I read Baffour Ankomah's piece "All issues great and small" (NA, Nov) with much fascination. He was at pains to blame the West, especially the US, for almost deliberately refusing to help Africa in its development effort. He compared the case of Ghana under Kwame Nkrumah in the early years after independence to those of Taiwan, South Korea and Japan.
But Baffour failed to recognise that those were the years of the bitter Cold War between the West and the Soviet bloc. The world was polarised in that period. Nkrumah, as every observer knew, was focused on building a socialist state. His sympathies lay with the East.
The Asian nations--South Korea, Taiwan, Japan--that Baffour rightly pointed out were bankrolled by American funds, were all on the frontline in the fight against communism in their part of the world on behalf of the United States.
Taiwan's Kuomintang government had lost the war against the People's Liberation Army in 1949 and been driven from Mainland China. They vowed to fight the communists from the island of Formosa (which is now known as Taiwan).
In the Korean peninsula, the end of the Korean War (1950-53) saw Korea divided between the communist North and the...