Akufo-Addo announces construction of new world-class Du Bois Museum Complex in Accra

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced plans to construct a state-of-the-art museum complex honouring the legacy of world-renown black intellectual and civil rights pioneer, Dr W.E.B Du Bois.

“The museum will provide in Ghana, yet another important monument to the collective struggle of the African peoples to get their rightful place in this world,” he said at the signing of a historic partnership arrangement between the Government of Ghana and the W.E.B. Du Bois Museum Foundation in New York, on Monday.

The ambitious project will also feature a library and reading room, event hall, outdoor auditorium and amphitheatre, lecture space, guest house for visiting scholars and the refurbished bungalow where Dr Du Bois lived and worked until his death.

The complex will also include a Memorial Pavilion housing the remains of Dr Du Bois and the cremated ashes of his wife.

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 he died in 1963.

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.

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.

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 complex will be designed by Sir David Adjaye, renowned Ghanaian architect and designer of the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.

Upon completion, the complex will serve as a historic memorial site, where visitors can honour his life and legacy, connect to their cultural and ancestral roots, and serve as an impetus to inspire solidarity among people of African descent.

President Akufo-Addo, at the ceremony, 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.”

He 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 agreement was signed on behalf of the Government of Ghana by Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance, and Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

Signing for the W.E.B. Du Bois Museum Foundation were Japhet Aryiku, Executive Director of the foundation in the U.S., and Humphrey Ayim-Darke, Board Member of the W.E.B. Du Bois Museum Foundation, Ghana.

Daniel Rose, Chairman of the W.E.B. Du Bois Museum Foundation assured the President of their commitment to making Ghana a hub of Pan-African research and heritage tourism as he kicked off the ceremony.

Rose is a philanthropist and leading real estate developer with deep ties to Ghana.

The Du Bois Memorial Centre in Accra where Dr Du Bois and his wife, Shirley Graham Du Bois, are buried, opened to the public in 1985.

But in recent years has required additional upkeep and maintenance.

The Foundation’s goal is to realise the Du Bois Museum’s full potential as an international treasure and historic memorial honouring one of the leading and most revered black voices in world history.

Japhet Aryiku, Executive Director, W.E.B. Du Bois Museum Foundation, said: “The ‘Beyond the Year of Return’ campaign promoted economic empowerment and encourages people in the Diaspora to come to Africa to invest, to live, and to do more to uplift the continent.

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.

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.

The guests were Madam Shirley Aryorkor Botchwey, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hajia Alima Mahama, Ghana’s Ambassador to the USA, Akwasi Agyeman, CEO, Ghana Tourism Authority and Humphrey Ayim-Darke of the Du Bois Museum Foundation, Ghana.

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