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After twelve years abroad pursuing higher education, developing his political philosophy and organizing with other diasporic pan-Africanists, Nkrumah returned to the Gold Coast to begin his political career as an advocate of national independence. He formed the Convention People's Party, which achieved rapid success through its unprecedented appeal to the common voter. He became Prime Minister in 1952 and retained the position when Ghana declared independence from Britain in 1957. In 1960, Ghanaians approved a new constitution and elected Nkrumah President.
His administration was primarily socialist as well as nationalist. It funded national industrial and energy projects, developed a strong national education system and promoted a pan-Africanist culture. Under Nkrumah, Ghana played a leading role in African international relations during the decolonization period.