K. A. Busia on Africa : 3 Volume Set book cover
1st Edition

K. A. Busia on Africa
3 Volume Set



  • Available for pre-order on April 10, 2023. Item will ship after May 1, 2023
ISBN 9781032326726
May 1, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
498 Pages

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Book Description

Kofi Abrefa Busia (1914–1978), born a member of the royal house of Wenchi, Ghana was a Ghanaian political leader and sociologist. He was a scholar by inclination and temperament and symbolized the dilemma of the intellectual in politics – the man of thought forced by events to become the man of action.

These three volumes, originally published between 1962 and 1967, reissued here together for the first time, each with new introductory material, were all written in exile, and contemplate the continent of Africa undergoing rapid social transformation. Together they act as testimonials to the importance of, and difficulty in, implementing democratic traditions. In these works Busia considered the centrality of traditional African ideologies and practices and the institutions they supported, to comprehend the influence of native institutions and systems of thought on the modern national state and to reflect on their continuing role in creating a healthy democratic environment.

The principles he taught continue to live on in the influences he made on African studies in general and Ghanaian politics in particular to the extent that his name had become a shorthand for the establishment of free Democratic traditions in Ghana today.

Table of Contents

1. The Challenge of Africa K. A. Busia (1962) ISBN 978-1-032-24793-9

2. Purposeful Education for Africa K. A. Busia (1964) ISBN 978-1-032-35371-5

3. Africa in Search of Democracy K. A. Busia (1967) ISBN 978-1-032-19670-1

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Author(s)

Biography

Kofi Abrefa Busia (1914–1978), born a member of the royal house of Wenchi, Ghana was a Ghanaian political leader and sociologist. He was a scholar by inclination and temperament and symbolized the dilemma of the intellectual in politics – the man of thought forced by events to become the man of action.

Educated at church missions and at Mfantsipim School, he became a teacher at Achimota College, one of Ghana's leading secondary schools. After three years he attained his goal of a scholarship to Oxford, where he went in 1939 and earned his BA Honours in Politics, Philosophy and Economics in 1941 and subsequently his Doctorate (DPhil (Oxon)) in Social Anthropology in 1947. He returned to Oxford to teach as a Fellow of St. Antony’s College during exile in the 1960s.

Politically, Busia was the leader of the parliamentary opposition against Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana from 1956–1959; and from 1969–1972 he served as the Prime Minister of the Second Republic of Ghana, after he returned in February 1966, following the overthrow of Nkrumah and careful negotiations with the rolling military council for an orderly return to civilian role.

Busia combined scholarship, politics and Christian faith in unique ways at a time when the newly independent Ghana was struggling to define its national identity. He was the first African Professor and Head of Department (of Sociology) of the newly established University at Legon when in Ghana. During his exile from Ghana he also taught around the world including at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague and the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, and El Colegio de Mexico, in Mexico City, in addition to Oxford University.

His scholarly contribution has proved to be invaluable not only intrinsically, but also for what it has done for the African seeking his identity after centuries of colonial rule. Busia's major study, The Position of the Chief in the Modern Political System of the Ashanti (1951), was ground-breaking in this regard and remains his most important scholarly contribution. Over the decades since its publication it has come to be regarded as a standard work of Academic reference, in print over seven decades later.

Busia's later three works, The Challenge of Africa (1962), A Purposeful Education for Africa (1964) and Africa in Search of Democracy (1967) all written in exile, contemplate the continent of Africa undergoing rapid social transformation. Together they act as testimonials to the importance of, and difficulty in, implementing democratic traditions. In these works Busia considered the centrality of traditional African ideologies and practices and the institutions they supported, to comprehend the influence of native institutions and systems of thought on the modern national state and to reflect on their continuing role in creating a healthy democratic environment.

But beyond being a man for his people, he was a loving father and inspirational father-figure ahead of his time. The principles he taught continue to live on in the influences he made on African studies in general and Ghanaian politics in particular to the extent that his name had become a shorthand for the establishment of free Democratic traditions in Ghana today.

He passed away in Oxford on 28 August 1978, bringing to an end his second period of exile. He was given a State funeral in Accra and buried in his hometown of Wenchi in October 1978.

Reviews

"The three books are together a wonderful reflection of Prof. Busia’s work and thinking about the rapidly changing Africa of his day."

Abena P.A. Busia, For Busia Foundation International, Brasilia, Brazil October 2022