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Robert Kweku Atta Gardiner (1914-1994): An unrecognised Ghanaian Pan-Africanist Par-Excellence

M Sherwood


Robert Kweku Atta Gardiner, a Fante born in Kumasi, became one of the most senior African officials at the UN. He was active in many organisations, in England while a student at Oxford and also during his visit to the USA, 1942-3. Then began his extraordinary career: he worked for the UN’s Trusteeship Council 1946-48; was Director of Extra-Mural Studies, University College of Ibadan 1949-53; Director of Social Welfare in the Gold Coast 1953-7; Head of the Civil Service on Independence. Dismissed by Nkrumah in 1959, he returned to work for the UN. He was appointed Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa in 1962 and also Officer-in-Charge of the UN’s Congo operations. He founded the African Development Bank. Gardiner returned to Ghana on his retirement from the UN in 1975 and was appointed Commissioner for Economic Planning by the Supreme Military Council in Ghana.

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print ISSN: 2343-6530