The third occupant of the Kwame Nkrumah Chair in African Studies, Professor Horace Campbell, has been officially installed at a colorful ceremony on Tuesday, 7 February 2017, at the Great Hall.
After the installation, Professor Campbell delivered an inaugural lecture titled “Reconstruction, Transformation and the Unification of the Peoples of Africa in the 21st Century: Rekindling the Pan African Spirit of Kwame Nkrumah.” The lecture was underpinned by insights of Nkrumah concerning the building of a unified and secure Africa as a foundation for ensuring the true liberation of the continent. Professor Campbell used his lecture to outline his research agenda as occupant of the Chair. He made a commitment to deepening the work of his predecessors to amplify the messages about Kwame Nkrumah, Pan Africanism and freedom. He emphasised the unification of African peoples, and presented the Agenda 2063 of the African Union as a home-grown pathway to ensure the integration and prosperity in an African continent governed by its own people and using its own resources for its own transformation. “We need unified economic planning for Africa. Until the economic power of Africa is in our hands, the masses can have no real concern and no real interest for safeguarding our security, for ensuring the stability of our regimes, and for bending their strength to the fulfilment of our ends”, he stated.
Professor Campbell argued among other things that Ubuntu and the spiritual linkages of the African peoples with nature should guide efforts to industrialize Africa as the continent leaps over linear models of growth through the use of biotechnology and shifts away from the fossil fuel economy. “Indeed, the emancipatory approach of this African philosophy of Ubuntu demands that there be a re-education, away from some aspects of the Enlightenment, to emancipate not just Africans but the entire humanity from the destruction of planet earth and from the loss of the essence of our common humanity,” he stated. He also reinforced the need to recognise and unearth the potentials of the African youth as a way of making demographic dividends dynamic.
In her welcome address, the Director of the Institute, Professor Dzodzi Tsikata observed that the importance of the Chair to the IAS’s efforts to become a global leader in the production, dissemination, preservation and recovery of African-centered knowledge about Africa and its Diasporas could not be overstated. “The Chair serves as ambassador of the Institute and of the ideas and ideals of Kwame Nkrumah. It is also a hub of knowledge production and dissemination, the exchange of ideas and the nurturing of a new generation of scholars of African Studies,” she remarked.
Director of IAS, Professor Dzodzi Tsikata
Professor Tsikata made reference to Ghana’s founding president, Ɔsagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, and to his vision for the Institute to study among other things, the origins and cultures of peoples of African descent in the Americas and the Caribbean, as well as seek to maintain close relations with their scholars “so that there may be cross fertilization between Africa and those who have their roots in the African past.” She described Professor Campbell as one of foremost scholars of pan Africanism, whose presence was a proof of the Institute’s determination to live up to Nkrumah’s vision. She observed that the Institute was one of the treasures of the University that was positioned at the centre of a wide network of institutions and partnerships concerned with showcasing African values, philosophies, aesthetics, cultures and innovations.
Professor Tsikata commended AngloGold Ashanti Ghana Limited for its tremendous support in establishing and sustaining the Chair for the past eight years. She used the occasion to pay tribute to late Mr John Owusu, former Public Affairs Director of AngloGold Ashanti Limited, for his tireless efforts to ensure that the Chair was established.
The well-attended ceremony was chaired by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, who was assisted by the Director of the Institute, to install Professor Campbell. In his introductory remarks, Professor Oduro Owusu stated among other things that the Kwame Nkrumah Chair in African Studies was by far the most visible of the three endowed Chairs, which were set up by the University to promote research, leadership and mentorship.
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu
The Kwame Nkrumah Chair in African Studies is an endowed Chair jointly established in 2009, by the University of Ghana and AngloGold Ashanti Limited to honour Ghana’s founding president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, for his significant intellectual contributions, his vision and commitment to the liberation and development of Africans on the continent and in the Diaspora and to promotes research teaching and the public promotion of Africana Studies. The Chair has had two distinguished occupants namely, Professor Kofi Anyidoho installed in February 2011, and Professor Jacob U. Gordon, installed in February, 2013.
The Managing Director of AngloGold Ashanti Limited, Mr. Eric Asubonteng, in his remarks, reiterated the need for individual African States to take advantage of each other’s unique strengths to realize the full potential of the continent as envisaged by Nkrumah. He stated the company’s preparedness to honour Nkrumah’s intellectual legacy as well as promote his agenda for continental unity through trade, culture and technology. He thanked the first two occupants for the critical roles they played during their tenure, and pledged the continued commitment of AngloGold Ashanti to partner the Institute in sustaining this great initiative into the future.
Managing Director of AngloGold Ashanti Limited, Mr. Eric Asubonteng
In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor stated that the Kwame Nkrumah Chair in African Studies was a flagship reflected on the disparity between the vision accompanying Ghana’s independence and what would appear to be a retrogression 60 years on. He called for stock taking and individual participation in making Africa the great continent it is meant to be, in honour of Kwame Nkrumah.
The ceremony, which brought together members of the University community as well as officials from AngloGold Ashanti Ghana Limited, and a cross section of the general public, was spiced up with a poetry recital, drum appellation and a choreographic performance by the Ghana Dance Ensemble to depict the story of resistance to oppression symbolised by the story of the 18th Century Asante-born Jamaican heroine Nanny of the Maroons.
Officials of the University in a photograph with Professor Campbell