|dc.description.abstract||This thesis employs the norm entrepreneurship approach to explore Ghana’s foreign policy during the
post-independence era, with a particular focus on the country’s first President Kwame Nkrumah’s
policy of Pan-Africanism. Pan-Africanism may be defined as the idea of protecting Africa’s selfdetermination,
and promoting a sense of consciousness and group solidarity amongst people of African
origin. This thesis critically examines Nkrumah’s leadership in the post-independence period, and the
way in which his Pan-African ideal and legacy has continued to influence Ghana’s foreign policy
engagement in the African region.
In tracing the evolution of Ghana’s foreign policy under Nkrumah, two main cases are
examined — Ghana’s peacekeeping engagement in the 1960–1964 Congo mission and the creation of
a continental bloc, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963. Norm entrepreneurship theory
provides new insight into Nkrumah’s attempts to reinforce, articulate, and communicate his vision of
Pan-Africanism. Buoyed by his success post-Ghana’s independence, Nkrumah continued to present
himself as a crucial vehicle for protecting Africa’s political and economic independence.
The concept of Pan-Africanism was vital in assisting Nkrumah articulate and champion
Ghana’s path to achieve independence. It served to establish his leadership and his political networks.
However, his devotion to the promotion of the Pan-African norm during his Presidency compromised
his foreign policy choices and decisions; it was also paradoxical in view of the increasingly authoritarian
leadership style he adopted in Ghana.
This thesis presents the complexity of post-independence foreign policy decision making and
the influence of the post-colonial narrative. Leaders such as Nkrumah considered themselves as the
redeemers of Africa’s political and economic vulnerability from its colonial experiences. This thesis
finds that, in contrast to the positive experience associated with his independence movement for Ghana,
Nkrumah could not build the same kind of vision, engagement, and networks necessary for successful
promotion of a Pan-African region. Despite Nkrumah’s own foreign policy failures in the Congo and
OAU’s formation, as well as his sudden departure after a military coup, Nkrumah’s Pan-African vision
is still promoted as an important foreign policy legacy by Ghana’s politicians, public servants, military,
and academics. I argue that this legacy endures because the independent, post-colonial narrative matters
as much as the promotion of geopolitical and material interests. The struggle for independence and the
right to independent self-determination was not just a geopolitical fight; it was a deeply personal one in the case of Nkrumah and the Ghanaian population.||