African Update – 11/10/11

His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor, the immediate past President of the Republic of Ghana, is due to participate in this year‘s Forum 2000 conference. As usual it is scheduled to take place in Prague, the Czech Republic from 9th – 11th October 2011. Although the Forum has been going on for some years now, and has attracted participants from across the world including some Ghanaians, it will mark the first time ever that a leading Ghanaian personality in the capacity of a former President will be attending.

Indeed, it is a historic moment, not only for the Forum, but for the warming relations between Ghana and the Czech Republic. Inasmuch as President Kufuor will not necessarily be representing the government of Ghana it cannot be lost on discerning minds that his participation to the Forum comes closely on the heels of the visit of the sitting Vice President, H. E. John Mahama, to the country in November 2010. Humanitas Afrika, an African-Czech civil society organisation based in Prague, is happy to be associated with these exciting developments.

Founded in 1997, the Forum 2000 itself is a joint initiative of former Czech President Václav Havel, the Japanese philanthropist and chairman of the Nippon Foundation Yohei Sasakawa, and the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel, a Romanian born Jewish-American writer. The Forum is premised on the principle that “it would be good if intelligent people, not only from the various ends of the earth, different continents, different cultures, from civilization's religious circles, but also from different disciplines of human knowledge could come together somewhere in calm discussion ... to identify the key issues facing civilization and to explore ways to prevent the escalation of conflicts that have religion, culture or ethnicity as their primary components.” It therefore provides a platform for discussions of important topics openly in an attempt to enhance global dialogue.

Previous Forums have seen various personalities of international repute come together in the Czech capital to deliberate world issues aimed at offering alternative solutions to issues of global concern. Former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk, American President Bill Clinton, former Costa Rican President and nobel laureate Oscar Arias Sánchez, the Tibetan Spiritual Leader Dalai Lama, Israeli President Shimon Peres, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former Portuguese President Mário Soares, nobel laureate Wole Soyinka and Sir Nicholas Winton are just a few of those world leaders who have graced Forum 2000 conferences before. In all cases the mission has been to “map the globalization process and to note its positive results as well as the perils encountered by an increasingly interconnected world.”

The 15th Forum 2000 conference is being organised this year under the theme ‘Democracy and the Rule of Law’. The relevance of this theme cannot be overemphasised in the wake of developments in North Africa and the Middle East and also within the context of the Forum’s own aims and objectives. The promotion of democracy in non-democratic countries, support for civil society and respect for human rights in young democracies has always been one of its defining leit motifs. Again, it is again expected the Forum will attract to Prague distinguished world leaders including two former African Presidents, John Agyekum Kufuor of Ghana and Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria.  They will be joined by Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili, nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz and the founding trio Vaclav Havel, Yohei Sasakawa and Elie Wiesel. As required by tradition of the Forum, the conference would be opened officially by President Havel on 9th October 2011.

For more information on Forum 2000 and this year’s conference, you may refer to their website at

Afrikatu Kofi NkrumahHumanitas AfrikaPrague, the Czech Republic

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New titles in our library 12/2016

Our library has aquired a number of new and interesting books. Here is the list of the latest titles.

  • Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X by Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith
  • Fashion Cities Africa by Hannah Azieb Pool
  • Frantz Fanon: Toward a Revolutionary Humanismby Christopher Lee
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty by Robinson, James A., Acemoglu, Daron
  • Shakespeare in Swahililand: Adventures With the Ever-Living Poet by Edward Wilson-Lee
  • A History of Modern Africa: 1800 to the Present by Richard J. Reid
  • Authentically African: Arts and the Transnational Politics of Congolese Culture by Sarah Van Beurden
  • Children in Slavery through the Ages by by Gwyn CampbellSuzanne MiersJoseph C. Miller
  • Global Health in Africa: Historical Perspectives on Disease Control by Tamara Giles-Vernick
  • Rumba on the River: A History of the Popular Music of the Two Congos by Gary  Stewart
  • Women and Slavery, Vol. 1: Africa, the Indian Ocean World, and the Medieval North Atlantic by Gwyn Campbell
  • Women and Slavery, Vol. 2: The Modern Atlantic by Gwyn Campbell
  • Cahier d'un Retour Au Pays Natal by Aimé Cesaire
  • Healing Traditions: African Medicine, Cultural Exchange and Competition in South Africa, 1820-1948 by Karen Elizabeth  Flint
  • Global Education Policy and International Development: New Agendas, Issues and Policies by Antoni Verger
  • Black Skin, White Coats: Nigerian Psychiatrists, Decolonization, and the Globalization of Psychiatry by Matthew M. Heaton

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