Nkrumah and the Triple Heritage Thesis and Development in Africana Societies
Lawrence O. Bamikole

The need for ideology as catalyst of social and political development of African societies has been central to the efforts of colonized people to attain nationhood. One fundamental assumption embraced by leaders in these countries is that they cannot achieve this worthwhile goal if they still lean heavily on the ideology of their colonial masters. However, the starting point and the ingredients of this ideology differed from one leader to another. Thus while some believe that such ideology should be rooted in the traditional culture of these societies, others believe that the traditional culture alone cannot constitute a viable basis for such ideology given the fact that the traditional culture has become anachronistic and therefore it could not ground an ideology for development of the modern African state. These positions have been supported by arguments from all sides, including, of course, many scholars of African social and political thought. Taking a clue from the dialectical elements in Nkrumah‟s notion of philosophical consciencism, this paper argues that given the contemporary social and political realities in the world, a distinctive ideology for development of African societies could only emerge from the synthesis (creolization) of the traditional and modern elements of African space. The paper suggests the necessity for a synthesis of the old and the new elements of African socio-cultural realities as the paradigm of development of these societies in the Twenty First Century and beyond.

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