I’m a big fan of Kwame Nkrumah, but admittedly, I know very little about the Convention People’s Party (CPP), the party started by Nkrumah during the struggle for Ghanaian independence and sovereignty. Nkrumah and the CPP ruled Ghana from 1957-1966, and n 1964, a (highly contested) constitutional referendum made Nkrumah leader for life, and CPP the only legal political party in Ghana. That all ended in 1966 when a coup ousted Nkrumah, and banned the CPP. The party remained fractured and dormant until 1996, when the National Convention Party (NCP) and the People’s Convention Party (PCP) merged into the renewed CPP.
I was first introduced to the CPP as a student at the University of Ghana-Legon. Presidential elections were held in the fall of 2008, and the CPP was to hold a rally on campus with then-candidate Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom. My friends were part of the organizing committee, so we got shirts and went to the rally. Unfortunately Dr. Nduom was a no-show.
Since then my interaction with the CPP have been minimal, except for when I wore that shirt. Now, gearing up for pre-dissertation research on processes of re-colonization (and advocacy of de-colonization) in Ghana, its essential for me to know and understand CPP’s history, underpinnings, trajectories, and ideologies. Below is just a snippet of what I’ve been looking at tonight, and the CPP Manifesto can be found here.
Motto: Serve Ghana Now! Ghana First!
The Nkrumaism is the ideological principle underpinning Nkrumaist political parties, namely CPP, PNC etc. There are three main principles guiding Nkrumaism:
Self-determination: We must abandon our colonial mentality and inferiority complex and re-assert control over our natural resources and national interests for the sustainable and equitable development of our country.
Social Justice: The State has a moral and constitutional duty to promote equal opportunity and equitable rewards for all Ghanaians, irrespective of age, gender, ethnic, religious, political or other backgrounds, and
Pan-Africanism: We must work with Africans at home and abroad to find common solutions to our common problems of racism, poverty, exploitation and under-development.
The Chairperson of Convention People’s Party (CPP), Ms Samia Nkrumah, … explained that the country’s underdevelopment and impoverishment was only possible because of the complicity and collaboration of policy makers and political leaders who sacrificed national interest for personal gain…
… [Nkrumah stated that the CPP] rejected policies that preserve a classical colonial relation that Ghanaians struggled to overthrow 50 years ago, … and stressed that either the country remained ‘’incapacitated on the intravenous drip of aid and development assistance and misdirected development policy direction or rise up to the demands and discipline required for national development and prosperity”.
The Convention People’s Party is outraged by the lack of political will to ensure that the exploitation of our mineral resources benefits the citizens of Ghana, and the failure to protect our environment and our heritage for sustainable development.