Ghanaians Celebrate Nkrumah Today

The Director of Academic Affairs at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College (GAFCSC), Dr Vladimir Antwi-Danso, has advocated  a law to give backing to the 40-year development plan being developed by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC).

Such legislation, he said, should make it obligatory for political parties to draw their manifestoes from the 40-year plan to prevent the situation where the country could experience flip flops in its development agenda.

Dr Antwi-Danso made the suggestion in an interview on his perspectives on the significance of the 107th birthday of Dr Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of Ghana, and the Founder’s Day celebration scheduled for today.

The Founder’s Day was instituted in 2010 by President John Evans Atta Mills to celebrate the birthday of Dr Nkrumah, who was born at Nkroful in the Western Region on September 21, 1909.

Founder’s Day

The declaration of the day generated debate as to whether Dr Nkrumah was the only founder of Ghana or there were others.

For instance, there is a school of thought that other members of the ‘Big Six’ equally deserve to be recognised as founders.

Dr Nkrumah is recognised as a great man, more specifically a Pan-Africanist of no mean repute.

Dr Antwi-Danso underscored the need for governments to examine critically some of the development plans that were rolled out by President Nkrumah and extrapolate some of the initiatives and/or continue with some of the projects that could be useful for the development of Ghana.

He decried the situation where development schemes, projects and priorities of the country were changed depending on which political party was in power and said such a practice did not augur well for the long-term development of the country.

SHS duration

Citing the duration of senior high school (SHS) to buttress his point, Dr Antwi-Danso said at a time in the country’s history, SHS duration was three years; then it was changed to four, before it was reverted to three years.

He said the 40-year national development plan could provide one of the surest ways to ensure consistency and continuity in the country’s development agenda and prevent changes in programmes contingent on variations in the political discourse.

Development plans

Touching on Dr Nkrumah’s significance, the former Director of the Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy (LECIAD) of the University of Ghana said the first President spearheaded the country’s independence struggle and contributed meaningfully to its development.

He said the five-year and the seven-year development plans initiated by Dr Nkrumah could have transformed Ghana into an international showpiece and earned the country the status of middle-income as far back as 1971.

In spite of being a passionate Nkrumaist, Dr Antwi-Danso said Founder’s Day should be celebrated in honour of all those who, in diverse ways, contributed to the independence struggle, instead of celebrating only Dr Nkrumah.

He said Dr Nkrumah’s birthday was selected because the nation wanted to honour him, but underscored the need for others who contributed to the independence struggle to be recognised.