The world truly knows who great thinkers are and easily gravitate towards them.
The exceedingly tall profile of Prof. Dompere’s academic work has received critical attention from scholars, scientists, experts, researchers, practitioners, and specialists in India, Japan, Russia, among others. Others from high-profile places as America’s Los Alamos National Laboratory, the site of America’s Manhattan Project where the world developed its first atomic bombs through international collaboration, have also benefitted from his work. Social scientists, physicists, mathematicians, economists, logicians, cultural theorists, historians, engineers, operations researchers and management scientists, scientists, diplomats, Egyptologists, statisticians, computer scientists, philosophers of science, political scientists, professional philosophers, policy makers, sociologists, cognitive psychologists, public consultants, and behavior theorists have enormously benefited from and made good use of Prof. Dompere’s vast intellectual resources.
This is more so because the apparently wide disciplinal range of his work cuts across many specialties and expertise and knowledge-areas, thus making a serious effort to provide practical and scientific answers to address several aspects of the human condition.
It may however, alas, seem it is only our Ghanaian-based specialists, researchers, practitioners, experts and policy makers, who are blind to Prof. Dompere’s scholarship and vast professional expertise in the area of technocratic pragmatism, among other specialties, even though he has gifted the University of Ghana, Legon, copies of his books, once again confirming Africans’ undying appetency for foreign ideas, even if intrinsically antagonistic to progressive African values and ideas, otherwise the bane of Africa’s development economics. One wonders why a few Ghanaian parliamentarians such as Dr. Anthony Akoto-Osei, one of Prof. Dompere’s former students and a brilliant one at that according to the latter, behave in a way contrary to the progressive and technocratic tendencies of Prof. Dompere’s rich and expert tutelage once they enter or embrace Ghanaian politics.
It is not clear if the ideological divisiveness of partisan politics is the cause! It is also as though African leadership suffers from what Harold Cruse called “the Crisis of the Negro Intellectual.”
Likewise, no less forceful and visionary thinkers like Kwame Nkrumah, Cheikh Anta Diop, Molefi Kete Asante, Francis Allotey, Yaw Nyarko, Calestous Juma, to mention but three, have given us powerful scientific and technocratic blueprints for modernizing the continent through sound ideas across the fields of political economy, development sociology, and development economics, yet the leadership of Africa, as always, continues to suffocate intellectually for lack of practical, technocratic and scientific ideas (See Diop’s “Black Africa: The Economic and Cultural Basis for a Federated State”; see also Asante’s essay “The Character of Kwame Nkrumah’s United Africa,” published in The Journal of Pan African Studies, Vol. 4, No. 10, 2012).
Then again, like the various arguments made in support of the Nordic Model, the Beijing Consensus, and the Washington Consensus vis-à-vis the evolving particularities of the cultural histories, historical development, and development economics of Scandinavia, China, and America, respectively, these formidable thinkers, Dompere, Asante, Diop and Nkrumah, have advanced cogent theories whose praxes and possibilities of effectuation have serious implications for energy generation, humanism and egalitarianism, strong cultural ethos, popular democracy, universal quality education, proper management of natural resources, development of human capital, gender equality, fiscal responsibility, global respectability, continental unity, equitable distribution of wealth, and Africa’s mediating presence in global affairs.
Interestingly related to the shameful, and sometimes inexplicable, yet serious question of habitually ignoring and neglecting our own dynamic thinkers, men and women who have done so much for the world and who, equally, can be compared to the best in the world, is Prof. Francis Allotey’s recent pointed suggestion that, such capable thinkers be included in the origination, formulation and implementation of policy matters, especially Africa’s development economics and development sociology and scientific development, not glossing the fact that Prof. Allotey has consistently made a very powerful case establishing connections between research and development, science and technology, on the one hand, and improved standard of living and quality of life on the other hand (See Katepalli R. Sreenivasan’s book “One Hundred Reasons to be A Scientist,” a piece published under the auspices of the European-based International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP)).
On the other hand, following the logical pattern of the preceding paragraph, we could undertake similar reviews of the works of Nigeria’s world-renowned theoretical physicists Profs. Alexander Animalu and Bartholomew Nnaji, of American-based Ghanaian scientists Ave Kludze, Kofi Kissi Dompere, Isaiah Blankson, Kwabena Boahen, Victor Lawrence, Trebi Ashitey-Ollenu, etc (See the Black History Month section of ghscientific.com for additional information; take note of the female scientists). Among other things, our central argument points to the fact that it is high time African institutions found efficient ways to develop these kinds of human capital as well as efficient means to replicate or originate the transforming ideas of these innovative thinkers, strategic and tactical questions occupying Prof. Dompere’s painstaking exploration as part of his larger corpus of theoretical inquiries into Africa’s development sociology and development economics, while doing so through a dynamic scientific re-examination of the broadsheet of Nkrumah’s radical thinking and intellectual innovativeness.
Most significantly, Profs. Allotey and Diop and Obenga share that peculiar commonality of vigorous analytic thinking, depth of understanding of the human condition, critical thinking, and profundity of theoretical formulation and practical evaluation of theoretical constructs associated with social commitment to acquisition of technological and scientific knowledge for the sole purpose of human development, with the likes of Prof. Dompere.
Then also, as one of America’s leading economists, mathematicians, historians, logicians, operation researchers, cultural theorists, philosophers, social scientists, business analysts, statisticians, and scientists, Prof. Dompere has closely read J.B. Danquah, K.A. Busia, and several others, yet it is the monstrous intellect of Nkrumah, his technocratic prescience, his depth of complex issues related to and profound grasp of political economy, development sociology, and development economics, and his sheer analytic power, that stand incomparably tall among Prof. Dompere’s dense corpora of scientific, mathematical, and philosophical works.
Other scholars such as Prof. Zizwe Poe, one of America’s leading authorities on Nkrumah, has examined the body of the latter’s works from the theoretical standpoint of Africology (See his book “Kwame Nkrumah’s Contribution to Pan-Africanism: An Afrocentric Analysis”). Prof. Kwame Botwe-Asamoah on the other hand has made significant contributions to scholarship on Nkrumah, thoroughly examining the cultural dimension of Nkrumahism and Nkrumah’s specific contributions to Ghanaian, African, and global culture (See his book “Kwame Nkrumah’s Politico-Cultural Thought and Politics: An African-Centered Paradigm for the Second Phase of the African Revolution”). Others like Marika Sherwood and Carlos Nelson have delved into Nkrumah’s intellectual development and intellectual influences (See Marika’s “Kwame Nkrumah: The Years Abroad, 1935-1947” and Nelson’s “Kwame Nkrumah: A Study of his Intellectual Development”).
Finally, Emanuel B. Ocran analyzes Nkrumah’s legacy in the broader context of other world leaders from antiquity, such as the Greek statesman Pericles, to great leaders of contemporary dispensation, his peers included (See his book “Kwame Nkrumah: The Greatest African”).
“You have to read Kwame Nkrumah scientifically,” Prof. Dompere explained to us recently. True, one cannot critically read Nkrumah and Soyinka, say, in the same way, by the same standards if you will, more so because readers with strong theoretical grounding in science, mathematics, engineering backgrounds as well as with heavy intellectual and research investments in the humanities/liberal arts, specifically English orthography, etymology, philology, and comparative literature, and who have also closely read both intellectuals, Nkrumah and Soyinka, know for a fact that Prof. Dompere’s remark is not, characteristically, a self-serving understatement, an easily verifiable statement of fact.
Actually the reason for our observation is not illogical or too far-fetched. The sheer array of technical expertise, ideational formulations, knowledge systems, academic disciplines, and theories which Prof. Dompere brings to scholarship dwarfs Soyinka’s by far. Thus, both Nkrumah and Prof. Dompere should be read critically in a unique context radically larger and exegetically quite apart from the perusing sympathies we are wont to invest with our pantheon of Men of Letters and Women of Letters, our belletrists, as no one can doubt the epistemological tonicity of Nkrumah’s powerful corpus of scholarly works.
Nevertheless, this is not to destabilize the intellectual and philosophical ballast of Soyinka’s profound corpus of masterful writings, prosaic consummation, and poetic elegance, given that he is not a trained scientist, mathematician, or philosopher, although some of his major literary works, notably his corpora of essays and serial memoirs, public lectures, and interviews paint a versatile thinker who is not obviously out of tune with the dialectical rhythm of scientific literacy, technocracy, and philosophy. Notwithstanding all the above, Prof. Dompere is an intellectual giant in his own right. And eloquently so. This is so given the influence of his scholarly works in the American Academy in particular and the larger world.
What is more, his scholarly works, technical expertise, intelligence, and commonsense approach to the human condition and human knowledge have won the hearts of his peers as well as also benefited international organizations, American institutions, specialists, researchers, practitioners, experts, and many other individuals from around the world with various technical expertise in diverse academic disciplines. This is what great minds and formidable thinkers do, working so hard as to pull the world to their side. No, probably the opposite is rather the case. What is the point?
The world tends to gravitate towards great minds to make up for its intellectual lapses. This is the kind of mind Diop, Marie Curie, Poincare, Achebe, Awoonor, and Du Bois bequeathed to the world. It is the same great minds we should expect Mazama, Dompere, Morrison, Asante, Soyinka, Kludze, Trebi-Ollenu, Allotey, Blankson, Thiong’o, Armah, and Obenga, to mention but a few, will leave behind to make up for human inadequacies. Let us add that Prof. Dompere has not ceased taking inspiration from Diop’s intellectual legacy and scholastic militancy.
Diop, possibly the most important of Prof. Dompere’s intellectual mentors, needed the sharp tools of intellectual militancy to engage insidious scholastic purveyors of racism in the international academe, a salient point Nkrumah also correctly noted, forcefully arguing in favor of shifting the focus of the investigational methodology of African Studies from its anthropological anchorage to sociological scrutiny. “African Studies is not a kind of academic hermitage. It has warm connections with similar studies in other countries of the world. It should change its course from anthropology to sociology,” Nkrumah told a group of international scholars, “for it’s the latter which more than any other aspect creates the firmest basis for social policy.” Toyin Falola and Chrsitian Jennings have attempted answering aspects of Nkrumah’s propositions in their edited volume “Africanizing Knowledge: African Studies Across the Disciplines.”
Moreover, it is for any reason that the First World Black Festival of Arts and Culture (FESMAN), held in Dakar, Senegal, 1966, would honor Diop and Du Bois with the following citation: “As the scholars who exerted the greatest influence on African thought in the 20th century.” Certainly, this is not an excuse to get bogged down under the weight of the tall list of Nkrumah’s international, continental, and local accolades, recognition, and awards. Those are already public knowledge and, furthermore, Prof. Dompere’s scholarly works go beyond the stifling circumference of hagiographic embellishment and mindless infatuation. What we can only say at this point is that Prof. Dompere has hinged his academic career partly on Nkrumah and his great ideas, and thankfully, he is reaping unexpected benefits and enjoying a currency of enviable international recognition today. Nkrumah and his corpus of profound ideas have taken him to places, of course unexpected niches in the four corners of the world. Put simply, the social calculus of Prof. Dompere’s catapult into a forceful global intellectual presence partly derives from his calculated association with great minds as innovative as Nkrumah’s, Diop’s, among others.
The University of Pennsylvania, one of the world’s top universities as well as one of America’s Ivy League, eight of them in all, and Lincoln University, the alma mater of Thurgood Marshall, Nkrumah’s classmate and America’s first African-American Supreme Court Justice, and Nnamdi Azikiwe, Langston Hughes, Melvin B. Tolson, either Nkrumah’s classmates or schoolmates among others, have carefully archived Nkrumah’s works for researchers, students, professors, and the general public. Also, the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University, houses Nkrumah’s papers including his little-known correspondences with Diop, arguably one of the world’s best and noted scientists, historians, Egyptologists, and philosophers of the past century (See Dr. Poe’s book for additional details and Asante’s “Cheikh Anta Diop: An Intellectual Portrait”).
We have to bear in mind the existence of another little-known history about Nkrumah in which, prior to shipping himself off to the Gold Coast to assume the secretaryship position with the UGCC, he had traveled to France to educate future leaders like Felix Houphouët-Boigny and Leopold Senghor on Pan-Africanism, Africa’s decolonization, and West African unity in particular and African unity in general with a view to recruiting them for the cause of freeing Africa. Dr. Poe writes: “Nkrumah served as the Vice President and Executive Board Member of WASU while he was the General Secretary of WANS. While serving in the capacity as the latter Nkrumah made two trips to France to consolidate relationships with the African members of the French National Assembly. Nkrumah held audiences with Sourous Apithy, Leopold Senghor, Lamine Gueye, Houphouet-Boigny and other Africans residing in France.” Dr. Poe continues: “WANS threw two West African Conferences which sought to promote nationalism and unity of African students studying in Europe and the USA. Sourous Apithy’s and Leopold Senghor’s participation was a direct result of Nkrumah’s travels. From that point WASU stayed in touch with African student organizations in France…the colonial-lingua barrier was broken…”
Also little discussed in the public domain and which is a matter of historical record is, Nkrumah’s transitioning in Liberia and Sierra Leon on his way to the Gold Coast from England, where, among other things, he discussed his program, plans, and strategies for freeing West Africa (and Africa) with those two countries’ leadership, historical facts pointing to the notion that Nkrumah had it all planned out before finally disembarking in the Gold Coast to assume the secretaryship of the UGCC. “Circle members had elaborate duties to expand the West African Revolution as an integral step in the African Revolution…Other member of the Circle were not from West Africa. The notable among them were Padmore, Kenyatta, and Makonnen,” write Dr. Poe.
The Circle was an organization Nkrumah had created in England “to safeguard the increasing zealous African masses” and to “protect the masses from demagogues, quislings, traitors, cowards and self-seekers (See Dr. Poe’s book and Marika Sherwood’s ”Kwame Nkrumah: The Years Abroad, 1935-1947”). “During this period,” notes Dr. Poe, “Nkrumah was advocating the ‘eventual’ unity of all of Africa and African descendants abroad.” Therefore, those ill-informed revisionists who claim Nkrumah appropriated these ideas from the leadership of the UGCC, a nominal institution without a program, without institutional branches across the colony, and without a following until Nkrumah’s arrival in the Gold Coast breathed life into it and removed the barrier of institutional lapses, had better look at the historical record closely again, for Nkrumah had kept his ear to the ground, among other things. “Nkrumah arrived in the Gold Coast and after meeting with his family he assessed the political climate from the ‘ground level,” Dr. Poe writes further. “He had done investigations from abroad through conversations with Africans and others who had traveled to and from the colony.”
Again, Nkrumah’s enstoolment as a king in Nkroful together with his humility, dedication to the cause of humanism, and intelligence have inspired others to humble themselves before humanity. Such is the enduring power and beauty of great minds. On the other hand, individuals who take great minds serious and steadily apply themselves to the products of great minds’ intellection, as well as honor the humanity of great minds, cautiously protect their legacies against conscious corruption of unscrupulous and mediocre scholars and by intellectual, political, and ideological ignorance, etc, through sound scholarship ascend great heights collaterally, ultimately assuming greatness themselves in the process. Such is the model case of Prof. Dompere.
In fact we see the dialectic aesthetics of the latter’s great mind in his corpus of scholarly works. This is why Prof. Dompere’s technical and sophisticated monographs, most of which are published by Springer Publishing, the world’s largest publisher and holder of the largest inventory of major scientific works, have a special place in the hearts of the American Academy and the larger academic world, where experts, academics, researchers, and specialists from around the world can avail themselves of useful resources and those of other scientific thinkers for a wealth of information. Further, not unlike many other scholars of global repute, whether Black, White, or Asian, men and women who have meticulously delved into the byzantine psychology of “Ghana’s Founding President,” as the late Ali Mazrui prior to his passing referred to Kwame Nkrumah in his internationally celebrated essays, books, and public lectures, Prof. Dompere’s nonpareil scholarship, sublimely outstanding, profound, and formidable by every conceivable standard, correctly situates Kwame Nkrumah and his powerful battery of ideas, once again, on a pedestal of international scrutiny and studious valuation.
As well, it is worth noting that Prof. Dompere’s vigorous scientific re-evaluation and theoretical extension of Nkrumah’s long concatenation of theories, ideas, and general thinking lacks a tinge of hagiographic nostalgia, a point already conceded. Perhaps, no postcolonial leader of Africa has had his ideas subjected to the rigor of mathematical, scientific, and philosophical evidentiation as Nkrumah’s. In that regard, Prof. Dompere et al.’s thorough examination of Nkrumah’s legacy and contributions to human civilization represents an apotheosis of intellectual brilliance and methodological firmness. We cannot, however, exclude the research findings of Prof. Botwe-Asamoah, a close friend of Prof. Dompere’s, the same man who had introduced the latter and his body of works to us, from any discourse having to do with critical scholarship on Nkrumah (See Prof. Botwe-Asamoah’s five-part essay “The Fallacies of J.B. Danquah’s Heroic Legacy,” K.A. Busia: His Politics of Demagoguery, National Disintegration and Autocracy,” and three-part essay “Kwame Nkrumah: The One and Only Founding Father of Ghana”).
As we said before, Prof. Dompere’s scholarly works on Nkrumah clearly demonstrate a great mind of scientific, mathematical, and philosophical profundity. The next question we may want to ask is this: Thus far, what has been some of his outstanding achievements as far as his academic work and professional life go? Readers may have to bear with as this question is inevitable, recalling that we did the same with Ama Mazama, Victor Lawrence, Molefi Kete Asante, and Yaw Nyarko. Ideally this is the part we want the Ghanaian and African youth to pay close attention to and possibly learn something useful therefrom.
Outside his tight professorial and professional responsibilities, however, Prof. Dompere publishes two highly technical, dense, and sophisticated texts every year. He has also published consultancy manuals for various organizations, of which we will mention the following: “The Theoretical Basis for the Construction of External Trade Indices of Botswana: A Manual on Methods (Government of Botswana−Technical USAID−Government Statistics), “An Integrated Industrial Statistical Systems of Botswana: A Manual on Methods (Government of Botswana−Technical USAID−Government Statistics), Productivity Measures and Incomes Policy (Government of Botswana−Technical USAID−Government Statistics; Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning), and “The Morphology of Social Dimensions of Structural Adjustment (World Bank, Washington, D.C.).
Prof. Dompere has many authored scientific and technical papers to his credit. As well as several unpublished papers yet to be published. We emphasize here again that Prof. Dompere writes exclusively for experts, specialist thinkers, and scholars. Ironically and this is a verifiable fact, there are even PhD holders who are understandably, if irrecoverably, clueless about the wide topical scope and labyrinthine mathematical-scientific multilayering of his corpus of scholarly works, aside from the sweeping and analytic rigor of his methodological crossdisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity. This is no mere understatement. As well, the idiographic and nomothetic aspect to his methodology cannot be overlooked. As a matter of fact, we have given several reasons, on the other hand, explaining why this, purportedly the difficulty level and labyrinthine constitution of his scholarly works, is essentially so and, accordingly, will not volunteer any further rationalization to account for the prohibitive complexity and cross-disciplinary sophistication readers are most likely to encounter as they attempt to grasp the elaborate articulation of his scholarly works.
Let us make it quite clear here again that Prof. Dompere does not write for the average scholar or reader. In fact, his works relatively make the literary corpora of Wole Soyinka, James Joyce, or Wilson Harris easy read. We make this verifiable assertion on authority. Putting everything aside, however, Prof. Dompere’s high-profile academic standing in the American Academy is exemplified by his respected membership in the American Society for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest scientific organization; the New York Academy of Sciences; the Econometric Society, a global society of academic economists; the Golden Key National Honor Society; the American Economic Association (AEA); the Diopian Institute for Scholarly Advancement (DISA; with Prof. Kwame Botwe-Asamoah); and the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science (INFORMS). He is also associated with Scientific American; Fuzzy Sets and Systems; International Journal of Development Economics; Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing, Theory and Decision; and Journal of Intelligent and Fuzzy Systems.
Furthermore, Prof. Dompere has also served as Chairman of the Appointments, Promotions and Tenure Committee (APT) of Howard University’s Economics Committee, as well as of the Curriculum Committee and the Macroeconomic Examination Committee. And he has also been a member of the Gradual School’s Task Force on Environment Science, Howard University. These rich membership schemata are ample testimony to his public certification as a redoubtable presence in the American Academy. On the other hand his membership in international scientific organizations brings his body of works under the evaluative glare of global scrutiny!
Thus, Nkrumah comes across as both a corollary and an intrinsic infrastructure of Prof. Dompere’s global intellectual stature. Could we then ascribe this phenomenon to an exemplar of collateral benefit? No doubt both thinkers’ works can stand, however severally, on the merit of their own internal logic and demonstrable power of scientific evidentiation. This is no idle exaggeration.
We may also want to add that all the intellectuals we have mentioned thus far in the preceding paragraphs are technically scholar-activists, so-called. Scholar-activists are intellectuals who do serious thinking about improving the human condition, always trying to establish a linear correlation between armchair theorizing and the praxis of solving human problems. Scholar-activists develop and promote creative ideas that impact institutions and human thinking for the betterment of society. Scholar-activists also deploy the uncompromising sledgehammer of truth-laced provocative and advocacy writings, public expressions of righteous anger, nonviolent agitations, and public speaking, to name but four strategic and tactical tools, to engage institutions and human psychology in underwriting the progressive enterprise of societal transformation. In other words, scholar-activists exert direct impact upon the lives of individuals and institutions and themselves as a functional corrective for institutional and human aberrations.
Prof. Botwe-Asamoah, a brilliant and thoughtful activist-scholar, has sat on committees tasked to look into Affirmative Action and corrective recommendations as they relate to gender and racial disparities, among others. In addition, he had engaged Americans in the 1980s through a program he hosted on WBAI (part of the Pacifica Radio Network) on important subjects of importance to his general listenership. Finally, he and Kwame Anthony Appiah and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and others, now representing a collection of enviable academic heavyweights in the American Academy, formed a study group to explore methodological inquiries and intellectual strategies aimed at improving the human condition via sustained investigational appraisal of the dynamics of history, development economics, race relations, political economy, literature, postcolonial theories, American Civil Rights Movement, and so on.
Indeed, improving the dynamics of race relations, questioning Western historiography on Africa, and giving voice to the African world in the Western Academy and the larger world assumed precedence over other strategic and tactical concerns. What is more, Prof. Botwe-Asamoah has been a formidable political strategist and tactical theoretical behind the political philosophy of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) as well as behind other progressive political currents in Ghana, in addition to publicly collaborating with a prominent figure in the leadership of the African National Congress (ANC) and others, particularly African-American intellectuals both inside and outside the Civil Rights Movement, in fighting racism and social injustice. For these scholars constructive intellectualism means more than high-flown scholarship and writing. Malarkey is not part of their intellectual DNA.
Nkrumah had much to say about this, writing: “Social revolution must therefore have, standing behind it, an intellectual revolution, a revolution in which our thinking and philosophy are directed towards the redemption of our society. Speaking of impractical and unproductive intellectuals who are merely engaged in intellectualism for its sake, Nkrumah notes pointedly: “They live in an ivory tower in a world of their own, escaping from reality and cutting themselves off from the practical life of the people. By so doing they miss the glorious opportunity of identifying themselves with the political and economic aspirations of the people and deprive themselves of the ability to link their lives with the life of Ghana…The University of Ghana has a great future provided it can shed the Don Quixote armor of unreality which has ruined so many modern institutions which have tried to live a life of self-deceit with both their head and feet in the clouds. My message to the student of this College is: ‘come down to earth.’”
Higher education, Nkrumah once opined, should pay “respect or allegiance to the community or to the country in which it exists and purports to serve.” However, these remarks do not say Nkrumah was averse to theoretical reformations, quite the contrary. His rich body of scholarly works, particularly “Consciencism: Philosophy and Ideology for Decolonization,” attests to this observation! These facts and others may possibly explain why Profs. Botwe-Asamoah and Dompere click so well, with both accommodating the political philosophy of Nkrumahism as a scientific window into Africa’s development sociology and development economics, notwithstanding the fact that Nkrumahism expresses itself most eloquently through the theoretical and practical implications of “Consciencism: Philosophy and Ideology for Decolonization.”
Then also, it is of paramount interest to note that the connection between Profs. Botwe-Asamoah and Dompere, personal and professorial, brings up the latter’s scholar-activist profile, which is partly exemplified by his active engagement with his general American listenership through a program he has been hosting on WPFW Radio (89.3 fm) since 1987, an exciting program covering African news, commentaries, politico-economic issues, and so on. The program is called African Rhythms and Extensions. This last descriptive piece joins the long catena of scholar-activists, summing up their social, political, ideological, and educational functions in society. Like Nkrumah, scholar-activists view the practical side to a theory as important as theory itself!
Last word before closing the chapter: It is important that we critique our leaders no less an important and influential personality as Nkrumah and his government, not on revisionist distortions, selective amnesia, shoddy scholarship, intellectual dishonesty, sentimentality, and the like, but rather on well-structured arguments premised on a regimen of historicity, intellectual honesty, sound scholarship, evidence-based analysis, and rational thinking. A typical exemplar is Nkrumah and his economic policies. What is the moral of our proposition? K.B. Asante and several thinkers have cogently argued in favor of Nkrumah’s economic policies, stressing that the latter pursued development trends popular at the time and vigorously pursued across the world, with Western economists notably endorsing his economic policies (See Asante’s essay “Nkrumah and State Enterprises.” In other words, Nkrumah’s progressive economic ideas were not anatopistic or anachronistic!
Asante further quotes Tony Killick, author of “Development Economics in Action: A Study of Economic Policies in Ghana,” on this matter:
“This school [interventionist school] established powerful theoretical and practical arguments against reliance upon the market mechanism and advocated a strategy of development which placed the state in the center of the stage. A central planning agency was to provide inducements of commands superior to the price signals of the market. There was much less agreement on whether the instrumentalities of the state should be largely indirect i.e. modifying but working through the market mechanism by such means as tariff policy and the provision of tax incentives for investments, or direct, i.e. replacing the market by administrative controls and the establishment of state-owned industries. It is not possible, in my view, to identify a consensus on this issue. But there was virtual unanimity on the large role of the state−a unanimity which extended to Ghana.”
Thus, critiques of Nkrumah’s political and economic choices should be formulated in or based upon the context Killick so unambiguously defines. We should also add that scholars generally refer to the situation Killick describes as state (or government) interventionism, statism, or state capitalism. Nonetheless, whatever the merits of the intellectual or ideological enemies of Nkrumah are with regard to Nkrumah’s economic policies, one thing is certain and salient: He had the support of Ghanaians and international economists, mostly Western. However, we should also want to point out that those on the ideological right in the United States are doing the same thing to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s legacy, his economic policies (See Jim Powell’s book “FDR’s Folly: How Roosevelt and His New Deal Prolonged the Great Depression” and Burton W. Folsom, Jr.’s “New Deal or Raw Deal?: How FDR’s Economic Legacy has Damaged America”).
We are talking about the Republicans and their ring-wing think tanks and research institutions, more like Ghana’s New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the Danquah Institute and IMANI! This observation is a fascinating one. Indeed, there are strong as well as interesting parallels between the criticisms leveled against Roosevelt and Nkrumah, and we hope readers pay close attention to them.
Part of the criticism has been centered on FDR’s economic policies, the so-called New Deal, as being influenced by socialism/communism. In fact, those who cite socialism/communism argue that the threat of socialism/communism spreading to America, worker agitations, and the near-universal appeal of socialism/communism to the world may have played an indispensable role, however distant, in the policy formulation of the New Deal, which, in turn, undid American socialism. This theory is not out of the realm of public knowledge. On the other hand, others like Milton Friedman took FDR to task for adopting Keynesian economics, especially Keynes’ theoretical positions on deficit spending and state intervention, to address America’s Great Depression.
Most significantly, these critics argue that FDR’s policy and ideological slant towards economic interventionism or state capitalism succeeded in destroying America. In other words FDR’s economic policies were generally a stark failure, like Nkrumah’s, even as FDR ruled America for four consecutive terms from 1933 to 1945, his tenure representing the longest such in America’s entire political history.
Furthermore, they also claim, among other things, that the welfare state FDR’s policies engendered did little to sustain the general welfare in the long run. Finally, others also criticize FDR for scheming his manipulation of the constitution of the Supreme Court with a view to having his favorites, those who favored his New Deal policies, elected to the Court. Ironically, the New Deal gave birth to the Social Security Act, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), all public institutions, and abolition of child labor, minimum hourly wage, forty-hour worksheet, etc. Why have those on the ideological right, including right-wing American presidents, not dissolve these viable public institutions since they are part of the failures of FDR’s New Deal? The preceding question, nevertheless, remains an intimidating desert, to wit, unanswered in the popular literature of right-wing writers whose corpus of writings have fallen under our perusing microscope.
Evidently, intellectual or ideological identification with cherry-picking, selective evidence or confirmation bias is their stocks in trade. Another neglected yet crucial question is: If indeed FDR’s economic policies destroyed America as it has been argued, how come America’s economy still remains the largest and possibly most buoyant in the world though China’s has been predicted or tipped to overtake the former’s in the near future?
Also, the controversial issue of the Preventive Detention Act (PDA) is another ideological weapon that has been used against Nkrumah, his government and legacy, comes to mind. Once again the argument has been self-servingly skewed to favor the real terrorists and nation-wreakers, members of the National Liberation Movement (NLM), as the Nkrumah government fought hard to keep the new nation from tearing apart along regional, ideological, religious, and ethnic fault lines. Authentic reasons justifying implementation of the PDA are usually skipped over for ideological and political justifications instead, swept under the carpet for obvious reasons.
Conversely, implementation of the Avoidance of Discrimination Act (1957) was timely and appropriate, eventually contributing to and strengthening the moral umbilical-cord of Ghana’s birth and collaterally producing a major opposition party, the United Party (UP), in the process. Yet critics of the PDA do not tell the world the new nation owed its enactment to the colonial government, not to Nkrumah, the then-Prime Minister (See K.A. Asante’s “Preventive Detention Act was a Painful Necessity” and Ekow Nelson and Dr. Michael Gyamerah “The Origins of Preventive Detention in Ghana”).
What is also not broached in public discourse is that successive regimes after Nkrumah had used the PDA under different names or labels. The National Liberation Council (NLC) called its own version of the PDA the Protective Custody Decree (PCD), while conveniently refusing to credit the prior regime for passage of the PDA. Here is the disparity: The PCD led to the incarceration of 1850 political prisoners, as opposed to 1377 under the PDA. Yet the PDA had been in existence longer than the PCD, since 1958! What is also strange about the whole affair is the calculating tendency of Nkrumah’s ideological enemies and political critics to invoke Western democracy and cultural ethos as liberal systems Nkrumah should have learnt from, taken sustained interest in, rather than invoking the PDA in the interest of national integrity and national peace.
Hindsight can, indeed, sometimes make history a liar, truth a liar, and black white. Regrettably as it already is, there is always something important amiss when comparative assessment of topical questions is invoked as an effective tool for plumbing irritant controversies confronting Africa and the West. Some of these Nkrumah critics are not even aware that the modern versions of preventive detention are not even African but Western in origin, going all the way back to the era of the Magna Carta.
“Preventive detention is not prohibited by U.S. law or especially frowned upon in tradition or practice,” Benjamin Wittes and Adam Klein argue in the Harvard National Security Journal, adding that the circumstances in which it arises are relatively frequent. “The federal government,” they conclude, “and all 50 states together posses a wide range of state detention regimes that are frequently used, many of which provoke little social or legal controversy” (See “Preventive Detention in American Theory and Practice,” Vol. 2, 2011; See also Stephanie Blum’s “Preventive Detention in the War on Terror: A Comparison of How the United States, Britain, and Israel Detain and Incapacitate Terrorist Suspects,” Homeland Security Affairs, Vol lV, No 2, Oct. 2008; and Andrew Harding’s “Preventive Detention and Security Law: A comparative Study”). No country on the planet had had it perfect with preventive detention of any sort. This is not to justify its abuses under the Nkrumah administration and the National Liberation Council. Magnus George, E.A. Maclean, and M.O. Kwatiah, three CPP members died under the Protective Custody Decree of the National Liberation Council!
What is more, taking everything together in one exegetical capsule, however, it does seem the underlying assumptions and reasons undergirding the codification of the Avoidance of Discrimination Act are not philosophically and morally distinct from the one-party system. This is not a defense or denunciation of the practice, we should point out. On the other hand some excellent arguments and convincing reasons have been adduced to justify the practice (See George P. Hagan’s “Nkrumah’s Leadership Style−An Assessment from a Cultural Perspective”). “Yet Nkrumah reached the same conclusions as his contemporaries Sekou Toure, Houphouët-Boigny, Leopold Senghor, Modibo Keita, Julius Nyerere, and Jomo Kenyatta,” Dr. Ama Biney writes of the controversial one-party system. “While the Ivory Coast and Senegal purported to be multiparty states, they were de facto one-party states in which other parties had no chance of winning state power.”
“In other words, they were one-party states by another name,” Dr. Biney writes particularly of the Ivory Coast and Senegal. “In short, these various African states were all grappling with the same issues as Nkrumah: How does a nation-state prevent descent into a religious and ethnic fragmentation of society?” These are some of the general questions Nkrumah’s highly theoretical and dialectically sophisticated work “Consciencism: Philosophy and Ideology for Decolonization” attempts to resolve. More importantly, we bring up these examples as an attempt to put the ideological enemies of Nkrumah in direct acquaintance with how relatively widespread the one-party system was across Africa and other parts of the world, as well as putting their selective criticism of Nkrumah and the one-party system in its proper historical and cultural perspective.
Ironically, it is not even acknowledged by Nkrumah’s ideological enemies in public discourse that the colonial government of the Gold Coast ran a de facto one-party system prior to its dethronement by the Convention People’s Party (CPP) or, that the Britain introduced preventive detention in India for obvious reasons. In addition, there are also those in Britain, Canada (Quebec), and Australia who perceive Britain’s constitutional monarchy as a dictatorship, a one-party system if you will, and thus have consistently argued for its abolition. In fact the reasons Kenyatta, Houphouët-Boigny, Nkrumah, Toure, Keita, and Senghor adduced for the institutionalization of the one-party system can be likened to Abraham Lincoln’s insidious rationalization for the Civil War.
It has been cogently argued by various influential writers, historians, and scholars that the real pretext for the Civil War was not the aggregate assumptions and implications of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, but rather of his intentions to build a rival empire as great as Great Britain’s by nipping the secession of the American South in the bud (See Thomas DiLorenzo’s “The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War” and “Lincoln What You’re Not Supposed to Know About Dishonest Abe”; see also Lerone Bennet, Jr.’s “Forced into Glory: Abraham Lincoln’s White Dream”). Why are Lincoln’s insidious excuses for waging war to keep the geopolitical integrity of the United States intact morally acceptable, this according to Nkrumah’s ideological enemies, but Nkrumah’s morally unacceptable?
Then also, others are quick to cite the so-called Rwanda Miracle as a model for Ghana’s and other African countries’ development economics, yet the same people conveniently overlook Paul Kagame’s one-party regime. Kagame’s arbitrary deployment of “genocide ideology” to stifle opposition to his Tutsi-dominated government is well known. Has Kagame not ruthlessly used Kafkaesque “genocide ideology” to maneuver his opponents out of political office? It may be recalled that Kagame made a Hutu president of his government while he shared the vice presidency with another Hutu, a tactical arrangement designed to give his Western supporters an inkling of a representative government, not a khakistocracy. He chased them out before long under the flimsiest of alibis and has assumed the presidency since.
Yet these undemocratic strategic maneuvers have not prevented Kagame from courting the high-profile friendships of Bill Gates, Tony Blair, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and owner of Starbuks. That is not all, however. Meles Zenawi, the late Ethiopian Prime Minister, also ran a one-party government, same of Yoweri Museveni. All three, Kagame, Zenawi, and Museveni, have received their strongest support, namely financial, military, moral, and intelligence, from the West (See Milton Allimad’s “Will Obama Side with Africa’s Enemies, the Corrupt Leaders?”). We also know the American constitution does not look favorably upon third-party formation (See Duverger’s law, Jeffrey Sach’s First-Past-The-Post Principle, and William Domhoff’s “Who Rules America? Power, Politics, and Social Change”).
Thus, in one sense America’s two-party system is merely a corporatocracy, a one-party system! Here, as elsewhere, we invoke Dambisa Moyo’s keen observations to buttress our arguments. We advanced the following last year: Dambisa Moyo capitalizes on the sharp contrasts between the West and China to make her case, pointing out that private capitalism, liberal democracy, prioritized political rights, sociopolitical qualities we readily associate with the West, the “Western Model,” she calls it, are not necessarily ironclad ingredients for economic success. Alternatively, her observations are bolstered by the fact that state capitalism, de-emphasized democracy, prioritized economic rights over political rights, in other words, what she refers to as the “Chinese Model or Beijing Consensus,” equally promises better standard of living in the shortest possible time. In short, Dambisa believes democracy is not a prerequisite for economic growth. We may add the Nordic Model to Moyo’s!
These facts raise a number of troubling questions: Why did Nkrumah and his government do the things we associate with him and his legacy? Was he justified in coming up and implementing those ideas we associate with hum and his legacy? Why is it acceptable for America to support Germany’s industrialization under Adolf Hitler, for America and Britain to team up with their staunchest enemy Joseph Stalin against Nazi Germany, for France to aid America in her war of independence against Britain, and for America to provide Saddam Hussein intelligence to locate Kurds and Iranians and gas them to death during the eight-year Iran-Iraq war, among other historical and contemporary wrongs, but wrong for Nkrumah to strike strategic and tactical alliances or get into a political marriage of convenience with the East, on the part of the West and its local supporters? Why is FDR’s state capitalism justifiable in the reckoning of an ideological enemy of Nkrumah, yet the latter’s state capitalism deemed unjustifiable under any circumstance?
Could Nkrumah’s socialist rhetoric have blinded some to the actual facts? Could Nkrumah’s socialist rhetoric have blinded some to the actual facts? Is Marxism and its theoretical cognates, socialism and communism, not Western in origin? Why was Nkrumah’s support for Black South Africa deemed morally unjustified by the West, yet at the same time Western support for Apartheid South Africa seen as a high mark of moral inevitability? Why are the West’s Euro, NATO, European Union, Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), and AFRICOM excellent ideas, but Nkrumah’s proposals for continental unification based on the following four-set plan: 1) A common foreign policy and diplomacy, 2) A common continental planning for economic and industrial development of Africa, 3) A common currency, central bank, and military zone, and 5) A common defense system (African High Command), problematic? Was Nkrumah always wrong, everyone else always right?
What is our primary reason for raising these examples? The reason is simple. Prof. Dompere subjects the underlying assumptions and reasons behind Nkrumah’s manifold ideas to a vigorous analysis of scientific attestation via mathematical modeling, optimization, and simulation, a means to demonstrate or establish their viability, or otherwise, in a real world setting. This approach is a familiar methodology in marketing, game theory, operations research, warfare, game theory, analytics, management science, industrial engineering, advertising, artificial intelligence, computational biology, stochastic systems, etc. Technically the hardest part of mathematical modeling may, perhaps, be a question of formulation and of correctly solving it to obtain optimal solution(s). The next step involves confirming the feasibility of the optimal solution(s) in a qualitative or experimental context. Prof. Dompere’s work has done both. The rest is for policy makers, think tanks, experts, specialists, practitioners, etc., to implement them.
This goes to show how mathematics can be used to solve human problems, to improve the human condition, and to unearth the scientific and mathematical implications of Nkrumah’s creative ideas. In other words, Prof. Dompere looks past politics and allows advanced mathematics, science, and logic to speak on behalf of Nkrumah’s profound ideas and Nkrumahism!
On the other hand, as a point of comparison, the closest theoretical approximation we can cite to explain or give readers an inkling of Prof. Dompere’s important work on Nkrumah is that done by the African-American scholar Dr. Jonathan Farley, notably one of the world’s brightest, youngest, celebrated, and accomplished mathematicians, who has used his expertise in the theory of ordered sets, graph theory, and lattice theory to develop software for fighting terrorism (See his paper “Toward a Mathematical Theory of Counterterrorism,” The Proteus Monograph Series, Vol. 1, Issue 2, Dec. 2007, and “How Al Qaeda Can Use Order Theory to Evade or Defeat U.S. Forces: The Case of Binary Posets,” Advances in Network Analysis and Its Applications (2012). In fact, he has published a number of scientific papers on using mathematics to fight counterterrorism!
We shall return…