Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo has inaugurated one of the most important projects of cultural and historical significance of our time — the Pan-African Heritage World Museum.A brainchild of Kojo Yankah, the founder of the African University College of Communications in Ghana, the museum, to be completed in 2022, was launched in virtual space on Monday in the presence of global leaders and notable personalities.
It will be a center of pilgrimage for people of African descent to unlearn and relearn the history, culture and civilization of Africa from the creation of mankind till today.
Speaking during the launch, President Akufo-Addo, who was made the first patron of the museum, reiterated his administration’s unfettered support to Pan-African heritage and innovation — one of the key pillars of his Beyond The Return Initiative.
“The Pan-African Heritage World Museum project is certainly an innovative Pan-African project and that is why my government has decided to support it,” he said. “The time has come for all of us to take our heritage seriously. No one needs to tell us that we have a rich history made up of remarkable achievements in the arts, sciences and technology.
“We have so much to learn from our ancient kingdoms and indigenous knowledge and have stood the test of time and are driving our development in several ways,” the president said.
Highlighting the ties between Africans and Africans in the diaspora and the benefits of such engagements, the president encouraged all and sundry to support the Museum initiative.
The Museum project, to be managed by an international NGO, backed by a council of eminent scholars, will be funded through donations and grants. The Museum space will include a Garden of Sculptures of African leaders in sports, entertainment, politics, science and culture, as well as a Herbal-Plant Farm, a Palace of African Kingdoms and accommodation.
‘Our own story must be told’
Pan-Africanist Yankah, who is behind the project, expressed worry that though there are published works by many scholars that uncover the hidden history and ideology of Africa, the very Africans who are supposed to consume these works cannot even find them for “various reasons.”
“Today, we stand on the shoulders of our ancestors to dedicate the Pan-African Heritage World Museum to the youth of the world,” said the former politician, writer and communications consultant.
“Our own story must be told, curated, preserved, and used as teaching materials to lift up their spirits; to raise their level of self-confidence; inspire them to aim for social equality and justice and to make them what we desire for all humanity as equal citizens of the world and to live in peace.”
Monday’s virtual launch was organized by Pan-African media company Face2Face Africa, a partner of the project. Other speakers included eminent African traditional leaders, some of the major scholars on the Academic Council, and coordinators from across the world, including an ambassador of the project, Ghanaian artiste Sarkodie, who was proud to be a part of the project.
The vision for the Museum, including plans to raise $30 million to complete the project, was also unveiled at the launch, with calls on all to support the project.