• Kwame Nkrumah and the Dawn of the Cold War

Kwame Nkrumah and the Dawn of the Cold War

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The West African National Secretariat (WANS), a pan-Africanist movement established in 1945 by Kwame Nkrumah and colleagues in London and France, aimed to promote independence and unity in West Africa. However, Nkrumah's return to the Gold Coast in 1947 led to his imprisonment on charges of communism and inciting riots in 1948, marking the onset of the Cold War in West Africa. Marika Sherwood's research, incorporating recently released MI5 files, delves into WANS' activities, the plans for a unity conference in Lagos in 1948, and Nkrumah's return to his homeland. Her work reveals how colonial powers collaborated, with the support of the United States, to suppress independence movements by labeling African nationalists as communists, thus introducing the Cold War to the continent. This book uncovers a significant yet overlooked moment in West African history and its impact on the region's path to independence.