Year of Return edition of Dubois-Padmore-Nkrumah lecture series held


The yearly lecture series recognizes the immense contributions and achievements of W.E.B Du Bois, George Padmore and Kwame Nkrumah towards Pan-Africanism.

Held at the Dubois Centre in Accra yesterday, this year’s was on the theme: “Pan-Africanism Reflections on Resistance: Dignity in the Face of Atrocity and was designed to bring into focus, aspects of the multi-faced contemporary Pan African vision and its realization. The forum also sought to reexamine the ideals of Pan-Africanism and its relevance to the social, political, cultural and economic spheres of the 21st Century of Africa.

Director of the Dubois Centre, Rev. Reuben Kwadzofio

Various Speakers acknowledging the suitability of the theme charged patrons not to lose consciousness of Pan-Africanism as promulgated by forbears to champion absolute freedom for all people of African descent regardless of their geographical location.
Dr. Michael Williams, Chairman of the Aya Centre, delivering the keynote address, said, the concept of Pan-Africanism predates the emergence of Dubois, Padmore and Nkrumah. He averred that prior to the enslavement of Blacks, Africa was an integrated continent where traditional systems of government existed to ensure orderliness and cohesion.

Dr. Michael Williams, Chairman of the Aya Centre and Keynote Speaker

According to him, evidence abounds in how Africans once prospered trading amongst themselves without and border controls or impediments. Dr. Williams postulates that whatever the African faces in today’s world need to be tackled with a Pan-African approach, adding that the continent has everything it takes to address its challenges.

While commending African Union in the recent strides towards the African Continental Free Trade Area, he said more ought to be done by the body to build on the ideals of the forebears whose vision for a socio-economically self-reliant Africa led to the formation of the organization in the first place.

A section of patrons at the lecture

For Dr. Williams, it does not make sense for countries on the continent to spend in excess of 35 billion USD importing food from other regions of the world each year when about 70% of all African labour force is engaged in agriculture. To him, this and many others constitute today’s “atrocity” that Africans need to fight against.

The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, whose speech was read by her deputy, Dr. Ziblim Iddi commending organisers of the lectures, said it was important that more of such events are held to “make the younger generation aware of what their ancestors fought for and also teach them how to carry on with their great works.”

Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr. Ziblim Iddi

Other speakers such as the CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyeman, Director of the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, Alhaji Abubakari Issah Osman, Director of Diaspora Affairs and Chair of Year of Return Steering Committee, Akwasi Awuah Ababio and Director of the Dubois Centre, Rev. Reuben Kwadzofio all reflected on theme which they hope would revive and spur on Africans, especially, the youth to work towards achieving an Africa which is united and free and offers opportunity for its people to prosper and live happily.

CEO, Ghana Tourism Authority and Coordinator, Year of Return Steering Committee, Akwasi Agyeman

The event brought together students, members of the diaspora community in Ghana, diplomats and a host of others. There was an open forum which comprised a panel discussion on the theme and a question and answer sessions.

By: Samuel Obeng Appah


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