Congo existed before Livingston, Livingston could not discover it — Kwame Nkrumah

Dr Kwame  Nkrumah 12 Ghana's first president, Kwame Nkrumah

Wed, 1 Jun 2022 Source: Joel Savage

Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's first president, may be better known internationally than any other leader in Africa's political history for a variety of reasons that are unique and unmatched by any African leader. Even though the fact that many of his remarks have been documented, there are several others that remain unknown.

Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein, the Egyptian politician who served as Egypt's second president from 1954 to 1970, was able to organize the first African Unity Conference, which began its sessions on July 19, 1964, in the presence of monarchs and presidents from 42 African countries.

The leaders dissolved their conference on July 20, 1964, after Abdel Nasser's remarks prompted a reunion. Mohammed Hassanein Heikal, the author, exposed this in his book "The Boiling Years." "The truth is that I need to remind you," Abdel Nasser remarked, "that we want to make this conference a vision of Africa's future, not just about its tragedies."

"I am the first to understand the weight of the colonial legacy and its sorrows, but I also understand revenge, which is a terrible emotion that brings us nothing but bitterness in our throats. I'm torn between two resonant tones: those demanding more than the circumstances have allowed.

"These discoveries made by European travellers and that they put them on the map of the world are also an insult," Heikal wrote in his book.

"I do not know how they explored what existed before they existed, and when a man like Livingston comes and says he discovered the Congo, I feel a fire burning in my head because the Congo existed."

"Before Livingston was born, Congo and its inhabitants had lived on its banks since the dawn of history; it was better for Livingston to say that he arrived in the Congo, but to say that he discovered it is impolite; otherwise, it is my right as a Ghanaian who visited America to say that I discovered it, and to demand the erection of a statue of me in front of the Capitol building," Kwame Nkrumah said.

"I was talking about border disputes, and I believe that these conflicts could lead to disasters between us," Nasser responded. "While I recognize that they are also a colonial legacy that we have inherited, I do not see any other way to resolve them than through negotiation and compromise, and this is a method that we must agree on."

“The second issue I see before us is under development; on the one hand, we are in front of resources and sources of wealth that have been looted, and this problem is exacerbated by the fact that we lack the technical and administrative cadres required to exploit what we have; on the other hand, even if we recover what they control here, the United Arab Republic (Egypt) is willing to put its capabilities and expertise at the disposal of its continent, and in any case,” said Nasser.

According to writer Mohammed Hassanein Heikal, Abdel Nasser proposed that the Organization of African Unity's permanent headquarters is moved to Ethiopia (OAU). "This was a totally Egyptian viewpoint, as Nasser was always of the opinion that Egypt must take care of Addis Ababa's feelings within the scope of its water strategy."

"There is an issue that I know is sensitive, and it is sensitive because a number of our colleagues and friends believe that we insist on the threat of Israel from the impact of our conflict as Arabs with it and that we want to involve Africa in our regional problems, and we disagree with the owners of this view," he said.

"So when we have prepared a detailed report for you in the areas of cooperation between Israel and South Africa, which extend to the sinful slave trade and even the field of suspicious nuclear cooperation, we do not intend to ask you to make any decisions regarding Israel, and we would like any suggestions in this regard to come from Africans.”

We do not intend to ask you to make any decisions regarding Israel, and we would like any suggestions in this regard to come from Africans, and we would like any suggestions in this regard to come African "Non-Arabs are persuaded by their will that Israel is just as hazardous to Africa as it is to Arabs," Nasser continued.

Columnist: Joel Savage