Freedom University, Keta, Volta Region, Ghana, was founded June 18, 2013, by Fortune Norris Addor and Michael Flannery and Registered as a Non-Profit Organisation in accordance with The Registrar General’s Department Companies Act, Section 24 (Act 179) of the Companies Code (1963). March 2015, Gavin P. Smith was appointed Executive Director and Consultant for the university and FCG Pioneer program. Located on nearly 25 acres of prime seafront property awarded to Freedom University by Keta Municipal Assembly in perpetuity, Freedom Campus (the site of Freedom University) offers hope, job creation and a boost to the economy of the people of Keta and the Volta Region. Proximity, and a good road system connecting Keta and the capital city of Accra and its international airport (approximately two hours), facilitate travel, communications and logistics.
The mission of Freedom Campus is focused on housing, health, nutrition, education and the creation of opportunity for Ghana, and all Africans.
Because of its unique setting – Freedom Campus is literally adjacent to the former infamous slave shipping port of Fort Prinzenstein – we have a never-ending obligation to remind the world of what happens when human beings are stripped of their dignity and traded as chattel. The practice of slavery in many forms continues around the world today, as always, fueled by avarice, poverty and ignorance. While we have few weapons to combat greed, evil and inhumanity, Freedom Campus will be at the vanguard of the war against the factors that allow slavery to flourish.
It is with this responsibility in mind that that a two week Keta-based programme for the study of slavery and Anlo-Ewe history has been developed under the umbrella of the Freedom Corps Ghana (FCG). The primary target audience for this programme is composed of American, Caribbean and European higher educational students, many of whom – descendants of the African Diaspora – have deep, personal interest in learning the history behind the capture, enslavement, treatment and transport of their ancestors from the African Continent to the Caribbean and the North and South Americas. The secondary target audience is composed of faculty, staff, alumni and students in all global markets, who wish to learn more about the history of Black African slavery, and Ghana, the most hospitable and tolerant of all African countries.
Ghana’s ports, including Fort Prinzenstein at Keta, played a primary role in this infamous chapter. Freedom University’s GFC project is Africa’s first organised study programme located in the immediate vicinity of a dungeon and port for slaves. The intensity of exposure to the Pioneer’s own pasts will be reinforced by field trips to other slave centres, slave markets and slave houses within Ghana, Togo and Benin. Distinguished university and other lecturers will offer a comprehensive overview of African slavery under colonial powers, and the legacy this created.
At the same time, all activities will be oriented to involve FCG Pioneers personally with the people, culture, local history and current circumstances of the towns and regions that they visit. Music, folk art, dancing, food, celebrations and personal contact with the peoples of Ghana, Togo and Benin, are at the heart of the Pioneer experience. When they have formed their impressions, discussed in open forums and workshops, they will be asked to engage their minds and creativity to find sustainable solutions to the critical problems of health, nutrition and housing.
July 2016, an initial three week ‘Aspen Africa’ is planned, to be held at Keta, organised by the Advisory Board and Directors of Freedom University. We anticipate that this annual event – the first such in Africa – will be attended by leading slave studies scholars and academicians, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, scientists, statesmen and personalities from throughout the world. Aspen Africa will be limited to thirty participants who may book a one to three week programme. Prices and details of speakers, subject matter and activities will be published nearer the event.