Kwame Nkrumah

Kwame
Nkrumah
1909
1972

Ghana Leader and its predecessor state, the Gold Coast

Author Quotes

For the vast majority of mankind the most urgent problem is not war, or communism, or the cost of living, or taxation. It is hunger. Over 15,000,00,00 people, something like two-thirds of the world's population, are living in conditions of acute hunger, defined in terms of identifiable nutritional disease. This hunger is at the same time the effect and the cause of the poverty, squalor and misery in which they live.

The problem is how to obtain capital investment and still keep it under sufficient control to prevent exploitation; and how to preserve integrity and sovereignty without crippling economic or political ties to any country, bloc or system.

There is a close connection between socio-political development, the struggle between social classes and the history of ideologies. In general, intellectual movements closely reflect the trends of economic developments. In communal society, where there are virtually no class divisions, man's productive activities on outlook and culture is less discernible. Account must be taken of the psychology of conflicting classes.

Class struggle is a fundamental theme of recorded history. In every non-socialist society there are two main categories of class, the ruling class or classes, and the subject class or classes. The ruling class possesses the major instruments of economic production and distribution, and the means of establishing its political domination, while the subject class serves the interests of the ruling class, and is politically, economically and socially dominated by it. There is conflict between the ruling class and the exploited class. The nature and cause of the conflict is influenced by the development of productive forces. That is, in any given class formation, whether it be feudalism, capitalism, or any other type of society, the institutions and ideas associated with it arise from the level of productive forces and the mode of production. The moment private ownership of the means of production appears, and capitalists start exploiting workers the capitalists become a bourgeois class, the exploited workers a working class. For in the final analysis, a class is nothing more than the sum total of individuals bound together by certain interests which as a class they try to preserve and protect.

In Africa where so many different kinds of political, social and economic conditions exist it is not an easy task to generalise on political and socio-economic patterns. Remnants of communalism and feudalism still remain and in parts of the continent ways of life have changed very little from traditional times. In other areas a high level of industrialization and urbanization has been achieved. Yet in spite of Africa's socioeconomic and political diversity it is possible to discern certain common political, social and economic conditions and problems. These derive from traditional past, common aspirations, and from shared experience under imperialism, colonialism and neocolonialism. There is no part of the continent which has not known oppression and exploitation, and no part which remains outside the processes of the African Revolution.

This connection between an ideological standpoint and the writing of history is a perennial one. A check on the work of the great historians, including Herodotus and Thucydides, quickly exposes their passionate concern with ideology. Their irresistible moral, political and sociological comments are particular manifestations of more general ideological standpoints.

The history of a nation is, unfortunately, too easily written as the history of its dominant class. But if the history of a nation, or a people, cannot be found in the history of a class, how much less can the history of a continent be found in what is not even a part of it - Europe. Africa cannot be validly treated merely as the space in which Europe swelled up. If African history is interpreted in terms of the interests of European merchandise and capital, missionaries and administrators, it is no wonder that African nationalism is in the forms it takes regarded as a perversion and neo- colonialism as a virtue.

No independent African State today by itself has a chance to follow an INDEPENDENT course of economic development, and many of us who have tried to do this have been almost ruined or have had to return to the fold of the former colonial rulers. This position will not change unless we have unified POLICY working at the CONTINENTAL LEVEL. The first step towards our cohesive economy would be a unified monetary zone, with, initially, an agreed common parity for our currencies...When we find that the arrangement of a fixed common parity is working successfully, there would seem to be NO reason for not instituting one common currency and a single bank of issue.

We shall measure our progress by the improvement in the health of our people; by the number of children in school, and by the quality of their education; by the availability of water and electricity in our towns and villages, and by the happiness which our people take in being able to manage their own affairs. The welfare of our people is our chief pride, and it is by this that my Government will ask to be judged.

Countrymen, the task ahead is great indeed, and heavy is the responsibility; and yet it is a noble and glorious challenge - a challenge which calls for the courage to dream, the courage to believe, the courage to dare, the courage to do, the courage to envision, the courage to fight, the courage to work, the courage to achieve - to achieve the highest excellencies and the fullest greatness of man. Dare we ask for more in life?

Africa is one continent, one people, and one nation. The notion that in order to have a nation it is necessary for there to be a common language, a common territory and common culture has failed to stand the test of time or the scrutiny of scientific definition of objective reality... The community of economic life is the major feature within a nation, and it is the economy which holds together the people living in a territory. It is on this basis that the new Africans recognise themselves as potentially one nation, whose dominion is the entire African continent.

We prefer self-government with danger to servitude in tranquility.

Freedom is not something that one people can bestow on another as a gift. Thy claim it as their own and none can keep it from them.

We face neither East nor West; we face forward.

Revolutions are brought about by men, by men who think as men of action and act as men of thought.

The history of a nation is, unfortunately, too easily written as the history of its dominant class.

Author Picture
First Name
Kwame
Last Name
Nkrumah
Birth Date
1909
Death Date
1972
Bio

Ghana Leader and its predecessor state, the Gold Coast