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¢40bn For Nkrumah's Birthday


Dr Kwame Nkrumah¢40bn For Nkrumah's Birthday

An amount of GH¢4million (¢40bn) has been earmarked for the year-long activities of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah's centenary celebrations, Prof. Akilakpa Sawyer, chairman of the committee overseeing the anniversary, has hinted.

He said the committee is determined to work within its budget to realize its aims and objectives. The committee will not go beyond its budget. We are still under budget and intend to be under budget for the year, he stressed.

Prof. Sawyer dropped this hint when he took his turn at the Meet-the-Press series in Accra yesterday to shed light on the year-long activities to celebrate Ghana’s First President, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.

Prof. Sawyer said the committee would keep records of all of its expenditure to make full auditing for its operations, adding that a situation that occurred during the Ghana @ 50 celebrations where there were missing records, would be avoided. We have learnt lessons from Ghana @ 50 celebrations; therefore we will keep records of all our activities and make full disclosure of the committee's work after we have completed our programme, he maintained.

The programme, which starts from May 22 to 25, 2010 under a joint African Union - Government of Ghana initiative, is on the theme, Contemporary Relevance of Kwame Nkrumah's Contribution to Pan-Africanism and Internationalism.

As part of activities marking the anniversary, May 25, which is African Liberation Day, will climax the celebration.

The day, which would attract African Heads of State, veteran freedom fighters, leaders of the Pan-Africanist struggle and officials of the Commission of the African Union, will see the laying of wreaths on the tomb of Nkrumah, a flag-raising ceremony as well as tributes by African leaders at the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park.

An African Youth Summit, themed, The Grand Debate, Continental Government Now or in the Future, will be held on Saturday at the Accra International Conference Centre to give opportunity to tertiary students from the continent to interact with African leaders.

On the eve of the day, an exhibition on Kwame Nkrumah @100: a Retrospective Exhibition of his Life, Times and Legacy will be held at his memorial park. On Sunday May 23, Prof Atta Mills will open the Africa Liberation Week celebration, Kwame Nkrumah centenary colloquium and launch of African cultural renaissance campaign at the Accra International Conference Centre.

Chairman of the committee said after the birthday of Dr. Nkrumah in September last year, a number of activities such as May Day Parade of Trades Union Congress (TUC) and the introduction of the new GH¢2 notes, a series of campus lectures in and outside Accra among others, had been held in commemoration of Ghana's First President.

The committee, he said, decided to do most of its activities on the quiet rather than make so much noise, adding, Silence does not mean inactivity but we have done a lot.

Touching on the legacy of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Prof. Akilakpa Sawyer said the committee does not have the mandate to revamp Nkrumah's legacy but would rather promote his ideas, visions and policies. All have a role to play in the legacy developed by Nkrumah, he urged.

The centenary celebration instituted by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) was in fulfillment of a promise made by Prof Mills to recognize the birthday of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah on the national calendar as Founder's Day.

Consequently, 21st of September each year, called Founder's Day, has been declared a national holiday.

In furtherance to this, the African Union has adopted the centenary birthday celebration of Ghana.s First President. Dr Kwame Nkrumah led Ghana's independence struggle and lit the flame that blazed the liberation struggle of the African continent.

He opened the doors of Ghanaian politics, previously the exclusive domain of the educated elite and wealthy merchant class, to the ordinary people of Ghana including market women, farmers, fisher folks, teachers, civil servants and the youth, derisively called by some as Verandah Boys.

Beyond this inclusiveness in Ghana's politics, Kwame Nkrumah broke down ethnic barriers in Ghanaian politics and everyday life, imbuing in Ghanaians, a strong sense of oneness, national identity and pride.

In Kwame Nkrumah, there was no north, south, east or west; there was one Ghana. Above all, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah bequeathed to Ghanaians a sense of self-worth, national pride and dignity, and also embodied and promoted the Ghanaian identity far beyond the shores of the African continent.

Source: D Guide/Ghana



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