Pan-Africanism in Ghana is an interdisciplinary exploration of the various ways Pan-African politics have been expressed by politicians in the Republic of Ghana from the colonial era to the present. By focusing on transnational politics in the context of a single nation over time, this study gives critical insight into the complex global, national, and local pressures that shaped Pan-African politics and the Republic of Ghana simultaneously. While there has been a great deal of work on Kwame Nkrumah and Ghana’s First Republic, this book’s major contribution is to trace Pan-African ideas in Ghanaian politics past the Nkrumah era, through the years of weak civilian governments and military rule, to the present. This approach explains how and why Pan-Africanism has shifted, inresponse to major global geopolitical changes and the objectives of Ghanaian political elites, from an anti-imperial African socialist oriented ideology to one supporting neoliberal nation-building.
By viewing Ghanaian history through the lenses of economics, cultural anthropology, and political economy, this study reveals the extremely malleable nature of Pan-African ideas and the ingenuity of politicians looking to utilize them for a variety of political projects. In short, Ghana’s conception as a springboard for a greater African union left a legacy subsequent civilian and military leaders of various ideological shades had to grapple with. The ways they rejected, embraced, or sought to subvert the nation’s internationalist past helps us understand the mechanics of decolonization/nation-building in a globalizing world. Pan-Africanism in Ghana contributes to the historiography of Ghana by focusing on often overlooked figures and placing the development of the West African nation in a wider global context, while also presenting new multi-faceted arguments to debates about the history of Pan-Africanism.
This book is part of the African World Series, edited by Toyin Falola, Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities, University of Texas at Austin.