Fourteenth Anniversary Of The Convention People's Party
Accra, June 12, 1963
MY DEAR PARTY COMRADES AND COUNTRYMEN,
Today marks the fourteenth year of the birth of our Party and l take this opportunity to salute all Party Comrades for their sustained effort and solidarity, their heroic struggle and vigilance throughout the years of our existence as a Party.
As we celebrate this Anniversary today, it is useful once again to re-examine our position and analyse the present stage of the struggle. Before we do so, however, let us, as usual bow our heads in a minute’s silence and remember all those comrades of our dear Party who gave up their lives in the cause of our country’s freedom.
On previous Anniversary occasions, we have recounted the glorious history of our Party, the strategy and tactics which it adopted to circumvent and rout Colonialism in Ghana. Although the struggle continues unabated, I must point out that the emphasis of the struggle has now shifted to the African scene and I crave your indulgence to turn to this sphere before coming home to our internal affairs, as this anniversary follows closely on the historic Addis Ababa Conference. You all remember what I said on the declaration of our Independence in 1957, namely: "That the independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of the African Continent."
These words form the cornerstone of our Foreign Policy. In April, 1958, a Conference of Independent African States was held here at which date there were only 8 Independent African States.
Today as I have said, following subsequent Conferences organised on our initiative in pursuance of our policy, there are 31 Independent African States. This phenomenal rise in the number of Independent States of Africa is a vindication of the correctness of our African Policy. It also shows the soundness of our philosophy on the African liberation Movement and African Unity.
A new period has opened in contemporary African history with the convening of the Addis Ababa Conference, a period in which the peoples of Africa have demonstrated their revolutionary determination to forge a common indissoluble link in shaping their collective effort to the collective advantage of their own peoples. The realisation of this noble aim is a hopeful step in the consolidation of world peace, because the existence of colonialism in all its forms in Africa and for that matter anywhere in the world constitutes a threat to world peace.
We live in an age when the peoples of Africa are resolutely throwing off the abominable yoke of colonialism, in order to organise their national economies in the paramount interest of their peoples after centuries of foreign unjust domination.
The theme of Addis Ababa was, "The Unity of the African Peoples;" in order to attain the overwhelming economic, financial and cultural advantage which lie readily available to all of us upon our unity. What I have striven to emphasise is that although political independence has been proclaimed, the struggle for independence still continues because political independence is not the end; it is a means to an end.
Our political independence must be used to raise the standard of living of our peoples. But our concrete African conditions demand that all African states mould work together for the consolidation of their gains in the liberation of our people. We can survive only within the context of African Unity and independence.
Now I turn to Party Organisation. The new tasks of the Party at the present stage of the struggle coupled with the role which our country plays in international affairs make it necessary for the organisation of our Party to be streamlined and strengthened to enable it to cope with the new responsibilities Ghana is committed to discharge. Accordingly, our Party must ever be concerned with multiplying and strengthening its contacts with the masses of the people and winning their confidence as their defenders against the evils of poverty, disease, hunger, ignorance and squalor to whose elimination we are dedicated.
The Party gains strength with the masses, if it practises inner Party democracy and self-criticism. All members of our Party should be encouraged in every possible way to take active part in discussing all major questions of Party life. If this is done, it will follow conclusively that all decisions of the Party are decisions of the entire membership who will correctly understand and appreciate them. Democracy will then be at its plenitude throughout all the levels of our Party. I must once again emphasise that the masses of the people form the backbone of our Party and their living conditions and their welfare must be paramount in everything we do. It is for them in particular and Africa in general that our Party exists. So much for our tact with the masses of the people.
To achieve the foregoing objectives, there is a clear need to reorganise the Party so that it touches every single individual wherever he or she may live in order not only to bring the entire people into participation in the administration of the country, but also to make it impossible to external and internal reactionaries and their agents to interfere with the security of our State and the progress being made in all spheres of our national life. Our Party has shown by its victory over Colonialism and all its new forms in our dear land that it can cope with any situation for which it prepares itself and we must fortify our ranks with mass vigilance to deal a death-blow at subversion and other un-Ghanaian activities wherever they may rear their ugly head. For this reason, the Party must now base its organisation on reaching the people directly by house to-house and street by street method, all over the country, so that we may chase out the enemy, routing him without giving him a moment’s rest to re-group his forces.
Our Party’s new down-to-earth organisation will also enable our development work to be tackled more forcefully and on mass basis, as we shall be able to bring everyone into useful local activity.
As l have written elsewhere, l will not hide the fact that l am impatient when it comes to building Ghana, and this task rests on the shoulders of my colleagues in Government. We have to get on with the job resolutely in order to fulfil our promises to the people. Each Minister must regard himself as a managing director and get his particular job done in the allotted time, and properly done. Success follows organisation and inauguration. Real difficulties leading to legitimate delay always receive understanding consideration. But the driving urge to succeed must permeate every branch of government, steaming from the ministerial fountain-head, who must combine a high sense of responsibility with a high sense of urgency. Ministers and Party officials must show themselves as examples to the people by their devotion to their work, by simple living, by leading in service.
Ghana faces immense difficulties in her task of reconstruction. It is by no means a simple business to raise educational levels, to train skilled workers and to impart a sense of responsibility speedily, especially in circumstances of restricted availability of local qualified personnel and material resources. Nevertheless, there is much that can be done quickly, if everyone puts every ounce of ability and strength into the building of the nation. It is a prime task of leadership in Ghana to make the people aware of the compelling need to put forth their most intense effort on behalf of the progress of the country.
A new stage is set for Party ideological education. Every Party member must now be educated to understand precisely what the Party stands for. The philosophy of our Party, which had led to victory over Colonialism in our country and which governs our international relations or more particularly our relations with other African countries, has been proved sound and correct through its application in practice, the concrete situation in Africa. This Philosophy has been profusely propounded in various forms and underlines our full realisation of party education. In our Programme for work and Happiness is embodied, the concrete results of our political awakening and ideological understanding. To understand the ideology of our Party is to appreciate the need to improve the well-being of the greatest number of the people.
May God give us peace in our time to work for the welfare of the people of Ghana, Africa and the world.