The Legacy of Kwame Nkrumah

This article examines the legacy of Nkrumah as a Pan-Africanist and Nkrumahist; pushing back against the idea that Nkrumah was a Marxist-Lenist.

Anthony Djali

10/1/20222 min read

Ancestor Kwame Nkrumah left many long-lasting legacies. Legacies such as the ideologies of Pan-Africanism, African Unity, Nkrumahism, and the theory of Neocolonialism. However, some attempt to dwindle his legacy down to being a Marxist-Leninist. While Nkrumah studied Marx and Lenin, like many Africans, Nkrumah developed his own anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, and political/economic views. The most significant contribution he made was the exact counter to the pervasive belief that he was just a Marxist-Leninist. That contribution was Nkrumahism and his theory of Neocolonialism.

Nkrumahism (Consciencism) is Nkrumah's philosophical conceptual framework that facilitates the heritage and lineage of Africa. Nkrumahism sharply countered the erosion of African values and systems of thought. Nkrumah believed that through this philosophical framework, Africans could learn from pre-colonial Ancestral African societies. Nkrumah strongly urged us to know that a broader sense of African unity will emerge through reconnecting ourselves to our history and culture; the sacrificing of those values that were lost to get ahead will be no more. Nkrumah believed that the main issue plaguing Africa and her children was the exploitation of this lack of cultural autonomy and personal self-esteem. Nkrumah furthers this view by developing the theoretical articulation of Neocolonialism.

Nkrumah articulates that post-independence colonial and non-African powers will attack the lack of African unity and exploit that weakness. Neo-colonialism, as articulated by Nkrumah, is the most dangerous stage of Imperialism. European imperial powers can indirectly control Africa without any orthodox ties to the continent. Nkrumah prophetically predicted that this stage of Imperialism would come in many forms: aid, political puppets, military interventions, trade, etc. All will be a product of a lack of cultural unity and self-determination that imperial powers will exploit. Now more than ever, Africa is being extracted, grifted, looted, and swindled out of its wealth, leaving the children of Africa in a constant state of economic bondage, social subjugation, and complicit exploitation. Neocolonialism plagues Africa severely, as Nkrumah predicted.

We must use the magnificent legacy Nkrumah left us, the children of Africa, to free Africa of Neocolonialism. This will be achieved under the ideology of Nkrumahism, while furthering his theory and developing our own counters to Neo-colonialism/Globalization to liberate and unify Africa and all her children under the principle of Pan-Africanism.

Nkrumah, Kwame. ""Motion of Destiny." National Assembly. Accra-Ghana. 10 July 1958. Speech.

Nkrumah, Kwame, 1909-1972. Consciencism; Philosophy and Ideology for De-Colonization. New York :Monthly Review Press, 1970.

Nkrumah, Kwame, 1967. “Neocolonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism” Published by Thomas Nelson & Sons.