242. Letter From President Kennedy to President Nkrumah 0

Dear Mr. President: I have asked Mr. Clarence Randall, together with Ambassador Russell, to deliver this letter to you informing you of my decision to provide United States financial assistance to the Volta River Hydroelectric Project.

When Mr. Randall returned to Washington from his previous trip to Accra, he told me of your cordiality and hospitality and of his frank conversations with you on my behalf. In the same spirit of candor which characterized our talks in March and which has continued in our subsequent communications, I asked Mr. Randall to explain to you the serious concern which the American people and Government have regarding certain political and economic policies of your Government.

In all frankness I must say that these concerns still exist. Nevertheless on the basis of the assurances which you gave me in your letter of [Page 372] October 51 and your subsequent assurances to Mr. Randall that your policy is truly one of non-alignment and independence and that you share with us the desire to see the dam and smelter through to completion, we are prepared to go ahead with the project on a cooperative basis.

The Volta project is an investment in the future generations of the Ghanaians and their African neighbors. This investment promises to pay large dividends, for I am hopeful that these generations will live in a world of increasing freedom in which they will work out a pattern of life to meet their own needs and desires.

The United States Government looks forward to a continued close association with the Government of Ghana and the VALCO consortium in the major forward step in the development of your country.

With sincere regards.


John F. Kennedy 2
  1. Source: Department of State, AF/AFW Files: Lot 66 D 53, Volta Project Letters, Miscellaneous. No classification marking.
  2. Nkrumah’s October 5 letter to Kennedy declared that it was his intention “always to be truly neutral and non-aligned” and that he was “neither pro West nor pro East.” (Kennedy Library, President’s Office Files, Countries Series, Ghana Security)
  3. Printed from a copy that indicates Kennedy signed the original.