Nkrumah’s All Africa People’s Conference: The Zimbabwean factor


This December marks the 60th anniversary of the All African People’s Conference (AAPC) in Accra, Ghana. The nearly weeklong event in 1958 convened some 200 people representing 60 organisations from 27 countries, including prominent pan-African personalities like Patrice Lumumba and Tom Mboya. It marked a decisive shift in the organisation of pan-Africanist conferences from Europe to Africa and on the eve of the independence of many of the still colonised territories on the continent. It constitutes a key marker in the consolidation of Kwame Nkrumah’s image as a pan -African icon.

The initial impact of the AAPC was, however, much more than symbolic. An examination of the surge of political action in colonial Zimbabwe (then known as Southern Rhodesia) following the conference reveals the…

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