British Empire
The end of the British empire - Ghana
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  simplified transcript - source5  
Extract from a report on democracy in Ghana in 1959
(Catalogue ref: CAB 21/4571)
Ghana

13. Two years of independence have seen what seems to be a clear move away from democratic rule towards an authoritarian one-party state. Much of Dr. Nkrumah's behaviour can be explained by his concern to destroy or make harmless the disruptive forces of tribalism (as represented in the Chiefs and Regional Assemblies) and to create a united nation and a sense of nationhood. To some extent he has been helped in his ambitions by the sometimes ill-judged activities of the opposition, which unrealistically wanted central government safeguards to protect its interests, based mainly on tribal and geographical differences. Certain parts of the constitution, meant to safeguard the rights of minorities, have appeared to be an obstacle to the unity of the state and therefore disposable. Dr. Nkrumah is passionately keen to build himself up as the voice of Africa before he is overshadowed by a newly independent Nigeria. By turning the eyes of Ghana outwards towards the goal of Pan-Africanism, he has been anxious to develop his reputation as a father-figure. The restriction of the personal liberties of those opposing him seems a small price to pay for putting Ghana on the map. Indeed it is doubtful whether any future election would be allowed to go against Dr. Nkrumah. This does not necessarily mean that the cause of democracy in Ghana is lost for good, or that it was the best type of government for Ghana in its early years of independence.
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