Whoever said the ideas of Kwame Nkrumah died with him needs to have a rethink! The message of our great Pan-African leader lives on and in Samia Nkrumah, his voice re-echoes.
Samia Yaba Christina Nkrumah is the daughter of Ghana’s first president and hero of Africa’s Independence, Kwame Nkrumah. She is a daughter in whom her father would be well pleased.
Samia is a Pan-African activist who has picked up the baton from where her father dropped it and continues to stand unshaken in the symbolic shadows of his gargantuan image. She was a Ghanaian politician and past chairperson of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), she currently heads the Kwame Nkrumah Pan-African Centre. As probably expected, she named her son Kwame.
In an interview with Crystal Orderson of All Africa, Samia spoke of her displeasure on how African leaders have turned themselves to cheap beggars constantly knocking on the doors of the Chinese, the World Bank, and the IMF; an act she says rubbishes the legacy and heritage on which Africa’s independence was built.
A big critic of the loan structure operated by the IMF and World Bank, Samia Nkrumah said that the needless loans which originally were supposed to be a bailout have put African countries into even bigger debts that have seen them cut down on allocations on Education, Healthcare and Infrastructure.
“Countries are going back to the IMF and truth be told, we never ever stopped. It is so difficult to service the debt and our small economies and credit rating is so down and it is more expensive for us to borrow,” she said.
She, however, warned that a revolution may be in the making as ‘sooner or later, people will be so fed up and explode’.
It is disheartening to note that African countries have borrowed more than $15.4 billion from the IMF in 2018 alone, a figure that rose from about $5.39 billion in 2014. Yet, many of these countries are still roaming the lobbies of these International lenders seeking increased loans – which amounts to increased debt!
Speaking on the current scrabble for Africa between Europe, UK, and China, she said she isn’t surprised as this has always been the case because of Africa’s undeniable potentials. She said the attention of world leaders has always been on Africa, as they try to exploit the continent of potentials that are begging to be harnessed.
“There has always been a scramble because the potential here is so huge, meaning we have not explored what we have and we cannot give our resources away for anything. And judging by the statistics, China is the new sugar daddy for African states but some say it comes at a price, perhaps not as prescriptive as the IMF and Bretton Woods institutions but nevertheless has strings attached,” she said.
Being a true daughter of Kwame Nkrumah, she was quick to discuss the simple solution to all of Africa’s problem; and like her father, she put it in the fewest words possible.
“A new Africa has to be born. We need to visit the original idea. We were never meant to struggle; African states must work together.”
There is no doubt that Kwame Nkrumah was right when he said, a United States of Africa is the solution to our problems. What then is holding us back?
Author: Sebastiane Ebatamehi