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Today in History: Ghana’s First President Kwame Nkrumah Died in Bucharest, Romania

Exactly 48 years ago today, April 27, 1972, Ghana’s first president, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, died in Bucharest, Romania following six years of exile in Guinea after being deposed through a military coup.

Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah led the country to attain independence from British colonial rule.


The great Pan-Africanist died far away from his birthplace of Nkroful at the age of 62.

He played an instrumental role in the formation of the African Union (A.U) previously called the Organization of African Unity (O.A.U) and led Ghana to independence in 1957.

On February 24, 1966, President Kwame Nkrumah was unconstitutionally ousted from office through a military coup with the code name ”Operation Cold Chop” launched by the National Liberation Council (NLC).

At the time, Ghana’s visionary leader was in Peking, present-day Beijing, en route to the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi, to contribute to efforts to end the American war in Vietnam.

After he was ousted, Kwame Nkrumah arrived in Conakry, Guinea upon the invitation of Sekou Toure.

On April 27, 1972, Kwame Nkrumah died of cancer while in Bucharest, Romania.

His death was announced by President Seim Toure of Guinea, one of the militant nationalists who was a close friend of Nkrumah.

Kwame Nkrumah’s death was met with massive tributes across the world.

Several African Heads of State and the representatives of 25 other countries paid their last tributes to Ghana’s former president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, on Saturday, May 13, 1972 after a funeral ceremony was held in Conakry, the Guinean capital.


Written by How Africa

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