After twelve years abroad pursuing higher education, developing his political philosophy and organising 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 this position when Ghana declared independence from Britain in 1957. In 1960, Ghanaians approved a new constitution and elected Nkrumah President.
His administration was both nationalist and socialist. Thus, it funded national industrial and energy projects, developed a strong national education system and promoted a national and pan-African culture. Under Nkrumah, Ghana played a leading role in African international relations during the decolonisation period.
Nkrumah was deposed in 1966 by the National Liberation Council which under the supervision of international financial institutions privatised many of the country's state corporations. Nkrumah lived the rest of his life in Guinea, of which he was named honorary co-president.