Sunday, 9 June 2013

“All-things” Nkrumah Website to be Launched Wednesday (22-05-13)

“All-things” Nkrumah Website to be Launched Wednesday (22-05-13)

A website dedicated to “all things Kwame Nkrumah” will be launched at the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon on Thursday morning. The event will kick off the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), now the African Union (AU). The Kwame Nkrumah “Infobank” is an outgrowth of the Nkrumah Centenary celebrations and its development has been has been overseen by the Centenary Planning Committee with Professor Akilagpa Sawyerr as Chairman; the Website Committee is chaired by Professor Esi Sutherland-Addy. The technical development of the site has been undertaken by Techcom Visions, a group of mainly young and dynamic IT and management specialists.

As explained by Professor Sutherland-Addy, the launch on Thursday May 23 will be the beginning of the website because this “website will be a dynamic space that will continue to grow as more materials are included. The website is more about the future than the past because it is aimed at preserving the legacy of Nkrumah and his times in order to present them to the coming generations”.

Indeed, the website design has made room for almost every possible permutation of information and circumstances linked to Nkrumah and his times but the opportunity to include new research material and “live events” reporting of events on Nkrumah-related topics makes this an exciting adventure into the long future. The website’s content revolves around five main headings and these include all the papers delivered during the colloquium and other events of the centenary celebrations as well as press reports and pictures. This is an excellent way of bringing the centenary to a wider public in an organised manner.

Naturally, such a website is an archive and already the site can boast of a good collection of archival material, including Kwame Nkrumah’s own writings and books, a selection of essays on Nkrumah’s life and times, Nkrumah and Culture, politics,  spotlight on women, the CPP, and his contribution to the fight for continental unity and pan-Africanism.


However, Professor Sutherland-Addy is quick to stress that the archive “will always be work in progress because we know that there is a vast Nkrumah archive still to be discovered or recovered, so with this website now in place we can only hope that a worldwide trawl for Nkrumah material will bring a good yield. There must be people who may have an Nkrumah letter or handwritten note or lectures in their possession and we will appeal to such people to get in touch with the administrators of the website”.

The website makes provision for interactive activities and it is the hope of the developers that the site will become a major space for broadcasting and webcasting major live events such as conferences, symposia, book launches and lectures related to the themes connected to Nkrumah such as pan-Africanism and African unity, international progressive politics and solidarity, non-alignment and the like. The interactive section will enable bloggers and writers to create their own spaces in order to generate opinion pieces, discussion and even controversy.

The website will also have multimedia functions such as video streaming, maps and virtual tours of “Nkrumah’s places”. The developers have explained that some of the multimedia features will be added as the website is further developed. Indeed, it is a feature of such heritage and archival websites to add new material and curate new concepts and shows all the time in order to keep the alive and fresh for new audiences and generations.

The launch will be held at the Kwabena Nketia Conference Room at the Institute of African Studies at 9.30 on Thursday May 23, 2013. Guests are expected to be seated by 9.00.


How many times we we not heard it said that Africans are not writing? Well Accra has been enjoying a sumptuous literary and cultural treat since Thursday. An important international symposium of women writers from Africa and its diaspora has been going in at the Physicians and Surgeons Hall in Accra since Thursday; it still has today and tomorrow to run and who have not yet savoured the heady steam of intellect and fun can still get their share before it closes tomorrow, Sunday evening.


The symposium is co-sponsored by New York University’s Institute of African American Affairs (IAAA), NYU Africa House, NYU Accra, and Africana Studies Program; it is hosted by Mbaasem Foundation founded and run by our own redoubtable literary icon Ama Ata Aidoo; and presented by the Organization of Women Writers of Africa Inc (OWWA) with partnership from the Women for Africa Foundation. Yari means the future in the Kuranko language of Sierra Leone, and Ntoaso means understanding and agreement in the Akan language of Ghana, thus the subtheme of the conference – Continuing the Dialogue.


The symposium includes panels, readings, performances, and film screenings. Yari Yari Ntoaso is a gathering devoted to the study, criticism, and celebration of the creativity and diversity of women writers of African descent. The conference is paying tribute to the co-founder and president of the Organization of Women Writers of Africa, Inc. (OWWA), poet Jayne Cortez, who recently made her transition. One of Cortez's many important contributions was the many conferences she helped organize at New York University with IAAA. She was working with IAAA on this third Yari Yari conference in Ghana, which is now being held in her honour.


The symposium is based on this thought eloquently expressed on the organisation’s website: “The 21stcentury has witnessed the creation or reestablishment of women’s and writers’ organizations throughout Africa and its diaspora. Often these organizations both support and are staffed by emerging writers or those whose writing has yet to receive international recognition. Yari Yari Ntoaso marks this moment and provides an opportunity for these organizations, as well as individual writers and scholars, to share information and to build international networks”.



Angela Davis the African-American activist, scholar and author who first shot to prominence more than 40 years ago as a key figure in the black Liberation and civil rights movement in the United States will speak at the Du Bois Centre in Accra this afternoon at 4pm. You cannot miss this one. Come and listen to a global icon of the struggle for social justice talk about issues of contemporary relevance.   

Yari Yari Ntoaso is going on at the College of Physicians and Surgeons. It is free.


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