By | February 1, 2018

UG 2018 Aggrey-Fraser-Guggisberg Memorial Lectures and Special Congregation Ceremony

Thursday, March 15, 2018 – 17:00
Great Hall, University of Ghana

2018 Aggrey-Fraser-Guggisberg Memorial Lectures and Special Congregation Ceremony – Dedicated to the 70th Anniversary of the University of Ghana

Members of the University Community are hereby invited to the 2018 Aggrey- Fraser-Guggisberg Memorial Lectures and Special Congregation Ceremony dedicated to the 70th Anniversary of the University as follows:

Theme: “Nkrumah and the Making of the Ghanaian Nation-State.”

Speaker: Emmanuel K. Akyeampong, Ph.D. Ellen Gurney Professor of History and of African and African American Studies, Oppenheimer Faculty Director Harvard University Center for African Studies.

Date: 15 and 16 March 2018

Time: 4:30pm

Venue: Great Hall, University of Ghana


A Special Congregation will be held on the 16th of March 2018 after the Lecture.


All are cordially invited


Lecture One – 15 March 2018

Topic: “Nkrumah, Cocoa, and the United States: The Vision of an Industrial Nation-State.”


Nkrumah’s vision of creating an industrialized Ghanaian economy hinged on the new Akosombo hydroelectric dam, which Nkrumah viewed as key to his industrialization scheme. The dam would be financed primarily by American interests, a country very much at the centre of Nkrumah’s formative experiences as an intellectual. The cost of this scheme was to be borne by the cocoa industry. While Nkrumah appreciated the cash cow that was cocoa, he was ambivalent about its pre-modern infrastructure and the dominance of small family farms, which he considered inadequate as a driving force for his industrialization schemes. The balance between agriculture and industry, and the role of smallholder farmers have remained perennial issues in Africa’s developmental agenda. Nkrumah’s policies undercut the cocoa industry, though the results would not be evident until the 1970s, as Ghana declined as the world’s leading producer of cocoa and the Ivory Coast emerged as the premier producer. Nkrumah’s state-led industrialization scheme was not successful either, leaving Ghana handicapped in both its agricultural and industrial sectors. What are the lessons for the present and future?


Lecture Two – 16 March, 2018


“African Socialism; or the Search for an Indigenous Model of Economic Development in Ghana?”


Few African countries explicitly choose “capitalism” on independence, and for those who followed capitalism it was a default model or a residual pattern. On the other hand, “African socialism” was popular in the early decades of independence and pursued by several countries including Ghana, Guinea, Senegal, and Tanzania. African socialism had multiple meanings, and its advocates were quick to stress that they were not communist, some that they were not even Marxist. What did socialism mean to Nkrumah and how did he pursue a socialist economic agenda? This paper explores the argument that African socialism was a search for an indigenous model of economic development for a generation that was justifiably ambivalent about capitalism, but wary of being put in the communist camp in an era of Cold War. Importantly, advocates of African socialism, particularly Nkrumah, often proposed bold and transformative visions for their countries that might be worth revisiting devoid of the paradigm of socialism.

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