Kwame Nkrumah and books

Members of GhanaBlogging are supposed to have been talking/writing about Kwame Nkrumah over the last week or so, as part of the centenary celebration of his birth, which is officially celebrated on 21 September.    This is definitely belated, but will just have to do.

Certainly Kwame Nkrumah wrote books, and he respected them, and their use by others.  After all, he ensured that the Ghana Library Board started off as an institution to supplement the facilities offered by the formal education sector.  It is very much a pity that political views of Nkrumah after his overthrow probably led to a diminishing level of support to the GLB leading to its almost total decay during the 1980s.  And by the time the economy had recovered, the whole information scene had changed drastically, but the GLB still maintained a view of the world that harkened back to the mid to late 20th century.   Though I do have to admit that they do now have a website, which could be termed as progress, even if the time I accessed it the date was Saturday April 26, 2008 – and this was in September 2009!

Back to Kwame Nkrumah.   I don’t think anyone – whatever their political allegiance – will deny that Ghana’s first President was an intellectual.  He wrote several books, many of which are still studied in Ghana and elsewhere.

A probably incomplete list follows:

  • Ghana:  The autobiography of Kwame Nkrumah (1957)
  • I speak of freedom (1958)
  • Africa must unite (1963)
  • Consciencism (1964)
  • Neocolonialism (1965)
  • Axioms of Kwame Nkrumah (1967)
  • Challenge of the Congo (1967)
  • Voice from Conakry (1967)
  • Handbook of revolutionary warfare (1968)
  • Dark days in Ghana (1968)
  • Class struggle in Africa (1970)
  • Revolutionary path (1973)
  • Rhodesia file (1974)

The irony is that here in Ghana it is quite difficult to obtain copies of his books, despite more than forty years having passed since he was overthrown in a coup, and more than thirty years since he died.  There used to be a shop in the Ghana Trade Fair that sold some of his work, but no longer – at least as far as I could see.  If one is lucky, a local bookshop “may” have some of his books, but as usual, the easiest way of obtaining his publications is to order them from either the UK or the US, unless one is really prepared to put in a lot of effort and move around Accra or indeed Ghana!   Rather sad really.