The African University College for Communication, AUCC, has named its new Creative Writing Centre after prominent Ghanaian writer, Prof. Ama Ata Aidoo.
The Ama Ata Aidoo Centre for creative writing which will be opened on Thursday, March 16, 2017, is one of the six (6) learning centers of the school which will be dedicated to training creative writers.
The Director of the Centre, Nii Ayekwei Parkes, expressed joy about the Centre and the decision to name it after Ama Ata Aidoo, saying: “I am very proud to be the founding director of a centre named after Ama Ata Aidoo. Ama Ata Aidoo is an extraordinary writer. Extraordinary not just because of the work per se, but because the work is never safe – and risk taking is what produces remarkable work. Her novel, Changes, is a tour de force in feminist activism, Our Sister Killjoy, is a work of unfettered experimentation with form. Ama Ata Aidoo’s legacy of risk-taking is part of what I hope that the Aidoo Centre will inherit.”
Ama Ata Aidoo, a Ghanaian from Abeadze Kyeakor in the Central Region, is one of Ghana’s notable writers – whose poetry, plays and books are widely read in Ghana and across the world.
She received the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book (Africa) for her novel titled ‘Changes’ in 1992. Her books, Our Sister Killjoy and Anowa are some of her popular works.
Ama Ata Aidoo is also a known feminist who centres women’s experiences in her books.
Ayikwei Parkes also praised AUCC for the initiative, which he said will boost the standards of writing and cultural production on the continent, as well as shape the ways African stories are told.
“I am particularly encouraged by the support that the management of AUCC have given to the founding of this centre because I believe that competent creative writing and expression is central to the proper development of a society. Better written reviews of cultural production will help raise the standards of cultural production; more clearly articulated policies will improve our engagement with the institutions of government. Creative writing has impacts beyond the obvious and we intend to show that.”
Ayikwei Parkes added that: “If we are going to produce poets, filmmakers, novelists who (because of the way we ‘Africans’ are routinely lumped together) might be the voices of the continent, then we need to make sure that they are as grounded in the histories, legacies and possibilities of Africa, and the global south as possible. Part of our mission is to feed our students a more rounded literary canon, with more representative inclusion from the global south. We believe that by doing so, we are feeding the roots of the future global canon..”
Ama Ata Aidoo was once the Minister of Education in Ghana under the Jerry Rawlings administration.
AUCC is a private tertiary institution established in 2002 by Kojo Yankah, a former member of Parliament and editor of the Daily Graphic.