Skip Repetitive Navigational Links

Please login

 

From Independence Towards The Republic


  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
 
So with the new Republic of Ghana. The inauguration of the first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, on 1st July 1960 was an event which linked this rapidly developing country in West Africa with a great empire that flourished in the Western Sudan for a thousand years before it was overthrown by Islam in 1076.

For, according to tradition, the ancestors of the present people of Ghana were members of this ancient Ghana Empire who fled south before the invaders and found refuge in the West African forest area, later to be known as Ashanti, and along the coastal plains. Against a background of such nature, the 'discovery'  of the Gold Coast By Portuguese gold traders in 1471, and the coast's subsequent
contact with the English  of the Gold Coast By Portuguese gold traders in 1471, and the coast's subsequent contact with the English, Dutch, Swedes, Danes and Brandenburgers, must seem comparatively recent.
Moreover, it was not until the nineteenth century that Europeans reached the interior and only in the twentieth century was British rule - which began with the Bond of 1844 between Queen Victoria and certain chiefs along the coast -established throughout the country.

Modern Ghana is thus rooted far more deeply in ancient African history than is often realized. But the new republic is significant for still other reasons than this. With birth, the struggle for freedom, which reached its peak in the years after the Second World War, brought to a close.
Much has been written about this struggle, for it captured the imagination riot only of dependent Africa but of thinking people everywhere. The formation of the Convention People's Party by Dr Nkrumah in 1949 with the battle cry of 'Self-Government Now'; the party's positive action policy which led to the imprisonment of Nkrumah and other party members in 1950; the 1951 general election from which the CPP emerged victorious; the immediate release from prison of Dr. Nkrumah to take office, first, as Leader of Government Business and, virtually self-governing; and the continued pursuit by the CPP government of full independence which was eventually achieved on 6th March 1957 a nation-wide rejoicing all these events have been too fully described elsewhere to need detailed repetition here. What does require emphasis is the fact that, even with the attainment of full independence, the constitution of Ghana had nevertheless been enacted, not by Ghana 's own legislature, but by the Parliament of the United Kingdom .

                 

Dr. Kwame Nkrumah Meets chiefs At Durbar

Thus it provided for a system of parliamentary government similar to that of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries, in which Parliament consisted of the Queen and the National Assembly, the latter being elected for five years on a basis of universal adult suffrage Clearly, it is a fundamental right of a free and independent people to make their own constitution. Moreover, though the constitution which had been inherited from the United Kingdom Parliament had served the newly independent Ghana well enough it embraced provisions, institutions and customs which were deeply alien to the country’s history and traditional way of life.

As a result, as Ghana herself matured into freedom, the need for constitutional reform became more and more insistent. But even this is still not the full story behind the new Republic. At no stage along the hard road to freedom did the government of Ghana regard independence as an end in itself. Seven years, almost to the day, before his inauguration as President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah tabled a Motion of Destiny in the Assembly. The actual date was 10th July 1953 and his speech introducing the motion the Prime Minister (as he was then) declared: "Self-Government is a means to an end , to the station in life. Our aim is to make this country a worthy place for all citizens, a country that will be a shining light throughout the whole continent of Africa , giving inspiration far beyond its frontiers".

These words express an ambition far broader than independence, an ambition covering both the countries internal development and the role it felt called upon to play in resurgent Africa . As the former objective is concerned, there can be no doubt that much has been achieved; though many stills remain to be done. In the ten years that have passed since the CPP first became the governing party, a revolution has taken place in almost every sphere of the national life, from education, health and social services to provision of adequate communications and public services and the diversification of agriculture and industry which is recognized to be essential if the country’s economic dependence on cocoa is to be reduced.As far as Ghana's external influence is concerned; the record is no less impressive.

It includes, among other notable achievements, the historic conference of Independent African States held in Accra in 1958, the Union of Ghana and Guinea in 1958 and of Guinea and Mali in 1961, and of course, Ghana’s strong support of the united nations, her resolute condemnation of apartheid in South Africa and her important contribution towards solving the crisis in Congo. Once again the policy behind all this is best expressed by quoting from a speech on foreign policy given by Dr Nkrumah in December 1959,  

In Ghana we regard our independence as meaningless unless we are able to use the freedom that goes with it to help other African people to be free and independent, to liberate the entire continent of Africa from foreign domination and ultimately' to establish a Union of African States.' It is against this wider objective that the decision to adopt a republican constitution must be set if it is to be seen iii its true perspective. For, just as political independence was essential to the country’s social and economic progress, so constitutional reform was essential if Ghana was to play her part in the great and ultimate aim of Africa free and united.
Kokorokoo - Ghana In Toronto