Wednesday, February 13, 2008

African, German Writers Meeting Opens

By Edmund Mingle

Monday, 11 February 2008

A two-day historic meeting, aimed at creating a platform for enhanced collaboration between African and German Writers, opened at the PAWA House in Accra yesterday.

The meeting has been organised by the Pan-African Writers Association (PAWA), the Ghana Association of Writers and the German Writers Union (GWU). It is being attended by leaders of the three bodies, renowned writers, critics and poets from Ghana and Germany.

It has the theme, "Writers meeting in Accra: Looking ahead."
Organised with support from the Frederich Ebert Foundation, the meeting seeks to discuss ways of collaborating for an inter-cultural exchange towards improving literary works.

Among other things, the meeting seeks to develop an inter-cultural dialogue between Africa and Germany through the use of literary works, as well as find out how literature could influence the development of societies in Africa and Germany.

A Memorandum of Understanding between the groups, led by Professor Atukwei Okai, Secretary-General of PAWA and Imre Torok, President of the GWU, will be signed at the end of the meeting today, to provide a framework for the collaboration between them.

Kwesi P. Anim-Addo, a novelist, playwright and lawyer, in his presentation on the topic for yesterday’s meeting: "The relevance of literature in modern African society," urged African writers to use their literary works to positively influence the development of Africans by inspiring them to seek appropriate solution and challenges that confront the continent.

"The African society is undergoing rapid modernisation, and the writer’s role is no less significant," said the renowned Ghanaian novelist.

Mr Anim-Addo no-ted that it was improper for some writers to portray that Africans were incapable of dealing with challenges and deplored literary works, especially films that make Africans believe they could only develop through divine intervention.

"What chance has the African child when at a tender age, he or she is fed with "juju" films on television?" he asked.

The African child must not be brainwashed to look for divine intervention as a first step of his solution to problems, especially those problems relating to natural phenomenon, he said.

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