Guest Country

Our partnership with Ghana in the 9th annual book fair represents our continued and shared commitment to fostering tolerance through cooperation across the continent and across the world. We respond, culturally if not politically, to the calls for African unity uttered in Ghana’s revolutionary throes and persisting through its cultural production. Consistent with our belief that political, social, and economic development go hand-in-hand with cultural development, we see our collaboration with Ghanaian writers, poets, musicians, journalists, activists, and scholars as a catalyst for local, regional, and global progress. This exchange, spanning the latitude of the continent, will allow us to learn from Ghana’s example while also strengthening the ties of our collective aspirations for open and tolerant societies.

Guests from Ghana of the HIBF2016
Atukwei Okai is a poet, academic, and cultural activist, and Secretary-General of the Pan-African Writers’ Association. Born in Accra, he received an MA from the Gorky Literary Institute in Moscow and an MPhil from University College London, and has taught at the University of Ghana and the University of Education, Winneba. In 1991 he became the first writer to receive the Flagstar from the Entertainment Critics and Reviewers Association of Ghana. In addition to his international radio and television performances, his poetry has been published and translated into six languages and merited inclusion in a variety of international anthologies.

Professor Kwame Karikari is the former Executive Director of the MFWA. He has been for several years, a professor in journalism and mass communication at the School of Communication Studies at the University of Ghana. He has also been involved in training journalists in several countries in Africa over the years. Prior to that and during all those years, he practiced as a journalist, including serving as director general of the public Ghana Broadcasting Corporation in the early 1980s. He has also been an activist pursuing social justice and human rights causes, in Africa, including democratic reforms in Ghana. He serves on the boards of a number of African and international rights organisations and on the editorial boards of academic publications. He was educated at the City College of New York and Columbia University in New York.

Joe Addo is an architect from Accra, trained at the Architectural Association in London, who has worked in Finland, the UK, and the US. He opened his own practice in 1991 in Los Angeles, where he also cofounded the A + D Museum, before returning to Ghana in 2004. He is currently the CEO of Constructs R + D and Chairman of the ArchiAfrika Foundation, which works to integrate socio-cultural design into the discourse on African architecture and development. Joe participated in the HIBF 2015, facilitating a discussion among Somaliland architects about the physical spaces of African cities and the current transformation of Somaliland’s cities.