Opinions Tue, 7 Oct 2014

Nkrumah's Spirit Must Move Mahama into Action

September 21st was a memorable day for Ghana and the entire African continent. It marked the centenary celebration of the greatest African in the 20th century, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. On that memorable day, a very eventful celebration took place in Ghana and almost all the countries in Africa for the man who actually launched the African Renaissance in 1950 with his African liberation drive.

This 21st September, which is the birthday of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, has been declared a national holiday in Ghana and this day was celebrated throughout Ghana with pomp and pageantry in remembrance of this great man whose feat,? and development-oriented vision are un-pararrelled in Ghana's history. The event began with a?passionate address?by President John Dramani Mahama, enumerating significant contributions of Dr. Nkrumah to Ghana's independence and positive development.

It is important at this point to analyse and examine what Dr. Nkrumah did for Ghana. Diabolic attempts and machinations by a cross section of Ghanaians to rubbish away and downplay the colossal achievements of this visionary, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, for their own perverse reasons never worked because he became much more famous not only in Ghana but in the entire African continent. Dr. Nkrumah was an excellent and exceptional leader despite his shortcomings. A critical look at our state institutions and infrastructure will reveal that a majority of these were set up or built during Nkrumah's administration.

One thing President Mahama should know is that celebrating Dr. Nkrumah's birthday alone is not enough but that he should allow the spirit of Nkrumah to lead him from now on. That would mean focusing his attention in creating jobs through industrialization as he makes a determined efforts to avoid corruption and favouritism. The NDC party claims to be the follow up of CPP in its policies. Is Mahama and his NDC implementing the visions of Kwame Nkrumah and what he stood for?

It was the vision of Dr. Nkrumah to launch Ghana into the industrial age and to make Ghana self-sufficient and self-reliant in all areas of nation building and development. It was his ambition to take the country away from an enslaved colonial economy to an economically liberated one. In terms of industry and infrastructure the British did very little. When one considers the way the colonialists built the railways, one can easily conclude that they built them to suit their exploitative needs. They passed the lines mainly to those areas where gold, diamond, manganese and the other minerals were mined.

With the money which Ghana inherited from the British, Dr. Nkrumah and his Convention's People Party (CPP) launched a Seven Year Development plan with the sole ambition to improve agriculture as a major tool for industrialization. The Seven-Year Development Plan was the last development plan started by the CPP. It was just a third way through when Nkrumah was overthrown and the plan was shelved. Even though it wasn’t launched immediately after independence, it was still the money the British left us that he was using to implement the development plan. There were certain strict parameters that governed Nkrumah’s administration. The first parameter was TIME. The second parameter was TOOL (advanced machine tools). Nkrumah and his party, the CPP made sure the problems of time and the tools to use to boost industrialization were resolved. He expanded the existing University of Science and Technology to speed up research and create materials to help in his industrialization dream. The CPP government added one university in Cape Coast, the UCC, to the two already existing to produce qualified teachers for the accelerated education programme. This programme led to the building of lots of secondary schools throughout the country. He created what became known as the Workers Brigade, a manpower group that engaged in diverse farming which led to the production of many foodstuffs and cash crops and a massive production of cocoa to support the chocolate factories, and a rubber plantation to support the Bonsa Tyre factory. As a visionary he figured out that a time would come when there would be over-production of cocoa, so he made silos to be built to store excess cocoa beans and other grain products in order to control the amount of cocoa beans and grains released to the world market so that he could have control over the prices.

Nkrumah and his CPP government was aware that for industrialization to succeed there must be electricity generation. He therefore made the construction of the Akosombo Dam an obsession. However, he had started building the Bui dam already. When the Akosombo Dam was finally completed, there was no turning back for Nkrumah and his CPP government to build many factories for Ghana. The CPP government under Nkrumah was still not satisfied because he envisioned that one day the population of Ghana would grow in geometric progression, so he embarked on a nuclear energy program, a top-notch in engineering research. Unfortunately, Nkrumah’s nuclear energy program could not bear the ultimate fruits he had envisaged since he was overthrown in a CIA-sponsored military coup.

Nkrumah and the CPP government saw very early that without industries Ghana could go nowhere because he saw the need to industrialize to become a developed nation and that was the preferred development policy of the day. Everybody thought industrialization was the road to development. The Eastern countries were doing the same thing. This was general knowledge. He also followed the prevailing wisdom. He therefore set himself a time limit to put Ghana on the world map through industry and above all, he wanted to turn the economy from an agro-based one to an industrialized one. This noble vision was embedded in the 7-year development plan.

Kwame Nkrumah’s government established State farms to feed the many factories he established. He saw clearly that without industries Ghana could go nowhere. The factories he established included Bonsa Tyre factory, Asutware Sugar Factory, Ghana Cement(GHACEM) factory, Nsawam cannery, corned beef factory in the north, two tomato factories at Wenchi and Pwalugu, shoe factory and jute factory all in Kumasi, West Africa mills, Aboso Glass Factory and many more. He grouped these factories under Ghana Industrial Holding Corporation (GIHOC). VALCO was established with the help of USA. Kwame Nkrumah appealed to the American President John F Kennedy to support him. Even under Nkrumah, Ghana was manufacturing her own refrigerators and wireless sets named Akasanoma radio. Where are all these factories today? Ghana is bleeding!

Undoubtedly, Kwame Nkrumah is the best president Ghana has ever had. His fame and popularity extend beyond Ghana. During his time the Ghanaian was highly respected in every country he went to. The Ghanaian was happy in Ghana and majority of those who travelled abroad went there to study. Nkrumah was so much loved by Ghanaians that the letters in the word GHANA used to mean God Has Appointed Nkumah Already. This was just something put up by his sycophantic CPP die-hards.

Written by Stephen Atta Owusu Author: Dark Faces at Crossroads Email: stephen.owusu@email.com

Columnist: Owusu, Stephen Atta