The importance of the 1945 Manchester Conference is that it played a significant role in helping African countries to march forward in their fight for independence. In the words of Ras Makonnen, “Manchester gave us an important opportunity to express and expose the contradictions, the fallacies and the pretensions that were at the very centre of the empire”(Pan-Africanism From Within, London, 1973).

Imanuel Geiss says that Manchester deserves to be remembered as “a landmark… in the history of … decolonization…[It] served as a pace-maker of decolonization in Africa and in the British Indies” (The Pan-African Movement, London, 1974).

Among the leaders who attended the 1945 Conference

Jomo Kenyatta (20 October 1897 – 22 August 1978) was a Kenyan anti-colonial activist and politician who governed Kenya as its Prime Minister from 1963 to 1964 and then as its first President from 1964 to his death in 1978.

Amy Ashwood Garvey (10 January 1897 – 3 May 1969) was a Jamaican Pan-Africanist activist. She was a director of the Black Star Line Steamship Corporation, and along with her former husband Marcus Garvey she founded the Negro World newspaper.

Hastings Kamuzu Banda (15 February 1898[1][2][3][4] – 25 November 1997) was the Prime Minister and later President of Malawi from 1964–1994 (for the first year of his rule as it achieved independence in 1964, Malawi was the British protectorate of Nyasaland). In 1966, the country became a republic and he became president.

Kwame Nkrumah PC (21 September 1909[1] – 27 April 1972) was a Ghanaian politician and revolutionary. He was the first Prime Minister and President of Ghana, having led the Gold Coast to independence from Britain in 1957. An influential advocate of pan-Africanism, Nkrumah was a founding member of the Organization of African Unity and winner of the Lenin Peace Prize in 1962.

William Edward Burghardt Du Bois February 23, 1868 – August 27, 1963) was an American sociologist, socialist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author, writer and editor. Heinfluential African American rights activist during the early 20th century. He co-founded the NAACP and wrote ‘The Souls of Black Folk.

Chief Obafemi Jeremiah Oyeniyi Awolowo, GCFR (6 March 1909 – 9 May 1987), was a Nigerian nationalist and statesman who played a key role in Nigeria’s independence movement, the First and Second Republics and the Civil War. The son of a Yoruba farmer, he was one of the truly self-made men among his contemporaries in Nigeria.