Chinua Achebe Center
for African Writers and Artists

Our Mission

The Achebe Center was established in 2005 to continue the legacy of the late Chinua Achebe, who taught at Bard from 1990 to 2011, and to serve the future of global Africana arts. Among its goals are to become a center of excellence for the teaching of African literature, to support a new generation of African writers, and to encourage literary/cultural entrepreneurship. Undergraduate students may participate in Center projects, including facilitating events that feature visiting writers, artists, and scholars.

Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama Delivers Inaugural Chinua Achebe Leadership Forum Lecture at Bard College

(President Mahama's lecture begins at 1:06:44)



President John Dramani Mahama of the Republic of Ghana delivered the inaugural Chinua Achebe Leadership Forum Lecture on Monday, December 92013. The forum took place in the Sosnoff Theater at The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, beginning at 4:00 p.m. In light of the recent passing of Nelson "Madiba" Mandela, the forum explored "Africa's Future: Mandela, Achebe, and Empowerment in Africa." The Chinua Achebe Leadership Forum brings together international leaders and thinkers to discuss Africa’s challenges, in keeping with Professor Chinua Achebe’s life and work.

The Forum opened with a performance by the Ghanaian music group Sankofa. Attendees were then welcomed with a talk on the legacy of Chinua Achebe, who taught at Bard for nearly 20 years. Noted Ghanaian poet Abena Busia gave a reading, and Professor Christie Achebe spoke on “Professor Achebe's Life in Perspective: The Writer and the Quest for Exemplary Leadership and Good Governance in Africa.” President Mahama gave a lecture entitled “Women in Africa: How the Other Half Lives.”Following the lecture there was a discussion with President Mahama; the Honorable Nana Oye Lithur (the Republic of Ghana’s Minister for Gender, Children, and Social Protection); Amini Kajunju, president of the Africa-America Institute; and professors Myra Young Armstead and Peter Rosenblum of Bard College. The subject of the discussion was “The Role of Women in the Development and Democratization of Africa.”


Achebe Leadership Forum, Sosnoff Theater, The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College

Introduction of Performers | 3:55
Drew Thompson Assistant Professor of Africana and Historical Studies, Bard College

AfroPulse Dance Performance | 4:00
Bard College Dance Ensemble

Sankofa Drum and Dance Ensemble | 4:05

Pause

Welcome on Behalf of Bard President Leon Botstein | 4:25
Jonathan Becker, Vice President for International Affairs and Civic Engagement, Bard College

Birthday Tribute from Nelson Mandela to Chinua Achebe | 4:30
Delivered on 3 November 2000 via video on the occasion of the 70th Birthday

The Legacy of Chinua Achebe | 4:40
Professor Myra Young Armstead, Professor of History, Bard College

Poetry Reading: "A Song in Seven Stanzas" and "Still Morning Yet: A Poet Daughter's Farewell" | 4:45
Abena Busia, Professor and Chair of the Department of Women's and Gender Studies, Rutgers University

Professor Achebe's Life in Perspective: The Writer and the Quest for Exemplary Leadership and Good Governance in Africa | 4:55
Professor Christie Achebe last taught as Professor of Counseling in the Department of Psychology at Bard College

Introduction of H.E. John Dramani Mahama | 5:05
Jonathan Becker, Vice President for International Affairs and Civic Engagement, Bard College

“Women in Africa: How the Other Half Lives” | 5:10
H.E. John Dramani Mahama, President of Ghana

Roundtable Discussion: The Role of Women in the Development and Democratization of Africa | 5:30
Honourable Nana Oye Lithur, Ghana's Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection
H.E. Jeremiah C. Sulunteh, Ambassador of Liberia to the United States
Amini Kajunju President, Africa-America Institute
Peter Rosenblum, Professor of International Law and Human Rights, Bard College
Moderator, Nwando Achebe, Professor of African History, Michigan State University

Closing Remarks | 6:10
Chidi Achebe '92, MD, MPH, MBA President and CEO AIDE (African Integrated Development Enterprise)


Acknowledgements :
Chinua Achebe Center, Bard College
Chinua Achebe Foundation
Center for Civic Engagement
Africana Studies Program
Model United Nations
Africa-America Institute

Chinua Achebe Leadership Forum featured on Sahara TV


Contact Us

E-mail: achebecenter@bard.edu