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University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 12, 2004

McNulty To Discuss Ghanaian Tourism, Politics Dec. 16

Although Ghana may not be at the top of many people's list of ultimate tourist destinations, its government is making strong efforts to promote the tourism sector of the economy.

Michael McNulty, professor emeritus of geography at the University of Iowa, is giving a lecture entitled, "'Making' History - Tourism, Development and Politics in Ghana," Thursday, Dec. 16 from 7 to 8 p.m. The lecture will take place at the African American Historical Museum and Cultural Center (AAHMCC), 55 12th Ave. SE in Cedar Rapids.

The talk, which is free and open to the public, is part of the Humanities Iowa Evening Lecture Series and is sponsored by the UI African Studies Program, University of Iowa Libraries, the AAHMCC and UI International Programs.

"The government of Ghana has made a strong effort to promote tourism and attract foreign visitors and investments by celebrating the rich cultural heritage of the peoples of Ghana and highlighting the crucial role Ghana played in important periods of African history and global development," McNulty said.

McNulty will discuss how Ghana has become a modern economy and an attractive tourist destination.

Both the government and private interests in Ghana have been promoting Ghanaian arts and culture and the country's natural resources such as gold, cocoa, timber and human resources in order to foster tourism and attract foreign visitors, McNulty added. He will also address the difficult and painful role of the slave trade in Ghana's history -- Ghana was a major source of slaves sent to North America and the Caribbean.

During his presentation, McNulty will explore the controversies that emerged concerning how this part of Ghanaian history and economy should be presented to those visiting the trading forts and castles that served as the "point of no return" for so many Africans. The lecture is focused on contemporary Ghana but will highlight the important roles played by Kwame Nkrumah, the first prime minister and later president of Ghana, and others in leading Africa out of colonialism and forging a new role for the independent countries on the continent.

This lecture is being held in conjunction with the AAHMCC's exhibit "Iowa in Ghana: Dr. D. Michael Warren and the Bono of Takyiman," which opened Sept. 17 and runs through March 7, 2005.

The exhibit features 140 photographs of the Bono of Techiman taken by Warren and artifacts from the region. This exhibit is being produced in collaboration with the UI. Topics included in the exhibit will be chieftaincy, traditional medicines, festivals, commerce, arts, and religion. These photos are archived at the UI Libraries.

The exhibit preparation was a joint effort of the UI Libraries and the AAHMCC. This exhibit was made possible by a $180,000 grant obtained by UI International Programs from the Colleges and Universities Affiliation Program of the U.S. Department of State to develop a linkage between the UI and University of Ghana, Legon. The relationship between McNulty and the University of Ghana began in 1965 when McNulty researched his dissertation on Ghanaian urban structure and development. Programming in support of the exhibit is funded by a grant from Humanities Iowa.

For more information about the Warren Collection at the UI or special accommodations to attend the lecture, contact Edward Miner, International Studies Bibliographer, UI Libraries, at 319-335-5883 or edward-miner@uiowa.edu; or Susan Kuecker, curator, AAHMCCI, or Erin Thomas, education coordinator, at 319-862-2101, ext. 17.

The African Studies Program is a part of International Programs. UI International Programs consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost for academic programs and dean of international programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and the community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026, lois-gray@uiowa.edu; Writer: Kent Nguyen