Since the start of the new century there have been numerous efforts to re-ignite the ideas of Kwame Nkrumah with respect to the unification of Africa. The ideas communicated by Kwame Nkrumah at the founding conference of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) continue to find resonance among a new generation who are seeking to understand the changed international situation. In 2013, the African Union launched Agenda 2063 where there was a rededication to the vision of “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa driven by its own resources and representing a dynamic force in the international arena.” In laying out the aspirations of the Africa we want, the AU Commission called upon African institutions of higher learning to embrace its ambitious goal of deepening research and study in the task of making the dream of Kwame Nkrumah a reality. It is in this spirit that we join the call in Agenda 2063, which states:
"In this new and noble initiative, past plans and commitments have been reviewed, and we pledge to take into account lessons from them as we implement Agenda 2063. These include: mobilization of the people and their ownership of continental programmes at the core; the principle of self-reliance and Africa financing its own development; the importance of capable, inclusive and accountable states and institutions at all levels and in all spheres; the critical role of Regional Economic Communities as building blocks for continental unity; taking into account of the special challenges faced by both island and land-locked states; and holding ourselves and our governments and institutions accountable for results. Agenda 2063 will not happen spontaneously, it will require conscious and deliberate efforts to nurture a transformative leadership that will drive the agenda and defend Africa’s interests."
The Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana has been at the forefront in nurturing a new intellectual cadre that will drive the agenda of transforming Africa. In 2010, the Institute of African Studies launched a biennial Kwame Nkrumah Pan-African Intellectual & Cultural Festival as a major event on the University of Ghana calendar. The festival was organized under the auspices of the Kwame Nkrumah Chair in African Studies, in honour of Dr. Nkrumah's dedication to vigorous and liberating Africa-centered intellectual and cultural activity. Africans in all parts of the world and Ghana in particular, have greatly benefited as a result of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s comprehensive vision of a transformative agenda founded on strong intellectual foundations.
The Institute of African Studies is seeking to join the conscious and deliberate efforts of the AU in realizing Agenda 2063. The theme of the 2017 Kwame Nkrumah Intellectual and Cultural Festival therefore is Global Africa 2063: Education for Reconstruction and Transformation. The transformation agenda involves Africans on the continent as well as those dispersed throughout the world. It will be the goal of the festival to offer an ideal platform for a review and critical re-assessment of urgent tasks necessary to deepen the technical and intellectual skills needed for training the next cadre of thinkers and practitioners. The conference and festival will serve as a vehicle for reflection and a springboard for new research efforts to promote Pan-Africanism and structural transformation of the African world.
The festival shall be the catalyst for the integration of the multi-disciplinary field of Africana Studies. It offers opportunities for involvement for cultural artists, academics, community members, international and local Pan-Africanists, students and institutions seeking to be part and parcel of the process of re-energizing Pan-Africanism in the academy.
The conference and festival will feature activities such as an International Symposium, a Book Fair, Dance Productions, Film Shows, Traditional Story Telling, a Musical Concert, Tours and Debates.
Conference and Festival Objectives:
- Reflect on the goals of the specialized committees of the African Union with respect to the kind of education that must be set in motion to realize Agenda 2063
- Renew efforts to reclaim Kwame Nkrumah’s original agenda modified as required in the light of contemporary realities.
- Provide a critical impetus for the promotion of a major international thrust to popularize and update Pan-African thought and action.
- Serve as an impetus to bridge the gap between academic, cultural and community based Pan-Africanists.