Pan-African Congress 1945 and 1995 Archive

Scope and Content

The collection holds material in relation to the Pan-African Congress. It spans from 1945-2005 and includes leaflets, invites, photographs, press releases, letters and programme of events.

See our online catalogue for further details

Administrative / Biographical History

The Pan-African Congress was a series of meetings, held throughout the world. In 1945 Manchester hosted the 5th Pan-African Congress.

The Pan-African Congress was successful in bringing attention to the decolonization in Africa and in the West Indies. The Congress gained the reputation as a peace maker and made significant advance for the Pan-African cause. One of the demands was to end colonial rule and end racial discrimination, against imperialism and it demanded human rights and equality of economic opportunity. The manifesto given by the Pan-African Congress included the political and economic demands of the Congress for a new world context of international cooperation.

The Fifth Pan-African Congress was held in Manchester, United Kingdom, 15–21 October 1945. It followed the foundation of the Pan-African Federation in Manchester in 1944.

This Congress is widely considered to have been the most important. Organised by the influential Trinidadian pan-Africanist George Padmore and Ghanaian independence leader Kwame Nkrumah, it was attended by 90 delegates, 26 from Africa. They included many scholars, intellectuals and political activists who would later go on to become influential leaders in various African independence movements and the American civil rights movement, including the Kenyan independence leader Jomo Kenyatta, American activist and academic W. E. B. Du Bois, Malawi's Hastings Banda, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, prominent Jamaican barrister Dudley Thompson and Obafemi Awolowo and Jaja Wachuku from Nigeria. It also led partially to the creation of the Pan-African Federation, founded in 1946 by Kwame Nkrumah and Jomo Kenyatta.

Attendees included 33 delegates from the West Indies and 35 from various British organizations, including the West African Students Union. Also attending was 77-year-old W. E. B. Du Bois who had organized the First Pan-African Congress in 1919.


The collection is arranged into the following series:

  • 1945 Pan-African Congress Material
  • 1995 Pan-African Congress Material
  • Miscellaneous Pan-African Congress Material

Access Information

24 hours notice is required to view this collection. Material will then be accessible through Manchester Central Library Search Room, Manchester Central Library, St Peters Square, Manchester, M2 5PD. To access this collection please: Contact the archive

Acquisition Information

This collection consists of papers and material collected by the radical black activist, Kath Locke

Conditions Governing Use

Please contact the Resource Centre for more details:

Related Material

Pan African Congress Interviews, 50 years on; transcript of video interview with Kath Locke by Paul Okojie