National Congress Of British West Africa (NCBWA)

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The National Congress Of British West Africa (NCBWA)

The first conference of the National Congress of British West Africa was held at Accra in Ghana in 1920 under the leadership of Casely Hayford, a Ghanaian lawyer. Dr. Akinwande Savage, a Nigerian, worked closely with Hayford in organizing the conference.

The congress demanded the following constitutional changes in British West Africa.

  1. A legislative council should be established in each country and its members should be partly nominated and partly elected.
  2. There should be a West African House of Assembly comprising six elected members plus all the members of the legislative council. The Assembly should have power to raise taxes and discuss annual budgets.
  3. Each municipal council should have an African majority.
  4. The executive and judiciary should be separated to ensure that justice was administered without fear or favour.
  5. The franchise should be based on educational, property, and traditional qualifications.
  6. The executive council should include the governor and the most senior government officials.
  7. The budget of the legislative council should be controlled by Africans.
  8. African judges should be appointed.
  9. A West African University should be established.

The congress thereafter sent a delegation to London in 1921 to present its demands to the Secretary of State for the Colonies but the latter refused to meet the delegation. The British government considered the demand for self-government as premature.

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