Opinions Wed, 30 Jun 2010

Nkrumah's Warning Against Imperialism And Africa's Need To Be Awake

By: Julius Atterh

A couple of weeks ago, the year-long celebration of the centenary of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s birthday was climaxed at the African (Unity )Union festivities in Accra with dignitaries from all over the diaspora.

The focus was on the vision of one Africa and the harnessing of all the human and other natural resources for the development of the African peoples all over the globe.

The realization of this dream was the result of the formation of the then Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1963. To date the union, now African Union (AU), has faced many challenges especially the numerous coups d’état and wars that have sent back the political clock and done great harm to the unity of the continent.

This cherished dream had been done even sharper by the overthrown of Kwame Nkrumah the main architect of the African Union dream.

Earlier on, imperialist machinations had succeeded in the assassination of Patrice Lumumba of the Congo, followed by the successive toppling of several socialist oriented countries throughout Africa.


Since then, the unity of the country had been ruptured with hardly an political cohesion as individual countries of Africa were thrown into total confusion with America and other countries quickly jumping in promising to give the people more aid to build capitalist states.

At the time so many countries of Africa had joined the Non-Aligned Movement and therefore became deeply confused with new offers of capitalist and dictatorial but wealthy nations.

The greatest world power that took this unilateral decision was the United States of America which had begun brisk financial or economic business with toppled governments of Africa which the central intelligence agency (CIA) had be well known to have triggered and sponsored.

The imperialist hold on Africa was one of the main reasons why Nkrumah and his friends formed the OAU, how AU, to undo.

Hitherto, the past scourges of the slave trade that built many developed overseas kingdom and the depletion of Africa’s natural wealth had continued to under develop African nations through blackmail even with his promise of developing Africa.

It is well on record that some socialist conglomerates, especially Russia, which had come out of the Second World War and rebuilt a buoyant economy, were offering genuine help to Africa countries by offering scholarships for training a formidable workforce of medical doctors’ youth formators, hydrologists and many other branches of workforce needed in Africa, free of charge.


Africa built upon their (Russian) model of self reliance and regional cohesion of the continent. This solidarity was being eyed by the United States with suspicion; this conflict of interest threw Africa into a quagmire of new battleground during the cold war.

Imperialism was at its peak with keen eyes on Africa’s resources and many African leaders were also divided along political lines as many more countries on the continent received aid in all forms from the various corners of the world with strings attached.

Ghana found itself in such a situation after the overthrow of Nkrumah which was the result of machinations from the West.

Many Ghanaians who went to the U.S A to be trained for jobs in Ghana never returned. The great exodus of the brain-drain had just begun, while in turn trickles of America Peace Corps occupied pockets of loopholes created by absentee U.S trained Ghanaians work force.

The small gesture of goodwill is pittance since we needed to learn or be taught fish rather than having fish doled out to us.


The U.S as a capitalist country made use of information available to her to tap Ghanaian’s and other African countries’ resources.

On the contrary the Soviet Union and Russia trained our workforce that returned to work in Ghana. Russia sells gas to Western Europe and other forms of fuel more than any other Eastern European Country. Russia has large deposits of oil and gold and other minerals, therefore has no eye on Africa’s resources.

It continues to offer genuine help in form of manpower training and other forms of aid even when recovering from the past U.SSR socialist era with genuine friendship.

It also raises its voice against new imperialist and colonist moves by other countries and is also in solidarity with poor countries, especially countries of sub-Saharan African which are still yoked with the burden of capitalist exploitation and domination.

The AU was warned by Kwame Nkrumah of Neo-Colonialism and Africa was to judge who its true friends were.

Today the continent has gradually been falling into imperialists hands as France, China, Britain and America are seeking new relations in the form if agreement for oil and mineral exploitation and an example of US, Canada, France interests in the Oil business that has triggered the conflict in Ivory Coast for a decade now and many such interests in the minerals in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Africa’s strategic position for transporting drugs to Europe is giving drug Barons of the West and other countries big dividends. This is why Africa continues to be of great strategic interest to impericulist powers.

Kwame Nkrumah’s vision to see a developed economy under a United Africa is being gravely undermined by disunity of the continent.

Many resolutions of the AU meetings remain paper work and virtual images of real objects. Africa seems to have lost its focus completely and its decisions and line of action fragmented and often fragmented and unclear.

We need, as Africans, to revisit the goals of the founding fathers of the African Union. There is also the need for the revision of its goals in the framework of new exigencies:

African leaders need to visualize a United Africa. Its Peer Review Mechanism must become more vibrant and dynamic and prove to the world that it is not all tears and war in Africa.

The development process needs acceleration in the 21st century but Africa continues to be distracted by the forces of imperialism and high –handedness of powers that be.

Kwame Nkrumah will always be remembered for reminding Africa that the continent will ever be besieged by exploiters hence the necessity of African unity to ward off detractors with a United continental front.

Africa must know its true friends and never do anything to betray the trust of the founding fathers of the AU to be on guard to ensure the stability of a continent which continues to be tightly held in the grips of imperialists never willing to allow it have true freedom

Columnist: Atterh, Julius