The Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture has reached an agreement with the W.E.B Dubois Museum Foundation to redevelop the W.E.B Dubois Memorial Centre in Accra into a world-class museum in honour of the celebrated Pan-African Champion.
The W.E.B Dubois Memorial Centre currently houses the mortal remains of both Dubois and his wife and also serves a reference point for research into the life of the civil rights icon and his contemporaries in the Pan-African movement. And over the years, many discussions have gone on about the development of a proper museum to preserve his works from being lost which has culminated in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
The ceremony was held today, September 15, 2020 at the Centre and brought together Minister and her Deputy, some members of the Foundation, diaspora community in Ghana with other stakeholders joining online.
In his address, Japhet Aryiku, Executive Director of W.E.B Dubois Museum Foundation said the goal is to realize the Du Bois Museum’s full potential as an international treasure and historic shrine honouring one of the leading and most revered Black voices in world history.
He posited that, “Our model is similar to those of other museums dedicated to preserving the life and times and thought of great American thinkers and leaders, among them Frederick Douglass, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and others. Aryiku added that “we think this project fits in very well with Ghana’s Year of Return initiatives and we are proud to be part of it.”
The MoU will enable parties to delve more into the ownership and relationship structures of the Dubois Centre to better understand its complexities so as to plan for the proper execution of the development goal.
Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi said the development of the Du Bois Museum will add impetus to the various projects and programmes of the Government of Ghana to bridging the gap between Africans in the diaspora with those on the homeland.
The expected benefits she added include, “maintaining and reaffirming Ghana’s position as the mecca of Pan-Africanism and the emancipation movement, preserving and showcasing Dr. W.E.B Du Bois’ legacy in the emancipation struggle, contributing to Ghana’s tourism resources and attracting visitors from the rest of Africa the diaspora African family and the entire world.”
Celebrated Ghanaian Designer, Sir David Adjaye and his Adjaye Associates have been contacted to come up with the architectural design for the museum complex which will be unveiled in the coming months.
The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and the W.E.B Du Bois Foundation will coordinate and cooperate in the implementation and construction of the Museum Complex with the latter taking the leading role in fundraising for the project which is expected to be completed in 2022.