Contemporary West Africa: Intersections of Ethnicity, Politics, Conflict and Peacemaking in Ghana

Summer 2018 | Accra, Tamale, Kumase and Cape Coast


Travel to the Republic of Ghana to observe, discuss and experience the ways ethnicity, kinship and religion shape Ghana’s social and political systems. With the support of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center, this seminar will help you to explore conflict and peacemaking in Ghana—and help you establish a broader understanding of postcolonial African nations.


Regional Diversity
Rural villages. Migrant suburbs. Bustling capitals. This journey will take you to a range of regions and give you the opportunity to observe variances in identity, religion and social structure. You will ponder the ways that the histories of different ethnic groups influence interactions within and between communities and affect the larger political stage.

Modern Postcolonialist State
As an early leader in securing independence from colonial rule, Ghana is often considered a model for stability and democracy on the African continent. Through visits to palaces, churches, mosques, universities and exploring local industries, learn about the ways cultural and political institutions shape and inform postcolonial life. All your travels will help you understand the complex factors that account for the relative peace and security in modern Ghana.


This travel seminar begins with a visit to the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center, where you will see a panel discussion featuring leading West African scholars. You will then tour many regions in Ghana, where you will apply social science methodology to site-
specific independent work and research tasks, including writing journals and completing small projects. After returning to Drew, you will complete a formal paper based on your experiences
in Ghana.

Experiential Learning
Through travels to different areas, you will gain an understanding of ethnic and religious diversity in Ghana and the ways identity and kinship in the country relate to conflict and peacemaking. Learn how political leadership works as you meet and speak with people from all levels of social hierarchy—including chiefs, queens and kings.

Cross-Cultural Immersion.
While most of the trip is guided and focused on study, you’ll also have opportunities to enjoy cultural experiences. Learn how to eat fufu and enjoy other local delicacies. See the fine and performing arts of different regions. Become familiar with proverbs, greetings, gestures and socializing norms. You’ll gain a broader vision of the world and greater ease with cross-cultural exchange.


E. Obiri Addo, PhD, Adjunct Associate Professor of African Studies and Religious Studies
A native of Ghana, Professor Addo has led international seminars to several African countries, including Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Eritrea and South Africa. His academic work focuses on religion, politics, history and culture, both in sub-Saharan Africa and in African diaspora communities in the New World.