Ghana’s first President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, is always mentioned when reference is being made to the numerous infrastructural projects and initiatives in the country which sought to improve the living conditions of the people and raise the national economy.
However, 53 years ago, the Convention People’s Party (CPP) government which he led was overthrown.
Today, most of the industries or factories set up during his regime have either been abandoned or collapsed.
But as the saying goes, “Nkrumah never dies,” Ghanaians and the world over still remember not only the personality of Africa’s foremost freedom fighter, but for the projects he undertook or started which still stand the test of time.
Hundreds of factories dead
Ghana News Headlines
For latest news in Ghana, visit Graphic Online news headlines page Ghana news page
From the north to the south across the east to the west of the country, hundreds of factories ranging from cement, steel, roofing sheets, glass, rubber, jute, matches, sugar, paper and leather to rattan products, were set up under Dr Nkrumah.
He is fondly remembered for the improved roads, schools, hospitals, factories, the Akosombo Dam, the Tema Harbour, Tema Motorway and economic stability, just to mention a few.
The tomato and mango canning plants established at Wenchi in the then Brong Ahafo Region are no more; the sugar factory at Asutuare; a cattle hide-leather-shoe complex in Bolgatanga and Ghana Airways are no more.
The Zuarungu Meat Factory, cocoa storage silos with a potential storage capacity of 200,000 tonnes at Tema and other parts of the country, Tema Food Complex Corporation (TFCC) project, Pwalugu Tomato Factory, Bonsa Tyre Company (BTC), Abosso Glass Factory in the Prestea-Huni Valley District and Nkwakubew resettlement farm are also desolate.
Others are the State Housing Corporation (SHC), the State Construction Corporation (SCC), State Fishing Company, the Takoradi Paper Mill, Saltpond Ceramics, Akoko Foto, Pomadze Poultry Farm, Amrahia Dairy, the Aveyime Cattle Ranch, the Kade Match Factory, Tema Steel Works, State Hotels, the Kumasi Jute Factory, the Kumasi Shoe Factory, the Nsawam Cannery, Brick and Tile Factories and the Pre-fabricated Concrete Products.
The state farms at Demon, located between Yendi and Saboba, was booming. It was equipped with tractors, combine harvesters and bulldozers, most of which are now lying idle.
The resettlement farms at Damongo, now called canteen, attracted many people to the area to earn their livelihood but that vision has also fizzled out.
Dr Nkrumah also established state farms, built dams and silos in many parts of the Volta Region to allow peasant farmers to have a say in their own destiny in the future, but after his overthrow, all those died.
Ghana’s first President also built guest houses along the Nakpanduri Scarp in the Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo District, which have all deteriorated.
According to a renowned historian in Tamale, Mr Wilberforce Adams Shaibu, Northern Ghana could have been better than it is now had those projects been revived and improved.
Today, only a few of those early post-independence era projects remain.
They include the Bank of Ghana (BoG), the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB), the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), the National Investment Bank (NIB), the State Insurance Company (SIC), the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), the Ghana Oil Company (GOIL) and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GHAPOHA).
The Tema end of the motoway roundabout is currently being given a facelift. The works extend towards the port road, Kpone- Lome side of the road, the Akosombo side, the Tema township and the motorway.
‘Nkrumah truly never dies’
The Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government is making frantic efforts to revive the Marine Drive project which was first conceived by Dr Nkrumah.
To date, many still attribute Ghana’s economic woes to the overthrow of Kwame Nkrumah and continue to accuse successive governments for their lack of commitment to the prosperity Nkrumah envisioned for Ghana.
Nkrumah is undoubtedly one of the greatest leaders the nation and Africa has ever produced.
Indeed, one of Nkrumah’s famous quotes will forever remain true: “I am in the knowledge that death can never extinguish the torch which I have lit in Ghana and Africa.
Long after I am dead and gone, the light will continue to burn and be borne aloft, giving light and guidance to all people.”