Dr. Kwame Nkrumah became vice-president of the West African Students Union in England in 1945 and was leader of “The Circle,” which worked for the de-colonization of West Africa by England. He served as General Secretary of the United Gold Coast Convention from 1947-1948 and formed the Convention People’s Party in 1947. In 1952 he took office as the prime minister of the British colony, and eight years later he became the first prime minister of the country after it achieved independence. In 1964 he outlawed all political opposition and made Ghana a one-party state, naming himself Life President. As George Ayittey points out in his book Africa Betrayed, Nkrumah “declared the opposition’s newspaper campaigns as well as its strikes and boycotts, which were constitutionally guaranteed rights, illegal. He incarcerated members of the opposition.”
Criticized by the West for these actions, Nkrumah sought to ally himself with the Soviet Union and other Communist nations. Nkrumah’s regime was infamous for its excesses and rampant corruption. He borrowed heavily to finance the country. But poorly funded large development projects, most notably the construction of the Akosombo Dam on the Volta River, left Ghana in economic chaos. By 1966, Ghana was $1 billion in debt. Nkrumah was overthrown in a military coup in 1966.
Nkrumah was the creator of Pan-Africanism – a political movement calling for the forced repatriation of all Africans and African Americans, for the purpose of having them take control of the government of each African nation. He founded the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party (AAPRP), a socialist organization that advocates reparations to contemporary African Americans and promotes a socialist revolution in all African nations, by any means necessary. The AAPRP’s declared objective is “to create and manage the political-economic conditions necessary to the emergence of an All-African People’s Revolutionary Army that would lead the military struggle against neo-olonialism, settler colonialism, Zionism, imperialism and all other forms of capitalist oppression and exploitation; and for the emergence of Pan-Africanism.”
Nkrumah died of natural causes in 1972. Ghana has remained a dictatorship ever since.