"Asia and Africa today"
- is a scientificl monthly journal (in Russian)
of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Included in Russian Science Citation Index on
WoS platform, and EBSCO Publishing.
ISSN 0321-5075
Published since July 1957.

"Asia and Africa today" № 5 2020


USSR AND «UNION OF AFRICAN STATES» PROJECT, 1963-1964 (based on Russian archival materials)




Sergei V. MAZOV
Dr.Sc. (History), Principal Research Fellow, Institute of World History, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )


   The author has obtained recently declassified Russian archival materials revealing the secret role of Soviet experts in preparing some constituent documents of the Union of African States, Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah sought to establish.

   At his request, at the end of 1963 Major General Viktor Kulikov assisted in elaborating recommendations for organizing collective defense for the OAU member countries, and Professor Vladimir Aboltin designed a plan for their economic integration.

   Aboltin proposed to establish a pan-African Customs Union that would abolish customs duties and Central African Bank issuing common currency, to industrialize Africa “on the basis of economic union”, to implement infrastructural projects, to domesticate Sahara gradually. He believed that all these would "contribute to the separation of 18 African associated states from the European Common Market", to "the liberation of the remaining African colonies”, "weaken the overall position of imperialism, which employs new forms of colonialism in Africa".

   Professor Aboltin sent to the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party (CPSU) a comprehensive memo "On Pan-Africanism", which he defined as "an ideology that was fundamentally racist and incompatible with Marxism-Leninism", an utopia divorced from reality. He advised the Soviet leadership not to treat pan-Africanists as reliable allies, even if they declared a socialist path of development, including Nkrumah whose conception of Nkrumaism was "a mixture of all sorts of things".

   Given his position, the Soviet leaders reacted with restraint to the request of the Ghanaian Foreign Minister Kojo Botsio in May 1965 to allocate 300 million pounds to his country for "the struggle to achieve inter-African unity based on socialist principles".

Keywords: Pan-Africanism, Union of African States, Soviet-Ghanaian Relations, Cold War
Pages 66-72