International workshop: Issues of Restitution and Repatriation of Looted and Illegally Acquired African Objects in European Museums

13-14 December 2018
Institute of African Studies, Conference Room, University of Ghana


Issues bordering on the demands for repatriation and restitution of looted and illegally acquired African cultural objects in European museums back to their Africa source communities are gaining currency. Though scholars have shied away from intellectually debating these issues on the African continent, French President Macron’s speech on his promise to return such objects in French museums to their respective countries in Africa has provided an impetus. Thus, the need for such intellectual debates on this discourse in order to find common grounds for fairness and as a way of informing policy decisions among African governments for historical justice, has become pertinent. Engaging in constructive talks about returning objects is an arduous task with varied hydra-headed political, legal, ethical, economic, socio-cultural and human rights ramifications. Cultural objects that are under such restitution demands are not limited to only African objects or by Africans or African countries. There are inter and intra-European as well as Euro-Asian and Euro-American demands.


Workshop program (download PDF)

By invitation only.


Inaugural conference: Africa’s Institutions for Sustainable Governance

27-28 September 2018, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra


(Source: The Association of African Universities (AAU), interview, Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, Andreas Mehler, Abena D. Oduro, Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Prof. Kwesi Yankah, 5th Oct. 2018)

The preliminary phase of the Maria Sibylla Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (MIASA) will be launched with an international conference at the University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, on 27-28 September 2018. The topic of the conference will be “Africa’s Institutions for Sustainable Governance”.

This inaugural event will feature the fundamental role of Africa’s institutions, past and present, in shaping sustainable governance - in the fields of democracy, conflict management, economy, and socio-ecological transformation - and stimulate discussions about knowledge production in African contexts, drawing on the experiences of academics and professionals from diverse disciplines.

Institutes for Advanced Studies all over the world are the ideal places for such interdisciplinary work, encouraging encounters of different generations of researchers and providing knowledge hubs for innovation. Therefore, the conference will be devoted to developing the philosophy of MIASA, the new research institute based at the University of Ghana.

The conference will be held at the University of Ghana, Legon (Accra). The conference language is English.



Conference program (download PDF)

Media coverage in relation to the conference   

The Association of African Universities (AAU), interview, Andreas Mehler, Abena D. Oduro, Gordon Crawford, Bernd Kortmann, 26th Sept. 2018


Ghana Buisness News, article, African governments must recognise critical role of research, 28th Sept. 2018

Africa Feeds, article, African scholars look for solutions to continent’s problems, 2nd Oct. 2018

Graphic Online, article, Legon sets up institute to promote research In aid of Africa’s development, 10th Oct. 2018

University of Ghana, article, MIASA holds Inaugural Conference, 5th Oct. 2018

University of Freiburg, article, Scientific Dialog with Africa. The Maria Sibylla Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa opens at the University of Ghana, 1st Oct. 2018

University of Freiburg, article, Resolving Asymmetries. The Maria Sibylla Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa opens at the University of Ghana, 9th Oct. 2018