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The Kwame Nkrumah Heritage: The Suffering Skillet African Drive in Contemporary Africa


Kwame Nkrumah’s notion of Pan-Africa remains the formulation that guides the aspiration and organizational expression for the unity of the African continent. This analysis provides an elaboration of Nkrumah’s model for unity and situates his role at the moment of decolonization in the context of transformation leadership theory. Discussion then turns to the two most significant efforts to implement the Pan-African model: the development of a continental organization—the Organization of African Unity and the African Union—and the decolonization of the Gold Coast, which led to the founding of the state of Ghana. While the implementation of Nkrumah’s grand vision has not been realized, the legacy of his construct provides an enduring foundation for the aspiration to continental unity. Similarly, that same unity is reflected in the political culture and identity for the territory of Ghana, a feature of government stability. That territorial stability has not become the foundation stone for continental unity that Nkrumah imagined, but it also has not detracted from the enduring aspiration for that broader unity. In this regard the analysis shows both the possibilities and limits of transformation leadership.

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African Union Ghana Kwame Nkrumah Nkrumah Organization of African Unity

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