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Paliwal, Avinash (2022) 'Colonial Sinews of Postcolonial Espionage: India and the Making of Ghana’s External Intelligence Agency, 1958-61.' The International History Review, 44 (4). pp. 914-934.

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Based on untapped Indian archives, this article details how Delhi built Accra’s security service in 1958-61. Keen to reduce its dependency on the outgoing British colonial administration, Ghana sought India’s support when both the Cold War rivalry and the Afro-Asian Solidarity were at a peak. In doing so, Ghana inherited a similar set of problems affecting Indian intelligence, which in itself was supported by the British i.e. resorting to colonial policing methods, lack of legislative oversight, and a recruitment system based on partisan loyalties instead of professionalism. The Foreign Service Research Bureau (external intelligence) and the Special Branch (domestic intelligence) effectively secured Ghana’s first prime minister and then president Kwame Nkrumah from real and perceived adversaries. But their methods of functioning fed his authoritarian appetite –ultimately leading to an unceremonious ouster– during a highly turbulent phase in Ghanaian history. The first and only time India helped create, and unofficially lead, another country’s intelligence service, this history sheds light on India and Ghana’s approach towards intelligence in the aftermath of independence.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Decolonisation, Intelligence, India, Ghana, Postcolonial
SOAS Departments & Centres: Regional Centres and Institutes > SOAS South Asia Institute
Departments and Subunits > Department of Politics & International Studies
ISSN: 07075332
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2021 15:43

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