US, Africa and the Cold War
Response Paper #1: Fanon, Nkrumah, and African Independence
At first glance, Kwame Nkrumah and Frantz Fanon seem to be promoting very similar methods of decolonization in Africa. They both recognize that Western capitalists are continuing Africa’s dependence and oppressing the continent in order to extract maximum profits. However, upon further investigation, it becomes obvious that these two men endorsed separate schools of thought when it came to Africa’s future. Nkrumah foresaw Africa as an economic force equal to the West with the help of unity. Fanon studied the Western capitalists and came to the conclusion that their entire society was inherently non-African in nature. As each of these men put forth their ideas, they exposed strengths and weaknesses in each of the strategies.
Kwame Nkrumah was a native of the Gold Coast, which would later become Ghana when he assumed the position of the newborn nation’s first president. This strong connection with his homeland was coupled with a Western education in Philadelphia and London. After witnessing two thriving centers of capitalism, Nkrumah returned home with hopes of turning his homeland around. One thing that was occurring in Africa and not the United States was a process known as “balkanization”. The United States were strong because they realized that even a confederacy was not adequate to maintain a successful capitalist state. Africa was continually being exploited due to the many isolated governments that could be swayed by powerful foreign investors.
One of the examples Nkrumah used was cocoa production. Since the cocoa producing nations in Africa were independent of each other, they competed with one another and kept the cost low. The Western nations were capitalizing on the fragmented continent by playing them off one another and reaping the benefits of cheap raw materials. Instead...