Ghana Celebrates 65 Years of Uhuru: Challenge of African Unity

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Nkrumah--hero of Ghana's Uhuru and African liberation.

Harold Acemah

In the Church calendar, March 6, 2022 is the first Sunday in the season of Lent which begins on March 2, a day observed by Christians worldwide as “Ash Wednesday.” The 40-day Lenten season ends on April 14. On March 6, the government and people of Ghana celebrate the 65th anniversary of Independence of a former British colony called “Gold Coast.” Ghana was the first Sub-Saharan colony to achieve self-government in 1952 and Independence on March 6, 1957, with Dr Kwame Nkrumah as Prime Minister and from 1960 as President. Ghana was followed by Guinea in 1958, with Sekou Toure as president.

On that auspicious and historic day, I was in P.5 at Wolo Primary School in the defunct West Nile District. In 1957, Wolo Primary School became the first and only PLE centre in Aringa County (now Yumbe District). My father Enoka K Yada (RIP) was Headmaster of the school.

The theme chosen by the Government of Ghana for the 65th Independence anniversary is: Working together; Bouncing Back Better. Dubbed; Cape Coast, 2022.” The celebrations happening today at Cape Coast were preceded by 10 days of activities which began on February 25, 2022 with a “Clean Ghana Campaign” whose purpose is to sanitize the whole country. My hometown, Arua City, Gulu City, Lira City, Mbale City and Uganda’s capital city Kampala could definitely do with regular “Clean your city campaigns."

Sunday, February 27, was declared “Christian Prayer and Thanksgiving Day” and Ghanaians from all corners of the country gathered to pray for Ghana.

 On a personal note, I am blessed and pleased to have a beautiful young lady from Ghana as a member of my family. My daughter-in-law, Mrs Charity Osei-Nsiah Acemah, is the wife of my son, Mr Germain Acemah, a renowned Architect based in Manchester, England. God has blessed our family with three lovely grandchildren from the Ghana-Uganda union, including my only granddaughter whom we fondly call Princess Daisy. May God bless them abundantly on this Special Day!

 The Guest of honour at Ghana’s 65th Independence anniversary celebrations is the eloquent and thought-provoking Prime Minister of Barbados, Hon Ms Mia Amor Mottley, QC, MP.

 Legacy of Kwame Nkrumah

 The story of post-colonial Ghana and Africa cannot be told without mentioning a towering personality who stands out as a colossus; that personality is Kwame Nkrumah, father of the struggle for African liberation, the African revolution and continental African unity.

 In 1963, on the eve of the first OAU Summit held in May 1963 at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Nkrumah published his seminal book titled, “Africa Must Unite” which remains the blueprint for his dream, a United States of Africa, a dream which has sadly not yet materialized primarily due to lack of good, effective, genuinely Pan-Africanist and selfless African leaders like Nkrumah, Nyerere, Obote, Kaunda, Sekou Toure, Mandela, Gaddafi and Gamal Nasser to relentlessly pursue the matter. I believe Nkrumah’s dream is noble, realistic and achievable. The youth of Africa must rise and face the challenge of African unity.

 Africa’s decade of Independence, the 1960s was not an accidental event, but a result of the adoption of UN General Assembly Resolution 1514 of December 14, 1960 titled, “Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples” spearheaded by Nkrumah and the Ghana delegation to the 15th regular session of the UN General Assembly.

 It’s not surprising that many Ghanaian diplomats played a prominent role in international affairs, such as, Kofi Annan who served with distinction as UN Secretary General, Robert Gardiner who was Executive Director of the UN Economic Commission for Africa based in Addis Ababa and Mr A.L Adu who was Secretary General of the East African Common Services Organization, predecessor of the original East African Community.

 I wish the people of Ghana a happy 65th Independence anniversary with freedom and justice.  

Arua CityUganda.

February 242022.

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