This year marks the Centenary anniversary of the birth of Ghana’s first President, Osagyefo dr. Kwame Nkrumah. Recognising the importance and unique contributing of Nkrumah not only to the independence of Ghana but also to liberation of the African people, the government of Ghana in June 2009 inaugurated an 18 member “Kwame Nkrumah centenary planning committee” tasked to plan and implement a programme of activities to mark the anniversary.
The theme for the celebration, centenary of kwame Nkrumah: a life of struggle, a vision of Africa unbound, is a reflection of the ideals and deep thoughts of Osagyefo in pursuit of a liberated Africa. Such thoughts, informed his historic speech to unite Africa in Addis Ababa Ethiopia in 1963. Nostalgically, nearly fifty years on we observe African nations splitting into fragments of horror.
The dream of uniting Africa under the banner of the united African has hit the rocks of reality. And we have to admit that we have let down the vision of that great man, Nkrumah. It is a shockingly depressing act to look into the presents political situation existing in Africa where many nations are disintegrating into tribal fiefdoms and patch lands of despair controlled by the clan chiefs while Nkrumah’s voice only remains in the books or printed newspapers and not practically functioning as a strategy tool to liberate Africa from the economic and political catastrophe it is facing today.
Surely, to celebrate Nkrumah will require a more scientific approach but given the scarcity of time with regards to setting up of the committee, we have drawn a programme activities around the clusters of kwame Nkrumah’s birthday ( 9the September )independence (25the February -6th march), and Africa liberation cluster( 23rd -25th may).
The celebration of Nkrumah’s birth, one of Africa’s foremost and illustrious sons, is historically significant and imperative. This is because it reaffirms the world wide declaration of him being the greatest African of the millennium (BBC 2007) and one of the hundred most influential personalities in the world in the last one thousand years.
Again the celebration brings to the fore the pressing need by the leaders and citizens of Africa to accelerate the African unity agenda, an agenda which was and still is at the very heart of Nkrumah’s existence. This pan-African struggle and his dream for the a united black Africa underscored the famous saying by him that the independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is link to total liberation the African continent.
Furthermore, the centenary celebration affords the citizens of Ghana in particular and Africa in general to reflect on the ideals of patriotism, selflessness, pan-Africanism and allow for an inter-generational learning and experience sharing where the younger generation get better enlightened on the rich culture and political heritage of Africa.
It is hoped that the numerous initiatives and stakeholder participation, the centenary birth celebration of Osagyefo Dr. Nkrumah will go a long way to emphasise his statement of having lit a candle of freedom in Ghana and Africa which will burn on long after his death.
Indeed the life and works of comrade Kwame Nkrumah is “a life of struggle, a vision of Africa unbound”.