The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has expressed optimism about the foundation of a professorship of African Archaeology in Western universities.
He has therefore drawn on deep learning to express his support for the expanded initiatives by the authorities of the Magdalene College, Cambridge in the United Kingdom to bring African students to study in the college in the UK.
The Asantehene was addressing students and staff of Magdalene College, Cambridge in the United Kingdom on the occasion of the acknowledgment of African Archaeology as part of a study programme at the College.
He noted the importance of the Professorship for developing a history of Africa by Africans to ensure effective African Archaeological studies for development on the continent.
The occasion also marked 20 years of the celebration of Nelson Mandela’s studentships in the college.
Nelson Mandela gave his blessing some years ago to the idea of a Chair of African Archaeology in Cambridge, recognising that Africa’s pre-colonial past is a rich resource for Africa’s present confidence and future flourishing.
Highly placed Professor of Archaeology such as Professor Cyprian Broodbank, Director of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, invited Dr. Catherine Namono (University of the Witwatersrand), Prof. Adebayo Folorunso (University of Ibadan) and Prof David Phillipson (emeritus Director of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge) lauded the vision of promoting African Archaeology for a New Millennium.
The Asantehene also commended the efforts of scholars such as Catherine Namono who drew on her personal experience, as Uganda’s first female archaeologist, and her leading discussion in the transformation of African archaeology, a transformation that reclaims knowledge production for Africans.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu noted that all aspirations of the funding campaign for African Archaeology in Cambridge was well placed to outline the role of Cambridge, and celebration of the centrality of Africa for global history, which exhibits deep relevance for current concerns of Africans.
The most recent holder of a chair of African Archaeology in Cambridge, Prof. David Phillipson noted that this generation echoes many themes of sound funding, data collection, training and equipment, and African history for Africans and this needs to be encouraged and supported by renowned Africans such as the Asantehene.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu and his entourage who were received by Dr. Rowan Williams, the Master of the College, and leading Cambridge scholars of Africa, had earlier jointly participated in a day’s discussion of the achievements and prospects of African archaeology.