October 30, 2020
National Congress of British West Africa

Demands of the National Congress of British West Africa

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You can now have your complete list of the major aims and demands of the National Congress of British West Africa (NCBWA).

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This proto-nationalist group was the first inter-territorial nationalist movement to be formed in British West Africa.

Its membership was drawn from The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The NCBWA was formed in Accra in 1920 by J E Casely Hayford of the Gold Coast and Dr Saraga of Sierra-Leone.

Below were the key demands the National Congress of British West Africa made on the colonial authorities in British West Africa.

1. Elective principle

The NCBWA proposed reforms to the membership of the Legislative Council within each territory. Half the membership should be elected while the other half must be nominated.

2. Control of taxation

The Congress demanded that Africans in the legislative council should control taxation.

3. Separation of powers

It went further to demand that the judiciary be separated from the executive arm of government.

4. Control over the chieftaincy institution

The NCBWA called for a return to the customary practice whereby Africans were responsible for the appointment and destoolment of their traditional rulers.

5. Federal system of government

The Congress made a strong case for the establishment of a federal form of government for the four British West African colonies

6. Court of Appeal

The creation of a West African Court of Appeal was among the demands made by the National Congress of British West Africa.

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7. Appointments to the Civil Service

The NCBWA demanded that Africans be appointed to occupy high positions in the civil service and the judiciary

8. University College of West Africa

The leaders of the NCBWA wanted the colonial authorities to establish a university in West Africa.

9. African control over the economy

Another key demand from the National Congress of British West Africa was that appropriate legislation must be put in place to limit the activities of Syrian and Lebanese immigrants who seemed to have an upper hand in the economies of the colonies.

10. Municipal councils

Finally, the NCBWA advocated the establishment of municipal councils in the bigger towns to be dominated by Africans.

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Photo by Steve Houghton-Burnett on Unsplash

Ralph Nyadzi

Ralph has a passion for the teaching and learning of Language and Literature mainly because these two help him to understand and appreciate why people act the way they do. Over the past two decades, he has coached over 5000 students and adult learners to achieve their educational goals. Ralph is the founder and CEO of Cegast Academy.

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