 Country in Western Africa, formerly a British
 1957—1st black nation in sub-Saharan Africa to
achieve independence.
 Population: divided into 75 different ethnic
groups—agricultural economics also have gold,
diamonds, manganese ore, natural gas, fishing
(Atlantic Ocean) and bauxite.
 The northern two-thirds of the country is covered
by savanna—grassland with scattered trees.
 Dominated by the Portuguese, Dutch, and British
 Colony was part of the Gold Coast
 Rapid political development began only after
WWII, when British forces began to allow some
 British Parliament in January 1957 passed the
Ghana Independence Act.
 National Assembly of Ghana issued an
independence proclamation
 2 days later it joined the United Nations
 The Great Depression (1930’s) and WWII
(1939-1945) greatly hamper Pan-Africanism
 Early 1940’s Kwame Nkrumah (native of
British-ruled Gold Cost—Ghana) establishes
in the United States—African Student
 Influenced by Karl Marx
 Organized the Pan-African Congress in 1945.
 Returned to Ghana in 1947. Secretary to the
United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) a
nationalist party
 Starts his own party: The Convention
People’s Party (CPP)
 1948 organized a boycott of foreign products
that lead to riots. He is arrested an imprisoned
by British ruler
 1948 Nkrumah splits with UGCC—sees them
as too conservative for independence
 1950 Organizes a series of boycotts and
colony wide strikes that severely hurts the
colonies—is imprisoned again.
 1951 the CPP win most of the seats in the
Colonial legislative council—he is still in
 1951 Nkrumah is released from prison and
named Leader of Government Business.
 1952 named Prime Minister
 1954 and 1956 he is reelected Prime Minister
 1957 guides the Gold Coast in independence
under the new name Ghana
The Nkrumah Years
 Built a strong central government
 Proponent of Pan-Africanism wanted to
build a United States of Africa—did not
 Took aid from USA and Soviets but had a
philosophy of nonalignment with either
 1960 elected President of Ghana
 1961-1966 hydroelectric project on the
Volta River
 Passed laws that allowed him to imprison
political opponents without charge
 Dismissed the national supreme court and
pronounced himself judge
 Took bribes for favors from businesses
 Assassinations attempts in 1962 and 1964
made him grow more and more paranoid
 1966 visits China—while he is out his
government is overthrown
 Exiled to Guinea
 1972 dies in Romania – throat cancer
 Dichotomy
o Hero of African nationalism
o One of Africa’s first postcolonial dictators
Positive achievements
1. Ghana independence and help to other African
countries to gain independence.
2. He was a prolific writer.