British Council Supports Book Launch
The cultural development among Commonwealth countries is one of the aims of the British Council and this it has engaged in throughout member-countries. The Council's auditorium will on Monday November 26, 2001 host a book launch festival, a joint effort between The British Council Ghana and The Centre for Intellectual Renewal, a research and publishing organisation.
At the festival there will be the formal launch of two books - Bu Me Be and Kyerematen and Culture - The Kyerematen Memorial Lectures.
The former is a 1,300- page book of Akan proverbs co-authored by the British cultural novelist Peggy Appiah (widow of the late Ghanaian politician, Joe Appiah), Kwame Anthony Appiah, Professor of Philosophy and African-American Studies at Harvard University. The other author is Ivor Agyeman-Duah, a journalist and Executive Director of The Centre for Intellectual Renewal.
Kyerematen and Culture - The Kyerematen Memorial Lectures has some contributions from distinguished members of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences and other experts on Ghanaian culture like The Rt. Rev. Prof. Emeritus Kwesi A. Dickson and Prof. Emeritus J.H. Kwabena Nketia. The list also includes Dr. Mohammed Ben Abdallah, Prof. Kwame Arhin, Prof. Nana Bayie Boateng and T.A. Boateng.
The launching ceremony, takes place at 6pm, and till noon of November 27 the books will be on sale at the British Council. The Chairman of the Ghana National Commission on Culture, Prof. George Hagan is the Guest of Honour with Prof. J.H. Kwabena Nketia delivering a speech as the Guest Speaker.
The books will be launched by Ama Ata Aidoo, a distinguished author and professor of African literature. This segment will be under the chairmanship of Nana Dr. S.K.B. Asante, Paramount Chief of Asante-Asokore and vice president of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences with Kwaku Sakyi-Addo serving as the MC.
This year marks a turning point in the cultural evolution in Ghana. Peggy Appiah, daughter of Sir Stafford Cripps, Chancellor of the Exchequer in the post-war Britain, has written over 25 books on Ghanaian culture. She turned 80 in May this year. Five years ago, Queen Elizabeth II awarded her The Member of the British Empire (MBE) for her contribution both literally and in the field of philanthropy to Anglo-Ghanaian relationship.
This year is also fifty years since Dr. Alex Atta Yaw Kyerematen established the Ghana National Cultural Centre in Kumasi with the Zoo as part of it. It became the first of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa and at one time one of the best-developed within and outside Ghana. Twenty-five years ago this year, he passed away. One of the very elite of Oxford and Cambridge educated avant garde, Dr. Kyerematen became Minister of Local Government and wrote commemorative articles and important books such as The Panoply of Ghana.
According to Ivor Agyeman-Duah who is doing a thirty minute documentary for radio on Kyerematen, "his vision was the growth of a cultural enterprise".