Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah

This address was delivered at the Flagstaff (now Jubilee House), to the Convention People's Party (CPP) Study Group, on April 22, 1961.

Here is the full address.

The paramount task before us and the nation is the raising of equitable and progressive social order which will provide food, clothing and shelter to meet the needs of the people in accordance with their means; a social order that will reflect a higher standard of living in the happiness of our people.

Economically, this means full employment, good housing and equal opportunity for educational and cultural advancement up to the highest level possible for all the people. In concrete facts, it means:
that the real income of all types of workers, farmers and peasants must rise;

that the prices of goods must not over-leap wages;

that house rentals must be within the means of all groups;

that educational and cultural amenities must be available to all people.

If the ability to pay is the passport to the good life, then at this time most of the people of this country are precluded from it. And unless we, leaders of the party of the people, make good our economic and social programme, then they are doomed to perpetual exclusion from the good life and the purpose of our effort is defeated.

This is the tremendous task not of the Convention People's Party alone, but of the whole nation: civil servants, all types of works, Teachers, Farmers, Peasants, - indeed, all able- bodied Ghanaians standing together as one man under the leadership of the Convention People's Party. The question then is: how are we to achieve this goal within the shortest possible time?

As our party has proclaimed, and as I have asserted time again, socialism is the only pattern that can within the shortest possible time bring the good life to the people. For socialism assumes the public ownership of the means of production - the land and its resources - and the use of those means of production that will bring benefit to the people. Socialist production is the production of goods and services in fulfillment of the needs of the people. It is not production for individual private profit, which derives such a large section of the people of goods and services produced, while their needs and wants remain unsatisfied.

One point, however we have to get clear. At this juncture Ghana is not a socialist state. Not only do the people as yet own all the major means of production and distribution, but we have still to lay the actual foundation upon which socialism can be built, namely the complete industrialization of our country. All talk of socialism, of economic and social reconstruction, are just empty words if we do not seriously address ourselves to the question of basic industrialization and agricultural revolution in our country, just as much we must concentrate on socialist education.

Secondary industries are vitally necessary, for it is one of our principal aims to replace imports of foreign goods by home-produced goods. Moreover, secondary industries must be planned to take up the production of our agriculture and to widen the outlets for the output of our farmers and peasants. But secondary industries, important as they are to making us economically independent, will still leave us heavily reliant upon outside sources and skill unless we build up heavy industries which alone provide the fundamental basis for industrialization.

Such projects as the steel-producing plant, the oil refinery, and the machine tool plant which we are planning, as well as the Volta and Bui electrification schemes, are capital projects in the real sense of the term. Energy is an indispensable element in industrialization. Without energy - coal, oil or hydro-electricity - it is idle to talk of industrialization. Without energy we cannot lay the foundations of industrialization. Industrialization presupposes electrification. Indeed, it is our lack of vital sources of energy that has been preventing us from carrying into effect so many of our ideas and plans for national reconstruction. We could not even talk about steel plant until we could envisage energy for working it.

Hence my preoccupation with the Volta River Project and other schemes that will provide water power both for electricity and irrigation of regions that are starved of water at certain periods of the year. These schemes and projects are an essential key to our industrial progress, the basis upon which we may build up our heavy industries, our machine-tool factories and our ancillary manufactures. As long as we are unable to make our own machine tools, the instruments for manufacture of all myriad commodities, large and small, that we at present import, we shall continue to be at the mercy of outside source of supply. We shall continue to be economically dependent, and the talk of socialist progress will so much empty chatter.

To implement our objectives of basic economic reconstruction, we must henceforth earmark a much larger proportion of our national revenue to the erection of basic industries and the multiplication of our agricultural products. We must try and establish factories in large numbers at great speed and see to it that there is quick development of electricity and water supplies.

And here a revolution is needed in our approach to planning. Unfortunately, our planning hitherto has been largely piecemeal and unpurposeful. It has not been linked in an organized manner. Too many governmental and semi-governmental bodies and departments have been concerned in the drawing up and executing of plans. What we need are not reports but plans of action. Too often the relation of these bodies and departments with each other and with the different sectors of the national economy has been uncoordinated. As a result there has been much wastage of precious funds and limited managerial and technical staff. Planning, moreover, has been seen principally from Accra, and in the main the obvious national project has received attention.

Our Planning, if it is to revitalize the country, increase our productivity and progress towards our socialist objectives, must spread out into all corners of the country. It must take stock of all our human and natural resources; it must count our economic assets. We must make an inventory of our natural, mineral and agricultural heritage. We must number our manpower and our actual and potential reservoir of skills. Only thus can we plan for our total development at all levels of our national life.

This means that everything we do must be related to our over-all plan. Educational, social welfare and health programmes, for example, cannot be devised in isolation. They must be planned in relation to the needs of our healthy development and the enhancement of the lives of the people. Plans for these sectors must be coordinated with our plans for the economic sphere. For our economic expansion will need urgently the output of the schools, technical institutions and universities.

Above all our objectives of economic advancement is seen as the foundation upon which to erect an equitable and happy society. Hence our planning cannot be restricted to the main centers of the country. It must stretch out into the regions. It is my intention to constitute the regional divisions of the country into economic units, with local councils as economic sub- units. These units will henceforth consider increased production (in the factories, the farms, the offices, the homes, and so forth) as their first concern, alongside the maintenance of law and order.

Our planning must eliminate the sorry plight of students - boys and girls leaving school and roaming about the country - who gravitate towards Accra and other big towns in search of work and who, when they cannot get work fall into bad ways. I am of the opinion that this problem can best be tackled by the local authorities with the assistance of the central government. This phase of planning therefore will be primarily the concern of the local councils and the regional organizations. But these local plans must necessarily fit into the full scope of national planning.

Thus there will be planning at all levels - national, regional and local Our central planning organization will correlate all this planning and set national targets for achievement. These targets will embrace not only output and absorption of planned numbers of workers in the different categories, they must arrange for the training skills and management for the planned projects. They will include estimated margins for industrial expansions, for maintenance and renewal of machinery and equipment.

There will have to be the strictest control against over spending of allocations on given projects so that they may not be called to standstill for luck of funds to complete them. We are all aware of the shocking disregard for and misuse of public funds and property that presently obtains, especially in such departments as the public works and the transport services. Our new economic and industrial policy, which will give priority to heavy industries, electricity and water supplies, will have control severely our financial budgets.These budgets must be closely integrated, as they must cover every phase of our national planning. Our present budgetary system, which has been taken over from the colonial regime, calls for adjustment to the socialist objectives of our planning. Hitherto, our budgeting has been done separately by each department of the state administration. This approach has related projects to the ideas of each different department.

A totally new approach is needed, which will see the national objective of our planning and break it down for implementation by the departments which will be concerned with the fulfillment of its different aspects. They will then be allocated the budget required for their part of the planning.

Our planning must aim at a two-fold purpose: to increase productivity and to accumulate capital for the expansion of industrialization. Under the new policy, development must be financed more and more from production, which must be targeted, and less and less from taxes and dues, which make heavy demands of those sections of the community least able to afford them. I anxiously look forward to the day when there will be no more personal taxation in the country. Only increased productivity can give surpluses for re-investment in further production and in this way increase our real wealth.

To raise wages without securing a higher rate of productivity is to set in motion the vicious circle of a greater volume of money chasing scarce goods and resulting in inflation. Increased productivity, coupled with socialist planning will permit the control of prices and circulation of goods in community interests. It does not mean that every advance in productivity will lead to an immediate enhancement of standard of living. This is especially the case in the early stages of industrialization, when the need to plough back capital achieved out of greater productivity is of paramount importance more to the strengthening of the economic base than to consumer goods.

The socialist objectives implies the overall good of the nation, and in the interest of that socialist objective it may be necessary for all of us to forego some small immediate personal benefit for a greater benefit a bit later on. Social services in the interest of the community, for instance, confer more advantages upon a greater number than would increase wages for certain groups of workers.

But as productivity rises appreciably and the socialist base of the economy extends through the increased public ownership of the means of production - land and its natural resources, the factories and their production - a government cannot only mobilize greater surpluses of capital in the best interest of the country, but can also reach a position from which it can reward labour for its greater exertions by increased wages. And because government, through its planning, can at same time operate controls upon commodity prices, labour will feel a double benefit in wage increase which will not be eaten up in higher prices as under capitalist economy.

If our new economic and industrial policy is to succeed, then there must be a change of outlook in those who are responsible for running our affairs. They must acquire a socialist perspective and a socialist drive keyed to the national needs and demands, and not remain servants of a limping bureaucracy. The executives of our public and statutory organizations must achieve a new attitude to their jobs, which they owe to the struggles of the people and the labour of the farmer and worker. Too many of the Industrial Development Corporations and Agricultural Development Corporations projects are at present being subsidized instead of producing profit for further capital investment. This state of affairs must be reversed or the projects closed down. The Industrial Development Corporation must concentrate on basic and secondary industries - real industries that stimulate and promote the utilization of the productive resources of our country.

For no economy, least of all a young one like ours, struggling to find a stable economic base, can afford to drain its resources in subsidizing unproductive ventures from which only well-paid executives profit. Moreover, we cannot afford to waste our resources in men and materials in this way, but must use them wisely in pursuit of our aim of socialist benefits for all the people.

Here it is that our great party must once more take the lead, by educating our men of affairs in their responsibilities to the nation in the conduct of the establishments which they have been assigned. And just as political independence could not have been attained without leadership of the Convention People's Party, so Ghana's economic independence and the objectives of socialism will not be achieved without the unique leadership of our party, in the fullest and most active co-operation with the People.

Our Party must be the pivot our economic planning, and so henceforth the following procedure will be adopted:
1) The Chairman of the Central Committee shall be responsible for presenting the main principles and outline of any plan for the Central Committees approval
2) The principles and outline programme approved by the Central Committee shall be referred to the Economic Secretariat, where it shall be subject to expert examination
3) The proposals shall then be submitted to the Cabinet through the standing development committee
4) Parliamentary examination and approval will follow
5) The final stage will now have been reached, that of putting the plan into execution through all the agencies and communities concerned, especially through the active leadership of the party.

This procedure should secure the best consultation with the participation of the people. For we shall at all stages seek the cooperation of all the people and organizations who are to be concerned, in the final analysis, in performing the basic work that will make success of such plan. It is only with the wholehearted interest and support of the mass of the people in the carrying out of any such plan, that such plan can succeed.

It is for these reasons that I am convinced that the procedures I have outlined, with all that it implies in mass consultation, is our surest way to success. There will be an evolving ascendency of popular control of the country's affairs which, in effect will be the truest kind of democracy that has ever functioned. For it will realize the aim of bringing most of the people into the running of the nation's affairs in the interest of the people. It will, in effect be placing government in the hands of the people, to be run for the people by the people.
Control of the modern state is linked up with the control of the means of production.

True democracy can be said to exist only when the majority of the people exercise control of the state in the interest of all the people, because the means of production and distribution have passed into its hands. In other words, the general will of the people, which is the most concrete and clearest expression of true democracy, must be actively asserted.

To attain this laudable end of socialist control we have from time to time to make a review of the administrative apparatus at our disposal, remembering that it was originally bequeathed to us by a colonial regime dedicated to a very different purpose. Even though this apparatus has already been subjected to considerable change, it still carries vestiges of the inherited attitudes and ways of thought which has been transmitted even to some of our newer institutions. In our adaptations, because we are embarking upon an uncharted path, we may have to proceed from trial and error. Changes which are made to-day may themselves call for further change tomorrow. But when we are endeavouring to establish a new kind of life within a new kind of society, we must acknowledge the fact that we are in a period of flux and cannot afford to be hide-bound in our decisions and attitudes to the needs for constant adaptation.

The new drive for economic and industrial development has necessitated some reorganization in the ministerial structure of the government. From what I have been saying, it is obvious that planning have its due emphasis. The chief agencies for mobilizing capital for development will be the Industrial Development Corporation (for state industries) and the Agricultural Development Corporation (for state farms) and the role of these statutory bodies needs drastic revision. At present as I have said earlier on, they work in haphazard manner. From now on they must cease their isolated approach and work according to the economic policy which I have outlined.

The Industrial Development Corporation will therefore come under the direct control of the Development Secretariat, the Agricultural Development Corporation under the Minister of Agriculture.

In discussing the role of the Industrial Development Corporation and the Agricultural Development Corporation in the new economic and industrial drive, it is only appropriate that we should deal with the National Cooperative Council, which has some functions similar to those of the corporations. Briefly the National Cooperative Council has four main functions namely: industrial development, agricultural development, trade and consumer development and development of welfare services and cooperative spirit. I have recently made the following adjustments as a means of facilitating the efficient operation of the cooperative movement:

1) The National Cooperative Council as the supreme cooperative body shall be charged with the general functions of coordination and supervision, as well as the promotion of cooperative spirit, that is, the dissemination of cooperative education and development. It will also be charged with the authority to represent the cooperatives at home and abroad. In the performance of this function it will act in cooperation with the appropriate apex body according to the kind of representation required.
2) The National Cooperative Council will maintain contact with the ministry responsible for social welfare and Labour Secretariat in regard to the provision of welfare services for members of the cooperatives.
3) The Industrial cooperatives generally known as "Indusco", will deal with the Development Secretariat which is responsible for industrial development.
4) The Agricultural cooperatives will deal with the Ministry of Agriculture
5) The Consumer cooperatives will deal with the Ministry of Trade, which will be responsible for the National Trading Corporation when it is set up.
6) I have established under the Auditor-General an accounting and auditing service also which will take away the main functions of the Department of Cooperation. The department as such will thus cease to exist, as its other functions, such as cooperative development and education will be taken over by the National Cooperative Council. In view of safeguarding public funds, I have charged the auditing and accounting service with the responsibility of looking after the funds of the Trade Union Congress, the United Ghana Farmers Council and the statutory boards and corporations.

In this economic and industrial exercise, we shall need trained men and women in great numbers. The government has therefore decreed that free and compulsory primary and middle school education should be started from September next, and that the whole country should be literate by the time we celebrate the 10th anniversary as a Republic.

The recent Commission on higher education that I set up has reported and the recommendations are being urgently examined for early implementation. In the meantime, I have the following observations and recommendations to make.

The Academy of learning should be given a more positive and proactive role than it has at the moment and this should be reflected in a change of the name to the Ghana Academy of Sciences. The most important role of the Ghana Academy of Sciences will be research into the sciences, history, language, etc. It should be the body to plan research for the country and should thus absorb the National Research Council. Duplication and overlapping of effort would thereby be avoided and this would eliminate the restriction to a learned body.

The new National Council for Higher Education and Research will therefore have two

(1) Universities, and (2) The Ghana Academy of Sciences; while its proper functions will be: (a) To make policy; (b) To approve plans and programmes; (c) To coordinate efforts; and (d) To provide grants, etc.

There has been some hesitations in the establishment of research institutes. These loom in importance as the need for industrial and technological development presses, and I think that concentrated effort and drive are now called for in setting them up. Foreign specialist will, in the initial stages be required for a time to do the research work, but I feel that we must try and appoint as many Ghanaians as possible to administer them.

In my view, the staff and personnel of the institutes and universities should be interchangeable, and these various bodies work together with each other and with the factories, farms, administrations, laboratories, and so on connected with their work. As far as possible we should seek native talent in the field and in institutions, both locally and overseas, to man the universities and scientific institutions, since they must now take their place in the forefront of the production drive. Priority in the assignment of trained personnel should be given to these organizations, and it should be a matter of national pride to work in them.

Indeed there are many problems for the solution of which we must look to our scientific institutions. For instance, with more and more cocoa coming to glut the market, the West African Cocoa Research Institute should not lose any time in setting up a commercial department for dealing with cocoa derivatives.

We have too many species of timber that are not being used. This is a complete waste and the timber utilization research unit should be turned into a proper institute adequately manned so that it can cope with the problem and give effective results.

The location of the various institutes is a matter for the National Council for Higher Education and Research, though proposals will be submitted for decisions by the Ghana Academy of Sciences.

I would like to emphasize that at this time the annual meetings and reports of the Ghana Academy of Sciences are matter of national importance, for they record progress and outline plans for future work. The title of Academician should be recognized as one of the highest national awards.

With this new approach to our economic and industrial development, every avenue of information and education must be used to stir the political consciousness of the people and to make them alive to the objectives of the government's planning. I have already said that without the support of the masses of the people, our plans can fail. The people need to be stirred to a new awareness of their roles in carrying forward our national reconstruction. They must be refreshed in the plans which swept them into the battle for political emancipation that brought them independence.

The Party Cadres, who must be in the forefront of the educational drive, must reinforce their own understanding through the party political education. Many of our own Ministers, Party officials, Ministerial secretaries, heads of boards and corporations, Members of Parliament and Journalists, able men as they are and the party members, are yet without a socialist understanding and orientation.

Now that the Party school at Winneba is ready, a start must be made to alter this position and we should without delay start from the top. I am therefore directing that:
(1) Members of the Central Committee, Ministers and Regional Commissioners, General Secretaries of subsidiary bodies of the Party, shall attend a one week residential course at Winneba. I shall be there myself to conduct.
(2) The next group shall include Ministerial Secretaries, Chairmen of Boards and Corporations, Headquarters secretaries of the bureau of the Party, the T.U.C., etc.
(3) The third group will consist of backbenchers, regional officers of the party and subsidiary organizations. Other individuals may be added to the various groups as may be considered desirable. The ordinary training of cadres will then resume, the course being much longer.

We cannot build socialism without socialists and we must take positive steps to ensure that the party and country produce the men and women who can handle a socialist programme. The analysis of our economic and industrial policy imposes upon all civil servants and public functionaries an urgent duty to put into their work their very best. If there are some executives, whether they be expatriates or Ghanaians, who would obstruct and pull us back instead of pushing us forward, then they must be honest enough to quit their posts bag and baggage. 

Comrades, I have outlined to you the new economic and industrial policy for ushering in a new era in Ghana. We are just at the beginning and much, indeed, remains to be done. We have set our machinery for effective action and certain steps must be taken without any delay.

Friends and Comrades, Africa needs a new type of man; dedicated, modest, honest and devoted man. A man who submerges self in service to his nation and mankind. A man who abhors greed and detest vanity. A new type of man whose meekness is his strength and whose integrity is his greatness. Africa's new man must be man indeed.

All this needs a great deal of zeal. Let us remember, however that our zeal should make us adroit and alert to all the implications of our actions. For we have tremendous, Herculean task before us. It needs all our care, all our brains. Our Party, through all its members, must show its merits in this our greatest mission yet - the building of a socialist Ghana. This mission you must discharge with responsibility and integrity.

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