Greetings from Accra. As you can understand in light of the fluid situation of COVID-19, there has been some developments since our last update in April. Here in Ghana, restrictions on social and religious gatherings have been eased but with strict conditions. Worship services, weddings, funerals and all other public gatherings are now allowed with a maximum of 100 persons. All final year students at the Primary, High School and tertiary levels will resume classes with all the physical distances in place. Confirmed cases continue to tick upwards (over 8,000), but deaths are still in the mid 30s. Many churches and mosques are opting to continue online and electronic meetings until further notice. AT TSI, we are looking into upgrading our internet services for zoom and other online meetings while our small staff continues to work from the office with physical distancing and all hygiene protocols in place. We continue trusting in God that the cloud of COVID-19 will be lifted, sooner than later.
Work is also progressing towards publication of the festschrift. The papers presented during the inaugural conference are currently being reviewed for inclusion in the publication. We have started contacting individual presenters for revisions and final adjustments and will soon connect with all whose papers have been selected. We’ve also contacted Georgetown University Press with regards to publishing the festschrift but are open to suggestions and introductions to other publishing houses that may be interested.
- Due to direct and indirect economic impact of COVID-19, some of our projects and proposals have had to be rescheduled or cancelled. The situation also forced us to downsize, relocating into a smaller office space with reduced rent. A COVID-19 relief grant from ScholarLeaders International was timely in helping us secure our new office space, pay 12months rent and move in on June 1st, 2020. We are eternally grateful to ScholarLeaders Board members whose donations made the grant possible. Operational cost for the next half year remains a challenge but we are encouraged by friends making efforts to raise support for our work. We appreciate your prayers and advocacy.
- The Institute is working to upgrade its internet service as the covid-19 pandemic has made online work imperative. Activities such as small seminars, meetings, teachings, conferences, among others would be held online, even after COVID-19. We are also looking into hosting part of the Sanneh collection in an e-library format while we continue in our efforts to raise funds for the building. Support for upgrading the internet will therefore be very much appreciated.
- Building Fund: Clearly, COVID-19 has impacted our fundraising efforts towards the building due to the restrictions on travel and the economic fallout on some of our key partners. Nevertheless, we continue to count on your prayers and advocacy for the Building Fund. The building will house a library of the lifetime collection of the late Prof. Sanneh. The University of Ghana has donated land in a very prime location on its campus for the construction of a one-storey building to house the library and to provide offices and seminar rooms for The Sanneh Institute. We have a professional sketch of the building and estimated costs that we can share.
If anyone needs more information on any of the above, we will gladly make it available upon request. Once again, thank you and God Bless you all for friendship and partnership.
John Azumah, PhD
The Sanneh Institute
University of Ghana
Legon – Accra
June 1, 2020