SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS
Social and Economic Developments
Education received the priority of the new administration and two main issues were considered under this policy. The aims of the government as stated by the country’s first Minister of Education, Kojo Bptsio was ’... a measure of education for every child of school-going age’. In this direction, the Accelerated Development Plan for Education was launched in 1951 to rapidly expand educational facilities to absorb the large army of children of school going age (estimated at 470,000 but only 90,000 were attending school). The plan was soon put into action so that even though parents still had to pay for books (except in Northern Ghana), the abolition of tuition fees in primary schools which stood at between 15s and 30s per annum, and the extension of classroom facilities made it possible for over 132,000 children to attend primary school by January 1952. By 1957, the number had risen to 450,000 taught by 15,000 teachers.
Still determined to make education accessible to as many Ghanaian children as possible, the Education Act of 1961 was introduced. The Act did not only re-affirm the permission for private institutions to co-exist with ’assisted schools’ provided they were not ’dangerous or potentially dangerous to the physical or moral welfare of the pupils attending them or that their continued existence is against public interest’, but education was to be compulsory tor all children aged five and below the age of sixteen (the programme was however applied to those aged six years and above for a start).’ Parents whose wards were noted for truancy were to be fined. Tuition was to remain free but parents were to contribute towards the provision of textbooks for pupils. Where adequate classroom accommodation was not immediately available, a two-daily shift of 4’/4 hours was put in place pending the construction of more classroom blocks. On the other hand, areas which had unused rooms were pressed into service. Temporary classrooms were also erected. The result of this development was that 2,494 new primary schools were opened in September 1961 and 219,480 children were admitted into the first year classes. By the time the CPP government was overthrown in 1966, the number had increased to 1,137,495 Children attending 8,144 schools.
The enrolment in middle schools also witnessed tremendous increases: 1,234 public middle schools with a total enrolment of 145,377 in 1960-61; and in J965-66, there were 2,277 schools with 267,434 pupils.3 To ease the burden on parents and guardians who were mostly in the lower income group, the free text-books scheme was introduced in 1963 not only for primary and middle schools, but covered all ’assisted’ secondary schools. To ensure effective implementation of the plan in every part of the country, a Local Education Authority was established, ft operated through an education committee of nine members, at least two of whom (including the. chairman) had to be members of the Authority, that is, councilors. The Authority’s work, as stipulated in Section 7 of the Education Act of 1961, was to’(a) build, equip and maintain all public and middle schools in its area; (b) establish all such primary, middle and special schools as are, in the opinion of the Minister, after consultation with the Minister responsible for local government, required in its area; (c) advice the Minister on all matters relating to primary and middle school education in its area and such other matters as may be referred to it by the Minister’. Thus, as Government took charge of the salaries of teachers, books etc., this ’decentralised system’ was to ensure the full success of the programme as it was expected that members of the Authority who were resident within the ’operational area’ of the Authority as well as the other residents were all itching to send their children to school and would therefore see to it that facilities, including classrooms, were provided.
Secondary as well as technical education also received considerable support from the CPP government. The number of government and approved secondary schools increased from the 1957 figure of 38 to 59 in 1960. The number of private schools also increased from 22 to 52 within the same period. By late 1961, the number of government and approved schools had gone up to 68 out of which 24 were put up "by the Ghana Educational Trust set up in 1958 with an initial endowment of £G2V£ million from the Cocoa Marketing Board. At the time of the overthrow of the Nkrumah regime, there were 105 government and approved secondary schools, (including 11 new ones opened in 1965) with a total enrolment of 42,111. Technical institutes were set up to provide courses in carpentry and joinery, brick laying, mechanical and electrical engineering etc. By the 1964 -65 school year, the number of technical schools stood at 11 with an enrolment of 4,956.
A number of Teacher Training Institutions were also put up. As at the time of the 1966 coup d’etat, the number of teacher training colleges had doubled from the 1965 figure of 44 to 80, with an enrolment of 12,120 teacher trainees. To see to the welfare of teachers and the co-ordination of every aspect of teacher-education, the National Teacher Training Council of Ghana was set up in 1958. By the recommendation of the Erzuah Committee of 1952, the salary of a Certificate B teacher was raised from £72 to £110 per annum and that of a Certificate A teacher from £84 to £150. Responsibility allowances were to be paid to headteachers. Pupil teachers, who had a tew years before been receiving £42 had their pay increased to £84. Still to improve the conditions of teachers and more especially, to stem the tide of resignations that hit the teaching service between 1956 and 19644 the Minister of Education, A. J. Dowuona Hammond in a presidential message to Parliament in 1960 announced the following salary adjustments: pupil teachers’ salaries increased from £G102 to the scale of £G144 -£G180; Certificate A and B teachers received increases of between £G35 and £G85 per annum. In addition, 12 per cent of Certificate A teachers were to move to the grade of Senior Teacher on an annual salary of £G500 -£G700, while the new grade of Principal Teacher was to attract a salary of up to £900 per annum. The message concluded that: ’We intend the teaching service not only to be second to none, but to give service that is second to none’. This no doubt was a very big boost to the teaching profession.
Higher education was given equal attention. In 1961, the University College of the Gold Coast founded by the Colonial Administration in 1948 and the Kumasi College of Arts, Science and Technolpgy established by Nkrumah in 1952 were given full university status in September and October respectively to become the University of Ghana and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. And in October 1962, the University College of Cape Coast (now University of Cape Coast) was also established to promote research in education and train graduate teachers for second cycle institutions. Other tertiary institutions such as polytechnics were set up in Accra, Kumasi, and Takoradi. Both the government and the Cocoa Marketing Board awarded scholarships for studies in local as well as foreign institutions. By 1959, as many as 3,000 Ghanaians were engaged in academic work in Western Europe alone. Most of these young men and women returned home with degrees in engineering, medical and veterinary sciences etc., to help in building the country.
As a measure to encourage research and scholarship, institutions for professional training in law, administration and accountancy were established. One of such institutions was the National Research Council (NRC) established in August 1958 to promote and co-ordinate research. A year later, the Ghana Academy of Sciences came into being. Its offspring - the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) was to work in close collaboration with the ; universities in research. The CPP also established the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission at Kwabenya with the aim of acquiring an atomic reactor to research into the use of nuclear energy in food and seed preservation, insect control and others.
Attention was also given to African history and culture. The Arts Council was established and a cultural unit was created within the Ministry of Education to co-ordinate the teaching and learning of the various aspects of Ghanaian culture. On its part, the Arts Council was to generate people’s interest in Ghanaian culture. As a further boost to this policy, the government gave encouragement for the establishment of the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana in 1961. This institute was to undertake research into Ghanaian history and culture and more especially, ’in the whole range of African Studies - History, Archaeology, Sociology, and Social Anthropology African languages ...’ to ensure their development.
Informal education was encouraged. The Department of Social Welfare and Community Development gave general education in health and sanitation, co-operative development and self-help projects. Also, adult education aimed at educating adults not only to read and write, but general courses to broaden the general knowledge of participants in a variety of courses - economics, history, world affairs etc. were organised under the supervision of the Extra-mural Department (now Institute of Adult Education). The Ghana Broadcasting Corporation began in 1957 special broadcasts to secondary schools and training colleges. And from the 1960s, the Corporation, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education started to telecast educational programmes to secondary schools and training colleges. The project was gradually extended to primary and middle schools. Library service, described by Nkrumah as ’second to none in the whole of the continent of Africa’ was provided. The Ghana Library Board established in 1950 had by June 1960 opened 15 branches, had over 30,000 registered readers, with nearly 20,000 of them as school children. And in the twelve months before achieving-a republican status, nearly 700,000 books were issued for home reading.5 Book vans were also put in operation to lend books to schools and colleges and individuals who could not visit the branch libraries. Teachers were given a special deal, which allowed them to borrow materials on professional issues, by post.
To ensure that the country was capable of awarding ’recognised certificates’, the government supported the setting up of the West African Examinations Council in 1952, to ’localize’ questions and marking schemes and to ensure the conduct of standardised examinations comparable to those written in Europe and other advanced countries. From 1954, the Council began to take over examinations run by the Cambridge University Local Examinations Syndicate in West Africa and by 1960 it had completed this arrangement. From this time on, the secondary school examinations of Ghana and Sierra Leone came to be known as the School Certificate Examination of the West African Examinations Council. The Council’s services were extended to The Gambia and Nigeria.
Under health, the CPP government built a number of new hospitals,! clinics and health centres while existing ones were expanded. To ease ttfl congestion at the regional hospitals, the government put up polyclinics to serve mainly out-patients in the urban areas. Six of such polyclinics were sited M Accra alone. To improve doctor-patient ratio, the government, had by 1960 sent about 400 Ghanaians abroad on scholarship to study medicine and return home to help in health delivery. And in 1964, a Medical School was established first under the control of the Ministry of Health and later (1965) the University of Ghana.Training schools for nurses were also established. Really, there was no I top-level nursing school until 1945. The only nursing school established that year only achieved an annual output of 8 nurses by 1951 when the CPP came to power. By 1962, six schools of nursing had been built with an output of 265 new nurses and mid-wives in that year alone. The government also caused to be set up at the district level, Health Inspectorate Units to go round to enforce by¬laws on sanitation and environmental cleanliness. Those whose activities contradicted basic hygiene were punished by the payment of fines which were imposed by district courts.
The government set up the Ghana Housing Corporation in 1956 to build houses for the people, especially those in towns. Under the 1959-64 Development Plan, large sums of money were allocated for the provision of water, electricity etc. for rural communities. A new housing scheme was drawn up for Tema to provide houses for workers in the harbour township. The CPP government also tried to develop Accra as a suitable capital for independent Ghana. By 1960, new dual-carriage roads, street light and new architectural designs were constructed to give Accra a face lift. A rural housing scheme was also initiated while the First Ghana Building Society - a quasi-government institution was set up to assist individuals through a mortgage scheme, to own houses.
One area that received serious attention during Nkrumah’s administration was industrialisation. Under a 10-Year Development Plan (1951 I -61) £37,900,0006 was to be expended on a number of industrial projects. The Development Corporation (an off-shot of the Industrial Development Corporation established in 1947, and finally, Ghana Industrial Holding Corporation - (GIHOC) was established to co-ordinate and supervise the variety of industrial concerns which by 1965, stood at 22. Thirty other industries were under construction. These industries sought to, where possible, rely on local raw material to produce goods for local consumption and export. Some of the heavy manufacturing industries established by the late 1950s included chocolate manufacture, vegetable oil mill; later, textiles and shoe making got underway. Tobacco manufacture, brewing, fruit canning and cement manufacture were also started. To protect these infant industries from unfair competition, they were granted tax holidays and exempted from paying duty on imported raw materials.
The CPP administration set up the State Mining Corporation in March 1961. It took over six out of the seven mines in the country. The Accra State Diamond Corporation was also established to take over all diamond mining activities from Africans and one Dutch diamond company. By 1965 therefore, there was only one foreign gold mining company - The Ashanti Goldfidlds, and three private diamond mining companies (CAST, AYCO, and Akim Concessions) were still conducting mining activities in the country.
The Bank of Ghana was established in 1957 to perform the functions of a Central Bank. Its first Governor was Sir Alfred Eggleston whose appointment took effect in July 1957. Earlier in February 1953, the Ghana Commercial Bank (formerly Bank of the Gold Coast) was established to accept deposits and to grant financial assistance to its customers. To check the country’s over-dependence on foreign loans and grants for her industrial growth, the Capital Investments Bank and the Industrial Development Bank were set up to mobilise local resources to finance Ghanaian entrepreneurs. The State Insurance Corporation was also formed in 1962 to handle all insurance business.
To aid growth, the government paid much attention to road construction. By 1957, over 1600 kilometres of excellent roads had been completed.7 Roads constructed include the Accra-Takoradi-Axim, Takpradi-Tarkwa roads and the most outstanding, the Accra-Tetna motorway. Added to these major roads were a number of feeder roads meant to connect the rural areas, where the bulk of the country’s food requirements were produced, to the urban and marketing centres. A bridge was also constructed in 1956 over the Volta at Adomi at a cost of £G690,000 to link the Volta Region to southern Ghana. To shorten the circuitous railroad from Sekondi-Takoradi through Kumasi to Accra, a new connecting railway line was constructed from Achiase on the Huni Valley-Kade line to join the Accra-Kumasi rail road at Kptoku near Nsawam. Another railway line was built from Achimota to Tema. Again, in a move to ease congestion at the Takoradi harbour, a new one was began at Tema in 1954 and commissioned in 1962 at the cost of £G18 million. The project included, a twenty acre fishing harbour.
Moreover, to provide a cheap source of electric power for the country’s industrial growth, the Volta Hydro-Electric Scheme was incorporated in the 7-Year Development Plan (1963 - 1970). The government therefore entered into an agreement with two US firms, the Kaiser Aluminium and Chemical Corporation and the Reynolds Metal Company to see to the realization of the project. With support from the International Bank, the United States Export and Import Bank and the UK Exports Credits Departments, a rock filled hydro¬electric dam of about 370 feet above tail water level (440 feet from bedrock of the river) with a crest length of 2,100 feet was to be constructed at Akosombo. It was to cost £40.2 million in foreign exchange and £27.6 million in local currency and capable, on completion, of producing 912MW of electrical power to an Aluminium Smelter at Tema and other consumers including the newly established industries.
The project was commissioned in January, 1966.8 In all certainty, the Volta River Project as described by the Political Affairs, was the most important accomplishment of the Nkrumah period: through it, "Ghana became the first former colony in Africa to establish a power base of electric energy for all -sided development of the country".
On air transport, the country broke away from the West African Airways Corporation formed in 1947 and established a new airline - Ghana Airways in 1958. J.C. Auster was appointed the Acting General Manager on July 4, 1.958.’ Within three years of its establishment, it had acquired twenty aircraft (2 Herons; 4 DC3.S ; 3 Viscounts, 2 Britannia, 8 Ilyushin 18’s and 1 Antonov-12). By an Act of Parliament (Act 181) it acquired a corporate identity as Ghana Airways Corporation on May 7, 1963. On July 15, 1958, it operated its first international flight to London via Barcelona in conjunction with the British Overseas Airline Corporation (BOAC). Besides, two trans-continental an* services to Beirut via Cairo and to Addis Ababa via Khartoum were inaugurated. In 1963, jet aircrafts were brought into service and improvements, including new runway were made to the Accra airport. New terminal buildings were also started. Teleprinter circuits and VHF radio telephones as well as automatic exchange facilities were installed. By the end of 1961, over 30,000 telephones were operational. The existing broadcasting system was improved and re-diffusion boxes were provided at some vantage points in towns and cities and to individual homes on subscription. TV network was also commissioned.
Trade was gradually taken over by the state. Consequently, the Ghana National Trading Corporation (GNTC) was set up with 43 branches scattered throughout the country. The GNTC was later expanded by the £6-milIiott purchase of the A.G. Leventis chain, and eventually received a monopoly o? the import of "essential" goods.
A rehabilitation programme was launched for cocoa, the country’s m export but which had been badly affected by the swollen shoot disease. 1 government did not only pay adequate compensation for any tree destroyed as measure of controlling the disease, but the industry was rehabilitated. F instance, ten years after the Second World War, the Cocoa Marketing B spent £16,625,553 on fighting the swollen shoot and capsid diseases.10 In c purchases, the Ghana Farmers’ Marketing Co-operative and the Ghana operative Marketing Association were set up to compete with foreign ft such as UTC, G.B. Ollivant, Cadbury and Fry etc. which for all this while, enjoyed absolute monopoly in cocoa purchases. By 1960, these two organizations were buying about 50 per cent of the total crop yield through licensed buying agents. By the end of the period under review, most of the expatriate firms including those established earlier had voluntarily folded up their operations.
Another feature of agricultural development was the diversification of the industry. Apart from cocoa, fanners were encouraged to go into crops such as citrus, coffee etc. Merchanized farming and the use of fertilizers to supplement soil nutrients for increased yield was encouraged. Livestock rearing was fully endorsed. Fishing also received attention. Between 1960 and 1966, £65 million was invested in coastal fisheries by both the government and private enterprises." The study of agricultural science in first and second cycle schools we encouraged. Also, an expansion programme was carried out in the Faculty o Agriculture in both UST and UG to improve the technical base of our agriculturists. A soil research station was established at Kwadaso, near Kumasi to help map but suitable lands for the production of various crops.
On credit facilities for farmers to boost production, the agricultural cooperative movement idea was maintained, though they’were, as we shall see later replaced by the CPP-dominated United Ghana Farmers Council in 1961. Another feature of agricultural development was the organisation of agricultural shows at the local and national level. At such shows, prizes were awarded to outstanding farmers. The Cocoa Marketing Board also instituted scholarship awards for the children of cocoa farmers to enable them continue their education at the second cycle level. All these measures served as a morale booster for farmers to increase production. Still geared towards the improvement of agriculture to guarantee sustainable increase in production, the co-operatives, as already indicated, were replaced with the new United Ghana Farmers’ Council. Unfortunately, this pro-CPP organisation was dominated by officers who did not possess the experience Seeded to ensure improvement in agriculture as compared to those of the co-operative movement.
The CPP administration also dissolved the Agricultural Development Corporation (formed during the Colonial era) and established the State Farms Corporation in January 1963 to undertake large scale mechanized farming. With its head office in Accra, where the overall planning, policy making and administration was carried out, the corporation had regional headquarters which were in charge of specific crops and farms in each of the regions. Staffed with a farm manager and technicians, each farm (which also had a farm committee) was to see to the realization of production targets and to strengthen party activities in the corporation.13 It took over the management of the Ministry of Agriculture’s stations and projects started by the defunct Agricultural Development Corporation. Also taken over were cocoa trial and demonstration stations.14 By 1963, the Corporation had inherited 42 farms. The number increased to 105 by the 1966 crop season. On the farms were cultivated 13,796 hectares of permanent crops such as oil palm, coconut, kola, banana and rubber, and 8,600 hectares of food crops. Sugar plantations were established. It also entered into livestock and poultry production. Budgetary allocation to the sector also increased to 8 per cent and 14 per cent under the 1959 and the 1963/64 plan respectively. It must however be noted that the State Farms failed to make any desired impact on the agricultural scene.!
The government also established the Workers Brigade16 to mobilise the unemployed youth to enter into agriculture for increased production. With farms all over Ghana, members were paid 6 shillings and 6 pence a day. Despite its laudable objectives, there was too much corruption and inefficiency in the Brigade Camps to make the venture worthwhile.
The political scene from 1957 to early 1966 was dominated by Nkrumah and his CPP. During, the period the CPP not only stifled the Minority group, but went] to every length to institute measures which made it more of a totalitarian government than an administration interested in nurturing democracy in the newly independent country. From 1957, steps were taken to decentralize the Police Service and appeals to the West African Court of Appeal was stopped! Measures were then taken to centralize the authority of government by! systematically dismantling the 1957 Constitution.
As a move to cripple the Minority parties which were more or less regional in scope, in December 1957, the government passed the Avoidance a] Discrimination Act (originally, the Political Parties Restriction Bill which was no doubt an appropriate title) which forbade the existence of parties based on regional, tribal o r religious grounds. Since signs of the impending clamp do\won the Minority parties were clear, they had in anticipation of the law inaugurated the United Party - UP at Bukom Square on 3 November 1957. Its executives were drawn from the following parties: the NLM, NPP, MAP, the Togoland Congress, the Anlo Youth Organisation and the Ga Shifimo Kpee.
The rally was presided over by Kofi Abrefa Busia and chaired by Ashie Nikoe. Prior to this Act, the CPP had passed the Deportation Act on July 22, 1957. The law was immediately applied to Alhaji Amadu Baba and Alhaji Osman Larden Lalemi, two Muslim leaders in Kumasi (believed to be sympathetic to the Minority) as well as a number of anti-CPP Syrians and Lebanese. Krobo Edusei (then Minister of the Interior) who carried out the order was indemnified through another act from contempt of court since the two Muslims had challenged the order in court and habeas corpus proceedings in respect of them were pending before Mr. Justice Smith. In carefully mounted attacks on Chiefs, Commissions of Enquiry were set up to examine the conduct of Nana Ofori Atta and the Akyem Abuakwa State Council, and the Kumasi State and Asanteman Councils between 1954 and 1957. Pressure also began to be exerted through the use of administrative powers governing the status and functions of Chiefs and their State Councils between 1954 and 1957. There were attempts by the government to intimidate anti-CPP traditional rulers and their State Councils, as, in many instances, destoolment charges were brought against them and they were destooled only to be replaced with pro-CPP candidates (heirs) from the same royal house or in other cases, pro-NLM chiefdoms (e.g. Duayaw Nkwanta) were ’down-graded’ from the position of a paramount state; while pro-CPP chiefdoms (e.g. Bechem) were upgraded. By such subtle acts, every pro-NLM Chief in Asante was destooled with the exception of the Asantehene probably because, he had earlier made a public declaration that he fully supports ’the government of the day’.18 The position of the Zerikin Zongo - the Muslim leader , in Kumasi, was also ’tampered with’. This is because the CPP appointed at the end of 1957, Mallam Mutawakilu in place of the deported Alhaji Baba despite protests by his supporters in the Muslim community.
ln December 1957, another law - the Emergency Powers Act was enacted to deal firmly with political luirest. Next in line of the repressive laws was the Preventive Detention Act (18 July, 1958) repealed and re-enacted by Act 240 of 1964 under which the President could order the arrest and detention of any citizen of Ghana for five years (without the right of appeal to the courts) for any act or omission pre-judicial to the defence and security of the state and its foreign relations if he was ’satisfied that the order was necessary’. More of the dictatorial tendencies of the CPP were yet to be unleased when in September, the CPP-dominated Assemblies and Houses of Chiefs consented to a Constitutional (Repeal of Restrictions) Bill which sought to remove the restrictions pertaining to constitutional amendment in the 1957 Order-in-Council; the Bill was presented to Parliament in October and passed by the stipulated two-thirds majority. A Constitution (Amendment) Act followed in March 1959 and the Regional Assemblies were dissolved. Unrestricted powers were also vested in a simple majority of the National Assembly. In the following month (April), Asante was divided into two by the creation of a new Brong-Ahafo region.
Within less than six months of its passage, the PDA was in full flight. In November 1958, the law was used to detain 33 members of the minority charged with forming a subversive organization known as "Zenith Seven" whose members had allegedly planned to kill Nkrumah. Among those detained were, Attoh Okine (lecturer at Kumasi College of Technology) and K. Y. Attoh, a leading Accra journalist. Then in December the same year, R. R. Amposah and M. K. Apaloo were detained on a spurious allegation by Captain Awhaitey, the Commandant of Giitard Camp in Accra, that the two had approached him to solicit his assistance in a coup plot. Nkrumah’s totalitarian tendencies were not limited to members of the Minority side of the political divide. He widened his attack on what were said to be ’neo-colonialist forces’ at work in Ghana to include both the civil service and the university from which the administrative grade of the civil service was recruited. In a speech during the 10* Anniversary Rally (12 June 1959) of the CPP, he launched a vitriolic attack on the university at Legon, describing it as ’a breeding ground for unpatriotic and anti-Government elements’.
He found it ’intolerable that we should be training people most of whom will eventually come into Government service who will be permeated with anti-Government attitude, that is to say, an anti-Convention People’s Party attitude ... How can these people serve loyally the Government and the State?’ Characteristically, a note of warning was sounded: "If reforms do not come from within, we intend to impose them from outside, and no resort to the cry of academic freedom (for academic freedom does not mean irresponsibility) is going to. restrain us...’. On July 1, 1960, the last vestige of British political power over the country ended when the country assumed a republican status. This was after Nkrumah had defeated Danquah in a plebiscite held on the 19, 23 and 27 April 1960 to decide on the country adopting the presidential system and a republican constitution.
In his Dawn Broadcast on April 8, 1961, Nkrumah officially launched the Socialist phase of the First Republic by nationalising the cocoa trade. Two documents amplified the details of this development: the Programme of the CPP’s Work and Happiness (1962) and the First Seven-Year Development Plan (1963-70). The economic provision included heavy emphasis on centralised planning, a shift from infrastructure to industrial production, nationalisation of foreign enterprises, establishment of state owned companies, and the creation of a mixed enterprise system as the first step towards state Socialism. The CPP journal The Spark became a further vehicle for political education, supplemented by the CPPs newspaper, The Evening News. Nkrumahism was to become a subject of instruction in schools.
With wide powers as an Executive President, Nkrumah continued his dictatorial tendencies. Under Article 2 of the Republican Constitution (1960), he had the absolute power, to grant loans, to appoint and dismiss the Chief Justice, to transfer, dismiss or put on probation any member of the Civil Service - the Judicial Service, the Police and Local Government, and to control the Army. Yet, opposition to his arbitrariness continued to mount. In September, 1961, railway and harbour workers in Sekondi-Takoradi went on a three week strike in protest against the harsh economic conditions. It was declared illegal under the 1958 Industrial Relations Act, and a state of emergency was declared in the twin-city. Scores of violent acts were recorded. On his return from a trip to the Soviet Union, Peking and Belgrade, Dr. Nkrumah issued a stern warning to the striking workers to report back to work. He was however not content with the warning. For, after the men had returned to work, their leaders and a number of market women who had assisted the strikers were arrested. This was followed by the arrest on 3 October 1961, of" J.B. Danquah, Joe Appiah, S.G. Antor, Victor Owusu and P.K.K. Quaidoo, a former CPP Minister of Trade.. They were detained together witft some titty members of the UP opposition party because of their alleged conspiracy with the workers.
On 1 August, 1962, after a lull in the series of bomb explosions that rocked Accra during the last months of 1961, an assassination attempt was made on Nkrumah. Returning from Tenkoddgo after a visit to President Yameogo of Upper Volta (Burkina Faso) he stopped at the Northern village of Kulungugu where he narrowly escaped death in a hand-grenade attack. Among the people killed was Superintendent Kosi, a bodyguard. Fifty others, including the President’s ADC, Captain Buckman, were injured. Nkrumah himself received minor shrapnel wounds in the back. Many arrests were made. Some CPP members - Ako Adjei - Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tawiah Adamafio -Information Minister and General Secretary of the party, and Coffie Crabbe -1 Executive Secretary of CPP, were dismissed from their posts and detained on grounds of their alleged conspiracy in the plot. Others arrested were Yaw Manu, a government clerk, R. B. Otchere (former Asante UP member) and Obetsebi Lamptey. A special court consisting of Sir Arku Korsah, the Chief Justice, W.B B. Van Lare and Akufo Addo, judges of the Supreme Court, was set up to try the I suspects.
Whereas some - like Obetsebi Lamptey and R.B. Otchere received’! prison sentences, Tawiah Adamafio, Ako Adjei and Coffie Crabbe were I acquitted on 9 December 1963 by the trial court presided over by Arku Korsah I for lack of evidence. Earlier on September 18, 1962, a Ga army officer, I Sergeant-Major Edward Tetteh, who was in-ctiarge of the Burma Camp I ammunition depot and was suspected to have provided the grenades was pushed 1 (or did he jump?) to his death from the fourth floor of the Police Headquarters whilst under interrogation. Acting within the terms of the constitution, Nkrumah on December 11,1 1963 dismissed Arku Korsah as the Chief Justice.
And on December 23, the National Assembly met in a special session and passed the Law of Criminal Procedure (Amendment No. 2) Act, which empowered the President to quash any decisions of the Special Court. Consequently, on December 25, 1963 the judgement of the court in the case of Tawiah Adamatio and others was declared null and void. The CPP’s clampdown on perceived detractors took one step further on I September 23,1962 when, following simultaneous bomb blasts in Accra and Tema, a state of emergency was declared, ,’lne army was given unlimited emergency powers, conducting house-to-house searches for weapons, ammunition and explosives and manning a blockade of Accra until 1964. Over I 500 people were imprisoned under the terms of the PDA and in January 1963, public meetings were banned. A second assassination attempt was made on Nkrumah on January 2, 1964 when a police constable on guard duty at Flagstaff House, Seth Ametewee, shot several close-range rifle rounds at Nkruamah but missed him.
Assistant Superintendent Salifu Dagarti, head of the special police guard was however killed. Six days later, Erasmus R. T. Madjitey-IGP, Samuel D. Amaning- 1Commissioner of Police, and eight other senior officers were dismissed. Again, the PDA was used to detain Amaning, Awuku, and Madjitey. Once again, J. B. Danquah was arrested and together with Dr. Dennis Osborne, aBritish physicist and de Graft Johnson - Director of the Institute of Public Education, they were held for questioning while six senior members of the former Institute of Extra-Mural Studies, Legon were deported. In support of these actions N. A. Welbeck headed a rowdy procession of CPP loyalists and others through Legon campus breaking windows and shouting abuse at the students. Thus by 1960, the effects of a combination of threats and blandishment were clearly visible. Of the 32 Minority members of Parliament at independence, three (3) were held in detention, one (1) was in exile and twelve (12) had crossed to the government side. More were to take the same road when Ghana became a republic: some were imprisoned, others fled abroad, while the rest took sanctuary in the ruling party.
To ensure that he had absolute power, Nkrumah proposed amendments to the 1960 Constitution through a plebiscite which took place on 24-31 February 1964. The amendments were to ’invest the President with the power in his discretion to dismiss a Judge of the High Court at any time tor reasons which appear to him sufficient’. The other would provide that’... there would be one national party in Ghana [and] that the one national party shall be the CPP’. Of the 2,877,464 eligible voters, a 92.8 per cent voter turn out recorded 2,733,920 ’YES’ votes against a ’NO’ of 2,452 votes. In 1964 then, Ghana became a one party state and the CPP became the only legal party with its flag replacing that of Ghana. Nkrumah’s dictatorship again became manifest in two swift actions he took in 1965. On 28 July, 1965 Major-General Stephen Otu, CDS and his deputy, Major-General Joseph A. Ankrah were forced into retirement in inexplicable circumstances just a few weeks after both men have been decorated on Armed Forces Day, with the Order of the Volta - the nation’s highest honour.
Instead of democratic elections of MPs, Nkrumah by the Voting Acts Amendments simply announced on radio, the names of those whom he had chosen to be members of the new parliament. The amusing part of the second action was that, some of the new MPs did not even know the location of the constituencies that they were supposed to be representing. To cripple the regular army as an insurance against any military takeover, The Security Service Act of 1963 grouped intelligence and special military bodies into a number of parallel security units. They included the Special Intelligence Unit established in 1963 and directed by Ambrose Yankey, (who recruited his son, Ambrose Yankey Jr. as his deputy) the Presidential Detail Department (PDD) or Department 1, headed by Eric Otoo and the Presidential Guard Company (after the Kulungugu assassination attempt the name was changed to President’s Own Guard Regiment - POGR) headed by Colonel David Gbon Zanlerigu. Informers were placed everywhere - in factories, banks, offices, shops, public transport, political rallies and in beer and akpeteshie bars. Moreover, members of the intelligence (bodyguard) group preceded Nkrumah on trips, mingled with crowds and frisked suspicious I individuals for weapons. A counter-intelligence system was also employed tol check on the loyalty of all PDD members and to prevent the infiltration ofl elements hostile to the regime.
These developments led to duplication in the work of the security forces! creating in the circumstance, a problem in command and control as the ’new ] system’ usurped the functions of the conventional military and police forces. InJ fact, before his overthrow in 1966, a web of power was spun over the whole] country, its threats reaching out from the Central Committee of the party into the! constituencies through a number of satellite organizations.
Early in 1957, the United Ghana Farmers Council was given statutory recognition as the sole representatives of farmers, the TUC was recast under an Industrial Relations Act which established a centralized structure of a limited number of national unions under CPP control, and a national Co-operative; Council created at the expense of the genuinely independent Alliance of Co
The Women’s Section of the party, youth movement - the Young Pioneers, the Builders Brigade, and a multiple of local organizations were similarly knit into the main body of the CPP. A Kwame Nkrumah Ideological Institute was put up at Winneba to indoctrinate civil servants etc. in ’Nkrumahism’ to ensure the total submission of all Ghanaians to the ideals of Nkrumah. The overall spread of power was given graphic description by. Nkrumah himself in 1959: "...I would like to explain the relationship of our party, the Convention People’s Party. It is a nation-wide political party containing the vast majority of our country. It is likened to a mighty tree with many branches. The Convention People’s Party constitutes the root and the trunk, and its branches include such organisations as the United Ghana Fanners’ Council, the Trades Union Congress, the Co-operative Movement, the Ex- servicemen, Women’s Organisations, the Kwame Nkrumah Korye Kuw, the National Associations of Socialist Students Organisation, the League of Ghana Patriots and other patriotic organisations which in their various ways are giving support to our party..."19 In short, by 1959, as John Tettegah of the TUC said: "The CPP was Ghana and Ghana was the CPP".
EXTERNAL RELATIONS UNDER
NKRUMAH/GHANA’S CONTRIBUTION TO THE FORMATION OF THE OAU
Nkrumah’s dream of seeing to the liberation of Africa from colonialism stemmed from the ideals of Pan-Africanism. And to show his commitment to this goal, he declared in the independent speech that: ’... the independence of Ghana will be meaningless unless it is linked to the total liberation of the African continent’. The tone and agenda were thus set for the liberation and unity of African states. With George Padmore as his Adviser on African Affairs (until Padmore’s death in 1959), the first major step towards die realization of African Unity was taken in April 1958, when the first Conference of independent African States was held in Accra. Eight states were represented - Ethiopia, Sudan, the UAR (Egypt), Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, Liberia and Ghana - and a joint declaration was issued whereby the leadership pledged themselves to assert an ’African Personality’ in the world. To give a feeling of what should be expected, on 23 November, 1958, Nkrumah and Sekou Toure, President of the newly independent Republic of Guinea, announced the formation of Ghana-Guinea Union. The Union membership, as defined on 1 May 1959, was to be open to ’all independent African States or Federations adhering to the principles on which the Union is based’. At the end of 1960, Mali joined the Union. The Ghana-Mali-Guinea Union was thus formed and on July 1961 the three Republics issued a charter setting out fourteen articles of a ’Union of African States’ as the ’nucleus of the United States of Africa’.
Prior to this, the first All-African People’s Conference assembled in Accra in December 1958. It brought together Heads of independent African States and representatives or delegates of nationalist movements from those countries which shared the aspirations of Nkrumah. Among the resolutions adopted was the proposal to establish a permanent secretariat in Ghana to ’accelerate the liberation of Africa from imperialism and colonialism’ and ’the emergency of a United States of Africa’. Ghana’s quest tor African Liberation was not limited to the hosting of conferences but she also offered to train freedom fighters from other African countries. Omers were admitted into Ghanaian educational institutions for further studies. They were to return home to liberate their respective countries from colonialism and as independent states, join other independent countries for a United Africa. In 1960, Ghana attended the Second All African People’s Conference held in. Tunis. She also participated in other conferences at which the relationship of African countries with one another and with the rest of the world was spelt out (e.g. respect for territorial integrity of other states, ’positive neutrality’ or Non- Alignment and peaceful settlement of disputes among African States).
In a move to ensure self-sufficiency of African states, Ghana gave financial assistance of £10 million to.Guinea on her attainment of independence in 1958. And together with Guinea, Mali, Egypt and Morocco, she formed the radical ’Casablanca group’ of states in January 1961. Ihe group stood tor political unity of Africa into the United States of Africa as against the ’Brazzaville and Monrovia group’ made up of Sierra Leone, Tunisia, Liberia, Garbon, Chad, Nigeria, the Congo and the Ivory Coast which advocated forco- operation among Africans in various fields. Ghana participated in the official opening of the OAU in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in May 1963. She also hosted the 1965 OAU Summit in Accra and has since been honouring her financial obligations for the smooth operation of the Organization.
THE FALL OF NKRUMAH
Nkrumah’s administration crumbled in early 1966 as a result of political, economic and social reasons.
Nkrumah, came to assume excessive powers and applied them according to his convictions. Through the obnoxious Preventive Detention Act of 1958, he terrorised his political opponents. Many people, some of them innocent, found new ’homes’ at the Nsawam Medium Security Prison where they were put in solitary confinement. Cases of torture and abuse of fundamental human rights were reported all over the country. Among his victims were J. B Danquah and Obetsebi Lamptey both members of the ’Big Six’. Danquah died from a heart attack in the Nsawam Prison while Obetsebi-Lamptey also died in the same prison on 29 January 1963. The independence of the judiciary was not only threatened, but was destroyed under Nkrumah. For instance, the dismissal of the Chief Justice, Sir Arku Korsah over the trial of Tawiah Adamafio and others in the Kulungugu assassination attempt on Nkrumah (the trial judge acquitted them for lack of evidence), was not only an unnecessary act of anger and spite, but an affront to the judiciary and against the due process of law. Under the PDA the courts could interfere with a detention order under the Act only by showing that the President who had made it, was not ’satisfied that the order was necessary’ and therefore the Rule of Law under which courts should operate was overtly subverted. Again, Kwame Nkrumah set up for trial of political offences, a Special Criminal Division *f the High Court where the presiding judge had no right to rule that there was no case to answer, but had to call upon an accused person for his defence, whether or not a prima facie case was made against him.
Nkrumah’s foreign policy was not in the best interest of Ghana. His Communist ideology and the desire to create a ’United States of Africa’ under his leadership created more enemies than friends for him. In tact, Nkrumah’s ambition towards the birth of United Africa led him to create the Bureau of African Affairs, secretly known as the Special African Service and itself part of Die national security apparatus to train Africans from many states, notably Niger, Upper Volta (Burkina Faso), Nigeria, Cameroon, Sierra Leone and Burundi in guerrilla warfare. Living in secret camps located at Brekum, Wa, Navrongo, Yendi, Obenemasi, Okponglo and at least thirty other locations, and under the supervision of Soviet, Chinese and Cuban instructors, these men were used for espionage and other subversive activities throughout the continent.21 This was not only frowned upon by countries which did not share Nkrumah’s ideas, but coming at a time when there was tension between the Communist block headed by the defunct USSR and the West led by the USA, the latter felt Nkrumah was I a big threat to Western interests in Africa. It therefore came as no surprise when | on 9 May 1978, the New York Times, in an article credited to Seymour Hersh j who was quoting ’first hand intelligence sources’, claimed the American CIA was neck deep involved in the coup.
Moreover, Nkrumah was guilty of paying more attention to foreign issues (especially African) than finding solutions to the economic problems that had become evident in the 1960s. Really, his financing of African liberation movements, and, more especially, the loan of £10 million to Guinea, were seen by many as unacceptable as the moneys could have been channelled into more useful ventures for the country. The formation of the Special Intelligence Unit, the President’s Own Guard Regiment and other security units which took the shape of a National Security Service (NSS) duplicated and usurped the functions of the military and the police. Although the two sectors existed side by side, members of the ’newer security structures’ were better equipped and enjoyed more appealing conditions of service than the regular forces. Moreover, the fact that they were responsible, not to the Defense Ministry, but directly to the Office of the President created a problem with regards to established norms of hierarchy and discipline. A simmering hostility thus developed between the Presidential Detail Department (especially the POGR section) and the regular forces. Occasionally, the tension burst into blazing rows between the commander of the POGR, who insisted that he took orders direct from the Commander-in-Chief (Nkrumah) and not the CDS - Major-General Stephen J. A. Otu , who protested in a letter to Nkrumah that an army cannot have two chains of command. On one occasion, the Commander of the POGR Zanlerigu refused to pay compliments to the CDS. The consequence was a letter from Otu to the President to express his frustration over the gradual undermining of army discipline. Perhaps, one could appreciate Otu’s dilemma by the extensive reproduction of the letter:
I have, during the past month , on several occasions had talks with the CO of the POGR on the matter of compliments to be paid me by Guards of Honour generally on the occasions that I attend parades or ceremonies in connection with visits of VIPs ... I consider that the CDS must continue to be given this honour because in a country where there is only one Major-General it does not look nice in the public eye for him to be ignored completely by troops on parade... On the departure of Premier Chou En-Lai at the Airport on 16lh January, 1964, despite my instructions to CO POGR, I was completely ignored by the Guard of Honour, much to my embarrassment When I confronted him for an explanation of his action he said that he was acting on orders from Flagstaff House ...I depend on someone unknown in the Flagstaff House to give orders to the POGR and sometimes even to me. The result is that coordination is lacking and the discipline of the POGR is, I am afraid, rapidly declining. I have observed a tendency in the personnel of the POGR to ignore officers outside the POGR.
This development created disaffection among the security forces. Furthermore, the forced retirement of Major-General Otu and Major-Genera I Ankrah and in their places the appointment of Brigadier Nathaniel Aferi-CDS and Lt Col. (temporary Brigadier) Charles Mohammed Barwah, his deputy, gave more signals to members of the regular army that their continued employment would depend on their loyalty to Nkrumah, a situation some found very unacceptable. The CPP also sought to control the Armed Forces by giving the officers ideological education in an attempt to integrate them in the direction of a single-party regime and identify them with the orientation of the government. CPP application forms were even issued and sent to all army units and a branch of the party was opened at the Teshie Military Academy. This did not find favour with some officers and men of the Ghana Army. This mood was explicitly stated by Afrifa who complained that the CPP for a long time "made a steady assault on the Army with a determined programme to indoctrinate it" but he and many other officers simply refused to fill in the party forms "on the principle that the Army must be above party politics".
Nkrumah’s growing intolerance and dictatorial tendencies also resulted in his overthrow. His method of silencing his critics and political opponents alike through the obnoxious PDA and other oppressive laws was not only an infringement on the right of the individual to freely express himself in a sovereign state, but the outlets for criticism from the Minority began to narrow. For instance, permission to comment over the Ghana Broadcasting network on Nkrumah’s recommendation for the draft constitution (in this case in 1960 Draft Contitution) proposals were denied to Danquah.2S Again, when the Ghanaian came to think that, the web of power was spun over the entire country with the Ghana Young Pioneers (June I960)26 and similar groups at the community level ready to offer information which could lead to one’s arrest and detention without trial, he started praying (secretly though), that there should be some sort of intervention to stop the further advancement of this insecurity.
By the formation of a on&-party state in 1964, with the President exercising wide powers without any checks, it became clear that he was now a ’constitutional dictator’.
There was ample evidence of corruption among Ministers of State and CPP activists. This was manifested by the way those in government and their cohorts flaunted their new finery (riches, etc.) in the midst of mass poverty. Worst of all, the identity card of the CPP became the yardstick for employme™ People who belonged and claimed allegiance to the CPP were employafl irrespective of their qualification. Through the constant creation of corporation! party functionaries, who were usually made Chairmen and Board members state corporations, began to attain financial stature, and could later afford tol boast, like Hutton Mills: "I have now left poverty behind me forever7, itwasnol doubt lucrative to belong to the party. Nepotism thus became a national practice despite the fact that it had very destructive consequences for a young country. As the coup plotters were later to allege, Nkrumah’s reign of terror created fear and panic among the populace. General insecurity created by mistrust came to take over from the well-knit Ghanaian society as husbands could no longer trust their wives and vice versa. Neither could parents trust their own children as any report of dissent or opposition to the CPP by any member of the public to the authorities, could land one in jail.
In his attempt to achieve socio-economic revolution within the shortest]! possible time, Nkrumah entered into unfavourable financial arrangements to the detriment of the country’s economy. Even though the adoption of the system of ’suppliers’ credit" 27 to finance projects was not the best of options, CPP Ministers continued to negotiate suppliers’ credit. This often led to inflated costs. For instance, the West German government guaranteed a £9.5 million contract for a German firm to improve Accra’s water and sewerage system; yet before the contract had been given, an expert study carried out by consultants appointed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the UN Special Fund had recommended a plan costing only £6.5 million.
In 1960, the economy started showing very disturbing signs as the country’s reserves showed a downward slope. Deficit financing came to be a feature of government fiscal policy* and severe inflation hit the country. For instance, between March 1963 and December, 1964, the price of locally grown food rose by as much as 400 per cent in some parts of Ghana. The average rise in food prices was 36 percent and the average rise in all prices was 17 percent. Earlier in 1961, in an attempt to still follow its capital expenditure (in the face of a fall in the price of cocoa) the government was forced to draw heavily on its reserves and a harsh bodget was introduced in mid-July which increased duties on a wide range of consumer goods to raise additional revenue. A new system of purchase tax was also adopted and a compulsory savings scheme was imposed whereby a levy of 5 per cent was deducted from all salaried and wage incomes of over £120 a month.
Between March 1963 and December 1965 consumer price index rose by 65 per cent. As expected, prices rose sharply and the net income of farmers and wage-earners alike fell. The hardest hit by these measures were the skilled and semi-skilled worker. And as a sigrf of protest, a major strike took place in September 1961 among the railway and harbour workers in Sekondi-Takoradi. Though the compulsory savings scheme was abolished two yeas later (in the 1963 budget), the high import duties on petrol and consumer goods were retained and increased both in 1962 and 1963. This added more woes to the already suffering worker and cocoa farmer.
The anger of the Ghanaian deepened when he realised that in the face of his frustration and dejectedness, ministers, regional and district commissioners, party officials, and the leading figures in the CPP’s auxiliary organisations lived in comfort. At the time of his overthrow in 1966 , not only had Nkrumah depleted the £200 million reserves that the country had at the time of independence, but Ghana’s total external debt obligation soared to £349.2 million in 1964. The nation’s ability to service her external debt obligations decreased. Black marketing became a lucrative business, foreign exchange became the most valuable asset in the country. Foreign-owned banks grumbled at requirements forcing them to hold government securities against their deposits. Complaints about the difficulty of getting payment from Ghana started sending wrong signals to the outside world. More disturbing was the fact that, the developed countries (especially those from the West) refused to assist Ghana under Nkrumah because the CPP government was extravagant and corrupt and had generally mismanaged the economy so much that to give it any accommodation would only lead to further indebtedness. In the midst of these negative developments, the army with active support from the police came to the rescue through a coup d’etat on 24 February, 1966.