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Freedom is not something that one people can bestow as a gift. They claim it as their own and none can keep it from them. Kwame Nkrumah, 1953
We face neither East nor West: we face forward. Kwame Nkrumah
The independence of Ghana is meaningless until it is linked to the total liberation of Africa. Kwame Nkrumah, cited A E Ekoko & Margaret A Vogt, Nigerian Defence Policy, 1990
It is quite clear that a desperate attempt is being made to create confusion in the Congo. Extend the Cold War to Africa ... The United Nations must not allow this to happen. Kwame Nkrumah, United Nations, 1960
President Eisenhower and President Kennedy were genuinely interested in this project because they saw behind the cold figures and the rigid calculations that the Volta River Project was not only an economically viable project, but also an opportunity for the United States of America to make a peaceful capital investment in a developing country. You see before you in all its majesty, science and power the Akosombo Dam, which has tamed the violent waters of the Volta. Kwame Nkrumah
Ghana ... In 1961 Joe Appiah was detained for political reasons. Mixed Race Britain: How the World Got Mixed Up, BBC 2011
The kingdom of Asante once ruled supreme in west Africa. It was a kingdom that became an empire. It played a pivotal role in commerce linking three continents, and it was built on slaves and gold. Dr Gus Casely-Hayford, Lost Kingdoms of Africa I: The Kingdom of Asante, BBC 2013
How did a sophisticated society emerge from some of the toughest conditions on the planet? ibid.
Asante emerged a little over three hundred years ago in territory now occupied by the Republic of Ghana in the heart of west Africa's forest zone. ibid.
The scale of the achievement is hard to comprehend. ibid.
Asante was formally incorporated into the British Gold Coast colony. ibid.
35 years ago one man set out to turn this country into a modern industrial utopia – he was Kwame Nkrumah, the first leader of a newly independent black African state. His aim was to transform Ghana into a society shaped and driven by the power of science. At the heart of Kwame Nkrumah’s plan was a giant dam that would produce vast quantities of cheap electricity. Enough power to build a modern industrial state in the heart of Africa within a generation. But what Nkrumah did not foresee was that with the dam would come other more dangerous forms of power which he could not control – political and economic forces that would tear apart his vision of using science and technology to create a model for the new Africa. Adam Curtis, Pandora’s Box V: Black Power, BBC 1992
Power meant electricity and the source was to be the Giant Volta River that flowed through the eastern heart of the country. Ever since the 1920s the British had planned to build a dam there ... In the early ’50s Britain was desperate for a cheap source of aluminium. And Nkrumah joined with the British to resuscitate the scheme. The British authorities saw the power from the dam simply as a means to boost the empire’s supply of aluminium. But for Nkrumah it was much more. He saw it as the key to fulfilling his country’s destiny. ibid.
The Dam was now a hostage in the vicious confrontations of the Cold War. A year before, the Congo had been torn apart by a brutal civil war. America and the Soviet Union backed opposite sides. The policy of the new Kennedy administration was to fight the spread of communism in Africa. In 1960 Brezhnev, the President of the Soviet Union, had visited Ghana. It frightened America’s leaders. They were determined that Nkrumah, despite his brand of African socialism, would be their man. Nkrumah though wanted to keep Ghana and Africa out of the Cold War. ibid.
In the early sixties Ghana became a Mecca for European industrialists eager to win large contracts from Nkrumah’s government. They began to discover that the easiest way was to offer officials from Nkrumah’s party a bribe. This soon became the accepted way of doing business in Accra. What resulted was a rush to sell Ghana anything, no matter now inappropriate for an emerging African nation. Vast sums of Ghana’s precious foreign currency were spent on these projects. Then in 1964 Nkrumah’s industrial experiment received another body-blow: the world price of cocoa which had been falling for four years finally crashed. It was Ghana’s main source of foreign exchange. The millions of pounds needed to pay for the new factories began to dry up. Ghana, once one of the richest countries in Africa, began to slide into debt. Nkrumah turned to help to the European industrialists … Nkruma was an increasingly isolated figure on the world stage. What had once been seen as visionary ideas were now perceived as dangerous megalomania, and his country was sinking ever deeper into debt. ibid.
The military coup won enormous popular support. Nkrumah had failed to deliver the modern Ghana he had promised. ibid.
Rawlings became a popular figure on a par with Nkrumah; his main aim was to lift the burden of debt. ibid.
We had so much fun in Ghana and they are really lovely people. Adrian Edmondson
Here in Africa, or in Ghana, we believe that every sickness is a curse or is caused by the devil. Theresa Appah, African Evangelical, interview Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch
Ghana, west Africa: a new link in an old trade: the global supply of cocaine. This coke’s destination? The world’s second-biggest drug market: Europe. Drugs Inc s7e14: Euro Coke, 2015
The capital of Ghana but local residents have given it a nickname: Sodom & Gomorrah. It’s the home of the biggest electronic waste dump and is a livelihood for many. First it feeds them, then it kills them. This is one of the most polluted areas with toxins and toxic metals on the African continent. ToxiCity: The Story of a Graveyard for Electronics … and People, RT 2017
‘Small children also work here. Some don’t have parents.’ ibid. Local
Electronic waste comes to Ghana from the USA, Australia, Western Europe and Asia to the tune of hundreds of tons a year. ibid.
Ghana: There’s archive of Nkrumah and the Queen dancing together. The Queen had shown her resolve in Ghana. George Alagiah: The Queen: Her Commonwealth, newspaper headline, BBC 2018