Let me briefly discuss these five premises (1) Contrary to the Nkrumahist myth, Africa was not balkanized by the colonial powers. It suffered something that was the opposite of balkanization; something that was far worse than being balkanized. If anything, several thousands of autonomous polities, ranging from sovereign villages to empires, that existed in Africa in the mid-19th century were, by 1900, shattered and their rubble were tossed and jumbled into some 50 rubbish heaps, and warehoused in the European Imposed Enclosures (EIEs) that were called colonies. Admittedly, a few ethnic groups here and there were split between the territories of two or three European colonies, i.e. were balkanized; but they were atypical: that did not happen to even a large minority of ethnic groups. A correct description of what happened is this: a politically much disunited Africa was arbitrarily partitioned and its shattered societies were jumbled into some 50 new political enclosures. Though Africa was still fragmented, Africa was certainly not balkanized. It was actually much less fragmented than it had been before the European conquest took place. The real damage was not in the fragmentation of the continent, but in the shattering and jumbling up of its societies. In his preoccupation with an alleged balkanization, Nkrumah was like a quack doctor basing his cure on a false diagnosis.
(2) The thesis that none of the EIE‘s was big enough to challenge and defeat imperialism is disproved by the example of Cuba. Cuba in 1959 was no bigger in area or population than Nkrumah‘s Ghana [Cuba‘s population in 1960 was 7m; Ghana‘s was 6.7m], yet under Fidel Castro, Cuba embarked on a path of defiance of US imperialism, a path it has maintained till today, 50 years later. The difference between Castro‘s Cuba and Nkrumah‘s Ghana was not size but the anti-imperialist determination of the leaderships. If Castro‘s Cuba could defy and survive imperialism in the 1960s, so too might Nkrumah‘s Ghana had Nkrumah been so minded and so bold and resourceful.
(3) As for the myth that the entire continent of Africa was the minimum size of country to take on imperialism, it is disproved not only by Cuba, but also by Vietnam, Guinea Bissau, Angola, Mozambique etc. of the 1960s: each of these challenged and defeated its colonial masters either politically or militarily. None of them waited for the political unification of its continent—be it South America, Asia or Africa, before taking on imperialism. This myth has served as an excuse for those compradors who, in any case, were disinclined to combat imperialism. It gave them an excuse to postpone the combat until that never–never day when the entire continent would be politically unified.
(4) As for the naive claim that unity is ever and always strength, Amilcar Cabral entered his profound dissent even during the 1960s when he warned: ―we must realize that union does not always make for strength, there are certain kinds of union which make for weakness. As we can all see today, some half century later, you can all be chained together in a neo-colonial dungeon: that is unity-- OAU/AU style; a powerless unity.
(5) As for the tacit assumption that the neo-colonial character of these EIEs could be overlooked, and was no impediment to their capacity to combat and defeat imperialism, we can all see the result today. The AU is a collection of neo-colonial states that is a handmaid of imperialism, not its adversary. What else could a union of untransformed neo-colonies be?