"In what way can Ghana make its own specific contribution to the advancement of knowledge about the people and culture of Africa through past history and contemporary problems?... Your work must also include a study of the origins and cultures of the people of African descent in the Americas and the Caribbean, and you should seek to maintain close relations with their scholars so that there may be cross fertilization between Africa and those who have their roots in Africa's past."
Kwame Nkrumah, 25th October, 1963 on the occasion of the Opening of the Institute of African Studies
The 2nd Kwame Nkrumah Pan-African Intellectual & Cultural Festival was hosted by the Kwame Nkrumah Chair in African Studies under the auspices of the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana from 25th June to 1st July 2017.
The theme "Global Africa 2063: Education for Reconstruction and Transformation" reflected the foundations of Kwame Nkrumah's intellectual and cultural ideologies of a united Africa. This gathering examined and critically investigated the role of African centered education and knowledge production for shaping the development agenda. This approach challenged the destructive and dominant education and knowledge system which supports neo- colonialism. The conference used the African Union Agenda 2063 as the foundation for recuperating and popularizing Pan-African ideas and ideals.
The Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, established by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was the founding Institute that focused on Africa and African people. As the trailblazer, Institute of African Studies over its tenure, has served as the nucleus for discussion and study of Africa, Pan-Africanism and Global Africa. This conference and festival provides a foundation for Pan-African Intellectual and activist activity in Global Africa. The Institute of African Studies led the academic community to debate on the way forward and interrogated the challenges of bringing Global Africa closer with the peoples at differing parts of the planet.
The Institute of African Studies
The Institute of African Studies was established in 1961 at the University of Ghana, and formally opened by Osagyefo D. Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of the Republic of Ghana on 25th October 1963. Kwame Nkrumah set a visionary agenda for the Institute with the mandate to conduct research in, and teaching on, all aspects of the social and cultural life, and the arts in Africa. Over the years, this mandate has included research and teaching in African History and Politics; African Societies and Cultures; Gender and Culture in African Societies; Family Studies; African Languages, Literature and Drama; African Religions and Philosophy; Media and Visual Arts as well as Music and Dance. The Institute offers postgraduate training in all these areas, as well as an introductory programme in African Studies that all students of the university are required to pass before graduating. The Institute has a library, a museum, the Publications Unit and the J.H. Kwabena Nketia Archives. It manages the Manhyia archives of the Ashantehene's palace in Kumasi, and is home to the Ghana Dance Ensemble, the original National Dance Company. There is also research, teaching and other cultural links with several institutions in Africa, Europe and North America.
Kwame Nkrumah Chair
In 2005 the University of Ghana established a Kwame Nkrumah Chair in African Studies. The chair was established with a two-fold aim: 1) to honour Nkrumah for his significant intellectual contributions to African thought, and for his vision and commitment to the liberation and development of African people on the continent and in the Diaspora; and 2) to promote research, teaching and the public promotion of Africana Studies. The Chair, which was formally launched on Friday, September 21, 2007 at the Institute of African Studies, Kwame Nkrumah Complex, received substantial core funding from Anglogold Ashanti Ltd. Several other corporate and individual donors also provided seed money.
The Kwame Nkrumah Chair in African Studies provides a platform, albeit a modest one, for some of the unfinished business of the reconstruction for African peoples to occur. This endowed academic Chair recognises Nkrumah's foresight, personal interest and commitment to academic excellence in Ghana and Africa through the establishment of the Institute of African Studies, the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (formerly the Ghana Academy of Learning), the National Research Council (now the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and its associated institutes) and the Encyclopedia Africana project. For Nkrumah, all these formed part of the crucial task of African self-assertion, knowledge and confidence to be harnessed in the interests of African people. Drawing on African intellects in the Diaspora and on the continent, Nkrumah contributed significantly towards the creation of an intellectual and political ferment in Ghana that encapsulated African hopes and resolve to create a better life for African people everywhere and to put Africa on the world map.
Nkrumah also spent time reflecting and writing on the African condition and the impediments to true liberation and development. His books, Toward Colonial Freedom; Autobiography of Kwame Nkrumah; Africa Must Unite; Neo-colonialism the Last Stage of Imperialism; Consciencism; Class Struggle in Africa, Revolutionary Path chronicle his personal intellectual and political journeys to consciousness and political activity, as well the depths of the challenges facing Africa. In his speech, The African...