President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has urged the African Diaspora to follow in the footsteps of W. E Dubois by making Africa their home, and contributing to the development of the continent.
The President made these remarks, on Monday, 20th September 2021, at the signing of a historic partnership arrangement between the Du Bois Museum Foundation Ghana, an affiliate of the W. E B Dubois Foundation New York, and the Government of Ghana, represented by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
The partnership, which was initiated by the President in 2019 as part of his trip to promote “The Year of Return”, will see to the transformation of the current Du Bois Memorial Centre and burial site in Accra, into a state-of-the-art museum complex and world-class destination for scholars and heritage tourists.
Dr. Du Bois, a civil rights pioneer and one of the world’s leading black intellectuals and thinkers, became a citizen of Ghana, and resided in the country until his death in 1963.
The Partnership will see the Du Bois Museum Foundation Ghana, leading the construction of a multi-million-dollar Museum Complex to preserve Dr. Du Bois’ legacy, over a 50-year period.
The Du Bois Museum Complex aims to transform the Centre, and create a living museum that revives the transformative spirit and vision of Dr. Du Bois for a unified ancestral home for Africans in the diaspora around the world.
Upon completion, the complex will serve as a historic memorial site, where visitors can honor his life and legacy, connect to their cultural and ancestral roots, and serve as an impetus to inspire solidarity between people of African descent.
At the signing ceremony in New York, President Akufo-Addo highlighted the significance of the agreement in strengthening historical, cultural, and economic ties between Ghana and the United States, and Africans in the Diaspora.
This Agreement will build on the Government’s “Year of Return” and “Beyond the Return” campaigns that encourage the return of the African Diaspora from around the world.
“The Du Bois Museum Complex will usher in a renewed commitment to building an international treasure and historic memorial honouring the legacy of Dr. Du Bois, and fostering unity among the African Diaspora through a vibrant cultural and research centre,” said Japhet Aryiku, Executive Director, W.E.B. Du Bois Museum Foundation. Aryiku, a Ghanaian American with more than 40 years of experience in corporate America and the philanthropic community, was inspired at a young age by Du Bois’ writings and ideals.
The Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, signed on behalf of Government, and paid tribute to the inspirational leadership of the President in positioning Ghana as the Mecca of the African diaspora.
Other speakers at the ceremony included Kwame Anthony Appiah, novelist and professor of philosophy and ethics, New York University and board member, W.E.B Du Bois Museum Foundation; and Daniel Rose, Chairman, W.E.B. Du Bois Museum Foundation, philanthropist, and leading real estate developer of several award-winning properties.
Guests included the Minister of Finance of Ghana, Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta, Hon. Shirley Aryorkor Botchwey, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration; H. E Hajia Alima Mahama, Ghana’s Ambassador to the USA; Akwasi Agyeman, CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority; and Humphrey Ayim-Darke of the Dubios Museum Foundation, Ghana.