The Political Evolution of Kwame Nkrumah

Kwame Nkrumah is perhaps the most prominent symbol of Pan-Afrikanism in the 20th century. Nkrumah led the first successful independence movement on the continent as Ghana won its independence in 1957.Kwame_nkrumah

Though not without his flaws and weaknesses, Nkrumah’s vision of a united Africa inspired a whole generation. His various writings on neocolonialism, the class struggle, and African unity are still painfully relevant to the struggle for Afrikan liberation today. On Thursday 7 May, The Oxford Pan-Afrikan Forum(OXPAF) hosted a presentation from Dr. Ama Biney on Nkrumah’s political evolution followed by discussion. 

The lecture addressed four questions:

1- How is Nkrumah viewed within the western discourse?
2- What were the forces and who were the individuals who influenced Nkrumah before he left for the US in 1935 to continue his studies.
3-What were some of his successes and failures?
4-What were some of the differences in his ideological thinking and how his thoughts evolved before 1966 and post 1966 (1966 being significant in that he was overthrown in a Western-backed coup d’etat)?

It was, indeed, an enlightening and uplifting presentation. We are pleased to share the audio from Dr. Biney’s talk:

Speaker bio:
Dr. Biney has over 20 years teaching experience in the UK. She has taught courses in African history (ancient and modern); Caribbean History; African American history; post-independence African politics; the history of Pan-Africanism and the history of black people in Britain. Her writings include:  The Political and Social Thought of Kwame Nkrumah published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2011; “Speaking Truth to Power: Selected Pan-African Postcards of Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem” compiled by A. Biney & A. Olukoshi, published by Pambazuka Press in 2010.
She has served as Editor-in-Chief of the Pan-African weekly electronic newsletter, Pambazuka News, which is a platform for radical debate on African social, economic and political justice issues and the African diaspora in the Caribbean and North, South and Central America. It is a newsletter that comes out in English, French and Portuguese and Dr Biney has been a regular contributor to Pambazuka News. Dr. Biney has written a brief introduction to Nkrumah’s politics, which was published on Pambazuka.

Following the lecture, there were excellent questions asked of Dr. Biney which you can listen to below:


Resources for further study

  1. Kwame Nkrumah – ‘Revolutionary Path’
  2. Kwame Nkrumah – ‘Consciencism: Philosophy and Ideology for De-Colonisation’
  3. Kwame Nkrumah – ‘Neo-Colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism’
  4. Ali Mazuri – ‘The Africans: a triple heritage’
  5. Hakim Aidi and Marika Sherwood – ‘The 1945 Pan-African Congress Revisited’
  6. Marika Sherwood – ‘Pan-African Conferences, 1900-1953: What Did ‘Pan-Africanism’
  7. William Gumede – ‘‘No Easy Walk to Freedom’ (on Mandela’s leadership model
  8. African Socialism Revisited –
  9. Electronic magazine by Pan-African Voices:





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