Union Government

In his ground breaking book on neo-colonialism President Nkrumah wrote,

"The foreign firms who exploit our resources long ago saw the strength to be gained from acting on a Pan-African scale. By means of interlocking directorships, cross-shareholdings and other devices, groups of apparently different companies have formed, in fact, one enormous capitalist monopoly. The only effective way to challenge this economic empire and to recover possession of our heritage, is for us also to act on a Pan-African basis, through a Union Government."

"No one would suggest that if all the peoples of Africa combined to establish their unity their decision could be revoked by the forces of neo-colonialism On the contrary, faced with a new situation, those who practice neo-colonialism would adjust themselves to this new balance of world forces in exactly the same way as the capitalist world has in the past adjusted itself to any other change in the balance of power."

"Neo-colonialism The Last Stage of Imperialism", Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, p. 259

Anyone with even the most cursory knowledge of the current state of Africa and her role in the world political - economic system knows that the conditions he described at the time of the writing of this book has not altered in any consequential sense. Indeed in some sense the enemy is stronger.

But in other ways, we are closer to Union Government than we were in that period, as now no large group of African states dares to outright oppose the call for Union Government.

Dr. Nkrumah prescience shines today as it did several decades ago. With the passing years and the continued deterioration of the quality of African life, the need for Union Government is as pronounced as it was in 1965 when he wrote these words. All we need now is the requisite form of organization(s) to make Union Government real.

In January 1963 President Nkrumah wrote a letter to the presidents of independent states, proposing the Union of African States. (In May of that year the African leadership created the Organization of African Unity (OAU)). He postulated that the economic and social well being of Africa depended upon our ability to create a Pan-African Political union. President Nkrumah proposed these fundamental points:

Fundamental points proposed

  1. Common foreign policy and diplomacy... we need a process of political socialization that would "enable us to speak with one voice" in the fora of the world
  2. Common continental planning for economic and industrial development...."building up a common market of a united Africa" that would bring about the material conditions we need to improve our collective quality of life in the global economy
  3. Common currency a monetary zone and a central bank of issue...that we "need to orientate the economy of Africa and place it beyond the reach of foreign control" to be able to implement our social economy
  4. Common defense system..."one over-all (land, sea and air) Defense Command for Africa" is needed to defend the social economy we create

To implement the above proposal, a Central Political Organization with its own constitution would have to be drawn up as a matter of urgency. It is suggested that this Union of African States should consist of an Upper House and Lower House...The overriding concern of the Union of African States would be to give political direction in regard to the implementation of the proposals mentioned above.

Ghana-Congo Union Agreement

Secret Agreement signed by Osagyefo, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and His Excellency, Mr. Patrice Lumumba, Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo, at Accra on 8 August 1960.

The President of the Republic of Ghana and the Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo have given serious thought to the idea of African unity and have decided to establish with the approval of the Government and peoples of their respective States, among themselves a UNION OF AFRICAN STATES. The Union would have a Republican Constitution within a federal framework.

The Federal Government would be responsible for:

Foreign Affairs; Defense; The issue of a Common Currency; Economic Planning and Development. There would be no customs barriers between any parts of the Federation. There would be a Federal Parliament and a Federal Head of State. The Capital of the Union should be Leopoldville. Any State of Territory in Africa is free to join this Union. The above Union presupposes Ghana's abandonment of the Commonwealth.

Dated at Accra this 8th day of August 1960

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