To move a continent : Kwame Nkrumah’s role in African affairs, 1957-1966


Ghana under Kwame Nkrumah played a part in African affairs that was disproportionate to its diminutive size and strength. Thus, Accra became a Mecca for Pan-Africanists and revolutionaries; almost the entire Ghanaian Army served in the Congo; the public treasury was raided so that loans could be made to impoverished friends like Guinea and Mali; and Nkrumah’s own voice echoed through the conference-halls of the continent. Ghana’s foreign policy during these years baffled those who believed that a small state must accept a quiet waiting role in international affairs. When Nkrumah finally aspired beyond continental leadership and set out to end the Vietnam war and rouse the “fallow world” against the dominance of the great power-blocs, many observers thought that arrogance had ended in illusion. Certainly, the man who began by exploring the possibilities open to a new nation ended by sacrificing the interests of his people to a chimaera.



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