Volume 32, 2018
Philosophical Traditions in Africa
Politico-cultural Philosophy of Kwame Nkrumah
African philosophy in the twentieth century is largely the work of African intellectuals under the influence of philosophical traditions from the colonial countries. Among them are few names such as Amilcar Cabral, Franz Fanon, Kwame Nkrumah, and Julius Nyerere etc. This paper is an attempt to analyze the political philosophy of Nkrumah, first President of Republic of Ghana in West Africa. The paper argues that from the African political and economic point of view Nkrumah advocated a socialist system created out of the enculturation of African humanist values with the inherited European political culture and social traditions to liberate unite and integrate Ghana and rest of Africa. Following an interdisciplinary approach this paper assesses Nkrumah’s thought both as an individual, intellectual and as a politician. His book ‘Consciencism’ describes the more political than socio-economic approach to class contradictions in African society. He has talked of three objectives i.e. nationalism, pan-Africanism and socialism. Nkrumah who had earlier embraced Gandhian non-violence positive action later adopted the Fanonian lines of revolutionary violence. Though critics in his thought have found profound contradictions or confusions but none can obscure the main achievements. He is remembered as ‘the redeemer’ by the Africans.