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Kwame Nkrumah's Idealogical Institute - Winneba Ghana

  Kwame Nkrumah & The History Of Ghana   Kwame Nkrumah's Idealogical Institute - Winneba Ghana
  From Independence Towards The Republic   Kwame Nkrumah's Secret Intelligence Units
  Kwame Nkrumah's Guerilla WarFare Manual   Kwame Nkrumah's Secret Camp - Obenemsi, Ashanti Region
  Life  And Death Of  Kwame Nkrumah   The Story Of The Gold Coast Road To Independence
The Kwame Nkrumah Institute of Economics and Political Science, commonly known as the Winneba ideological Institute, was decreed into existence by Nkrumah, who laid the foundation stone on 18 February 1961. It was located 40 miles west of Accra . Nkrumah had been considering the idea of establishing such a center for some time and as early as 12 November, 1959 he told a meeting of the African Affairs Committee that he intended "to convert the Winneba Party College to an institute where selected dedicated members of all nationalist movements of Africa could be rigidly indoctrinated in the realism of African unity . . . " The purpose of such a center in Nkrumah's words would be "to propagate firmly the essence of African unity in Ghana and throughout the Continent of Africa." He said that trainees should be "made to realize the Party's ideology is a religion and should be carried out faithfully and fervently." In 1961 Nkrumah, having pronounced that "only socialists can build a socialist society," .founded the Ideological
Institute to indoctrinate people in socialism Its mission was described by a staff member in the following unequivocal terms: "Since practically all the positions in the State machinery, all the executive positions, were occupied by high officials trained by the British and/or bourgeois mentality, it is quite obvious that in order to implement its programme of socialist construction, the C.P.P. has to train men and women who support the principles of socialism and who can occupy the key positions of the State machinery as well as those in industrial and agricultural enterprises."

Nkrumah was influenced by his Russian security advisers to use the Winneba Institute as his sole selecting ground for future members of the Security Service. According to a high level official of the Nkrumah Security Service "the Russian security experts suggested to the ex-President, who readily accepted, that future recruitment into the security services should be through the Ideological Institute at Winneba.

It was in response to this that the head of the Special Branch sent a number of Special Branch officers to the Ideological Institute. In other words, the Institute was in business to train cadres, politically loyal to Nkrumah and socialism, who would eventually replace established civil servants and key workers in every segment of the Ghana economy.

The Institute's functions, however, were not limited to indoctrinating Ghanaians. Its publicly announced purview was:
I. to train socialist Ghanaians capable of taking into their hands the key posts in all sectors of the apparatus of the State and the economy, and to take an active part in the socialist programme of the Convention People's Party;

2. to train African Freedom Fighters in the spirit of the African revolution, pan-Africanism and socialism in such a way that when they return to their homelands they will be better armed to take an active part in liberating their countries from imperialism; colonialism and neocolonialism;

3. to train Africans in the spirit of panAfricanism as a method of making progress toward African Union;

4. to train Africans in the spirit of Nkrumaism which is considered like the development of Marxism in conditions and circumstances peculiar to Africa, and

5. to train Africans in the spirit of proletarian internationalism. The syllabus for the Institute states its aims in the following terms: "to provide ideological education to activists and Freedom Fighters of the African struggle against imperialism, colonialism and neocolonialism.

The Institute seems to have operated at first on an ad hoc basis. It was the site of the Second All Independent Countries Conference held from 28 June, until 5 July 1961. Then, during the week of 8 January 1962, all Ghana 's Ambassadors assigned to non-African countries took a course at the Institute given jointly by the Bureau of African Affairs and the C.P.P. Again in June 1962; an All-African Freedom Fighters' Conference was convened at the Institute where Nkrumah addressed it.

However, all of the Institute's activities at this time were not so public for in 1962 it was also used to house and conceal 46 graduates of the Mankrong Camp training course in weapons handling and explosives. Regular ideological indoctrination courses were also being given in this period. For example, Ghana composer, Francis Saka Acquaye, was summoned to Flagstaff House in 1961 and chastised for the anti-Russian remarks made by members of the cast of his musical Obadzeng. The then Minister of Information, Tawia Adamafio, told him "the whole cast should go to Winneba Ideological Institute and have their minds cleansed of reactionary thoughts. In addition, there is a letter to the Secretary-general of the C.P.P. from W. D. Chambeta of Southern Rhodesia , dated 21 September, 1961, asking for places for five Rhodesian men and three women at the Ideological Institute.

A postscript to the letter asks: In all correspondence, please try and avoid use of official stationery in order to avoid any suspicion on the part of the imperialists at home. By 1962, the Institute was in regular operation with an enrolled student body and a full-time staff. At that time its physical plant consisted of a yellow and green three-storey building with lower floor devoted to classrooms and upper floors to student bedrooms.

There were also half a dozen cottages for teachers on the premises and a second larger three-storey building was nearing completion. The new building's first floor contained offices, large dining hall, large assembly hall, laundry and kitchen facilities. The second and third floors contained student bedrooms. In 1961, the Ghana Government reportedly made £2,000,000 available to develop the Institute into an agent training school.

The 1962 enrollment was 100 students for whose instruction the Institute maintained a staff of three resident professors and six part-time teachers. The Institute Director was Kodwo Addison, widely known in Ghana as a Communist activist, who described the Institute in the following terms: It will aim at becoming the conscience of Africa . Africans of all regions will be trained at the Institute Including freedom fighters and terrorists He continued: "foreign students will get mostly Marxist and African nationalistic training. They also will be taught how to fight their governments from two points of views: constitutionally and revolutionarily.

Addison planned that there eventually would be guerilla warfare training at the school. A. K. Barden, Director of the Bureau of African Affairs at that time, was identified as Deputy Rector of the Institute, and both he and Addison reported to H. H. Cofie-Crabbe, Executive Secretary of the C.P.P. The Institute was an adjunct of both the B.A.A. and the C.P.P. In 1963 additional funds amounting to £1,100,000 were given to the Institute by Nkrumah for an elaborate expansion programme which included the erection of a main hall (£170,000), to be followed by the erection of 30 staff houses, a library, a 40-bed hospital, an £18,000 bell tower and a 20-feet high granite Statue of Nkrumah. By November 1964, a large residence hall had been completed; a second was under construction and a third projected. The bell tower, a swimming pool and a debaters' pit were nearing completion.

The bell tower was ready to play party solidarity songs on the hour. An official audit of the funds of the Institute for 196364 reveals the Institute embarked on development projects which had not been budgeted for and... exceeded its available grants by about £7,000." Since the amounts mentioned in this audit as having been available to the Institute are far less than the grants to the Institute mentioned in Ghana 's press, it is probable that additional funds were personally made available to the Institute by Nkrumah.

The rapid growth of the Ideological Institute reflects the importance attached to it by Nkrumah and his Russian advisers who had assigned it a major role in their long-range plans for total control of Ghana and Africa . It also reflects the power drive of its Director, Kodwo Addison. Addison, honorary president of the Ghana Soviet Friendship Society and a self-avowed Communist, was Secretary-General of the Maritime Workers Union in 1952 and at that time established lasting relationships with Communist trade union officials. He was eventually ousted from the labor movement in 1955 because of his Communist activities. With the help of John Tettegah, Secretary-General of the MI African Trade Union Federation, he re-entered the labor movement in 1958 and rapidly rose to high position. By 1960 Addison had become Director of Political and Social Affairs in the Ghana Trades Union Congress.

To a less ambitious man his appointment by Nkrumah to head the Ideological Institute might have represented the apogee of power, but for Addison it was only a beginning. At the time of the coup, Addison had been named a member of the three-man commission chosen by Nkrumah to act for him should he be incapacitated; a member of the Central Committee of the C.P.P. concerned with organizational and ideological work; chairman of the C.P.P. Education Committee; member of the Board of Directors of the Ghana Broadcast rig Company; member of the Board of Directors of the Daily Graphic; member of a Committee to Review Pre-University Education, and assistant to the Director of Press and Radio to advise on political interpretation and proper treatment of news items both at home and abroad." With each of these positions (with the exception of the Presidential Commission from which he was removed in June 1965), Addison consolidated his control over the information and education systems in Ghana .

He became virtual dictator in the ideological field. (In addition to Addison 's leading role in the various censorship organs of State, three other Institute staff members were engaged in censorship) Professor Abraham, Ghana University staff part-time lecturer at the Institute, was chairman of a committee "to inspect publications in bookshops and libraries of schools, colleges and universities in the country." Other Institute members were two Communist Nigerian exiles Bankole Akpata and Samuel G. Ikoku. Thus Addison . through his own positions and those of staff members connected with him, determined what was to be taught in schools. Available in bookstores and libraries and reported in news media. He could also suppress anything that did not conform with his own views.

There is no mystery as to his views. Addison enunciated them freely and especially succinctly on 1 October 1965. in a speech delivered in Moscow on the occasion of the Centenary Anniversary of the First Working men's International to which he was a delegate. He stated: "Just as Leninism is Marxism in the period of imperialism, Nkrumaism is Marxism in the era of neo-colonialism. We embrace scientific socialism and fully agree with Marxism-Leninism.

With a Director advocating such views, it is not surprising to find that the staff' of the institute was heavily weighted with imported Communist professors and pro-Communist Africans. Of the twelve instructors at the Institute during this period, eleven were either outright Communist or associated with the Communist cause in some other way. Five were foreign Communists; two Ghanaians had studied in Hungary and East Germany respectively, and three other Ghanaians were indebted to the Communists for various trips to bloc countries.

By l964-65, the staff was even more clearly Communist, since six of the eleven new staff members were European Communists, and there were Nigerian Communists. A list of the academic staff at the Institute dated December 1965 reveals the considerable expansion of staff that has taken place since 1962. The original staff of three resident professors and six part-time instructors is dwarfed by the 1965 complement of 23 full-time professors. A list of courses and instructors for the Institute.

Time-Table for Two-year Diploma in Economics and Political Science 196566 Academic Year-shows five additional Teachers on the staff' bringing the total for 196566 to 28. The courses given, although they hear innocuous generalized titles such as Sociology, History, and  Government, was actually Marxist-Leninist indoctrination lectures with a liberal sprinkling of Nkrumaism as the African version of Marxism-Leninism. The number of students enrolled at the Institute increased in direct ratio to the expansion of faculty and physical facilities already noted.

The following enrollment figures reflect the enrollment of the Institute: 1962-100 students of whom 72 graduated in 1964 including three Somalis). 1963-210 students (five Kenyans, two Nigerians). 1964-475 students (five Kenyans. two Nigerians - second year - four Senegalese - first year and an unidentified number of Malawians).

In 1964 Addison stated he expected an eventual enrollment of 1.000 students and soon planned to augment the two-year programme with a third year for outstanding students. He used the word "activists" to describe these students. A professor at the Institute in December 1965 mentioned a current enrollment of 550 and restated Addison 's expectation of 1,000 students citing 1970 as the date this would be accomplished.
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