The University of Ghana has conferred an honorary doctorate degree of law on an alumnus, Professor Emmanuel Kwaku Akyeampong, Oppenheimer Faculty Director of the Harvard University Centre for African Studies.
The award was in recognition of Prof Akyeampong’s immense contributions to knowledge about Africa and African Americans history through cross cultural research, publication, service and his commitment to the course of Africa.
It was also in recognition of his insightful presentation of the 2018 Aggrey-Fraser-Guggisberg Memorial Lectures and Special Congregation Ceremony – Dedicated to the 70th Anniversary of the University of Ghana in Accra.
The Aggrey-Fraser-Guggisberg Memorial Lectures are a major event on the academic calendar of the University of Ghana.
The two-day event was on the theme: “Nkrumah and the Making of the Ghanaian Nation-State.”
On the first day, Prof Akyeampong spoke on the topic: “Nkrumah, Cocoa, and the United States: The Vision of an Industrial Nation-State,” whereas that of the second day was “African Socialism; or the Search for an Indigenous Model of Economic Development in Ghana?”
The Chairman of the University of Ghana Council Prof Yaw Twumasi on behalf of the Chancellor Mr Kofi Annan, conferred the honorary doctorate degree in law on Prof Akyeampong.
An elated Prof Akyeampong expressed gratitude to the University of Ghana for the honour done him.
Prof Akyeampong is the Ellen Gurney Professor of History and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University and the Oppenheimer Faculty Director for the Center for African Studies.
He was appointed a Loeb Harvard College Professor from July 2005 through June 2010.
Prof Akyeampong is a Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (FGA), and a Corresponding Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (UK).
He sits on the Advisory Council of the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellows Programme.
Prof Akyeampong serves as the President of the African Public Broadcasting Foundation (US), a partnership of academic researchers, African broadcasters and African producers dedicated to the production of development oriented programmess for broadcast on television, radio and the Internet.
He is a co-founder of the International Institute for the Advanced Study of Cultures, Institutions and Economic Enterprise based in Accra, Ghana.
He served as chair of the Committee on African Studies at Harvard from July 2002 to June 2006.
He is the author and editor of several books and articles including Drink, Power, and Cultural Change: A Social History of Alcohol in Ghana, c.1800 to Recent Times (1996); Between the Sea and the Lagoon: An Eco-Social History of the Anlo of South-eastern Ghana, c.1850 to Recent Times (2001); and editor of Themes in West Africa’s History (2006); with Henry Louis Gates Jr., The Dictionary of African Biography 6 Vols. (2012); and with Alan G. Hill and Arthur Kleinman, The Culture of Mental Illness and Psychiatric Practice in Africa (2015).
His research interests are social history, comparative slavery and the African diaspora, environmental history, the history of disease and medicine, economic and business history.
Prof Akyeampong has been an editor of the Journal of African History (2006-2010), was founding co-editor of African Diaspora.
He has served on the editorial advisory boards of African Arguments, African Affairs, the International Journal of African Historical Studies, Journal of African History, Journal of the Social History of Medicine, Ghana Studies, the Transactions of the Historical Society of Ghana, and Research Review.
He was a member of the board of directors for the African Studies Association in the United States, and a former Council Member of the International African Institute.
Prof Akyeampong earned his Bachelor Arts degree from the University of Ghana, his Master of Arts in History from Wake Forest University, and his PhD in History from the University of Virginia.
Prof Akyeampong holds a Masters in Divinity from Andover Newton Theological School (2014), and is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ.