The Pan African Heritage Museum currently under construction in Accra, Ghana, will be officially opened in December 2024 but the public can have a taste of what to expect by visiting the virtual version which was launched on the African World Heritage Day on May 5, 2022. It costs an equivalent of $10.
The museum, the first dedicated to the origin and civilisations of Africa, will showcase the history, arts, culture, sciences, religions and technologies of ancient Africa from ancient early civilisations to present contemporary Pan Africa. The vision is to become the perpetual site of pilgrimage for Africans and people of African descent for education, healing and inspiration.
It will be a one-stop shop to unlearn and relearn true African history as curated by Africans for posterity. The construction of the $50 million complex designed by Nigerian architect James Inedu-George began this February on a 10-acre plot, at Pomadze Hills, near the Winneba Junction on the Accra Cape Coast Road.
The main building is shaped like a horn, which has a special significance in Africa’s ancient traditions and culture. The horn is culturally associated with great strength and humility and was blown to announce the coming of something or someone great.
The complex will consist of a one-acre five-storey museum; a three-acre Herbal Plants Village with chalets, a conference hall, whole food store, and restaurant; two-acre Palace of African Kingdoms, an African cuisines food court; one-acre Pan African Heroes and Heroines Park; Pan African Library; a children’s library and innovation centre, a convention centre and a Hall of Fame Centre.
The founder and chairman of Pan African Heritage Museum, Prof Kojo Yankah, told The EastAfrican in a virtual interview that: "The message is loud and clear that they have no business holding on to stolen objects that do not belong to them. I think it is only a matter of time. They used to say Africans have no space to hold them. Now we are creating spaces to hold them all. They belong to us and we do not need any excuses from anybody in requesting for them."
The Pan African Heritage Museum Foundation, which is building the museum, is an international, not-for-profit, non-political, non-governmental organisation, registered in Ghana, with branches around the world.
"We have national chapters in the US, Canada, the UK, Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Brazil, and Bahia. There are chapters in 23 African countries. So we have 31 at the moment," said Prof. Yankah.
The museum is expecting to hold and exhibit about 250,000 pieces or artifacts from Africa and "the diaspora will all be represented by their art, culture, history, cuisine, fashion, and herbal plant world."