Kwame Nkrumah

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By initiating civil disobedience movements, strikes, and protests, Kwame Nkrumah and the members of his party, The Convention People’s Party, worked to spark a peaceful uprising against British rule. While he was imprisoned, his demands were eventually met, and he was asked to form the government. Under his supervision, he ensured that Ghana’s constitution was constantly reforming and changing; his efforts earned him the position of Prime Minister and later President of Ghana. As the country’s sole leader, he ensured that, in addition to political reforms, Ghana underwent significant economic and social changes. His leadership altered the course of Ghana’s future, but it also endured some difficult times during his tenure as he gradually morphed into an authoritarian and began imposing his whims and fancies on the Ghanaian people. He was deposed in a military coup and spent the remainder of his life in exile in Guinea. Despite a tragic end to his influence in Ghana, his contribution to the country’s foundation is incomparable, for which he was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize.

Childhood & Adolescence

Kwame Nkrumah was born in Nkroful, Gold Coast, to Anona Clan members Kofi Ngonloma and Elizabeth Nyanibah. He attended Accra’s Achimota School and aspired to be a teacher.

Between 1930 and 1935, he worked as a school teacher at a variety of schools on the Gold Coast, including a Roman Catholic school. Throughout this time, he was saving money in order to study in America in the near future.

In 1935, he finally sailed from the Gold Coast to London, where he applied for an America visa and was admitted to the Lincoln University of Pennsylvania the following year.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts, a Master of Sacred Theology, and a Master of Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1942. The following year, he earned another Master’s degree in philosophy.

He was elected president of the African Students Organization of the United States and Canada while he was a student at Lincoln University. He was interested in theatre and writing and had an essay published in ‘The Lincolnian’.

Career of Kwame

In 1945, Nkrumah returned to London and became involved in the organization of the Fifth Pan-African Congress in Manchester, before working to decolonize Africa through the establishment of the West African Nation Secretariat.

In 1947, he accepted an invitation to serve as General Secretary of the United Gold Coast Convention and returned to the Gold Coast. The journey took him a few months.

In 1948, Nkrumah and other party members were arrested on suspicion of involvement in recent riots in Accra, Kumasi, and elsewhere, sparked by police firing on a group of protesting ex-servicemen.

Following his release, he began working assiduously for the political and social advancement of Gold Coast. He had the support of cocoa farmers, labor unions, and women. He founded a new party, The Convention People’s Party, in 1949.

Nkrumah organized civil disobedience movements, boycotts, and strikes in response to the rejection of his newly formed party’s demands for universal franchise, a separate house of chiefs, and self-governing status under the Statute of Westminster for Ghana.

The uprising against British rule resulted in Nkrumah’s immediate arrest in 1950, along with other members of The Convention People’s Party. He was sentenced to three years in prison.

In 1951, the British decided to leave the Gold Coast due to international pressures and internal disobedience and held their first general elections. Despite Nkrumah’s imprisonment, his party won the most seats in the Legislative Assembly.

In 1951, Nkrumah was released from prison and tasked with forming a government. The following year, another constitutional amendment was passed, as it was determined that the Gold Coast required a Prime Minister.

Nkrumah easily won the 1952 election for Prime Minister, and his first request as Prime Minister of Ghana was independence from the British Commonwealth. The request has been granted.

Ghana was declared independent in 1957 by Prime Minister Nkrumah and became a Commonwealth realm. Years of effort and political maneuvering culminated in his declaration of his intention to establish Ghana as a republic.

In 1960, a presidential election and constitution plebiscite were held, and the constitution was amended, resulting in Nkrumah’s election as President of Ghana. Ghana’s sovereignty was ceded to an African Union of States.

As soon as he became President of Ghana, Nkrumah established the Kwame Nkrumah Ideological Institute to train Ghanaian civil servants and promote Pan-Africanism.

He mandated that all students attend a two-week ideological orientation prior to enrolling in college.

Nkrumah’s downfall began when he became authoritarian, declaring strikes illegal, opposing industrial democracy, allowing the Preventive Detention Act to take effect, declaring the CPP the only legal party, and declaring himself president for life.

He paid a visit to North Vietnam and China in 1966, and while he was gone, his government was deposed in a military coup. He never returned to Ghana, fearful of being kidnapped and assassinated.

Significant Works of Kwame

Despite Ghana’s subsequent authoritarian subjugation, Nkrumah was a major reason for Ghana’s decolonization and accession to the Commonwealth realm. Nkrumah amended the Ghanaian constitution in his capacity as Prime Minister.

Under his leadership, forestry, fishing, and cattle breeding expanded, cocoa production soared, and small deposits of bauxite and gold were more efficiently exploited. Ghana’s irrigation and hydroelectric revolution began with the construction of a dam on the Volta River.

Personal History and Legacies

Nkrumah lived in exile in Guinea following the overthrow of his government. He was named the country’s honorary co-president. He led a simple life but was constantly fearful of being pursued by western intelligence agencies.

In 1971, he traveled to Bucharest, Romania, for medical treatment and died of prostate cancer the following year. He was buried in a tomb in the Ghanaian town of Nkroful, but his remains were preserved in Accra. Nkrumah was voted Africa’s man of the millennium by BBC World Service listeners.

Estimated Net Worth

Kwame is one of the wealthiest politicians and is ranked among the most popular. According to our analysis, Kwame Nkrumah’s net worth is approximately $14 million, as reported by Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.