Home Literature The life and legacy of late renowned Ghanaian author Ama Ata Aidoo

The life and legacy of late renowned Ghanaian author Ama Ata Aidoo

The life and legacy of late renowned Ghanaian author Ama Ata Aidoo

Renowned authors from Egypt and other countries will speak on life and legacy of Ama Ata in a Panel Discussion on July 2

Ghana Correspondent

The Toyin Falola Interviews, in Partnership with Pan-African Writers’ Association (PAWA) will have a Panel Discussion on Ama Ata Aidoo with distinguished panelists: Ashraf Aboul-Yazid, Bisi Adjapon, Dr. Akwasi Aidoo, and Prof. Peter Amuka, on the life and legacy of Ama Ata Aidoo, the late renowned Ghanaian author, poet, playwright, politician, and academic.

On Ama Ata Aidoo and women activism, African thinker Toyin Falola wrote: “Since 1960, African female writers have published fiction about women’s struggles with their male counterparts. Most of these female writers were not taken seriously but rather criticized for speaking up for women. Fondly remembered as the pioneer for African women writers and a feminist to the letter, Ama Ata Aidoo surpassed this basic description. She was many African women’s heroine and, much more, a mother. Ghanaian author and activist, Ama Ata Aidoo was a writer who used her pen and voice to advocate for women’s equality. Aidoo’s work emphasized the improvement of women’s lives so that they could be great contributors to nation-building rather than being subjected to marriage, copulation, “rear” children or being full-time housewives. Aidoo strived to create a space for women in politics and nation-building through fiction so that women could emulate successful characters used in her work to become exemplary people. She revealed that most myths hindering women’s participation are social constructs and can be reversed. She emphasized that the arrogance of male superiority, women’s inferiority, and gender inequality are all social constructs. Aidoo believed that women are self-effacing and oriented and should be allowed to participate and contribute to the development of Africa and take up economic, political and social roles.”

Ama Ata -AkwasiPanelist Dr. Akwasi Aidoo is a philanthropy professional and a creative writer.  He is currently a Senior Fellow at Humanity United, and was the founding Executive Director of TrustAfrica – a foundation dedicated to promoting equitable development, social justice, movement building and democracy in Africa.

His previous positions include head of the health sciences program of the International Development Research Center (IDRC) in West and Central Africa, head of the Ford Foundation’s offices in Senegal and Nigeria, and Director of the Ford Foundation’s Special Initiative for Africa.

Dr. Aidoo currently serves on the Boards of several international organizations including Human Rights Watch, International Development Research Centre, and the Centre on African Philanthropy and Social Investment at Wits Business School at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa. He also previously chaired the Boards of Fund for Global Human Rights, Resource Alliance, Africa Grantmakers’ Affinity Group, and two units of Open Society Foundations. Other Boards Akwasi has served on in the past include those of OXFAM America, Resource Alliance, Global Greengrants Fund, and the Global Network Committee of the Ash Institute at Harvard University.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Dr. Aidoo taught at universities in Ghana, Tanzania, and the United States. He was educated in Ghana and the United States and received a Doctor of Philosophy degree in medical sociology from the University of Connecticut in 1985.

Ama Ata -Ashraf-Aboul-YazidAshraf Aboul-Yazid to join the Panel Discussion on Ama Ata Aidoo, to be held online, July 2, 2023. Ashraf Aboul-Yazid (1963) worked in Cultural Journalism for more than 35 years. He authored and translated 42 books. An anthology of his poetry books, A Street in Cairo, The memory of Butterflies, The Memory of Silence, The Whisper of the Sea and The Shells, has been published in English, Sindhi, German, Russian, Persian, Serbian, Turkish and Spanish. He is the President, Asia Journalist Association, Editor in Chief, THE SILK ROAD LITERATURE SERIES.  Of his awards: Grand Manhae Prize in Literature, Korea (2014), Arab Journalism Award in Culture, UAE (2015), The Gold Medal of LIFFT Eurasian Literary Festival, Turkey (2021) and Sawiris Cultural Award, Children Literature, Egypt (2023).

Ama-Ata-BisiPanelist Bisi Adjapon is the author of the critically acclaimed novels, Daughter in Exile (Harper Collins, 2023) and The Teller of Secrets (Harper Collins, 2021), The latter, her debut, has been named a best book by The American Library Association, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Globe and Mail (Canada), Pop Sugar, Essence, and Ms. Magazine. The short story version, Of Women and Frogs, was nominated for the Caine Prize. Her second novel, Daughter in Exile, is a New Yorker Magazine and Amazon Editors’ Best Book, and has received starred reviews from many publications including Publishers Weekly, American Library Association’s Booklist, Library Journal, Book Browse, and World Literature Today. It has also been listed a must-read by The Root and Essence.

Adjapon’s writings have appeared in journals and newspapers including The Guardian, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, The Sun Magazine, Aljazeera, New York Times, Washington Times and Brittle Paper. A former International Affairs Specialist for the US Foreign Agricultural Service, she won the Civil Rights Award for Human Relations. As an educator, she won An Excellence in Teaching Award in Fairfax County, Virginia.  For four years, she was Artistic Director of the Young Shakespeare Company in Washington. Now she is a fulltime writer, dividing her time between the United States and Ghana.

Ama-Ata-BusiaPanelist Ghanaian diplomat and internationally known poet, H.E. Abena P. A. Busia, currently serving as her country’s Ambassador to Brazil, is a Professor Emerita, having served forty years in the Departments of English and Women’s & Gender Studies and Comparative Literature at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. She has received Fellowships and awards from numerous organizations, including the Rockefeller, Fulbright and Ford Foundations, and the Rutgers University President’s Award for Distinguished Public Service.

She has published widely, lectured extensively, and taught workshops and master-classes on curriculum transformation, around the world, in the areas of gender, race, and multi-cultural studies. She is a Founding Board member of several international organizations including the Busia Foundation for which she serves as International Liaison Officer, the African Women’s Development Fund [AWDF] for which she served as the founding Program Committee Chair and AWD Fund-USA for which she served as Executive Chair.  She is also one of the three Project co-directors and series editors of the award winning four volume Women Writing Africa project, published by the Feminist Press 2002-2008. Ambassador Busia has given numerous interviews and poetry readings on radio, performed and read at conferences, universities, churches and poetry and Jazz festivals around Europe, North America, and West Africa, including the celebrated New Orleans Jazz Festival and the welcoming ceremonies for Nelson Mandela on the steps of City Hall, Los Angeles. First published by the late Chinua Achebe, her poetry has appeared in various anthologies and magazines on three continents, in West Africa, North America, and Europe. As a board member of the Women’s Learning Partnership, a South-South network of women’s organizations dedicated to women’s leadership and empowerment, she is the curator of “Lifelines: The Poetry of Human Rights” presenting readings annually at the UN Commission on the Status of Women and other NGO fora.

Ama-Ata-PeterPanelist Prof. Peter Amuka is a Kenyan Professor of Comparative Literature. He holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Los Angeles, MA and BA degrees in Literature from University of Nairobi. He was a Research Fellow/Lecturer at the Institute of African Studies until 1987 when he moved to Moi University.

Currently he is a full professor of Comparative Literature at Kibabii University in Bungoma, Kenya.

Prof. Amuka has over 40 publications comprising book reviews, feature articles, critical essays and book chapters in African oral and written literatures and short fiction. In 2021, he published a novella, WANJIRA and her HITLERS.

The life and legacy of Ama Ata Aidoo, the late renowned Ghanaian author, poet, playwright, politician, and academic, panel discussion will be on Sunday, July 2, 2023 at 4:00 PM Ghana, 5:00 PM Nigeria, 6:00PM Egypt and 11:00 AM Austin CST. For registering and watching:






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