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KWAME NKRUMAH

Dr.Kwame Nkrumah

Kwame Nkrumah is widely recognized in African circles as being among the pioneer African leaders to launch the struggle for independence. In the case of his country Ghana, it was the same case against the British colonial powers. I think this is the reason he struck a rapport with a number of Kenyan freedom fighters most notably Tom Mboya, and Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. They were pretty much fighting the same battle just at different venues. He however became more noticeable from his ideas of Pan-Africanism which was a campaign to unify the entire African continent by doing away with the boundaries that had been "created" by the colonialists. Though this idea sounded pretty on paper, it would later prove very difficult to achieve, given Africa's diverse cultures and geographical expanse.

Ghana's struggle for independence from the British can be traced to the late 1920's. This time period witnessed the springing up of political parties agitating for African rights. None of these early African parties captured the national debate and they remained largely localized to the regions they sprung up from. The first major political party in Ghana came in 1947 and it was called the United Gold Coast Convention Party(UGCC). Kwame Nkrumah was Secretary-General of UGCC. UGCC however was not a very effective party and most Ghanaians felt it could not adequately convey their grievances to the British colonialists. It was for this reson that Nkrumah broke away from UGCC in 1948 to form another party, the Convention People's Party(CPP). The CPP under the leadership of Nkrumah was a tremendous success and it propelled the fiery Nkrumah to the top of Ghana's politics. The British colonialists became irritated at this budding African leader and as was customary with the colonial administrations, proceeded to jail Nkrumah. In 1951, while still in jail, his CPP won the elections prompting the colonialists to release him from jail and he became Ghana's Prime Minister. Finally in 1957, Ghana won its independence from the British, making it the first black African country to gain independece from the European colonialists, with Nkrumah quite deservedly as its first President.

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