This article explores the motives of Ghana’s Trades Union Congress in
securing development assistance during the era of decolonization and early independence. African interests and agency in these complex processes of negotiation have not been sufficiently untangled to highlight the decisions that African trade unionists made as they aligned with, and fostered, international networks and alliances to meet particular development goals. By highlighting the perspectives and actions of Ghana’s trade union officials, the article demonstrates what Africans sought to achieve through connections to international trade union organizations. The Ghana case illustrates the ways in which African trade unionists actively engaged in the variable and competing politics and policies of local, regional, and global trade unionism in order to strengthen their union apparatus and meet shifting needs.
Comment: This article shows how a trade union functioned in sub-Saharan Africa’s first country to gain its independence from British colonial rule, and demonstrates how trade union diplomacy emerged as an important element of African national and international politics during the era of decolonisation. Through the lens of African labor interests and the actions of the Ghana Trade Union Congress, the article engages with the confluence of internationalism and decolonisation in post-independence African societies.