Marxism In Africa: Why So Many African Economies Failed After Independence
“As far as I am concerned, I am in the knowledge that death can never extinguish the torch which I have lit in Ghana and Africa. Long after I am dead and gone, the light will continue to burn and be borne aloft, giving light and guidance to all people.” ~ Dr. Kwame Nkrumah
September 21 marks the birthday of Kwame Nkrumah, Africa’s Marxist revolutionary and first president of the republic of Ghana. The day is celebrated as a public holiday in Ghana to commemorate the significant role Nkrumah played to free the Gold Coast from colonial rule. Nkrumah was born on September 21, 1909, at Nkroful, in what was then the British-ruled Gold Coast, the son of a goldsmith. After his graduation from Achimota College in 1930, he traveled to the United States to pursue his master’s degrees at Lincoln University and the University of Pennsylvania, where he was influenced by Marxist ideologies and pan-Africanist ideas, and especially Marcus Garvey, the black American nationalist leader of the 1920s. Eventually, Kwame Nkrumah came to describe himself as a socialist and a Marxist, a leading proponent of African socialism, the offshoot of pan-Africanism.
He returned to Ghana in late 1947 under invitation of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), the first political party in Ghana. Nkrumah served as the general secretary to the party but due to his Marxist tendencies broke away from the conservative UGCC party to form his own socialist political party, the Convention People’s Party (CPP), which won the 1951 general elections. Kwame Nkrumah became prime minister of Ghana and later president of the new republic in 1960. He was the winner of Lenin Peace Prize in 1962. Nkrumah founded numerous state-run companies, launched the construction of a huge dam for the generation of hydroelectric power, built schools and universities, and backed liberation movements in African colonies that had yet to achieve independence.
In 1964, faced with economic crises caused largely by his Marxist economic policies, Nkrumah’s proposed solution was to tighten government control. He declared Ghana a one-party communist state with himself as president for life. Nkrumah was accused of actively promoting a cult of his own personality (Nkrumahism), which eventually led to his overthrow in 1966 by military coup d’état. He died in Bucharest, Romania, after six years in exile in Guinea, at age sixty-two. In the year 2000, Nkrumah was voted Africa’s “Man of the Millennium” by BBC listeners as a “Hero of Independence” and an “international symbol of freedom as the leader of the first African c
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