MIASA holds third ‘Anton Wilhelm Amo Lecture’ with a focus on building African ecologies of knowledge

General News MIASA holds third ‘Anton Wilhelm Amo Lecture’ with a focus on building African ecologies of knowledge

The Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (MIASA) on Tuesday, December 12, held the third ‘Anton Wilhelm Amo Lecture’ on the theme; "Building African Ecologies of Knowledge."

The lecture first organised in 2021 has become an annual event organised by MIASA in collaboration with the Institute of African Studies (IAS) and the Department of Philosophy and Classics at the University of Ghana.

The lecture is named after the 18th-century Ghanaian Philosopher Wilhelm Amo, who taught in Halle and Jena, Germany.

The lecture series seeks to promote MIASA’s overarching commitment to making African intellectual work increasingly relevant in global academia.

This year’s lecture featured Senegalese philosopher, economist, writer and musician, Professor Felwine Sarr as the main speaker.

Delivering the lecture at the Great Hall of the University of Ghana, Prof. Felwine Sarr made a strong case for the need to bring back African knowledge in the various universities on the continent.

“We must have the dignity of teaching our own knowledge in our universities,” he stressed.

Professor Felwine Sarr noted that what African Universities must also do is to Africanise their teaching for people to be able to better respond to their challenges and needs.

These he believes would make African intellectual work increasingly relevant in global academia.

He explained that although the knowledge that comes from outside Africa has value, knowledge produced on the continent is for the people and must be prioritised by transferring it to the new generation and the unborn generations.

On the role governments can play in building African Ecologies of Knowledge, Professor Felwine Sarr said, “Governments must acknowledge and consider the importance of knowledge production in the social dynamics. African societies have a lot of challenges in education, health, economics, and other areas. Most of the time they think that investing in knowledge is not a more urgent thing to do. They want to respond to other needs and knowledge comes later. It’s a mistake. They should take it seriously that the space of knowledge is the most important one.”

Speaking at the lecture, Dr. Grace Diabah, MIASA Director Ghana, indicated that Amo’s life is a reminder of the long history of German-Ghanaian interconnections and inspiration for decentering knowledge production.

She said as an Institute, which is based on a Ghanaian-German collaboration between the University of Ghana and four German partners, MIASA is glad to have introduced the Amo lecture as one of the major events at the University of Ghana.

Dr. Grace Diabah emphasised that MIASA is committed to decolonizing knowledge production and is extremely grateful to Prof. Felwine Sarr for having accepted to deliver this year’s lecture.

“We believe his lecture on the topic “Building African Ecologists of knowledge” will contribute to MIASA’s goal of increasingly highlighting the relevance of African thinking in the global academic world,” Dr. Diabah stressed.

Speaking at the Anton Wilhelm Amo Lecture, the Provost of the College of Humanities, Prof. Daniel Ofori said Africa has long been a source of knowledge that transcends geographical boundaries.

He said the lecture on Building African Ecologies of Knowledge is particularly important to the University of Ghana as it celebrates its 75th anniversary this year to take stock of its intellectual journey for the past 75 years.

He said as a University committed to knowledge generation that positively impacts the lives of those within and outside the university community, and with a vision of becoming a world-class research-intensive university, one of the key plans for the 75th anniversary year has been reflecting on how the university of Ghana has fulfilled its mandate and what it can do to further highlight the relevance of knowledge production in Africa.

To this end, Prof. Dan Ofori said he is delighted that MIASA has and continues to play a critical role in advancing critical debates of knowledge production in Africa through its fellowship programmes and events such as Amo Lecture.

“I would therefore like to applaud MIASA, the Institute of African Studies, and the Department of Philosophy and Classics for putting this together. I would also like to express our appreciation to the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research for co-sponsoring this event,” the Provost of the College of Humanities said.

About Miasa:
MIASA is an Institute under the College of Humanities at the University of Ghana and is jointly funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the University of Ghana.

MIASA serves as a hub for exchange, networking, and collaboration among leading researchers from Germany, Ghana, and other scholars from around the globe.

Eric Nana Yaw Kwafo
Eric Nana Yaw Kwafo

JournalistPage: EricNanaYawKwafo

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