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Yari Yari Ntoaso 2013 - Accra, Ghana

Institute of African American Affairs

New York University



Yari Yari Ntoaso: Continuing the Dialogue

Accra, Ghana, West Africa       May 16-19, 2013



An international symposium of women writers from Africa and its diaspora will be held in Accra, Ghana, West Africa May 16-19, 2013. The symposium is co-sponsored by New York University’s Institute of African American Affairs (IAAA), NYU Africa House, NYU Accra, and Africana Studies Program; hosted by Mbaasem Foundation; and presented by the Organization of Women Writers of Africa Inc (OWWA) with partnership from the Women for Africa Foundation. Yari means the future in the Kuranko language of Sierra Leone, and Ntoaso means understanding and agreement in the Akan language of Ghana.


So far, the 21stcentury has witnessed the creation or reestablishment of women’s and writers’ organizations throughout Africa and its diaspora. Often these organizations both support and are staffed by emerging writers or those whose writing has yet to receive international recognition. Yari Yari Ntoaso marks this moment and provides an opportunity for these organizations, as well as individual writers and scholars, to share information and to build international networks. The symposium will include panels, readings, performances, and film screenings. Yari Yari Ntoaso will be a gathering devoted to the study, criticism, and celebration of the creativity and diversity of women writers of African descent. The conference will also pay tribute to the co-founder and president of the Organization of Women Writers of Africa, Inc. (OWWA), poet Jayne Cortez, who recently made her transition. One of Cortez's many important contributions was the many conferences she helped organize at New York University with IAAA. She was working with IAAA on this third Yari Yari conference in Ghana, which will now be in her honor.

 It will provide:

•    Opportunity for the exchange of cultural expression and ideas concerning capacity development programs

•    Information for the setting up of publishing and distribution networks with existing and new technology

•    A platform to address issues of planning and development of cultural institutions

•    Encouragement, support, and promotion of the works of young writers

•    An environment for the dismantling of self-censorship

•    Promotion of artistic expression and freedom of imagination

•    A showcase and exhibition space for publications

OWWA and New York University’s Institute of African American Affairs also collaborated on Yari Yari: Black Women Writers and the Future (1997) and  Yari Yari Pamberi: Black Women Writers Dissecting Globalization (2004). We hope you will join us to experience the third Yari Yari – and the first one in Africa!

Confirmed Yari Yari Ntoaso Participants:

Deborah Ahenkorah (Ghana  Literary activist)

Ama Ata Aidoo (Ghana – Fiction writer, OWWA Co-Founder)

Monica Arac de Nyeko (Uganda/Ghana – Fiction author)

Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro (Puerto Rico – Fiction author)

Ayo Ayoola-Amele (Ghana – Children’s author)

Bibi Bakare-Yusuf (Nigeria – Publisher)

Doreen Baingana (Uganda – Fiction writer)

Laylah Amatullah Barrayn (USA - Photographer)

Samiya Bashir (Somalia/USA – Poet)

Faith Ben-Daniels (Ghana – Scholar of Ghanaian literature & folklore)

Tara Betts (USA – Poet)

Joanne Braxton (USA – Scholar of African-American poetry)

Margaret Busby (Ghana/UK – Editor, publisher)

Lucía Charún-Illescas (Peru/Germany, novelist)

Gabrielle Civil (Haiti/USA – Performance artist,  poet)

Anita Cobbinah (Ghana – Activist)

Amma Darko (Ghana – Novelist)

Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah (Ghana – Blogger, writer)

Angela Davis (USA – Scholar of prison abolition)

Gina Dent (USA – Scholar of African-American literature & culture)

Latasha N. Diggs (USA – Performer, poet)

Camille Dungy (USA – Poet)

Ira Dworkin (US/Egypt – Scholar of African-American literature)

Maureen Ngozi Eke (Nigeria/USA – Scholar of African Literature & Film)

Zetta Elliott (Canada/USA – Fiction writer, scholar of literature & publishing)

Akachi Ezeigbo (Nigeria – Children’s author)

María Teresa Fernández de la Vega (Spain - Fundación Mujeres por África)

Gladys M. Francis (Guadeloupe/USA – Scholar of African & Caribbean literature)

Kadija George (UK/Sierra Leone – Publisher, poet)

Ruby Goka (Ghana – Children’s author)

Wangui wa Goro (Kenya – Translator, poet)

Ishraga Mustafa Hamid (Sudan/Austria – Poet)

Khadijah Ibrahiim (UK – Poet)

Philo Ikonya (Kenya – Author, journalist)

Rashidah Ismaili (Benin/USA) – Poet

Mamle Kabu (Ghana – Novelist)

Madhu Kaza (India/USA – Fiction writer)

Jason King (USA – Scholar of music & popular culture)

Rosamond S. King (The Gambia/Trinidad & Tobago/USA – Poet, Performance Artist, Yari Yari Ntoaso Conference Director)

Kinna Likimani (Ghana – Blogger)

Fungai Machirori (Zimbabwe – Blogger, poet)

Michelle Martin (USA – Scholar of children’s literature)

Natalia Molebatsi (South Africa – Poet)

Roshnie Moonsammy  (South Africa- Arts administrator)

Angelique Nixon (Bahamas – Scholar of literature & tourism, poet)

Wura-Natasha Ogunji (Nigeria/USA - Performance artist)

Famia Nkansa (Ghana – Poet)

Tess Onwueme  (Nigeria- Playwright)

Naana Opoku-Agyemang (Ghana – Scholar)

Virginia Phiri (Zimbabwe – Novelist)

Hermine Pinson (USA – Poet, scholar of African-American literature)

Olumide Popoola (Nigeria/Germany/UK- Novelist, Playwright)

Sapphire (USA – Novelist)

Lola Shoneyin (Nigeria – Novelist, poet)

Eintou Springer (Trinidad & Tobago – Poet, playwright)

Cheryl Sterling (Jamaica/USA – Scholar of African & diaspora literature)

Esi Sutherland-Addy (Ghana – Scholar of African education & culture)

Véronique Tadjo (Cote d’Ivoire/South Africa – Novelist)

Coumba Touré (Mali – Children’s author)

évelyne Trouillot (Haiti – Novelist)

Dzodzi Tsikata (Ghana – Scholar of land reform)

Dorothy Randall Tsuruta  (USA – Scholar of African-American women’s literature)

Wana Udobang (Nigeria – Journalist, blogger, radio host)

Gina Athena Ulysse (Haiti/USA – Performance artist, scholar of Caribbean anthropology & blogger)

Rachelle Washington (USA – Literacy scholar)

Helen Yitah (Ghana – Scholar of African literature)

Kuukua Dzigbordi Yomekpe (Ghana - Memoirist)

Janet Badjan Young (The Gambia – Playwright) 


For a copy of the scheduled program, please click here.




Yari Yari: Ntoaso will be held at:


Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons

No. 54 Independence Avenue

Near Ridge Roundabout

Accra, Ghana

Yari Yari Ntoaso will be free to all attendees; right now, plan to join us in May 2013! This means:

1.) Registering for the conference

2.) Securing your Visa for Ghana, (make sure you have a current passport!)

3.) Booking your flight

4.) Booking your hotel

5.) Reading up on Accra, Ghana

1.) Registering for the conference

 Please register at:

 2.) Getting your Visa for Ghana


If your passport expires between now and in the next six months, you will to need to obtain a new passport IMMEDIATELY before a visa will be granted!  Please follow this and ALL official visa application guidelines – your visa WILL be denied if you do not follow instructions exactly, and you may be required to pay an additional application fee and wait additional time to receive your visa.

You must fully complete a visa application and send it, along with your passport, the appropriate fee, in some cases proof of vaccination, a copy of your ticket, and a traceable, pre-paid return envelope to Ghanaian consulate or embassy closest to you.  (You can also apply in person if you live close to a Ghanaian embassy or consulate.)

It will take AT LEAST two weeks for mailed visa applications to be processed.  We suggest you apply for your visa as soon as possible to ensure timely processing before Yari Yari Ntoaso.  (Note that you must have purchased your ticket before you can apply for a visa.)

For complete details, see the US Ghanaian Embassy website at

or the US Ghanaian Consulate at

US residents can also drop off applications in person at the embassy in Washington, D.C. or the Consulate in New York City.

Contact the Ghanaian Embassy or Consulate closest to you with questions regarding visa requirements and applications.  Phone numbers and email addresses are on the websites listed above.


3.) Booking your flight

Several international airlines fly to Accra, and you should investigate different options. Discounts of 5-10% are available on Delta Airlines (which has direct flights from the USA) and on KLM, Air France, and Alitalia by using the ticket designator code NMEUQ. In order to access this discount when booking online through select Meeting Event Code and enter the meeting code NMEUQ in the box provided on the Search Flight page. (The discount is also available when booking via the phone through Delta Meeting reservations at 800 328 1111 Mon-Fri 7am-7pm CDT - however, a ticketing fee is added when reserving tickets over the phone.)


4.) Booking your hotel / local transportation


Yari Yari: Ntoaso will be held at:


Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons

No. 54 Independence Avenue

Near Ridge Roundabout

Accra, Ghana


You can also use Google maps to get a sense of the distance between the venue and your hotel.


Book your hotel. There are many hotels in Accra but attached is only a suggested hotel list. Click here for the list.

You can check with your hotel regarding local transportation to and from the venue and to and from the airport. You can:


--Arrange with your hotel to pick you up

--Take a cab from airport to hotel which can cost anywhere from $10-$25 (Ghc20 – Ghc50)

depending on where you’re staying in Accra

--Rent a car and driver beforehand. One vendor is Avis-Rent-A car in Ghana. Please contact them for Ghana terms, conditions and rates:


Bridget Akatsi

Reservations Coordinator

Avis Rent A Car, Ghana

199 Soula Loop, Labone-Accra AN 6094


Tel: +233(0)302 761 751/2

cell phone number +233(0)242324028


You can exchange money at the airport or ask your hotel if they provide this service or if they can suggest the nearest money exchange bureau.


5.) Reading up on Accra, Ghana  

Please visit the NYU Accra site below. Although this site is geared towards study abroad students and faculty, it contains useful information for everyone such as culture and customs, language, getting around, restaurants, nightlife, and things to do.

For updates on conference information please also visit and/or go to Facebook and "like" The Organization of Women Writers of Africa

For questions, please e-mail:


This IAAA site will also be updated periodically regarding conference schedule, registration and other information.