As we prepare to celebrate both the 57th anniversary of Ghana's Independence (March 6) and International Women's Day (March 8) I bring you greetings. So we could say March is an auspicious month that allows us to return to the unfinished business of Africa's renaissance. This "revisiting" should not cause despair, but rather encouragement, for this project is a journey rather than an event, and the fact that it remains on the table assures us of it's continuing relevance. Today, the Economist which famously labelled Africa as a basket case in 2000, specifically the "Hopeless Continent", has inverted recently with a special coverage looking at what it now considers to be the hopeful continent. Africa Rising has now become the favoured commentary, introducing a simplistic and undifferentiated discourse that hides the rising levels of inequality both socio-economically as well as along gender and other fault lines. At the same time, scholars and activists continue to push for more nuanced analyses.
Last year was a major time of celebration for us as we commemorated 50 years since our establishment.
We took stock and this year a number of new initiatives will happen, including links with African Studies centres on the continent and overseas to strengthen our newly configured PHD programmes.
Following a series of separate conversations with officials of the Universities of Cape Town; Concordia (Irvine); Edinburgh; Ibadan; The Free State; North Carolina (Greensboro); and Bryn Mawr College, the Institute of African Studies (IAS) is developing collaborations for research, teaching and PhD mentoring. The IAS at is excited about these opportunities particularly since with the University of Ghana's current focus on research and graduate education we expect to be able to provide teaching opportunities for PhD students and Post-doctoral fellows at both the North and the South institutions.