Diaspora Conference: The past, the present and the future – Afrofuturism and African Development

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Diaspora Conference: The past, the present and the future – Afrofuturism and African Development

The Association of African Universities (AAU), the Pan African Heritage World Museum (PAHWM) and UNESCO, under the auspices of the Government of Ghana and the African Union Commission, are organizing a Special Diaspora Conference titled: The Past, The Present and the Future – Afrofuturism and African Development. The other collaborators are PANAFEST, Ghana National House of Chiefs, GHANA Cultural Forum, Diaspora African Forum, the African Private Sector Summit (APSS), the Global Institute of Planning and Sustainable Development (GIPSD), and the All-African Students Union (AASU). Stakeholders are invited to register via this link – https://bit.ly/3sClx5U

The joint conference from 30th August – 1st of September 2022, aims to reclaim and recontextualize Africana education, technology, politics, languages, histories, arts, culture, music, and spirituality toward a conscious effort of unification and rapid development of Africa. The reappropriation of African heritage and education is key to telling and retelling the African’s own stories to disrupt the master inaccurate narratives as handed down mainly from Global Northern (Western) perspectives.

The conference will reflect on the concept of Sankofa, an Akan philosophical symbol, which illustrates the necessity of “going back to retrieve and reclaim the enduring values of the past to forge a viable and owned future. It will also discuss the new paradigm of Afrofuturism, which highlight the potential of African resilience and creativity in using new technologies to build innovative alternatives to the global crisis of the dominant model of development.

Essential to the restoration of Africa’s dignity, self-confidence and creativity, is the decolonization of the mind through a renewed effort of reconceptualization from a Global African perspective of dominant paradigms about development, politics, education, culture and sciences.  African worldviews, humanism and spirituality, offer a rich heritage of principles, values, symbols, rituals and practices to build meaningful thought and imagination that can guide our efforts for emancipation, innovation and recreation.

The importance of using the African academic Diaspora in helping build a robust and resilient African higher education system that responds to scientific inquiries has been rigorously expressed by the Association of African Universities (AAU), Africa’s apex higher education organization. Under the African Union’s Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024 (STISA-2024), mobilizing and widening the involvement of relevant segments of Africa’s population (private sector, civil society, parliamentarians and the Diaspora) is paramount to support the continent’s renaissance and development agendas.

It is on the basis of this recontextualization and reconceptualization that African nations can build the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which aims to create a single market to deepen the economic integration of the continent. The AfCFTA is arguably Africa’s most important development initiative in the 21st century and a more responsive African higher education sector is required to provide the skillsets for its implementation: i.e. to support infrastructure (transportation, laboratory engineering, etc.), services (reliable electricity, water, healthcare, manpower training, Internet access, etc.); and provide consultancy (strengthening legal frameworks on intellectual property rights, harmonising tax systems, arbitration and dispute resolution, etc.).

The conference will bring together scholars, artists, political and economic decision-makers, traditional leaders, civil society activists, professionals and practitioners from across the continent and from the African diaspora to share the results of their research, collaborative work, and practices, that squarely address the above-mentioned issues.

The conference will be a hybrid one to be hosted at the Secretariat of the Association of African Universities in Accra, Ghana and online. Besides the main theme, the three sub-themes adopted and the various topics for this three-day summit are:

Subtheme 1Addressing the prerequisites for the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area 

Topics to be addressed:

  • Connecting African Peoples: Infrastructures and Traffic Policies
  • Rules, Processes and Procedures: Harmonizing Trade Governance
  • Interdependency and Complementarity between African economies
  • The Question of African Common Currencies
  • Developing Continental Legal Recourses and Fair Arbitration

Subtheme 2Rethinking Education: Towards Achieving African Renaissance

Topics to be addressed:

  • African Endogenous Systems of Teaching of Learning
  • Reshaping Education Systems in Africa
  • Building Pan African Citizenship through Education
  • Revising the Contents of History Education
  • Regional Integration and Curriculum Harmonization
  • Reorienting African Higher Education
  • Education about African Future

Subtheme 3Reclaiming and Reconceptualising African Arts, Culture and Heritage 

Topics to be addressed:

  • Reconceptualizing Cultural Heritage
  • Decolonising Museums
  • Afrofuturism and African Contemporary Creation
  • Return of Looted Cultural Properties: A Pan African Vision and Framework
  • Cultural Sovereignty and Intellectual Property
  • Handicraft and Cultural Industries


Written By: Mr Ransford Bekoe, Partnerships Manager at AAU

Reviewed By: Mrs Felicia Kuagbedzi, Senior Communications Officer

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