From World Afropedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah
1989 CPA 6101.jpg
Kwame Nkrumah on a soviet postage stamp
3rd Chairman of the Organization of African Unity
In office
21 October 1965 – 24 February 1966
Preceded by Gamal Abdel Nasser
Succeeded by Joseph Arthur Ankrah
1st President of Ghana
In office
1 July 1960 – 24 February 1966
Preceded by The 5th Earl of Listowel
as Governor-General
Succeeded by Joseph Arthur Ankrah
as Chairman of the National Liberation Council
1st Prime Minister of Ghana
In office
6 March 1957 – 1 July 1960
Governor General Sir Charles Arden-Clarke until 24 June 1957
Lord Listowel 24 June 1957 - 1 July 1960
Preceded by Office Established
Succeeded by Himself
as President of Ghana
Personal details
Born (1909-09-21)21 September 1909
Nkroful, Gold Coast
Died 27 April 1972(1972-04-27) (aged 62)
Bucharest, Romania
Nationality British, Ghanaian
Political party Convention People's Party
Spouse(s) Fathia Rizk
Children Francis, Gamal,Samia and Sekou
Profession Lecturer

Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah (21 September 1909 - 27 April 1972)[1] was a very influential 20th century advocate of Pan-Africanism. He was also the first President of Ghana, the first Prime Minister of Ghana and a founding member of the Organization of African Unity. Kwame Nkrumah is considered to be the father-figure of Pan-Africanism, liberating Ghana from british rule at the beginning of the 1960's at a time when most other Afrikan countries were under the overseas yolk. Nkrumah was a visionary, representing a view of Afrika that others dared not dream about, espousing a United States of Africa, a model which other Afrikan leaders have since discussed, if not pursued.

Early Life

In 1909, Kwame Nkrumah was born to Nyaniba[2][3] in Nkroful, Gold Coast.[4] Nkrumah graduated from the prestigious Achimota School in Accra in 1930,[1] studied at a roman catholic seminary, and taught at a catholic school in Axim. In 1935 he left Ghana for the united states, receiving a BA from Lincoln University, Pennsylvania in 1939, he received an STB (Bachelor of Sacred Theology) in 1942. Nkrumah earned a Master of Science in education from the University of Pennsylvania in 1942, and a Master of Arts in philosophy the following year. While lecturing in political science at Lincoln he was elected president of the African Students Organization of America and Canada. As an undergraduate at Lincoln he participated in at least one student theater production and published an essay on european government in Afrika in the student newspaper,The Lincolnian.[5]

During his time in the united states, Nkrumah preached at black Presbyterian Churches in Philadelphia and New York City. He read books about politics and divinity, and tutored students in philosophy. Nkrumah encountered the ideas of Marcus Garvey, and in 1943 met and began a lengthy correspondence with Trinidadian C.L.R. James.

He arrived in london in May 1945 intending to study at the LSE. After meeting with George Padmore, he helped organize the Fifth Pan-African Congress in manchester, england. Then he founded the West African National Secretariat to work for the decolonization of Afrika. Nkrumah served as Vice-President of the West African Students' Union (WASU).

Over his lifetime, Nkrumah was awarded honorary doctorates by Lincoln University, Moscow State University; Cairo University in Cairo, Egypt and many other universities.


  1. 1.0 1.1 E. Jessup, John. An Encyclopedic Dictionary of Conflict and Conflict Resolution, 1945-1996. p. 533.
  2. "Rulers - Nkrumah, Kwame". Lists of heads of state and heads of government. Retrieved 2007-03-24.
  3. Asante Fordjour (6 March 2006). "Nkrumah And The Big Six". Feature Article. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2007-04-30.
  4. Yaw Owusu, Robert (2005). Kwame Nkrumah's Liberation Thought: A Paradigm for Religious Advocacy in Contemporary Ghana. p. 97.
  5. special Collections and Archives, Lincoln University.