Towards a Cultural Economy for African Liberation

“The internationally renowned historian and higher education expert Professor Paul Zeleza will address the challenges of liberating African culture from colonial heritage and the necessity of challenging the current commodification, appropriation and extraction of African culture through an inequitable global economy that perpetuates global cultural and knowledge inequality. This demands that Africans establish a new and cultural economy that will focus on the interests of Africans , the producers of African cultures, and creatie new and more sustainable ways of doing business . By centring on cooperation among AFricas, rather than Western corporate interests, such alternative economic strategies must offer the next generation of Africans new paths to dignity, owership and self-reliance.

Alternative Business Models for African Cultural Production: Showcasing Cooperative Enterprises

The session will showcase examples of successful cooperatives from different regions of the congtinent. Reflective presentations by members of leading cooperatives will discuss cooperative strategies and practices, their achievements and accomplishments, and the major challenges they have faced. Presenters will also highlight the difference that they have made to people’s lives, and the lessons they have learned.

Production of Cultural Technologies

This session is devoted to the demonstration of technologies associated with music -the Zimbabwan Mbira and the Ghanaian Seprewa – and the local production of chocolate two sisters. These examples defy the global monopolization and definition of ‘value’ by Western manufacturers and brands. These cultural entrepreuneurs make unique contributions to African entertainment and food industries, benefitting African production by adding value, while enriching global culture.

African Languages, Cultural Identities and the Next Generation

“This session will seek to explore the multi-dimensional peculiarities of the many African Languages and their roles in communicating and preserving African belief systems, values and customs, also with respect to how instrumental they are in fashioning and projecting cultural identities and enhancing a sense of cultural identification in the coming generation, while fostering connections between them and the past generations of Africans.

Trading African Cultural Products across Borders

The focus in this session will be on shedding the spotlight on the trade in African Cultural products and Creative Prowess such as arts, fashion, technology. The contributors will also share their experiences of engaging in commercial activities between African countries, as well as export to Western markets, to seen how value added to the African products that also promote African culture for Africans as a route to achieving the pan-African ideal of continental self-reliance.

Who and What Define ‘African Culture’?

“Culture is often defined by the powerful and the rich, rulers, and patriarchs, but African liberation theorists re-define it more inclusively as ‘the whole way of life of the people’. As a leading African feminist thinker who has contributed significantly to the redefinition of African academic culture, FS insists that African culture is not the exlcusive preserve of male elders, or politico-religious elites, but in reality defined and transmitted by women, and changed by young people. Cell phones and social media as as much part of African culture as the papyrus scrolls of ancient times, and more relevant with regard to the future of African culture in a globliziong and digitalizing world.

Pan Africanism, Black, African and Feminist Radical Thought

This plenary panel sets the scene for the ensuing days of the Festival by addressing the latest theorizations of Black and African radical theoretical traditions, and how these are advanced by anti-imperialist and anti-racist feminism theory. This panel examines the radical implications of Black and African Feminism for the pursuit of AFrican liberation

Masculinity and Misogyny in African Theory, Culture andPractice

“Under this topic, this session will consider the concept of the African Masculinity and its accompanying tculture of misogyny and violence towards women which are often justified in the name of “”African Culture and widely tolerated in heteronomative social relations across the continent and the African diaspora. Leading African and Caribbean theorists of masculinity interrogate this retrogade aspect of African culture to posit alternative possibilities.

Opening Ceremony: 3rd Kwame Nkrumah Festival

Prof Esi Sutherland-Addy is the Chair of the Panafest’s International Board of Trustees. she is uniquely well placed to discuss the cultural, political and pedagogic possibilities and power of festivals. From the Caribbean Carnivals across the diaspora to demonstrate popular resistance to enslavement and oppression, to FESTAC and Panafest, festivals offer AFricans spaces of cultural liberation and popular education. As spaces of liberation, festivals enable us to resist Western cultural hegemony and economic exploitation, while at the same time educating and influencing new generations of Africans to develop and advance pan African public cutlure and liberatory values. (

Feminist African Theory, Culture and Practice

This session will feature leading feminist theorists and activists who refuse to separate their radical ideas from their actions and practices . It focuses on the emergence and re-emergence of women’s ideas and movements for freedom in the African region, seeking to bring a pan-African framing to movements that are in reality locally situated in particular communities and nations.