Working with Rawlings

Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings burst on the Ghanaian political scene with a failed military mutiny on May 15th, 1979. On June 4th 1979, following a successful uprising staged by junior officers and other ranks of the Ghana Armed Forces, he emerged as the Chairman of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) which ruled Ghana for three months and handed over to a civilian constitutional government on 24th September 1979. On 31st December 1981, he overthrew the constitutional government and formed the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) as the Government of Ghana. He was elected a constitutional President in 1992 and assumed office as such on 7th January 1993. He served two terms as President of the Republic of Ghana, finally leaving office on 6th January 2001.

Jerry John Rawlings is an enigma. It was a privilege working with him and being close to him. He and I went through many exciting experiences together. I have documented some of those experiences in this book. But there are many other experiences which I have not documented either because they belong to the realm of confidentiality or of privacy. What I have documented, however, is enough to give present and future leaders some ideas about governance at the highest levels; the dos and don’ts of governance; the skills required for governance and the importance of human relations as a leadership trait.

This is not a book about Jerry John Rawlings. It is not a book about Kwamena Ahwoi. It is not a book about the PNDC. It is not a book about the NDC. It is a book about Kwamena Ahwoi working with Jerry John Rawlings; our working relationship; our ups and downs and our joint commitment to building a better Ghana than the one we found it. Somewhere along the line, we drifted apart. This book is about that as well. It is my hope that Ghana’s leaders of today and our leaders of the future will learn some lessons from my account of Working with Rawlings, leaving out the negatives and accentuating the positives.

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Ahwene Pa Nkasa: Standing with JDM

Standing with JDM is quite clear in this title that it does not intend to undermine the former president’s image but to burnish it. What is not clear is whether it was written to coincide with the 2020 Election Year.

It is in two parts, “The Homeland Briefs” and the “Diplomatic Briefs”. Independent of each other, they are held together by what the author calls the “Mahamarabilia” thread – a word he invented to describe his privileged proximity to the 4th president of the 4th Republic of Ghana.

Part One has 42 chapters that highlight events like Dumsor, Gitmo 2, Montie 3, Cheating at Elections, Lying and Blaming it on Mahama, Destroying friends and Family and much, much more…It also has intellectual discourses on Traditional Governance and the Ballot Box, Kigali (dangers that could be awaiting Ghana in this Election Year), Ebola and Covid-19 and the history of Ghana’s “coodetas” in new lights that would surprise and reveal…

Part Two, with 25 chapters, is devoted entirely to the author’s diplomatic service and reads sometimes like a coursebook on practical diplomacy and other times like a travelogue with intriguing insights. We come across his encounter with a sex change person (man to woman) and how his life was nearly cut short when his official car and ostrich crashed into each other on the highway from Windhoek to Gaborone. Part Two is so suffused with humour that it is difficult to tell whether he is pulling the reader’s leg or stating facts.

Most of the chapters are illustrated with unique pictures that could stand on their own as stories. It is a beautifully designed book, well laid out reader-friendly. For the first time, a modern version of adinkra, called adinshia, has had a public airing in the book…

Whatever your political persuasion is, your intellect will make you love this beautiful book on Mahama.

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Operation Cold Chop

Operation Cold Chop is good historical material stating what led up to the first coup d’état in Ghana. It provides a vivid account of the military take-over and the immediate occurrences after that. It is a well-researched historical piece describing the situation in Ghana under the reign of the first President. The author states historical facts without political comment. The interweaving of the various perspectives makes reading very interesting. It certainly will please students of history especially.

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Africa Must Unite!

Africa Must Unite best describes what Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah stood for.

The mission he began over half a century ago remains uncompleted and the task of this generation is to make the dream of African unity come alive and realise our full potential as the African nation that would be embracing all peoples of African ancestry.

Nkrumah called for the political and economic unification of African states as the most effective way to achieve economic and socio-cultural emancipation and regain full sovereignty over our land and resources.

The thesis of Africa Unite remains unassilable, giving hope to about 1.5 billion Africans all over the world who aspire for a better life in a more humane world.

Africa Must Unite!

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Justice Daniel Francis Annan: In the Service of Democracy

Justice Annan’s public service in Ghana’s recent history embodies how an individual, acting in concert with compatriots, can direct the course of history using institutions which may prevail at a specific conjuncture in that history.

The objective of producing this biography of Justice Annan is to extrapolate from his life as a public servant, especially during the critical period of 1982- 1992 when he was a key member of the PNDC, and the 1993 – 2000 when he was Speaker of the first and second Parliaments of the Fourth Republic, the lessons and insights that add value to the existing knowledge of how social and political dynamics are purposefully managed even in the most challenging times; and how key institutions like Parliament are nurtured in a nascent democracy to literally turn dust into gold. The weight of the biography therefore leans heavily on Justice Annan’s public service during the two periods indicated above.

This biography was sponsored by the IDEG under its Senior Citizen Scholar in Residence Programme, which is non-partisan and open to all who have distinguished themselves in rendering service to our dear country Ghana. We hope that this publication will inspire institutions and individual philanthropists, both Ghanaian and foreign, to contribute generously to the funding of the programme. The programme aims at deepening our knowledge and understanding of the momentous conjunctures in our history that have shaped the content and trajectory of Ghana’s young democratic state.

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Kwame Nkrumah: A Biography

Very few statesmen have attempted or achieved so much as Kwame Nkrumah, a leading activist and theoretician of PanAfricanism. His work lives on and continues to inspire Africans, people of African descent and progressive movements worldwide.

In this new biography, June Milne traces the life and work of Kwame Nkrumah from his birth in Nkroful in the western province of the Gold Coast (Ghana) to his death in Bucharest, Romania on 27 April, 1972. The book contains much new material, notably relating to years Nkrumah spent in Conakry, Guinea after the military coup in Accra on 24 February, 1966 which ended his government in Ghana. It adds to information in the author’s book Kwame Nkrumah, The Conakry Years, published in 1990.

For the first time in a biography of Nkrumah, information is provided about all the books written by him. The circumstances in which they were written are explained, their contents examined, appraisal made of their significance and continuing impact on political developments in Africa and the Diaspora.

This is an authentic moving account of the life and work of “The Greatest African” (the words inscribed on his coffin in Guinea), by an author well qualified to write about him.

 

 

 

 

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J. A. Braimah: Biography of a Trailblazer (Hardcover)

This well researched book is not just a biography of the first-ever Member of Parliament and Cabinet Minister from Northern Ghana, but a packed chronicle of the stormy political period of the pre- and immediate post-independent Ghana, narrated through the lens of a man in whose soul the development of Ghana – and Northern Ghana in particular – burns. It highlights the slow but momentous inclusion of Northern Ghana in the affairs of the Gold Coast.

The mistrust that characterized the relationship between Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and the leaders of Northern Ghana, which culminated in the formation of the Northern Peoples Party, and Northern Ghana’s struggle for a dignified independence; makes this biography a must have for scholars, students, politicians and all who are interested in the twists and turns of this period.

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Class Struggle In Africa

Recent African history has exposed the close links between the interests of imperialism and neo-colonialism and the African bourgeoisie. This book reveals the nature and extent of the class struggle in Africa, and sets it in the broad context of the African Revolution and the world socialist revolution.

 

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Kwame Nkrumah and the Dawn of the Cold War: The West African National Secretariat, 1945-48

The history of a Pan-Africanist movement based in Britain and its role in the Cold War in Africa

The West African National Secretariat (WANS) has almost been forgotten by history. A pan-Africanist movement founded in 1945 by Kwame Nkrumah and colleagues in London and France, WANS campaigned for independence and unity. Nkrumah returned to the Gold Coast in late 1947. The colonial government accused him of being a communist and fomenting the riots of early 1948. He was jailed. This led to the beginning of the Cold War in West Africa.

Drawing on archival research including the newly released MI5 files, Marika Sherwood reports on the work of WANS, on the plans for a unity conference in October 1948 in Lagos, and on Nkrumah’s return home. Sherwood demonstrates that colonial powers colluded with each other and the US in order to control the burgeoning struggles for independence. By labelling African nationalists as ‘communists’ in their efforts to contain decolonisation, the Western powers introduced the Cold War to the continent.

Providing a rich exploration of a neglected history, this book sheds light for the first time on a crucial historical moment in the history of West Africa and the developmental trajectory of West African independence.

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A History of Indigenous Slavery in Ghana: From the 15th to the 19th Century

Academic research and publication on indigenous slavery in Ghana and in Africa more widely have not received attention commensurate with the importance of the phenomenon: the history of indigenous slavery, which existed long before the trans-Atlantic slave trade, has been a marginal topic in documented historical studies on Ghana. Yet its weighty historical, and contemporary relevance inside and outside Africa is undisputed.
This book begins to redress this neglect. Drawing on sources including oral data from so-called slave descendants, cultural sites and trade routes, court records and colonial government reports, it presents historical and cultural analysis which aims to enhance historical knowledge and understanding of indigenous slavery. The author further intends to provide a holistic view of the indigenous institution of slavery as a formative factor in the social, political and economic development of pre- colonial Ghana.
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PNDC/NDC: Setting the Records Straight (Vol. 1)

Was the Rawlings Regime legitimate? Has any regime been legitimate? Who defines legitimacy? The ruler or the ruled?

The introductory literature compels the reader to look at regime legitimacy with panoramic lenses.

It looks at a societal conflict model where “powerful, local groups overwhelm the centre and undermine its ability to offer effective leadership” and the state contraction model, where  “the weak state, plagued by incapacity and ‘immobilism’ may deteriorate from within”. It was the state contraction model that ushered in the June 4th Revolution because; the state could not offer effective leadership; losing credibility as a political and economic manager.

Who is a Ghanaian? How do we define ourselves?

A journey of nostalgic reminiscence reveals the first establishment of foreign hegemony in Gold Coast, the historicity in the struggles between European dominance of the Coastal Belt; the formation of the Aborigines Rights Protection Society; and the struggles culminating in the advent of the PNDC.

Against this background, the Book chronicles the policies, plans, programmes and projects of the Rawlings Regime such as:

  • The famous ERP and PAMSCAD
  • The JSS/SSS school systems
  • Improvements in the sanitation situation of Ghana
  • The development of youth and sports
  • A decade of trunk roads rehabilitations
  • The foundation of Primary Health Care Programme
  • The genesis of Land Administration reforms and title registrations
  • Local governance reforms
  • The mapping of our mineral resources

This Book provides a glimpse of how the Rawlings Regime shaped the present political and economic landscapes through structural and institutional reforms.

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Voice from Conakry

The texts of broadcasts to the people of Ghana made in Conakry by Kwame Nkrumah between March and December 1966 on Radio Guinea’s “Voice of the Revolution”. Their purpose was first to expose the true nature of the coup of 24th February 1966; and secondly to encourage resistance.

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Everything That Happened and The People Who Made It

The book is a concise and comprehensive profile of the Top 10 entertainment brands in Ghana who dominated the 2010-2020 decade. Its simple language vividly describes and provides clarity of behind-the-scene happenings of Showbiz events within the decades.

The author made a trip down memory lane by actively seeking expert knowledge and witness accounts of crucial events in the Ghanaian entertainment industry, even beyond the decade under review.

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Revolutionary Path

This book was compiled during the last two years of the author’s life. It was begun in response to many requests for a single volume which would contain key documents, some of them previously unpublished, which would illustrate landmarks in his career as a leading theorist and activist of the world socialist revolutionary struggle.

Among the documents included in Parts One and Two are Editorials from the Accra Evening News, What I Mean by Positive Action, The Motion of Destiny, The Dawn Broadcast, and the full text of other important speeches and broadcasts. Introductory sections to each document provide further insight into the political thinking of this great revolutionary Pan Africanist.

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I Speak of Freedom

A selection from the speeches of Kwame Nkrumah up to 1960, linked by narrative.

The main theme is Ghana’s independence, political freedom preparing the way for a socialist programme of economic and social development, and an intensification of the struggle for the total liberation and unification of the African continent.

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Development as Rebellion: A Biography of Julius Nyerere

Book One: The Making of a Philosopher Ruler

Lead Author: Saida Yahya-Othman

Book Two: Becoming Nationalist

Lead Author: Ng’wanza Kamata

Book Three: Rebellion Without Rebels

Lead Author: Issa G. Shivji

We must thank the authors of this biography because by telling the story of Mwalimu they help to give a concrete account of that common thread in his thinking which informed his actions as a liberation fighter, a statesperson and a pan-Africanist. Thus will we have what will serve as an invaluable manual for the activists for the renaissance of Africa.

–Thabo Mbeki

The most comprehensive and in-depth look at every aspect of the life of the man who became one of the greatest leaders and philosophers of the African Liberation, universally acclaimed as the Mwalimu of Africa.

–Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

More than just a biography, this work promises to give the reader a multifaceted introduction to the history of the country and the region, the dynamics and challenges of the anti-colonial struggle, as well as a nuanced understanding of the theory of human and social emancipation in an important part of the post-colonial world.

–Mahmood Mamdani

This book merits praise and wide readership. It is no doubt a significant intellectual contribution to the African library on nation-building and progressive thought in post-colonial Africa.

—Thandika Mkandawire

A fascinating read, the biography provides a complex analysis of Mwalimu Nyerere: the philosopher, statesman, politician, writer, teacher, husband and father. The work explores the controversies surrounding Mwalimu’s public and personal life in a critical and sensitive way, drawing on a wealth of information from a variety of sources, including interviews, public archives and personal documents to provide gems, rare insights on contentious moments and events.

–Marjorie Mbilinyi

At last we have a definitive biography of Julius Kambarage Nyerere, one of the major political actors on the African stage for a whole generation. … This is compulsory reading for anyone interested in Nyerere, Tanzania and Africa.

–Jenerali Ulimwengu

Spectacular book!

Scholar, teacher, poet, philosopher, politician, nationalist, socialist, democrat, autocrat, visionary, icon and iconoclast, Julius “Mwalimu” Nyerere left such a colossal footprint on modern African and global history that a biography that does justice to such an enigmatic and complex figure seemed unimaginable. Until now.

–Robin D. G. Kelley

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Politics in Ghana (1982-1992): Rawlings, Revolution and Populist Democracy

This work was embarked upon as part of my study of military intervention in politics which had become the bane of politics in my country and Africa as a whole. My previous study had encompassed the period 1972-1979 (vide Politics In Ghana 1972 — 1979). The publication was well received and it won several awards. The book decried military rule in the hope that it would discourage military incursions in Ghanaian politics. As the 31 December Revolution unfolded, several friends impressed upon me, and I felt a deep obligation in the same direction, to capture and analyse the events of the time for posterity and for the guidance of my beloved country.

With the advent of the PNDC on 31 December 1981, revolutionary politics was launched, which was geared towards participatory democracy. The PNDC military government claimed that it was not just another military junta but that under the auspices of the military and civilian revolutionary leaders and cadres, the people were taking their destinies into their own hands towards the establishment of grassroots democracy. In the process, as the revolutionaries claimed, all injustices would be redressed, corruption would be eradicated and a new era of prosperity would dawn as “true democracy” was manifested.

My task in this work was to examine critically, the true nature of the PNDC, its composition, declared aims and objectives and whether the politics of revolution which dawned on 31 December 1981, could be justified. It was worthy to study and document whether the Defence Committees, District Assemblies, political and legal institutions of the PNDC, the regime’s human rights record, economic and social policies, responsibility and accountability to the populace, responsiveness in government and its electoral record did lead to a true democracy. The work is seen as a contribution towards answering the question: did the PNDC bring democracy to Ghana?

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The Fear Of Failure: An Autobiography

From Agomanya in the Eastern Region of Ghana, a 65 year old J. P. Adjimani narrates his life and how his fear of failure spurred him on instead of derailing him. In his autobiography, the biochemist unravels why he was never promoted to be a professor despite having a 28-year admirable career in Ghana’s premier university, University of Ghana.

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Kwame Nkrumah: Africa’s Man of the Millennium (Hardcover)

This book seeks to review various presentations made about the life of the man who led this country in her march towards independence and caught the imagination of the entire continent in the 1960s as he advocated and pushed the frontiers towards continental unity.

The man at the centre of it all – Kwame Nkrumah – is captured in all his facets; his humble beginnings, studies abroad, his return home to work with the UGCC, his political agitations, tenure of office as Leader of Government Business, Prime Minister and President, his removal from office and the role played by internal and external forces, his days in exile, his death and other aspects of his life. These are all presented with a view to enable the reader learn some history as well as good lessons of life.

Interestingly, though largely seen as the first universal African of the 19th Century, Kwame Nkrumah was actually a man of two halves; much loved and much hated all at the same time. How a single personality could be viewed in that manner is better appreciated by reading the book.

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Death of an Empire: Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana and Africa

A participant-witness in the history of the transition from Gold Coast to Ghana, Jantuah who died in 2011 at the age of 89, reflects and interprets with unique understanding some of the major events of the 1950s and 60s as well as foreign policy formulation including his role as a diplomat during the Algerian struggle for Independence and France’s Charles de Gaulle’s retrogressive policies; his dealings with the African National Congress and it’s president, Oliver Tambo, an Apartheid and Southern Rhodesia; becoming at the end an executor to his friend – Nkrumah’s Will.

The book also has reflections on Ghana’s Fourth Republic and development on the African Continent since. It is edited with a detailed introduction by Jantuah’s nephew, the development specialist and literacy writer, Ivor Agyeman-Duah, who he worked with over the years on this and is currently a Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa.

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