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29.09.2019 Feature Article

CNNA 6th Pan-Nkrumaist Conference, Lewisham, London

The New Wave and Continued Relevance of Nkrumaism
L. to R.Prof. Ulzen, Mrs. Dontoh and R. RobertsL. to R.Prof. Ulzen, Mrs. Dontoh and R. Roberts

September 28, 2019, saw an almost religious revival of Nkrumaism within the Ghanaian community in London, UK at the 6th Pan-Nkrumaist conference of the Convention of Nkrumaists of North America (CNNA) at Lewisham. The theme of the conference was “The New Wave and continued relevance of Nkrumaism”. Attendees included at least 3 generations of the Nkrumaist tradition.

Living ancestors like 86-year-old CPP organizer, May Stella Dontoh, the first female lawyer in Cape Coast, leading the chant of “choo boi” reminded the gathering of how political meetings often began in the Nkrumah era. She deplored the attempts of the present government to rewrite Ghana's history as an insult to the intelligence of Ghanaians. Others like Maj Gordon Amenyah (Rtd.) and a host of others offered personal insights into how our founding president operated in his day. All described him as a good listener, a humble soul and a practical problem solver. H.E. John Offeh, former President Limann’s personal attorney and former High Commissioner to Kenya, entreated the conference delegates to an account of the former president’s early lobbying for an African UN Secretary-General, culminating eventually to the late Busumuru Kofi Annan’s appointment years later.

The plenary speaker, Dr. Adotey Bing-Pappoe, Program Leader in Business Economics, University of Greenwich, offered a broad and detailed analysis of how the 1966 coup and events thereafter, returned the Ghanaian economy steadily into the transactional neo-colonial economy it has now become.

He observed that the economy no longer met the needs of the ordinary Ghanaian but narrow foreign interests and those of their political proxies within the country, in the form of the two major political parties who have been given the privilege of governing by the Ghanaian voters since 1992.

Drs. Hakim Adi, Professor at the University of Chichester and Cecil Gutzmore formerly of the Metropolitan University of London and the University of the West Indies, reviewed Nkrumah’s role in the global pan-African movement and its place and relevance in our current politics. They asserted that the failure of Africa to unite with the urgency that Nkrumah championed in his lifetime, has contributed significantly to the current poor economic state of Africa.

82-year-old Dr. Marika Sherwood, Hungarian-born Senior Researcher, Institute of Commonwealth Studies and author of “Kwame Nkrumah and the Dawn of the Cold War: The West African National Secretariat 1945-1948”, spoke on “What was important to Dr. Kwame Nkrumah”.

Mr. Solomon Tampuri a London barrister and Dr. Gibril Faal, visiting lecturer in practice at the Institute of Global Studies at the London School of Economics, concentrated on the future of Pan-Africanism as the only viable pathway of development for our continent of 1.3 billion people and advanced the cause of the burgeoning pan-African federalist movement being championed by intellectuals across the continent.

Local CPP stalwarts, including Ade Sawyerr and Emmanuel Amevor provided a thorough review of the infrastructural achievements of the Nkrumah era, upon which we still rely or which have been sold off or left to rot by the crony capitalist governments which followed. They also bemoaned the absence of well thought out and sustainable comprehensive social and vocational programs like the Boys Brigade, Workers Brigade, The Farmers’ Council, Ghana Women’ Association and many more, which prepared the youth for semi-skilled and skilled employment. The delegates were of the opinion that Nkrumah’s ideas were even more relevant now than they were in the 1950s and 60s. The challenge was translating the underlying principles of his policies into present day needs of Ghanaians and Africans.

One of the youth delegates, Kofi Asiedu-Berchie presented a paper on “Perceptual Awareness of ICT for Africans”, emphasizing the role of ICT in Africa’s development. Other young delegates charged the CNNA with finding a pathway to unity, to secure a better future for their generation.

The final session examined the causes of the fragmentation of the Nkrumaist political family following the proscription of the CPP and the resurgence of Nkrumaism through the PNP government of Dr. Hilla Limann, which was needlessly truncated by the Dec 31st coup, which added to those difficulties. Many of our current issues with youth education and employment were traced to this particular coup. Furthermore, it was made clear that the population of Nkrumaists in Ghana and around the world far exceeds the 3% or so of the vote that the fragmented Nkrumaists parties have traditionally mustered.

Dr. Wendy Addae, a psychologist, addressed how “dysfunction and delusion” continued to perpetuate the fragmentation. The challenge of the Nkrumaist family is finding new modalities for functional unity to reach their desired goal of returning Ghana to the path of development that its citizens deserve and have been denied for decades.

The CNNA was represented at this conference by Prof. Thaddeus Ulzen, Chairman; Dr. Kofi Roberts, Secretary-Treasurer, Mr. Charles Hughes, National Representative, Canada and Dr. Emmanuel Quaye, Board Member. Officers of CN-UK will be elected in the very near future. For more information and to join the Convention of Nkrumaists, visit www.nkrumaists.org or email the CN secretariat in Atlanta at [email protected]

September 28, 2019, saw an almost religious revival of Nkrumaism within the Ghanaian community in London, UK at the 6th Pan-Nkrumaist conference of the Convention of Nkrumaists of North America (CNNA) at Lewisham. The theme of the conference was “The New Wave and continued relevance of Nkrumaism”. Attendees included at least 3 generations of the Nkrumaist tradition.

Living ancestors like 86-year-old CPP organizer, May Stella Dontoh, the first female lawyer in Cape Coast, leading the chant of “choo boi” reminded the gathering of how political meetings often began in the Nkrumah era. Others like Maj Gordon Amenyah (Rtd.) and a host of others offered personal insights into how our founding president operated in his day. All described him as a good listener, a humble soul and a practical problem solver. H.E. John Offeh, former President Limann’s personal attorney and former High Commissioner to Kenya, entreated the conference delegates to an account of the former president’s early lobbying for an African UN Secretary-General, culminating eventually to the late Busumuru Kofi Annan’s appointment years later.

The plenary speaker, Dr. Adotey Bing-Pappoe, Program Leader in Business Economics, University of Greenwich, offered a broad and detailed analysis of how the 1966 coup and events thereafter, returned the Ghanaian economy steadily into the transactional neo-colonial economy it has now become.

He observed that the economy no longer met the needs of the ordinary Ghanaian but narrow foreign interests and those of their political proxies within the country, in the form of the two major political parties who have been given the privilege of governing by the Ghanaian voters since 1992.

Drs. Hakim Adi, Professor at the University of Chichester and Cecil Gutzmore formerly of the Metropolitan University of London and the University of the West Indies, reviewed Nkrumah’s role in the global pan-African movement and its place and relevance in our current politics. They asserted that the failure of Africa to unite with the urgency that Nkrumah championed in his lifetime, has contributed significantly to the current poor economic state of Africa.

82-year-old Dr. Marika Sherwood, Hungarian-born Senior Researcher, Institute of Commonwealth Studies and author of “Kwame Nkrumah and the Dawn of the Cold War: The West African National Secretariat 1945-1948”, spoke on “What was important to Dr. Kwame Nkrumah”.

Mr. Solomon Tampuri a London barrister and Dr. Gibril Faal, visiting lecturer in practice at the Institute of Global Studies at the London School of Economics, concentrated on the future of Pan-Africanism as the only viable pathway of development for our continent of 1.3 billion people and advanced the cause of the burgeoning pan-African federalist movement being championed by intellectuals across the continent.

Local CPP stalwarts, including Ade Sawyerr and Emmanuel Amevor provided a thorough review of the infrastructural achievements of the Nkrumah era, upon which we still rely or which have been sold off or left to rot by the crony capitalist governments which followed. They also bemoaned the absence of well thought out and sustainable comprehensive social and vocational programs like the Boys Brigade, Workers Brigade, The Farmers’ Council, Ghana Women’ Association and many more, which prepared the youth for semi-skilled and skilled employment. The delegates were of the opinion that Nkrumah’s ideas were even more relevant now than they were in the 1950s and 60s. The challenge was translating the underlying principles of his policies into present day needs of Ghanaians and Africans.

One of the youth delegates, Kofi Asiedu-Berchie presented a paper on “Perceptual Awareness of ICT for Africans”, emphasizing the role of ICT in Africa’s development. Other young delegates charged the CNNA with finding a pathway to unity, to secure a better future for their generation.

The final session examined the causes of the fragmentation of the Nkrumaist political family following the proscription of the CPP and the resurgence of Nkrumaism through the PNP government of Dr. Hilla Limann, which was needlessly truncated by the Dec 31st coup, which added to those difficulties. Many of our current issues with youth education and employment were traced to this particular coup. Furthermore, it was made clear that the population of Nkrumaists in Ghana and around the world far exceeds the 3% or so of the vote that the fragmented Nkrumaists parties have traditionally mustered.

Dr. Wendy Addae, a psychologist, addressed how “dysfunction and delusion” continued to perpetuate the fragmentation. The challenge of the Nkrumaist family is finding new modalities for functional unity to reach their desired goal of returning Ghana to the path of development that its citizens deserve and have been denied for decades.

The CNNA was represented at this conference by Prof. Thaddeus Ulzen, Chairman; Dr. Kofi Roberts, Secretary-Treasurer, Mr. Charles Hughes, National Representative, Canada and Dr. Emmanuel Quaye, Board Member. Officers of CN-UK will be elected in the very near future. For more information and to join the Convention of Nkrumaists, visit www.nkrumaists.org or email the CN secretariat in Atlanta at [email protected]

L. Prof.Thad Ulzen, Middle- Mrs. May Stellah Dontoh and R. Dr. Kofi RobertsL. Prof.Thad Ulzen, Middle- Mrs. May Stellah Dontoh and R. Dr. Kofi Roberts

Thaddeus Ulzen, Dr.
Thaddeus Ulzen, Dr., © 2019

The author has 60 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: ThaddeusUlzen

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