies of the Nkrumah regime as adventurist, reckless and socialistic they were in fact very much in keeping with ruling orthodoxies of his day. He said Nkrumah left a legacy of import substitution industrialization as a central plank of transformation, which facilitated a strong role for state to become self-reliant and created equal opportunities for all.

Dr Graham sated that CPP government, unlike the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) regime did not see the private sector as the engine of growth. However, like most of its recent successors, the CPP government was concerned about the poor state of growth in the small-holder dominated agricultural sector.

He said the reality was that the bulk of Ghanaians who were very poor could mainly be found among the small-scale farmers, especially food farmers in the northern Savannah zone. He said because most food farmers were neglected by policies that prioritised export crops they become victims of the growing socio-economic inequality that has accompanied over the last two decades.

Dr Graham sai d the abuse of human rights and unaccountable use of state power has been a deep part of the culture of the Ghanaian state for a long time.

He said the colonial legacy of an authoritarian state serving foreign interests did not offer Nkrumah much to build on by way of democratic culture of practice . He said the campaign of violence initiated by his political opponent who lost the contest to succeed the departing colonial power, triggered a repressive response that shifted whatever democratic practice being nursed in the wombs of the CPP. Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata, former Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, in his presentation said there were a lot of lessons to be learnt by Ghanaians from the Nkrumah's era. He said Nkrumah, despite being an intellectual was the man of the people who had a charisma and very good organization skills. He said Dr. Joseph Boakye Danquah, who was an opponent of Nkrumah, during their United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) days admitted at a public rally that, "even if he Danquah fails them, Kwame Nkrumah would not fail them."

Mr. Tsikata called for a change in the political psyche of the people where vengeance and acrimony against an opponent has become the order of the day, adding that this would not augur well for total development of the country. Feb. 25 06