Dr Kwame Nkrumah (Born: Francis Nwia Kofi Ngonloma)
First President (1960-1966); First Prime Minister (1957-1960)
Date of Birth: 21/09/1909
Place of Birth: Nkroful, Gold Coast
Married to Fathia Nkrumah (nee Rizk), four children.
Education: Teacher’s Certificate, Achimota School, Accra, 1930; BA Economics and Sociology, & MA Philosophy, Lincoln University, United States, 1939-42; MSc Education, University of Philadelphia, 1943; PhD Anthropology, London School of Economics, United Kingdom, 1945.
Career: Various teaching positions, Roman Catholic Junior School, Elmina Axim, 1930-1932; General Secretary, United Gold Coast Convention, 1947; Founder and Leader of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), 1949; Prime Minister of Ghana, 1957-60; President of Ghana, 1960-66.
Commentary: Kwame Nkrumah led Ghana's independence from Britain in 1957 and in doing so became Ghana's first president. Nkrumah was a strong advocate for Pan-Africanism, and influenced many other African leaders including Patrice Lumumba and Ahmed Sékou Touré. Nkrumah established the Akosombo hydro-electric dam, which currently supplies electricity to Ghana, Togo and Benin.
In 1966, Nkrumah's government was overthrown by a military coup whilst he was on a state visit to China. He was forced to spend the remaining six years of his life in exile in Guinea. As his health began to fail in 1971, he flew to Romania for medical treatment and died of skin cancer in Bucharest in 1972.