May 26, 2009
Accra, GNA - Dr Yao Graham, Executive Director of the Third
World Network, has said Africa still has gaping political vacuum
despite attempts by many African leaders to aspire to inherit
late President Kwame Nkrumah's mantle as the visionary and
driver of Pan-Africanism and continental unity.
He said Nkrumah's leadership and rallying role in African
affairs went well beyond his vision and theorizing to include
support for national liberation movements.
Dr Graham was speaking at a lecture organized by All African
Student Union (AASU) as part of the "Nkrumah at 100" Lecture
series in Accra.
Dr Graham who spoke on the topic: "Nkrumah at 100: Lessons and
challenges for African Leadership" also formed part of
activities marking AU Day.
He said Nkrumah's support for the liberation struggle also
embodied a unity of his pan-Africanism and commitment to anti-
colonial independence as a necessary precondition for the
continent's unity and progress.
Dr Graham said despite Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's seemingly
radical stance on African unity, "the sad truth is that he is
not the successor of Nkrumah that the continent currently and
"Col Gaddafi does not offer a coherent vision or leadership
practice of pan-Africanism in keeping with the needs of the age
and these shortcomings are compounded by his unpredictability
Dr Graham said some of Col Gaddafi's views and pronouncements
showed him up as a man deeply marked by his years as an
"Among his many bizarre acts is his current self-designation as
King of Africa's kings, a reactionary assertion out of tune with
the democratic logic of the continent's national liberation
He said the African people want democracy not monarchs and if
there was one element of Africa's postcolonial history that the
masses want behind them it is the years of despotism.
Dr Graham said the current global crisis had validated what
critics of neo-liberalism have been saying for years, that years
of growth had failed to effect any transformation or brought
about any reduction in poverty.
He said Africa's response to the global crisis has so far lacked
urgency and the sense that this was an opportunity to make a
break with some of the discredited policies that have failed to
deliver transformative growth over the past couple of decades.
Dr Graham said the only thing African leaders have succeed in
doing at global forums is to plead for Africa to be remembered
for security of aid.
"This is a clear sign that there are no leaders who can see
opportunities for change in the current crisis."
Dr Bright Oduro Kwarteng, a lecture at the Ghana Institute of
Management Public Administration, accused the military and
elements of the United Party (UP) tradition for conspiring with
the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to overthrow the Nkrumah
regime in 1966.
He appealed to Mills Administration to move the statute of
General Emmanuel Kotoka from the airport and change the name to
that of Dr Kwame Nkrumah.