Looking Backwards to Run Forward: A critical examination of the 60th Anniversary of the 1958 All-African People’s Conference

  • Mjiba Frehiwot University of Ghana-Institute of African Studies
Keywords: Pan-Africanism, All-African People’s Conference, Kwame Nkrumah, Institute of African Studies


This paper analyses the 1958 All-African People’s Conference (AAPC) and the 60th anniversary celebration held in 2018. The article interrogates the history, resolutions, and outcomes of the two conferences to examine the unfinished business of liberation and transformation. The 1958 AAPC conference is one of the most famous Pan-African gatherings held on the African continent. Organised in Ghana at the behest of Kwame Nkrumah and the Convention Peoples Party, this conference significantly contributed to the movement for Pan-African unity and independence across the continent. In 2018, the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana, which is deemed one of the academic epicentres of Pan-African intellectual work on the continent, hosted, in collaboration with the Socialist Movement of Ghana (formerly Socialist Forum of Ghana), Third World Network Africa, Trade Union Congress of Ghana and Lincoln University, Pennsylvania, a 60th anniversary commemoration of the 1958 AAPC. The aim of this commemoration was to celebrate and interrogate the original conference and 21st century Pan-Africanism. This paper is informed by conference reports, official memoranda, newspaper articles, and my experience as a participant organiser and a Pan-African activist. It provides the reader with a resourceful and summative evaluation of the proceedings of both conferences and highlights contemporary challenges of the Pan-African Movement.