Ghana would have benefited a little more from its first President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah if the leader had given the new country a lot more attention.
This is the view of Dr. Lloyd Amoah, Director of the University of Ghana’s Center for Asian Studies.
Speaking on The Point of View with Bernard Avle, Dr. Amoah said he thinks Kwame Nkrumah was “seduced” by the idea of African unity hence his failure to fully utilize his talents to make Ghana a far better country that he was able to make it.
He said, Kwame Nkrumah would have been widely hailed as Lee Kwan Yew in Malaysia if he had prioritized the country over the push for African unity.
“I think he was seduced by African unity and did not concentrate on Ghana with all these talents. If he had focused on Ghana, he would have been a kind of Lee Kuan Yew. That is what Lee Kuan Yew did. I think he learnt from Nkrumah’s mistakes,” he said.
“He was doing two difficult things at the same thing,” Dr. Lloyd Amoah added.
Meanwhile, Eric Atta-Sono, author of ‘Nkrumah’; Africa’s man of the millennium’ also speaking on the show noted that Nkrumah’s undoing was his underestimation of internal and external forces that were against him.
He said despite Nkrumah’s strong ideological beliefs and convictions that drove him to do the many things that he did, he did not seem to have successfully acquired military and economic power to stand up against the forces against him.
He cited the disagreements on the price for cocoa sale as an example.
“Reflecting on Nkrumah, one key thing our leaders ought to look at is that they should not be blinded by the forces around them. Nkrumah underrated the forces around him, internally and externally. He appeared to be in a certain direction and noting could stop him. He underestimated the forces around him because he was riding on the African personality thing. His ideologies were solid but the other truth was that he didn’t have the might to stand on his own…By 1963 and 64 our economy had started going down because of those powers,” he added.
Dr. Atta-Sono further said although he thinks Nkrumah committed himself to build Ghana, he still over-concentrated on the African unity agenda, blinding him from some local challenges.
“From 1957 to 1960, he was concentrated more on Ghana then from around 62, he started pushing the Africa unity agenda and in 1963 the Organization of Africa Union (OAU). I think there was a little over-concentrated on that one, and he was a bit blinded by the issues around him.”