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General News
J. B. Danquah initiated Pan-Africanism - SKB 3/20/2007
Accra, March 20, GNA - Professor Samuel Kingsley Botwe Asante, a fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (GAAS), on Monday claimed that Dr. J. B. Danquah and his colleague nationalists of the Gold Coast employed Pan-Africanism and regionalism long before Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah returned to Ghana in 1947.

"Pan-Africanism and regionalism were the tools which the articulate Gold Coast nationalists skillfully employed in the struggle against colonialism and imperialism in the 1920s and 1930s, about 27 years before Osagyefo returned to this country," he said.

Prof. Asante was speaking on the topic; "Ghana in Search of Pan-Africanism and Regionalism: A Historical Overview" in the 40th J. B. Danquah Memorial Lectures, which was under the broad theme: 93Ghana and the Promotion of Pan-Africanism and Regionalism."

The lecture was organized by the GAAS and the theme selected for this year was specifically "to highlight the regrettably neglected aspects of the impressive contributions which J. B. Danquah and the leading nationalists groups made towards the advancement of Ghana''s independence before the advent of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in nationalist politics."

It was also to debunk what appeared to be myths of aspects of Ghana''s political history in order to set the record straight for younger generations.

Prof. Asante noted that against several erroneous claims by pro-Nkrumahists that before Kwame Nkrumah, there was no Pan-Africanism and that Dr. Nkrumah was the only prophet of Pan-Africanism, Dr. Nkrumah himself admitted on page one of his book "I Speak Freedom" that there was "a considerable political awakening in the Gold Coast between 1919 and 1947" before he returned to Ghana.

Prof. Asante noted that Dr. Nkrumah amazingly claimed in page 53 of his book ''Dark Days in Ghana'', published in 1967 after his overthrow that it was he who launched the nucleus of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) in Saltpond on December 29, 1947, when in actual fact UGCC was launched by J. B. Danquah and his colleagues on August 4, 1947 when Dr. Nkrumah was still in England.

"Osagyefo perhaps unconsciously, makes the date of confirmation of his appointment as Secretary-General of the UGCC, which was December 29, 1947, appear to be the date on which the organization was actually launched," he said.

Prof. Asante traced the formation of the GAAS to a letter J. B. Danquah wrote in 1944 to one K. B. Ateko, a former Treasurer of the Bond of 1844 insisting on the formation of the GAAS as early as March 1954, long before Dr. Nkrumah established the GAAS.

He said it was sad that the handbook of the GAAS made no reference to J. B. Danquah, who actually conceived the idea.

Prof. Asante noted that even though some pro-Nkrumahists had tried to insist that it was Kwame Nkrumah who promoted the idea of a separate university for Ghana as against a single West African University, "it is common knowledge that it was J. B. Danquah, who fought relentlessly for a separate university of Ghana when Nkrumah was in England.

"Nkrumah returned home in December 1947 and a year after the University College of the Gold Coast was formally established," he said. He noted that it was necessary for due recognition to be given to uncontestable facts about J. B. Danquah''s immense contribution to Pan-Africanism and Ghana''s independence for the sake of posterity. 19 March 07


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