Ms. Elizabeth Ohene - Keynote Speaker
ELIZABETH A. OHENE is a Ghanaian writer/broadcaster/politician. She was educated at Mawuli School, Ho; University of Ghana Legon, University of Indiana, Bloomington, Wolfson College, Cambridge University. She has been a reporter, staff writer, columnist, lead writer, acting editor editor of the Daily Graphic and The Mirror, two of Ghana’s largest circulating daily and weekend papers respectively. She later joined the BBC World Service where she worked as a presenter and later as a Radio programmes producer and editor. She reported from many countries around the African continent for the BBC African Service for many years and was BBC’s resident correspondent in South Africa from 1993 to 1994 during the transition from apartheid to independence. Ms. Ohene has written two books THINKING ALLOWED: A collection of articles on events in Ghana from 1978 through 1981, and STAND UP AND BE COUNTED: A collection of editorials that redefined the June 4, 1979 revolution in Ghana. Ms. Ohene entered frontline politics in 2000 and served as a Minister of State in the NPP government under President J.A. Kufuor from 2001 to 2009. She retains an active interest in politics and writing. She writes a ‘Letter from Africa’ for the BBC World Service and is on a temporary break from her column in the Daily Graphic.
Nana Kobina Nketsia V - Special Guest
Nana Nketsia, the Omanhene of Essikado traditional area is a Ghanaian chief, academician and educationist. He was born in Sekondi in the Wastern region of Ghana and was educated at Mfantsipim School, Cape coast; the University of Ghana and the University of Calabar in Nigeria, where he obtained his doctorate degree with his work on the ‘Oron in Nigeria’. Nana Nketsia has been a professional teacher most of his adult life and has a number of books and articles to his credit. Popular among his books is AFRICAN CULTURE IN GOVERNANCE & DEVELOPMENT: The Ghana Paradigm. And most of his articles have been on culture and African-centered thought. He has chaired both the Ghana Museums & Monuments board and the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation. Nana is the chair of the Nana Kobina Nketsia IV Trust, which is presently putting up a museum whose main artifacts will depict African Liberation. Nana Nketsia is also the patron of the Osagyefo Genius Awards. In 1996 he was enstooled as Omanhene of the Essikado traditional area in the Western region of Ghana.
Professor Jacob U. Gordon - Plenary Speaker
Born in Nigeria, Dr. Jacob U'Mofe Gordon is Professor Emeritus, University of Kansas, USA; Kwame Nkrumah Endowed Chair Professor of African Studies, University of Ghana, 2012-2015; and Fulbright Specialist. He has devoted more than 50 years in higher education to the study of African History and the African Diaspora. Dr. Gordon is the author and/or co-author of 26 books, and numerous book chapters, referred journal articles, monographs, and research reports. He established the Department of African and African American Studies at the University of Kansas; served as Executive Director of the KU Center for Multicultural Leadership; National Conference Chair of the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History. He currently serves on the Advisory Boards of the University of Kansas School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures; University of Florida Center for African American Studies; Board of Directors of the International Bullying Prevention Association; Historian of the Bethune-Cookman University National Alumni Association.
Professor Jacob U'Mofe Gordon is one of the Founding Members and a Life Member of the ASAA.
Professor Seth N. Asumah - Plenary Speaker
Professor Dr. Seth N. Asumah is State University of New York Distinguished Teaching Professor, Professor of Political Science and Chairperson of the Africana Studies Department at the State University of New York College at Cortland. As a member of the SUNY Distinguished Academy, Professor Asumah is author, coauthor and coeditor of 10 books and the author of over one hundred book chapters, articles, and essays. Dr. Asumah is a recipient of over fifty international, national, and local awards, including the State University of New York at Oneonta Distinguished Alumni Award (2016), Carnegie-University of Ghana Diaspora Fellowship (2015), Professor Ali A. Mazrui Outstanding Publication and Educational Activities Award (2014), the American Political Science Association Outstanding Teaching in Political Science Award (2008), The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the Political Science Honor Society of Pi Sigma Alpha, and the International Honor Society of Phi Beta Delta.
Professor Asumah is a life member of ASAA.
Professor Takyiwaa Manuh - Plenary Speaker
Takyiwaa Manuh is the Director of the Social Development Policy Division at the UN Economic Commission for Africa, based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia since 2014. Takyiwaa was Professor of African Studies at the University of Ghana between 2006 and 2011, Director of the Institute of African Studies between 2002 and 2009, and a faculty member at the University of Ghana from 1979 until 2011. Her research interests are in African development, women’s rights and empowerment, contemporary African migrations, and African higher-education systems. Born in Kumasi, Ghana, she was educated at the Wesley Girls’ High School, Cape Coast; the University of Ghana; the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; and Indiana University in the US. She has also practiced as a lawyer and is active in the women’s movement in Ghana. She has taught courses in gender studies and was instrumental in setting up the Centre for Gender Studies and Advocacy, and the Centre for Migration Studies, at the University of Ghana. She has served on the boards and committees of several international, continental and national organizations and bodies. In 2005, she was elected a Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has received a number of other awards and fellowships including the University of Ghana’s Meritorious Service Award for 2007, Ghana’s Order of the Volta (Officer Class) in 2008, and an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Sussex in 2015.
Professor Jean Allman - Plenary Speaker
Jean Allman is Professor of African and African American Studies and directs the Center for the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research focuses on Ghanaian history. She is the author/co-author of The Quills of the Porcupine: Asante Nationalism in an Emergent Ghana, “I Will Not Eat Stone”: A Women’s History of Colonial Asante, and Tongnaab: The History of a West African God, and has edited several collections, including Fashioning Africa: Power and the Politics of Dress. Allman co-edits the New African Histories series at Ohio University Press and is incoming president of the African Studies Association (USA).
Buzzline: Jean Allman, J.H. Hexter Professor in the Humanities, Professor of African and African American Studies and Director, Center for the Humanities, Washington University in St. Louis
Dr. Yao Graham - Plenary Speaker
Yao Graham is the Coordinator of Third World Network-Africa, a pan-African research and advocacy organisation working for social and economic equity in Africa and for Africa in the global order. Yao has extensive knowledge of Ghanaian, African and international development issues from more than three decades of working on social and economic justice issues in various capacities – public intellectual and activist, journalist and government official. He was the keynote speaker at the Ghana National Forum on Inclusive Development held at the Accra International Conference Centre in May 2016. He was a member of the International Study Group (ISG) on reform of Africa’s mining regimes set up by the UNECA and the Africa Union Commission, which produced the report Minerals and Africa’s Development (2011), and anchored the intellectual processes around the Africa Mining Vision and its 2011 Action Plan. Yao is the Africa Editor of the journal Review of African Political Economy (ROAPE) and was the founding editor of the Ghanaian bi-weekly newspaper Public Agenda. He co-edited (with Jimi Adesina and Adebayo Olukoshi) Africa’s Development Challenges in the New Millennium published by Zed Books, London. Yao studied law at the University of Ghana, the Free University of Brussels (VUB), Belgium and the University of Warwick, Coventry, UK where he obtained his PhD.
Dr. Wangũi wa GORO - Plenary Speaker
Kenyan born Dr. Wangũi wa GORO public intellectual, is a renowned translator and writer, feminist human rights activist, academic, critic, researcher, writer with a keen interdisciplinary interest. She currently works professionally as an Editor in the language services of the African Development Bank after a career in academia.
Dr. Wa Goro was one of the pioneers of literary Translation Studies in the UK from where she received one of the earliest doctorates in literary translation studies and as a result has founded a number of organisations, including TRACALA (the Translation Caucus of the ALA) and of Sidensi which promotes intercultural dialogue through translation.
She pioneered African language translation including ground-breaking translation of Ngũgĩ’s wa Thiong’o’s work into English from Gĩkũyũ, with a focus on African literary practice and human rights. Other works she has translated include Veronique Tadjo’s A vol d'oiseau (As the Crow Flies). She also works in Kiswahili and has been working increasingly into her mother tongue Gĩkũyũ.
Dr. Wa Goro is a member of many international bodies such as the Royal African Society, The African Literature Association, the Modern Language Association, the Caine Prize on whose board she has served, including as a judge, amongst many others. She served as a judge for the 100 Best Books of the 20 Century. She is involved in collaboration with bodies like the Royal Africa Society and the British Library in organising the annual literature and book festival Africa Writes and curates the symposium "Africa in Translation" that features writers, artists, publishers, translators, critics, readers and scholars.
Wa Goro's own writing encompasses poetry, essays, short stories, fiction, journalism, and non-fiction. She co-edited with Kelly Coate and Suki Ali the book Global Feminist Politics: Identities in a Changing World (Routledge, 2001). Her creative writing has also appeared in several publications including the award winning African Love Stories, edited by Ama Ata Aidoo and her story Heaven and Earth was taught for several years in the Kenyan curriculum.
Wangui wa Goro is recipient of many research fellowships from prestigious institutions in Africa and Europe and has served on a number of national and international cultural and academic bodies in Africa, the USA and Europe. She is the current Co-convenor of the Women’s Caucus of the African Studies Association and sits on the Executive Board of International Association of Translation and Intercultural Studies (IATIS).