2021 Pan-African Intellectual and Cultural Festival Goes Digital 

Prof. Amina Mama

The 3rd Kwame Nkrumah Pan-African Intellectual and Cultural Festival has been scheduled to commence from Monday, 20th – Friday, 24th September 2021, in Accra

According to the Organising Committee, the festival would be preceded by a 3-day Youth and Film festival from 15th – 17th of September.

The festival is hosted by the current Kwame Nkrumah Chair in African Studies, Professor Amina Mama, under the auspices of the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Legon.

The theme for the festival is “Pan African, Feminism and the Next Generation: Liberating the Cultural Economy”.

This is in line with Kwame Nkrumah’s ideology of self-reliance and freedom from imperialism.

This year’s festival sets out to celebrate and showcase the beauty, ingenuity, and creativity of African cultural production.

It will provide a vibrant transgenerational platform for intellectual debate on the kind of cultural and economic architecture required to turn Africa’s material and cultural resources into decent livelihoods and wellbeing for African people.

Due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, the organisers say this year’s festival will be an audacious and visionary experiment intended to advance digitalisation for African purposes.

The events will be digitally curated and live-streamed globally over the internet for the first time.

In a statement issued by organizers on 7th September 2021, the main festival would be preceded by a 3-day youth curated Festival, ‘YouthFirst’ and will be devoted to celebrating the creativity and inventiveness of Africa’s youth across the continent and in the diaspora.

The statement said “It will demonstrate the immense potential of young African people and reflect on the unique conditions facing the next generation. The Youth First curators call on all young Africans to join them in telling their stories, to inspire new visions of a continent that values future generations and places African youth firmly at the helm of their affairs”.

The 5-day main Festival will assemble the best of Africa’s cultural workers, academics, activists, and practitioners from various sectors of the African and global cultural economy to contribute to a truly Pan African discourse.

This makes for a powerful and programme that includes: symposia and political discussions, dance and musical performances, film screening, an exhibition of art, as well as the demonstration of inventions and technological innovations galvanized by African women, the youth and other 21st century movements intent on ensuring a better future for Africa and the world.

According to the organizer’s sears, Pan African cannot remain an old patriarchal heritage dominated by ideas and ways of the past.

This year’s festival is animated by the new generations of women, youth and forward-looking men.

They are calling on the general public to join in them re-populate and transform our cultures, economies and ecologies, and redirect them to our collective and public interest so that Africans do not just survive but grow, create and thrive in the future that we herald!

BY Daniel Bampoe