oa African Yearbook of Rhetoric - In response to the "Wind of change" : the statecraft of Kwame Nkrumah

Volume 4, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2220-2188
  • E-ISSN: 2305-7785



During the first ever tour of Commonwealth countries in Africa, the British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan made his first stopover in Ghana on 5 January 1960.

On 9 January, Macmillan, at a State Dinner organised on his behalf in Accra, made a momentous speech. A speech that is regarded as a rehearsal of a key British foreign policy statement Macmillan was to make a month later in Cape Town. This speech would later be referred to as the "Wind of change" speech.
The South African version of Macmillan's speech was delivered on 3 February in Parliament in Cape Town. The Cape Town version completed Macmillan's key rhetorical invention which expressed a new paradigm of Britain's foreign policy in Africa. In the end, the speech resonated differently in the two countries where it was heard, for obvious reasons. That is, there were significant differences between the political contexts in Accra and Cape Town, rendering the speech rhetorically significant in terms of its effects and responses, both immediately and later.

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