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AfCFTA fulfillment of my father’s pan-African vision, says Samia Nkrumah

AfCFTA fulfillment of my father’s pan-African vision, says Samia Nkrumah
June 28
15:47 2023

Samia Nkrumah, daughter of Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s former president, says the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was a fulfillment of her father’s pan-Africanist vision.

Nkrumah spoke over the weekend on ‘The Toyin Falola Interview Series’, a project by Toyin Falola, a professor of history at the University of Texas.

Nkrumah’s father was the first prime minister who led Ghana (then Gold Coast) to independence from Britain in 1957. He was described as an influential advocate of pan-Africanism.

Also a politician, Nkrumah said the free trade agreement was evidence of the need to promote unity in Africa and improve the continent’s economic growth.


She added that Africa has what it takes to be at the top position in terms of leading world economies.

Nkrumah said the continent can achieve more and become an economic powerhouse if there is unity to speak in one voice, adding that the AfCFTA was ultimately meant to “link the whole continent into one market without trade barriers”.

“I wonder why we didn’t think about five or six regional markets rather than one. I know the answer,” she said.


“If you look at the initial proposal for unity that Ghana put forward under Kwame Nkrumah when it comes to continental integration, you will see that a lot of what is AfCFTA today is really what they were talking about sixty years ago.

“Why did it take so long even for something to come to the fore, we could go into that. But for whatever reasons, Africans have picked that up today and countries are ratifying and there is hope that we are working towards that in the years to come.

“One of the reasons it has reached the point where it is today is because it has reached some kind of consensus from business leaders, African civil society leaders, the chunk of intellectuals, and many others. There is a conversion that seems to have put pressure on African leaders to start looking at this signing and consenting.

“It means that in today’s world, what can change our economies positively is when you are talking about a billion people. You need a huge market and you need a lot of small economies. It means there is a realisation that we need something beyond our regional groupings to make us fly economically. It is a realisation; it is an admission.


“Our father never said we should not have smaller groupings or markets. In fact, he said let us have unity with a nucleus of those who are willing. But the objective is to maximise the potential of the various zones developmentally.

“Why should Africa be shortchanged? The bigger we grow, the better. If Africa spoke with one voice on issues of international dimension, I think the world would hear us and eventually, we would be able to secure a seat at the UN security council. We would be an economic powerhouse. You cannot ignore a people with a population of about 1.5 billion people.”

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