African Socialism in Senghor and Nkrumah: A Discourse

 At independence, African leaders demonised capitalism and colonialism, declaring both as evil and exploitative. They thus advocated for an alternative strategy in mobilizing African resources to attain a rapid rate of economic growth and development for the benefit of its people.  Socialism was therefore, adopted as the only approach upon which Africa's development is anchored. The socialist ideology garbed in African tradition was widely adopted.  Its proponents described it as an African political and economic system that is positively African not being imported from any country or being a blueprint of any foreign ideology but capable of incorporating useful and compatible techniques from any other source. This paper explores African socialism as an indigenous model of economic development. African socialism became an important theory of economic development for countries like Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Senegal and Tanzania. African leaders professed their support for this model, with sundry definitions and interpretations owing to the fact that African socialism is not the product of one single thinker. However, the common thread namely the desire for political and economic autonomy, self-reliance, the Africanization of business and the civil service, pan-Africanism, and non-alignment remains the major feature of African socialism. Using two proponents of this theory namely Kwame Nkrumah and Leopold Senghor, the paper analyses the framework and circumstances leading to the adoption of African socialism, and elucidates the concept and interpretation from the standpoints of these African leaders and theorists.The paper also underscores the application of African socialism and concludes that the theory is yet to advance to the stage of practicability since Africa remains in a state of economic atrophy and general underdevelopment.

Keywords: African Socialism, Socialism, Development

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Idowu, A. (2018). African Socialism in Senghor and Nkrumah: A Discourse. Afribary. Retrieved from

MLA 8th

Idowu, Ajibade Samuel "African Socialism in Senghor and Nkrumah: A Discourse" Afribary. Afribary, 22 Dec. 2018, Accessed 25 Jul. 2024.


Idowu, Ajibade Samuel . "African Socialism in Senghor and Nkrumah: A Discourse". Afribary, Afribary, 22 Dec. 2018. Web. 25 Jul. 2024. < >.


Idowu, Ajibade Samuel . "African Socialism in Senghor and Nkrumah: A Discourse" Afribary (2018). Accessed July 25, 2024.