Marcus Smiles: 126 in the African diaspora granted Ghanaian citizenship

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In 1920, the late Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr. presented his famous “Back to Africa” program in New York City. The program encouraged the black community living abroad as slaves to return to their homelands in Africa.

It was part of a social movement dubbed the “Universal Negro Improvement Association” (UNIA), which was founded by Garvey in his native Jamaica in 1914. Through this movement, the celebrated Jamaican political leader intensified black enslavement and racial discrimination sentiments.

Upon his immigration to the United States in 1917, Garvey embarked on a mission to spread his “Back to Africa” mantra, despite frequent backlash from the black middle and professional classes.

“I have no desire to take all black people back to Africa; there are blacks who are no good here and will likewise be no good there,” Marcus Garvey told his critics.

But in a very short time, the UNIA attracted a lot of followers throughout Africa, Caribbean, Britain and South America, who empathized with the strong sentiments of black enslavement.

Source:  Marcus Garvey Presents His “Back to Africa” Program in New York

In 1947, a Ghanaian student who had studied ten years in the United States, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah returned to Ghana on the invitation of Joseph B. Danquah, his former schoolmaster. Nkrumah would later become Prime Minister. In his fight for the complete independence for the Gold Coast later to be known as Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah acknowledged his political indebtedness to the political teachings of Marcus Garvey.

kwame nkrumahOn September 7, 1957, Ghana became a free self-governing nation, the first member of the British Commonwealth of Nations to become self-governing. Ghana would later develop a Black Star Line patterned after the maritime dreams of Marcus Garvey. My point here is that the African Independence Explosion, which started with the independence of Ghana, was symbolically and figuratively bringing the hopes of Marcus Garvey alive.

Source:  The Impact of Marcus Garvey, John Henrik Clarke

As long as you are a black man, you are an African – Peter Tosh

Samia Nkrumah: the ongoing need for true African unity

Source: Daily Maverick
November 29  2018

The notion of real, undiluted Pan-Africanism — all of Africa united into one nation — seems like a throwback to a bygone era, in a world increasingly obsessed with borders. But to Ghanaian politician and activist Samia Nkrumah, the dream is very much alive. It was her father, the towering African icon Kwame Nkrumah, who first articulated the vision of a unified continent. His daughter is adamant that it remains the best way to lift Africans out of poverty.

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When last did you hear an African leader speak earnestly about the project of unifying all African countries into one vast nation?

In South Africa, Pan-Africanism has slipped from a once-cherished ideal of the liberation movement into ideological obscurity. The EFF claimed, upon launching, to be espousing what they called “radical Pan-Africanism” — but their leaders have been accused of making xenophobic utterances in public, including Floyd Shivambu’s questioning of former minister Malusi Gigaba’s citizenship and Julius Malema’s suggestion that former president Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane was “not a proper South African”.

As the 2019 elections approach, South African politicians of all stripes look to be exploiting an apparently widely felt hostility to nationals of other African countries encroaching on local borders.

On Thursday afternoon, as Daily Maverick sat down with Samia Nkrumah, the DA released a statement containing a number of poorly substantiated alarmist claims about South Africa’s border insecurity, including that “there are people coming across the border to collect social grants and shop in South Africa before returning across the border”.

Kwame nkrumah 2.jpgIt’s a far cry from the situation Samia’s father Kwame Nkrumah envisaged when he laid out his vision of Pan-Africanism as the continent’s first post-independence black head of state.

“He would be very, very disappointed,” Nkrumah says.

But for Nkrumah, Pan-Africanism remains not just a romantic ideal but an increasingly urgent necessity.

The 58-year old Ghanaian needs less than a minute of discussion to launch into an impassioned argument for the ongoing need for true African unity. Not the version half-heartedly championed by the African Union, which she describes as “paying lip service” to the concept — but a mighty African nation, bringing together the continent’s countries in a political arrangement somewhat akin to that of the United States.

“One government, 55 states,” Nkrumah summarises.

“States cede a little sovereignty to the union government on essential matters, such as the economy, foreign diplomacy, and defence. They submit to collective decision-making.”

She says that African countries which are hesitant to embrace diluted sovereignty should consider one simple question.

Better to cede to a union than to foreign powers

“To what extent are we fully sovereign nations now? Our economies are dictated from the outside. Better to cede to a union than to foreign powers.”

Nkrumah is under no illusions: xenophobia is rife all over the continent, she says, not just in South Africa, and is consciously fomented by African politicians as a way of diverting attention from domestic issues.

“But what matters to people is unemployment; poverty,” she says. “You don’t solve those problems by blocking people from coming in. Proper economic integration could address these problems of unemployment and deindustrialisation. We will definitely be in a stronger position economically; able to borrow on better terms.”

To Nkrumah, Pan-Africanism is only partly an ideological vision.

“It’s a political decision for our economic survival,” she says.

Nkrumah is in Cape Town to deliver the keynote speech at the Open Society Foundation’s 25th anniversary celebration of its work in South Africa. She hasn’t visited South Africa much before, and says that one reason why she accepted the invitation to speak is that she admires the country’s ability to reach a political consensus after apartheid.

From this perspective, she sees South Africa as a microcosm of what would need to be achieved in order to bring about one Pan-African nation:

“Having people who look differently, think differently, but manage to live together for the country’s development”.

Nkrumah is a successful politician in her own right, having become the first woman in Ghana to lead a political party. It is clear, however, that she sees her political identity as inextricably bound up with that of her much-admired father. It is an association she wears as a badge of honour rather than a burden.

She refers to her father mostly by his full name, and always with a kind of understated reverence.

“For me, Kwame Nkrumah is also my leader. I’ve studied his books. When it comes to political activity and Pan-Africanism, he is my mentor,” she says.

Laughing, she adds: “I’m a Nkrumah-ist by conviction, not just by birth.”

Although Nkrumah has stepped away from party politics in Ghana for the time being, she intends to stand for a parliamentary seat in 2020 — though hints she will do so under the umbrella of a new political formation rather than the party she has previously served, the Convention People’s Party.

Africa needs more women in political office

She is adamant in her belief that Africa needs more women in political office. One political party that she thinks could benefit from the impact of greater numbers of female leaders is the EFF, whose development she has watched with interest from Ghana.

“By and large I am positive that the influence of more women could change this style of political representation,” she says. “What we need is more consensus.”

Referring specifically to EFF leader Julius Malema, she says:

“Some of us are also radical in our thinking, but don’t come across like that — not because we are afraid, but because we want people to understand why we are fighting. We need a big chunk of the population to agree to do things differently. We reached that consensus to end colonialism, and to end apartheid.”

Pan-Africanism for a new generation

When she leaves Cape Town, it is to head back to Accra to convene a gathering of Pan-African federalist movements. There, she says participants intend to strategise on ways to popularise the concept of Pan-Africanism for a new generation.

Asked to deliver a pitch to the people of South Africa as to why they should embrace the idea of relinquishing sovereignty to a unified African nation, Nkrumah pauses for a minute to gather her thoughts, and then leans forward.

“If you look at the past few decades, you will find that the good things that happened on the continent happened when we stood together. One is the end of colonialism. It came to an end because African states stood together and supported each other,” she says.

“Today we can identify our challenges as marginalisation, poverty, the inability to reach our potential. The quickest and most effective way of beating those challenges is in political and economic unification. There is a big chunk of the population in South Africa that needs a stronger, wealthier, more industrialised African nation to deliver basic needs.”

Nkrumah spreads her hands and shrugs.

“If I were a leader, I would be happy to be part of a bigger nation, and cede some sovereignty, rather than come and tell my people: ‘I’m sorry, I can’t help you’.” DM2

 

Ghana Honours Kwame Nkrumah

Source:  citifmonline.com
September 17, 2017

Founders Day to be Aug. 4, Sept. 21 to honour Nkrumah’s memory

President Nana Akufo-Addo.jpgPresident Akufo-Addo

President Nana Akufo-Addo is to propose legislation to designate August 4 as Founders Day.

This is according to a statement from the Presidency signed by its Director of Communications, Eugine Arhin.

Kwame Nkrumah.jpgThe birthday of Ghana’s first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, on September 21, will be observed as Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s birthday was originally observed as Founder’s Day.

The Presidency’s statement noted that August 4, is “obviously the most appropriate day to signify our recognition and appreciation of the collective efforts of our forebears towards the founding of a free, independent Ghana.”

August 4 is noted as the date for the formation of the Aborigines’ Rights Protection Society by John Mensah Sarbah in 1897, and the formation of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) in 1947 by J.B. Danquah and George Alfred “Paa” Grant.

The thinking informing this proposal, according to the President, is to acknowledge the “successive generations of Ghanaians who made vital contributions to the liberation of our country from imperialism and colonialism.”

The statement acknowledged Dr. Nkrumah’s standing in Ghanaian history and said: “it is entirely appropriate that we commemorate him for that role, by designating his birthday as the permanent day of his remembrance.”

Related:  “You must guard against the divide and rule tactics of imperialism … unity must be the keynote of our actions …”  Kwame NKrumah

“The President has, therefore, decided to propose legislation to Parliament to designate 4th August as FOUNDERS DAY, and 21st September as KWAME NKRUMAH MEMORIAL DAY, both of which will be observed as public holidays.”

“…In the meantime, the President has issued an Executive Instrument to commemorate this year’s celebration of KWAME NKRUMAH MEMORIAL DAY as a public holiday,” the statement added.

The Founder’s Day versus Founders Day debate has been a longstanding one, and was brought into the limelight in 2017, starting with President Akufo-Addo’s speech delivered at Ghana’s 60th independence anniversary parade.

That speech came under attack over what some said was a skewed account of Ghana’s history to suit his father, Edward Akufo-Addo and uncle, J.B. Danquah, who were critical components in Ghana’s fight for independence and the forebearers of the governing New Patriotic Party’s tradition.

Related:  Massive turnout as NDC shows love for Kwame Nkrumah on Founder’s Day (Photos+Video)


Find below the full statement from the Presidency

It is unfortunate that, 60 years after independence, the history of the events leading to it continues to be embroiled in unnecessary controversy, due largely to partisan political considerations of the moment.

It is clear that successive generations of Ghanaians made vital contributions to the liberation of our country from imperialism and colonialism. It is, therefore, fitting that we honour them, as those who contributed to the founding of our nation.

The most appropriate way to honour them is to commemorate the day on which the two most significant events in our colonial political history, that led us to independence, occurred – 4th August.

On that day, in 1897, the Aborigines Rights Protection Society (ARPS) was formed in Cape Coast. The Society did a great job to mobilise the chiefs and people to ward off the greedy hands of British imperialism to ensure that control of Ghanaian lands remained in Ghanaian hands. It represented the first monumental step towards the making of modern Ghana, enabling us to avoid the quagmire of land inheritance that our brothers and sisters in Southern and Eastern Africa continue to suffer, from the seizures of their lands by white minorities.

In a deliberate act in the continuum of Ghanaian history, exactly fifty years later, on 4th August, 1947, at Saltpond, the great nationalists of the time gathered to inaugurate the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), the first truly nationalist party of the Gold Coast, to demand the independence of our nation from British rule, at a gathering which included “paramount chiefs, clergymen, lawyers, entrepreneurs, teachers, traders and men and women from all walks of life in the Gold Coast”, according to an eye witness. The inauguration set the ball rolling for our nation’s attainment of independence, and for the dramatic events, including the birth in 1949 of the Convention Peoples Party (CPP), that ushered us into freedom.

That day, 4th August, is, thus, obviously the most appropriate day to signify our recognition and appreciation of the collective efforts of our forebears towards the founding of a free, independent Ghana.

It is equally clear that the first leader of independent Ghana, and the nation’s 1st President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, played an outstanding role in helping to bring to fruition the works of the earlier generations, and leading us to the promised land of national freedom and independence. It is entirely appropriate that we commemorate him for that role, by designating his birthday as the permanent day of his remembrance.

The President has, therefore, decided to propose legislation to Parliament to designate 4th August as FOUNDERS DAY, and 21st September as KWAME NKRUMAH MEMORIAL DAY, both of which will be observed as public holidays. In the meantime, the President has issued an Executive Instrument to commemorate this year’s celebration of KWAME NKRUMAH MEMORIAL DAY as a public holiday.
……signed……
Eugene Arhin
Director of Communications
Office of the President

By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana

Time to Revisit Nkrumah’s Policies – Samia Nkrumah

Kwame Nkrumah’s 105th birthday today

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eptember 21 2014

samia nkrumah 2Samia Nkrumah, the chairperson of the CPP and daughter of Dr. Nkrumah told Citi News, it is time the country reconnected to the ideals of her father. She was of the opinion that Ghana should not look back and celebrate the legacy of Kwame Nkrumah “without implementing his ideas into today’s Ghana.”

The Convention People’s Party (CPP) has said Ghana can only realize true development if it revisits some of the policies of Ghana’s first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.

Ghana, in recent years has been saddled with serious socio-economic challenges which are hindering the development of major sectors of the economy.  Some have blamed the situation on the over politicization of critical national issues and the growing spate of corruption by public office holders which is impoverishing the populace.

Kwame nkrumah 2“Kwame Nkrumah is for the future and not for the past,” she insisted.

According to Ms Nkrumah, the only framework for development which will propel the nation to greater heights “was the one Osagyefo put forward for us.”

She urged the government to “revisit his national development plan…it is now time for action.”

“We don’t want to use the name Nkrumah without living and demonstrating in terms of policies he put down for us,” she added.

Earlier this year, in February, Samia had argued that Ghana’s current economic woes were due to the overthrow of her father, Ghana’s first President.

A change in direction, not drivers, needed in Ghana

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Michael Manley Addresses the UN in Observance of the International Anti-Apartheid Year, 1978

Address at a special meeting of the General Assembly in observance of the International Anti-Apartheid Year, UN by Michael Manley, Prime Minister of Jamaica

11 October 1978, New York

michael manley 5It was with deep humility and a profound sense of history and its obligations that I accepted the invitation to address this Assembly, at this particular moment in the struggle against apartheid and for the final liberation of southern Africa. Even as we meet here, we feel the presence of the spirit of the martyrs who died at Sharpeville and Soweto. We feel that Steve Biko is a witness to these proceedings. Even as I speak, millions of young lives are being warped and crushed in South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe, and their blighted hopes stand as a monumental reproach to all mankind.

I dare to speak, not in my own right, but as a part and product of a process of the struggle in Jamaica and the entire Caribbean. We look at our tormented brothers in southern Africa from a unique historical perspective; ourselves the victims of every outrage still perpetrated in South Africa, we are the products of a slave system which was the foundation for a unique colonial experience. We have known genocide, racism, oppression and exploitation as colonialism and later neo-colonialism have dominated our lives. Equally, we have struggled for our own liberation and have always recognized that our labours were a part of a world experience and very particularly linked to Africa`s struggle.

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Kwame Ture: A Trinidadian-American with Passionate Commitment to African People

Source: Pambazuka News

stokely carmichaelThe 15 November 2013 marks 15 years since the death of Kwame Ture, formerly Stokely Carmichael. Pambazuka News marks his death with a special edition commemorating the political contribution, and thought of this notable son of Africa. ‘The charisma, warmth and magnetism’ of Kwame Ture were undeniable as Ekwueme Michael Thelwell, who helped edit Ture’s autobiography, points out. [1] His smile was infectious.

Kwame Ture – born to Trinidadian parents – was passionately committed to ordinary African people across the globe, whether in the Diaspora or on the motherland. He spent 30 years of his life living on the African continent in Guinea Conakry.

TENETS OF TURE’S PAN-AFRICANIST IDEOLOGY

As a new generation of Africans have emerged, that is, the youth of the Diaspora and of Continue reading

18th World Festival of Youth and Students to Honor Chavez

From December 7 to 13, Quito Ecuador will host the 18th World Festival of Youth and Students, where the participants will pay homage to Venezuelan late President Hugo Chavez Frias.

2013-03-28

chavez-maradona 1The meeting will also be devoted to Ecuadorian national hero Eloy Alfaro and to Kwame Nkrumah founder and first President of Ghana, and leader of Pan-Africanism, a half-a century movement for the defence of Africa’s independence and unity.

This was one of the top agreements taken during the final session of the first international preparatory meeting for the Festival held in Pretoria, South Africa, with the participation of some one hundred Continue reading