Ghaniaian President Nana Akufo-Addo at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting. (Photo courtesy of the World Economic Forum)

By DaQuan Lawrence,
Special to the AFRO

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the Republic of Ghana recently confirmed his attendance at the upcoming State of the Black World Conference V, which ensues from April 19-23, at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Md. 

President Akufo-Addo, who is currently serving his second term as Ghana’s head of state, will deliver the keynote speech at next month’s conference, which shines a spotlight on the Black global community.

“We are honored and delighted that President Akufo-Addo, one of the most influential and respected African heads of state, will participate in our fifth State of the Black World Conference,” said Dr. Ron Daniels, president of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW), which is convening the event. 

In an interview earlier this year, Dr. Daniels told The AFRO: “All roads lead to Baltimore for the State of the Black World Conference V,” and the gathering will “feature leaders from around the world engaged in issues of concern to the Pan African world.” 

IBW and its international, national and local partners are working non-stop to deliver on that promise. With the theme, “Global Africans Rising, Empowerment, Reparations and Healing,” the five-day conference seeks to strengthen the rising U.S. and global reparations movements, and explore strategies and models that can address social, political and economic issues negatively affecting the people of Africa, and those of the African Diaspora.

“Having President Addo participate in the conference is particularly significant because he is emerging as a global champion for reparations among heads of state in Africa,” said Dr. Daniels. 

The conference’s organizers expect leaders from human rights, faith, labor, and political spheres around the world to attend the convening, and many are confirming their participation. 

International scholar-activist Dr. Julius Garvey, son of Black nationalist icon Marcus Mosiah Garvey, is the honorary chairman of the conference. 

Garvey will be joined by renowned actor-activist Danny Glover, who is the U.N. Ambassador for the Decade for People of African Descent, and the Hon. P. J. Patterson, the former leader of Jamaica and the longest-serving prime minister in the Caribbean. 

Expected to participate in the historic opening session are Barbados’ Prime Minister Mia Mottley, Grenada’s Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell and Colombia’s Vice President Francia Marquez.

Patterson will deliver opening remarks on “the State of Democracy and Development in the Caribbean and Africa.” President Akufo-Addo will issue the keynote statement followed by remarks from Mottley and Marquez.

The intergenerational assembly seeks to galvanize members of the global African Diaspora from all sectors and industries, especially students, youth, and community-based organizations. In effort to convene Black youth and entrepreneurs, the conference will feature a Young Leader and Student Caucus, a Hip Hop summit, and an African marketplace with cultural exhibits and trade booths.

IBW and its partners are contacting administrators and student leaders from national historically Black colleges and universities and requesting that they send contingents of students to Baltimore to engage with international and national attendees. 

HBCUs such as Fayetteville State University, Howard University, Jackson State University, Jarvis Christian University, Morgan State University and Virginia State University have all confirmed interest in having students attend the gathering. 

The conference will include a Global Black Women’s Leadership Summit and a Global Black Mayors and Elected Officials Roundtable. The conference will also feature an award ceremony to recognize outstanding Pan African leaders from the global Diaspora. During the ceremony, President Akufo-Addo will receive IBW’s Pan-African Legacy Award.

Listed goals of the conference include reassessing the implications of the 2022 midterm election for Black America and the African Diaspora; expanding reparations movements to empower and heal Black families, communities and nations; and advancing strategies and models to improve political and economic conditions for the Diaspora.

The convening also will feature sessions on issues such as environmental justice, displacement and gentrification, the ongoing crisis in Haiti, socially responsible economic development, combating gun violence and public safety and law enforcement reformation, and more.

“President Akufo-Addo’s keynote address on reparations coupled with those of other heads of state and leading reparations advocates will elevate this conference to one of the most significant in the 21st century,” said Dr. Daniels. 

Interested attendees can register for the upcoming conference and find the preliminary agenda and list of facilitators, speakers and invited guests here. For more information on IBW and the State of the Black World Conference V contact