Ghana’s Second Revolution-Part 2

Sat, 12 Apr 2014 Source: Kwarteng, Francis

“After destroying, selling his established industries and companies to ourselves and cronies, denying the youth to wallow in poverty, we are celebrating him today. What a shame…We are proud to reiterate that One Hundred and four years he will be, if he was alive today, he will weep in for all that he did for Ghana, in particular, and Africa and the whole world, in general, Nkrumah will continue to stand tall in the history of world leaders. The wise crack that ‘Nkrumah Never Dies’ will continue to pinch detractors till they fade off the scene in disgrace (See Obroni K. Thomas’ “Nkrumah: The Unmatchable and Big One”).”

The statement above is a powerful testament to Nkrumah’s enduring legacy, his grip on the world’s conscience, and his importance to Ghana’s and Africa’s development economics. Yet Nkrumah’s unfinished revolution remains to be fulfilled! And where is the leadership to undertake this herculean task? How do we cultivate a new breed of Afrocentric leadership to assume the mantle of creative leadership from Nkrumah? Is there a way out of the post-Nkrumah political morass? Unequivocally yes. How? Through an enlightened infrastructure of the youth. Through exposing the youth to critical thinking and Afrocentric consciousness. Thus, to raise the level of selfless consciousness associated with Nkrumah in the youth requires separating the chaffy stench of historical revisionism—a volcanic mountain of falsehoods invented by Ghana’s so-called democratic apostles of terrorism, represented by KA Busia’s National Liberation Movement (NLM), in the wake of Nkrumah’s artificial disappearance from the scene of progressive politics—from the perfumed atmosphere of Afrocentric historicism.

Consequently, Afrocentric historical realism is part of the creative response to the restorative or corrective project. Yet this project potentially demonstrates an elevated degree of instrumentalist muscularity if consciously re-interpreted within the epistemological framework of Diopian and Asantean scholarship. This position in turn enjoys phenomenal endorsement from current research carried out by a group of international scholars on Nkrumah’s enduring contributions to Pan-Africanism. Again, it should be emphasized that Nkrumah was an accomplished scholar of global standing. Dr. Zizwe Poe, one of North America’s respected authorities on Nkrumah has this to say: “Occasionally, usually in a character attack, scholars claim that Nkrumah was not a scholar. These writers either overlooked or rejected Nkrumah’s academic degrees, body of written works, or professional titles (See “Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, A Lincoln University Alumnus: His Profound Impact on Pan-African Agency”). Then, Howard University Dr. Kofi Kissi Dompere, an Afrocentrist, mathematician, statistician, economist, historian, and writer, has spent a lifetime studying the works and ideas of Nkrumah.

Dr. Dompere has been ranked one of the world’s 100 influential thinkers and is a close friend of Drs. Molefi Kete Asante and Kwame Botwe-Asamoah. He has also written several influential and not-so-easy-to-read books on Nkrumah, his thoughts, using advanced mathematical, statistical, operational research, and Afrocentric theories. There are others as well. For instance, Dr. Yao Graham’s paper “Nkrumah’s Development Vision and the New Scramble for Africa” highlights some of the salient dangers posed to Africa’s existential developmental realities by foreign manipulation of African economies via economic destabilization of Africa’s conscious attempts to itself undergo continental unification. Further, he cites the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), particularly, as one creative instrument spectacularly designed by Europe to frustrate regional bloc formations aimed at integrating Africa. And although he did not specifically mention Genetically Modified Organism (GMO), the negative implications for African agriculture if GMOs are adopted by African agricultural economies are clear!

On the other hand, Syracuse University Prof. Horace Campbell even goes further. He advances a set of provocative ideas in his paper “Towards an Africa without Borders in the 21st Century: The Inspiration of Kwame Nkrumah,” emphasizing the scientific component of Pan-Africanism by, among other invocations, drawing attention to such important issues as global warming, development of alternative sources of energy, using scientific knowledge to preserve planet earth, advancing the goal of shared humanity, re-conceptualizing old forms of African knowledge, and promoting aspects of African knowledge system downgraded for centuries (See Wilson I. Aiwuyor’s “Kwame Nkrumah Centenary Celebration: Rendezvous of Africa’s Past, Present, and Future”). Probably the most essential idea capping Prof. Campbell’s presentation is the following advice: “Africa must not remain on the periphery of science.” Interestingly, Prof. Campbell’s paper generally shares some significant fundamental facts with Dr. Asante’s “Nkrumah Celebration.”

Elsewhere Kenneth Kaunda has called Nkrumah’s collective approach to solving Africa’s problems “Nkrumah’s liberation method” (See Aiwuyor). Importantly, all the scholars mentioned in Aiwuyor’s article addressed the challenges facing the African world from the philosophical complexion of Kaunda’s “Nkrumah’s liberation method.” Let us take note of the fact that Prof. Campbell’s epistemological insistence on resuscitating indigenous African knowledge systems is eloquently relevant to Ghana’s and Africa’s scientific and technological development. Prof. Paulin Hountondji’s edited volume “Endogenous Knowledge” uncovers such important traditional African knowledge systems as probability theory, number systems, pharmaceutical knowledge, hydrology, etc. Also, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Dr. Ron Eglash, a science and technology studies professor, cyberneticist, and mathematician, has demonstrated how African fractals (binary system), practiced via geomancy, arrived in Europe, became part of European mathematics, then, later, how the works of German mathematician Gottfried W. Leibniz, George Boole, and John von Newmann on “African fractals” transformed an influential African idea to what we call today “computer.”

In fact, “The Liberator Magazine” Nikki contributor writes: “The modern binary code, essential to every digital circuit from alarm clocks to super computers, was first introduced by Leibniz around 1670.” Then it is not by coincidence that Eurocentric historiography completely bowdlerizes African mathematical foundation of computer invention from Western epistemology. But, that aside, these transforming historical facts are not helped by widespread corruption and failing educational system in Africa, as well as by the lackluster performance and intellectual indirection of African leadership. These reservations notwithstanding, both Nikki’s and Prof. Eglash’s meandering, though painstaking, research took them to the mathematical heart of Africa, with the latter crediting Africa with the “invention” of today’s computer. Nkrumah’s conceptualization of Afrocentric education via the formation of Ghana’s Institute of African Studies anticipated Profs. Eglash’s and Campbell’s scholarly works on recovering old yet innovative African systems of knowledge for Ghana’s and Africa’s development. Granted, how come the computer was not invented in Africa by Africans then?

The answers may not be as simple as the history behind African fractals. Did Africans fail to see an imperative need to link theory and praxis together through the umbilical cord of critical thinking, an analytic link, which, unfortunately, even possibly, expendably tore asunder by the cold hands of slavery, colonialism, and neocolonialism? Indeed Nkrumah’s Kumasi College of Technology was established to transform Ghana and Africa along innovative trajectories of scientific modernization where, among other things, an institutionalized revamping of creative old knowledge systems of Africa rediscovered their assigned roles in the “New Africa.” Essentially, Nkrumah’s political clash with Dr. Conor Cruise O’Brien over the sartorial recasting of the colonial educational system to suit Africa’s material, cultural, political, economic, and spiritual needs underscored his impatience with and displeasure at the slow pace at which the process of Africanizing the colonial educational system moved. However, given the crushing failure of the succeeding generations of post-Nkrumah leadership to continue exactly from where Nkrumah left off, what do we do?

The new responsibility, we firmly believe, devolves upon the youth. How? “The philosophies of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah remain relevant to the present and future transformation of Africa,” writes Aiwuyor, adding: “Translating into action Nkrumah’s idea of continental unity and integration is indispensable to Africa’s struggle against the new scramble for the continent.” This view is not new, however, and speaks directly to the recent inter-ethnic conflicts in South Sudan and the ongoing religious conflict in the Central African Republic. Even the terrorism of Boko Haram and Al-Shabab are transnational. Prof. Kofi Awoonor’s untimely death in the prehensile grip of Al-Shabab terrorism is a prime example. Certainly we have belabored these points variously elsewhere. Moreover, Aiwuyor has also written about African youths’ continental clamor to African governments “to implement the numerous charters and protocols that promote continental integration, especially the African Youth Charter.”

Further, Abdul Karim, ex-Secretary of the All-African Students Union, pleaded with the leadership of the African Union (AU) in May, 2010, to make the books of Nkrumah accessible to the youths of Africa. Aiwuyor confirms this when he wrote: “This plea was significant given the contemporary relevance of Nkrumah’s ideas to continental integration. Indeed, if all African youths could embrace Nkrumah’s humanist and Pan-African ideas, the future of the continent would be much brighter.”

In the meantime, let us recap here for additional analytic emphasis some of the major policy highlights agreed to by conferees at the 1958 All-African Peoples’ Conference, held in Accra, as follows: 1). To promote understanding and unity among the peoples of Africa, 2). To accelerate the end of imperialism and colonialism, 3). To mobilize world opinion of the denial to Africans of political and fundamental human rights, and 4). To develop feelings of unity to assist the emergence of a United States of Africa (See Prof. Campbell’s paper). These huge responsibilities are for the youth of Africa to execute on behalf of their posterity and their failed clueless political leaders. Let us not be deceived that imperialism and colonialism are no more. Paradoxically, the twin towers of imperialism and colonialism are neocolonialism, ethnocentrism, political corruption, religiosity, and imprisonment of the African mind in the carapace of superstition. That is, Osama bin Laden’s terroristic act in New York did not completely emasculate the twin towers of imperialism and colonialism.

On the contrary, the terroristic acts of Busia rather reinforced the malignancy of the twin towers of imperialism and colonialism in the Ghanaian body politic. Trade agreements such as the EPA are merely paper incarnations of imperialism and colonialism. Strangely, today, the denial of political and fundamental human rights to Africans is actualized by African-based Arabs, Arabized Africans, and Africa’s political class. As a matter of moral emphasis, African unification holds the key to her problems. Importantly, Ghana’s 1957 Avoidance of Discrimination Act underlined Nkrumah’s personal belief in nipping regionalism, and ethnocentrism (ethnic chauvinism/nationalism), religious- and race-based bodies in the bud, which are other areas the youth of Africa must work on. Political ethnocentrism has been the bane of Ghana’s and Africa’s existence since the wind of independence blew over the colonial contorted face of Africa. Political kleptomania and crass materialism are another.

It is also public knowledge that the political terrorism of Busia’s NLM and his chance presidency introduced ethnocracy, or political ethnocentrism, in the Ghanaian body politic. Particularly, acceptance of diversity as incontestable embodiment of nature constitutes a moral antidote to political and social ethnocentrism. What exactly are we saying? The Ewe lyrics of Ayigbe Edem; the Fafra lyrics of King Ayisoba; the Ga lyrics of Buk Bak and EL; the patois lyrics of Shatta Wale, Kaaki, and Samini; the Twi lyrics of Sarkodie, Kwabena Kwabena, and Kwaw Kese; as well as the Twi, broken- and standard-English lyrics of Becca typify the musical diversity the youth of Africa must strive to advertise to the world on a harmonized stage of continental unity. Then again, critical thinking, respect for authority and African culture, hard work, secrecy, honesty (incorruption), patriotism, Afrocentric self-pride, studiousness, sexual discretion, and appreciation of international culture (cosmopolitanism) are some of the virtues the youth of Africa needs to cultivate. Eating and sleeping well and exercising are excellent activities for the youth of Africa to engage in.

Nkrumah had hoped to instill discipline of the mind—good leadership skills, patriotism, nation-building attitudes—in the youth of Ghana via the Young Pioneers, which he had appropriated from the State of Israel, but, unfortunately, the CIA-directed coup interfered with its successful actualization, at least in the long-term. That said, we use the word “secrecy” with absolute caution. Ghana and Africa need to strengthen their intelligence-gathering capabilities, as the West and Asia have done, granted that a strong relationship somehow exists between a nation’s patriotic citizens and their likely disdain for carrying out espionage activities on behalf of foreign elements. This view should not be met with minimal credit. The idea of the coup plotters’ handing over the blueprint of Ghana’s atomic program to the West (America) was unfortunate. Ironically, America executed Julius Rosenberg and Ethel G. Rosenberg for passing secrets related to its atomic bomb to the USSR. Today Iran and others are fighting for their right to use their atomic programs to generate additional energy to power their industries. An expansion or improved-upon version of Ghana’s atomic program may have rendered today’s power rationing unnecessary. Clearly the Eurocentric tomfooleries of the coup plotters have cost us dearly!

Still, inculcating the virtues of honesty and truth-telling in the youth is an equally important endeavor. But leaders must lead by example. Ghanaians and Africans need not be afraid to expose truths about their leaders to the world. Sadly, if money earmarked for development and job creation, to be used to bridge the developmental gulf between Southern Ghana and Northern Ghana can somehow magically disappear into the banking depths of political private pockets via the supernatural media of living dwarfs, doppelgangers, ghosts, and witches, then where is the fate of that future which Nkrumah’s intellectual, moral, and infrastructural investment underwrote? Admittedly, Nkrumah invested heavily in human capital on behalf of Ghana and Africa, giving out scholarships to promising Ghanaians and Africans (oppressed South Africans, etc). He also provided logistical, intellectual, and moral support to African freedom fighters to overthrow oppressive colonial regimes in Africa to pave the way for self-determination. Giving out Ghanaian passports to freedom fighters from Southern Africa represented another great achievement on the credit entry of his enduring balance sheet of great works.

Pointedly, Nkrumah saw something in his world that has since escaped the claustrophobically narrow purview of the Eurocentric leadership of Africa, that a free, powerful, peaceful, and progressive Africa was good for the growth and development of Africa and the entire world, much as America came to realize that a free, powerful, peaceful, and prosperous Europe was good for Europe and America! Thus, America came up with the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after Hitler’s near-successful colonization of Europe had destroyed the continent and put a serious dent in the global economy. Nkrumah had elected to do something similar, that is, fighting colonialism as Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin, and Franklin D. Roosevelt collaboratively fought Hitler’s colonization of Europe and eventually overthrow it, thought both Roosevelt and Churchill privately disliked Stalin for his brutality and though Roosevelt privately knew Stalin was killing and torturing American prisoners of war, but the West and the democratic terrorists in the camp of the National Movement Liberation (NLM) opposed Nkrumah for doing what every prideful race did for its people.

In the end, the accommodationist stance adopted by the NLM terrorists and Western imperialists toward Apartheid South Africa reinforced the colonization of Black South Africa. America fought Hitler to free Europe while denying citizenship to African Americans. The previous century had seen America spreading her “Manifest Destiny” octopusian tentacles in foreign lands, seizing some and making them part of what is today the United States of America and colonizing others, not forgetting that America itself is an artificial makeup imposed on a stolen land. Today, American and Britain, self-righteous global police, have teamed up to undermine the presidency of Robert Mugabe. Not that we are making a moral case establishing Mugabe’s infallibility. Far from it. America and Britain publicly excoriated Mugabe, while, behind the comfort of closed doors, America, particularly, secretly bought millions of dollars worth of diamond through the thicket of trade embargo she had imposed on Zimbabwe. Yet this sensational news was not even shared with the American public, as the American media conveniently chose to ignore it or placed it within sections of the print media that hardly caught readers’ attention.

Still, American concluded the deal with the government of Robert Mugabe at the same time as her media called him a “thief,” “dictator,” “kleptomaniac,” and all sorts of names. And while these shady dealings were going on, Zimbabwe’s White farmers, the British and the Americans were bribing Zimbabwe’s avuncular Idi Amin, Morgan Tsvangirai, to unseat Mugabe in order to have unbridled access to the economy and the country’s vast mineral wealth, much the same way they financially backed Busia and Danquah to dethrone Nkrumah, then-Gold Coast’s prime minister and later Ghana’s popular president. Yet the West refuses to laud Mugabe for the glaring successes of his land reforms when the corroborating evidence comes from leading Western scholars and journalists themselves (See the book “Zimbabwe Takes Back its Land”; see also Jonathan Steele’s article “Britain’s Mugabe-Phobia Has Obscured the Good News from Zimbabwe,” “The Guardian,” Jan. 23, 2013; and Lydia Polgreen’s “In Zimbabwe Land Takeover-a Golden Lining,” “The New York Times,” July 20, 2012).

However, the most rigorous research confirming the success of Mugabe’s land reforms has come from University of Sussex Dr. Ian Scoones, a joint convenor of the Institute of Development Studies and a scholar with multiple expertise in land reform and rights, livestock and pastoralism, agriculture, biotechnology, science and society, citizenship, politics and power, and climate change. His painstaking research challenges myths propagated in Western media against Mugabe and his progressive land reforms. As a result, he writes defending the successes of Mugabe’s land reforms by dispelling the following myths: Myth 1-Land reform has been a total failure, Myth 2-The beneficiaries have been largely political “cronies,” Myth 3-There is no investment in the new settlements, Myth 4-Agriculture is in complete ruins creating chronic food insecurity, and Myth 5-The rural economy has collapsed (See Scoones’ book “Zimbabwe’s Land Reforms: Myths and Realities”). Prof. Scoones has gone further to say Mugabe’s land reforms has even boosted trade (See “Don’t Condemn Zimbabwe: Despite the Global Outrage, Robert Mugabe’s Land Reforms Have Had Some Successes and are Boosting Trade, “The Guardian,” Nov. 7, 2010).

What has one of Mugabe’s many success stories got to do with Ghana’s Second Revolution? Everything. In other words, he took what rightfully belonged to the people from foreign usurpers and gave it back to them, after the British and Americans had reneged on their joint promise to help the Zimbabwean government to redistribute appropriated lands in an equitable manner. Originally the Americans and British had promised the Zimbabwean government to reimburse the White farmers after the forcefully seized lands had been returned to Black Zimbabweans. But when the set date arrived for the Americans and British to honor their part of the arrangement, strangely, they shifted the responsibility of reimbursement to the Zimbabwean government. The question is, how could the Zimbabwean government be held financially, even morally, liable for a historical miscarriage of justice not of her doing, a situation that occurred more than hundred years ago when white colonialists forcibly took lands belonging to natives for their private use? Who else will this happen to if not Africans, Native Americans, or Australian Aborigines?

Yet, like the contemporaneous legacy of Robert Mugabe, mountains of emotional myths exist shrouding Nkrumah’s powerfully rich legacy in the regalia of revisionist falsehoods, what Plato called a “noble lied.” Therefore, the responsibility falls on human repository of knowledge to restore the legacy of Kwame Nkrumah to the imperial seat of historical truth.

We shall return…

Columnist: Kwarteng, Francis