Today marks the 40th anniversary since Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah died in exile in Bucharest, Romania, where he had travel from Guinea to seek medical treatment. He was just 62 years old.

Nkrumah’s death came 6 years after the CIA inspired coup d’?tat on 24th February 1966 that ousted him as President less than 10 years since Ghana’s independence. In his independence speech Nkrumah said:

“We are going to see that we create our own African personality and identity. We again rededicate ourselves in the struggle to emancipate other countries in Africa; for our independence is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of the African continent.”

More than 50 years later, this statement remains relevant as, despite independence from colonialism, Africa is in the grips of a neo-colonialism that has seen wanton destruction of people based development, and devastation of people’s lives, often in the form of coups, corruption and conflict.

Nkrumah had a Pan African vision of a united (states of) Africa which ensured that the people of Africa reaped the rewards of African land, resources and labour. This generation has a responsibility to ensure that Nkrumah’s vision never dies, and that it translates into tangible benefits for people. To quote the words of another great son of Africa, Amilcar Cabral:

“Always bear in mind that people are not fighting for ideas, for the things in anyone’s head. They are fighting to win material benefits to live better and in peace, to see their lives go forward, to guarantee the future of their children.”

The question that each one of us who has the commitment and capacity should be asking ourselves is:

“What contribution can we make to build on Nkrumah’s legacy, and achieve his Pan Africanist vision?”

The following short clip of Kwame Nkrumah speaking at the first All African People’s Conference in 1958 reminds us of his passion and vision:

source: Amma Fosuah

“Always bear in mind that people are not fighting for ideas, for the things in anyone’s head. They are fighting to win material benefits to live better and in peace, to see their lives go forward, to guarantee the future of their children.” Amilcar Cabral

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