Today (Saturday, Jan 7th) Nana Akufo-Addo was sworn in to office as President of the 4th Democratic Republic of Ghana. The streets are a abuzz with citizens celebrating the peaceful transition of power from the National Democratic Congress party to the New Patriotic Party. Ghana as a nation is very proud, and rightly so, of the peaceful nature of their political process. Like any democratic state, issues can be polarizing, and individuals can easily become absorbed in identity politics of the day. This aside, with the election now settled, the prevailing emotion in the city is one of joy.
With two days in the country now under our belts, we have caught up on our sleep, and are beginning to explore the foundations and context for our course material. As the course description states, we are seeking to draw conclusions about the way the Trans-Atlantic slave trade was both promoted and resisted by christianity and its foreign practitioners on the Gold Coast, and in the greater territory of Ghana. We will be looking for representations of this relationship in Ghanian literature, and challenging ourselves in critically thinking about the impact of colonial influence on the country both historically, and presently. Thus far, we have been privileged to hear lectures from four professors at the University of Ghana Legon on a variety of relevant context building subjects.
So, the learning has begun both formally and informally. Time spent with those who call this city home offers more than just pleasant conversation and welcoming encouragement, but also insight into the realities of a modern post-colonial mindset. After all, it was only some 50 years ago that Ghana gained it’s independence from Britain. It has quickly become apparent that much of that influence is widely manifested in the social, cultural, and political institutions of today. To say any more would assume more understanding than we can truly claim after only two short days here, but the learning has certainly begun!
More to come soon!