Freedom University - Keta
“Children deprived of words become school dropouts; dropouts deprived of hope behave delinquently. Amateur censors blame delinquency on reading immoral books and magazines, when in fact, the inability to read anything is the basic trouble.” – Peter S. Jennison
Two years after its founding as a non-profit institution, Freedom University Keta is on the move. With the counsel of Emmanuel Akyeampong, and a visionary definition of the future role of a polytechnic institute, we have been able to re-define our goals and establish an initial time table for meeting them. As our financial base and human resources expand and permit greater flexibility and scope in our undertakings, these goals will be constantly updated and refined.
In addition to our core team of dedicated volunteer managers and strategic partners, who have developed a range of educational, industrial, agricultural and social projects over the past two years, we rely on guidance and assistance from our distinguished Advisory Board.
We are proud to announce that our two initial scholars and educators, Professor Emmanuel Akyeampong of Harvard University, and Professor Victor Gadzekpo of Ghana, have now been joined on the Freedom University Advisory Committee by Professor Elyséé Soumonni of l’Université Nationale du Bénin, Cotonou, Professor Kodzo Gavua of the University of Ghana, Legon, and Professor Sandra Green of Cornell University.
Emmanuel Kwaku Akyeampong
Professor of History and of African and African American Studies, with a joint appointment in the Departments of History and of African and African American Studies, Harvard University. Co-Editor in Chief with Henry Louis Gates Jr of Dictionary of African Biography 6 Vols. (Oxford University Press, 2012). Emmanuel’s history of Keta, Between Sea & Lagoon: Eco-Social History of Anlo of Southeastern Ghana (Western African Studies), is a fascinating and highly entertaining book. His summer Harvard Slave Studies course in Accra, is the oldest such course in Africa.
Victor Patrick Yao Gadzekpo
Academician and former President at Central College, Ghana, Professor Gadzekpo holds a PhD in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Washington, Seattle, USA, as well as two undergraduate degrees from the University of Cape Coast, a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. Victor has held academic and administrative positions, including Head of the Department of Chemistry, University of Cape Coast, Visiting Professor to the University of Tokyo, Japan, from 1998 – 2000, and Research Fellow at the University of Wales College of Cardiff, UK, from 1984 – 1985. Between 1985 and 1987, he spent his time between the University of Cambridge and LKB Biochrom Ltd, where he conducted research in electrochemistry and developed electro-analytical instruments. He is recognized as having made significant contributions to scientific knowledge, including a new method for the Determination of Selectivity Co-efficient, the ‘Matched Potential Method’, accepted and adopted in 1994 by the International Union.
Since the late 1960s, Professor Soumonni has been teaching and conducting research in West Africa, first at the University of Ile-Ife (now Awolowo University), where he received his Ph.D., then at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, and since 1984 at the Université Nationale du Bénin in Cotonou. He currently is Coordinator of Institut Béninois d’études et de recherche sur la diaspora africaine (IBERDA). In 1997/98 Professor Soumonni was a Fulbright Research Scholar at Emory University, Atlanta. Elyséee is a member of the International Scientific Committee of the UNESCO “Slave Route” Project, and he sits on the Steering Committee of the UNESCO ASPnet Transatlantic Slave Trade (TST) Education Project. Professor Soumonni’s research focuses on the slave ports of the Bight of Benin, as well as the specific history of Dahomey and the various Yoruba states.
Professor of Archaeology and Heritage Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon, Kodzo holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree and a Master of Arts degree in Archaeology from the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, as well as a Master of Arts degree in International Affairs and a Bachelor of Arts honours degree in Archaeology and Philosophy from the University of Ghana, Legon. Professor Gavua’s areas of specialization are Public Archaeology, Ethnography, Anthropology of Tourism, Economic Anthropology, Visual Anthropology, and Museology. He has over twenty-two years’ teaching, research and administrative experience at the University of Ghana, Legon, and at the University of Calgary, Canada.
Sandra E. Greene is Professor of African History at Cornell University. She is the author of Gender, Ethnicity and Social Change on the Upper Slave Coast (1996); Sacred Sites and the Colonial Encounter (2002), West African Narratives of Slavery (2011), co-editor of The Bitter Legacy: African Slavery Past and Present, and the author of numerous articles. Sandra is currently completing a book manuscript entitled Slave Owners of West Africa: Decision Making in the Age of Abolition. She has also been President of the African Studies Association (USA) and is currently a member of the editorial board of the American Historical Review.