Plans to redesign Du Bois Centre advances

Plans are at an advanced stage to redesign the W. E. B. Du Bois Centre into a cultural destination for academics, people in the diaspora and the local Ghanaian community.

The restructuringof the facility, anticipated to be completed and dedicated in 2024, would function as a synergistic campus of remembrance, reflection, and knowledge sharing on the life and legacy of Du Bois, if completed.

The Executive Director of the W.E.B Du Bois Museum Foundation, Japhet Aryiku, said the revitalised campus, which would be predicated on a delicate balance of preservation, restoration and contextual new structures,would accommodate the multi-purpose programming of the W. E. B. Du Bois Centre.

He was speaking at the commemorative event of the 59th anniversary of the passing of Dr W.E.B. Du Bois over the weekend at the centre inCantonments, Accra.

Mr Aryikusaid that it would “feature a new narrative museum and institute that would encapsulate the life and immense contributions of Du Bois; the delicate restoration of his home and final resting place; his mausoleum and memorial pavilion; an entry pavilion; an outdoor amphitheatre and the restoration of the Marcus Garvey Guest House.”

The Executive Director said Dr Du Bois was a man of peace and a civil and human rights leader, who spoke against the exploitation and persecution of people everywhere.

Mr Aryiku therefore used the opportunity appeal to peace loving people in the world to embrace and support the project.

“There are naming opportunities (BRICK donations) in the complex and names of every donor will be inscribed on walls of the complex. Please make your tax-deductible donation to the foundation,” he added.

Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mark Okraku-Mantey, said the government and the foundation signed an agreement, last year, to authorise the foundation to redevelop the centre.

He said the vision of redesigning the centre was part of the government’s agenda to create a more vibrant Pan Africanism.

Noting that the relevance of the centre could not be overemphasised, Mr Okraku-Mantey, said the project would create employment and increase tourism in the country.

He also stressed that the project after its completion would generate foreign exchange earnings.

The US Ambassador to Ghana, Virginia E. Plamer said that Dr Du Bois’ struggle for justice in the United States and his life in Ghana “reminded us of the strong ties that bound both great democracies, whose example is important to the whole world.”

She recounted that the late socialist projected and conveyed messages of freedom and was a genius for which reason his legacy should live on.

BY ABIGAIL ARTHUR

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