Why so many African economies failed after independence – Dateway

“As far as I am , I know that death will never be able to extinguish the torch I have lit in Ghana and Africa. Long after my death and departure, the light will continue to burn and be carried in the air, giving light and guidance to all. ~ Dr Kwame Nkrumah

September 21 marks the birthday of Kwame Nkrumah, African Marxist revolutionary and first President of the Republic of Ghana. The day is celebrated as a public holiday in Ghana to commemorate the important role played by Nkrumah in liberating the Gold Coast from colonial rule. Nkrumah was born on September 21, 1909 in Nkroful, in what was then the Gold Coast under rule, the of a goldsmith. After graduating from Achimota College in 1930, he traveled to the United States to pursue his master’s studies at Lincoln University and the University of Pennsylvania, where he was influenced by Marxist ideologies and Pan-Africanist ideas, and in particular Marcus Garvey, the black American. Nationalist leader of the 1920s. Eventually, Kwame Nkrumah came to describe himself as a socialist and a Marxist, one of the main supporters of African socialism, an offshoot of Pan-Africanism.

He returned to Ghana at the end of 1947 at the invitation of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), the first political party in Ghana. Nkrumah was the party’s general secretary, but due to his Marxist leanings he split from the conservative UGCC party to form his own socialist political party, the People’s Convention Party (CPP), which won the general elections of 1951. Kwame Nkrumah became Prime Minister of Ghana and later President of the New Republic in 1960. He was the winner of the Lenin Peace Prize in 1962. Nkrumah founded many state-owned enterprises, initiated the construction of a huge dam for the production of hydroelectric power, built schools and universities and supported the liberation movements in the African colonies which had not yet gained their independence.

In 1964, in the face of the economic crises caused in large part by his Marxist economic policies, the solution proposed by Nkrumah was to tighten government control. He declared Ghana a one-party communist state with himself president for life. Nkrumah was accused of actively promoting a cult of his own personality (Nkrumahism), which ultimately led to his overthrow in 1966 by the . Rebellion. He died in Bucharest, Romania, after six years of exile in Guinea, at the age of sixty-two. In 2000, Nkrumah was voted Africa’s’ man of the millennium ‘by BBC listeners as a’ hero of independence ‘and’ international symbol of freedom as the leader of the first African country to stand. rid of the chains of colonial domination ”.

“Nkrumah’s main concern was really the good of the nation,” noted German political scientist Christian Kohrs, but the path he chose was dangerous both for himself and for the people of independent Africa. Like Nkrumah, many other African leaders – namely Julius Nyere of Tanzania, Modibo Keita of Mali, Léopold Senghor of Senegal and Sékou Touré of Guinea, among others – have also taken the socialist path in the struggle for independence of the Africa. This resulted in the rise of despots and a series of coup d’etat in most African countries and has had a devastating effect on the social and economic life of Africa. Although some of these African socialists did not align with Marxism like Nkrumah did, their brand of socialism was no different from the collectivist tenets of Marxism. Senghor, for example, asserted that “the social context of tribal community life in Africa not only makes socialism natural in Africa, but excludes the validity of class struggle theory.” At first glance, socialism may seem natural to the life of African tribal communities, as in many other economies around the world, but according to Ghanaian American economist George Ayittey, “Africa has a long history of market economies that goes back to times. “

According to Joseph Schumpeter, Marxism is a kind of religion by which goods are distributed to believers by an omniscient state. It differs from capitalism, where each individual in a society is seen as an absolute end in himself. Marxism, like Nazism, Fascism, Tribalism, Communism, and all other socialist theories of nationalism, is based on the principle of collectivism which trumps the free decisions of individuals. Only capitalism allows the individual to be free and to pursue his interests, which in the end will serve the common good.

The brutal rejection of capitalism in favor of socialism by African politicians at independence was in large part due to a deeply rooted misconception that equates capitalism with colonialism. In fact, according to Lenin, capitalism was the extension of colonialism and imperialism. For this reason, African leaders at the time of independence wanted nothing to do with capitalism. Nkrumah said, for example: “We need socialism to fight the imperialists.” Nyere said: “Capitalism encourages individual acquisition and competition. We don’t want that. We need socialism. This led African leaders to embrace the socialist ideology of Marxism. They mean by that the ownership of all means of production by the State. In the end, the socialist experiment was an economic failure.

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Insanity is said to be the inability to correlate cause and effect. Wherever Marxism / Socialism has been practiced, it has meant slavery and death for the majority. It is not surprising that Marxism has failed in Africa as it has in many other countries. Throughout history, there has been a great deal of evidence that capitalism works and socialism fails. The results of socialism are poverty and tyranny. Despite all these failures and atrocities under National Socialism by Marxist dictators, there is a majority who still believe that socialism is the path to African social and economic prosperity. The truth is, socialism is not about economics. Socialism is a competition for political power which results in the destruction of wealth and prosperity.

Unfortunately, Africa is currently largely under the influence of Marxism because of the political ideologies of its founding fathers, learned from anti-capitalist intellectuals in the West, especially in the United States. As I write this article, many African countries are starving and deeply in debt because of the socialist programs pursued by their governments. According to the World Bank, 416 million Africans still live in extreme poverty, including 210 million in fragile and conflict-affected countries. African development partners continue to believe that the solution to these challenges is more political than economic, so they continue to pay money to support major government programs in Africa to reduce poverty and social injustice. The only real solution to Africa’s longstanding challenges is economic freedom. Africa needs less and less government control and more capitalist control of the economy. This will make the competition for political power unattractive and give people more freedom to exercise their right to individual initiative, which is the only way to peace and prosperity.

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