By Paul Ndiho
Historically black U.S. colleges and universities – also known as HBCU’s, play a critical role in higher learning for African-Americans, Africans, and students of all races. As HBCUs seek to expand, they are looking to build satellite compasses in Africa.
Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the United States are a source of great pride for African Americans. The principal mission of an HBCU is the education of black Americans.
HBCU’s produced many of the American civil-rights era leaders. Most notably, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who graduated from Morehouse College, Dr. W.E.B. DuBois graduated from Fisk University, Reverend Jesse Jackson from North Carolina A&T, former U.S. Ambassador to the UN and Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, graduated from Howard University — and Congressman John Lewis graduated from Fisk University.
However, less is known about the immense contributions HBCU’s had in molding and developing leaders in the struggle for the independence of countries in Africa. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, who became Nigeria’s first president in 1963, graduated from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania.
Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Prime Minister of Ghana, the first black African country to gain independence, also graduated from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda, Malawi’s first president, graduated from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee.
Now, a diaspora initiative, dubbed HBCU Africa homecoming is in the process of creating satellite campuses of HBCU colleges in Africa. Kwabena Boateng leads the effort.
Morgan State University, a public historically black research university in Baltimore, Maryland, is leading the way and will initiate degree programs in Ghana this year. Dr. David Wilson, President of Morgan State has played a crucial role in the launch of Ghana’s first satellite compass with All Nations University.
The African University College of Communications has signed a partnership agreement with Morgan State University. The agreement enables the two universities to exchange faculty and students and provide study opportunities abroad for both schools and to encourage joint research and publications.
The Partnership also allows the AUCC to run Morgan State University’s Bachelor’s and Master’s programs in Global Journalism & Communication as well as Entrepreneurship. Kojo Yankah is the founder and Chairman of AUCC.
Analysts say that the time of the inaugural HBCU Africa Homecoming Summit could have come at a better time. Ghana dubbed 2019 the “year of return,” as the country welcomed over one-million Africans in the diaspora to visit the nation and discover their African roots nearly Ghana 400 years after the first enslaved Africans arrived in English America in 1619. Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo launched the year of return campaign in Washington, DC in September of 2018. So far, high profile visitors, including several African American celebrities, members of the U.S. Congress, and other notable personalities, have visited the country.