Keta Foundation - What We Do
Freedom university Keta
A Compelling Concept
Freedom University, Keta, Volta Region, Ghana, was founded June 18, 2013, by Fortune Norris Addor and Michael Flannery and Registered as a Non-Profit Organization in accordance with The Registrar General’s Department Companies Act, Section 24 (Act 179) of the Companies Code (1963). March 2015, Gavin P. Smith was appointed Executive Director and Consultant for the University and FCG Pioneer program.
The three of us, Fortune Norris Addor (Ghana), Michael Flannery (France) and Gavin Smith (USA), with the help of other unpaid visionary volunteers, have spent the past several years building organizations and structures to combat modern slavery in its many insidious forms, through attacking its root causes: poverty, ignorance, intolerance and greed. Our projects and programmes offer job creation, education and training, better health, nutrition and housing. We encourage individuals, NGOs, educational and philanthropic institutions, corporations and all others, to join us in our efforts.
Among those who have already done so, are members of the Freedom University Advisory Board, our ‘Dream Team’ of scholars, physicians, artists, businessmen and women, and communicators. Strategic Partners include Ceric Technologies, France; IHE (International Home Export), California; Alvan Blanch U.K.; Inesfly, Spain & Ghana and TikTakTi, Israel.
In response to the request of His Majesty Togbi Sri III (19 April 2012), Norris Hill & Partner Ltd. has presented plans for the rehabilitation of Fort Prinzenstein; the development of an international Volta Region, Keta-centered tourist programme targeting descendants of African slaves; and the establishment of Freedom University, a progressive academic institution, to be built adjacent to the infamous slave prison and shipping point on land recovered from the sea.
Freedom University will satisfy the needs of scholars and historians to have a slave studies centre situated in Africa – the only one of its kind – providing proximity to the epicenter of this inhuman practice, and opportunities for research of slave routes and markets, dungeons in which they were held; transportation to the Caribbean and more. The Fort Prinzenstein setting provides emotional and physical immediacy for such studies – one impossible to duplicate thousands of miles away.
— Academic Excellence & Social Responsibility
Freedom University will become Africa\’s foremost slave studies and anti-slavery activist institution, hosting teams of Pioneers who, under the guidance of a distinguished faculty, will analyse, propose and initiate projects fundamental to the health, welfare, economic stability and future of Keta, the Volta Region and all Africa.
A three week summer course at Keta planned for July 2016, will unite leading international scholars, scientists, economists, architects, healthcare specialists, entrepreneurs and celebrities, to find pragmatic solutions and funds to implement them for problems that are shackles impeding economic development – the key to a secure future for the people of Ghana.
— Located in the Volta Region of Ghana, Africa
Situated on nearly 25 acres of prime seafront property awarded to Freedom University (our non-profit parent institution), by Keta Municipal Assembly in perpetuity, Freedom Campus offers new hope, job creation and a boost to the economy of the people of Keta and the Volta Region.
Proximity and a good road system connecting Keta and the capital city of Accra and its international airport (one hour), facilitate travel, communications and logistics.
Freedom university - Learning Begins with Us
We, at Freedom University offer supportive and inspirational environments for young enquiring minds to learn and grow with us. Our passion for learning means we achieve more than outstanding results. We strive to build confident and creative thinkers and aim at delivering an education that is truly relevant to their future.
We are a university focused on social-emotional development, early literacy and numeracy, and instilling all tools necessary to help eradicate the roots of modern slavery. Our students walk out with the character and confidence to make their mark in the world, equipped with the knowledge and real-world skills that take them way ahead in the industry they may serve.
We address the root causes and economic conditions that foster modern slavery and aim at inspiring our students to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more in their respective journeys of life in order to improve their communities and themselves.
This is where we teach students skills they need to transform
themselves, others, and our global communities.
“When I am king they shall not have bread and shelter only, but also teachings out of books, for a full belly is little worth where the mind is starved.” – Mark Twain, The Prince and the Pauper
Fortune Norris Addor - Director
Fortune’s apprenticeship took place in Echo Contract Ltd, a leading Ho, Volta Region, road building, residential construction and engineering company, founded by his father, Crossly K. Addor in the 1970s. He earned a B.Sc. in Business Management from the University of Ghana in Accra, followed by Business Studies at MSBM, in London, before joining a French high tech energy company as African Development Manager. Fortune, co-founder of Freedom University Keta, represents Norris Hill & Partner as Managing Director in Africa.
Michael Flannery - Director
(in memoriam / d. 2016)
Michael studied languages & economics at the universities of Vienna, Heidelberg & the U.S. Navy Intelligence School. He took part in seminars under Nobel Prize winner, William Faulkner at the University of Virginia and studied under Cyrus Hoy at Vanderbilt University. A graduate of Thunderbird School of Global Management, he has held directorships in international consumer products, design & advertising corporations. His historical work, Golf Through The Ages: 600 Years of Golfing Art, is the standard reference for sporting art & European ball games, 1120 – 1890. He is a Partner in Norris Hill & co-founder of Freedom University, Keta.
Gavin P. Smith
Special Consultant to the Board
Gavin holds a Master of Global Management with distinction from Thunderbird School of Global Management; an MBA from the College of William & Mary Mason School of Business; and a BA in History from Wake Forest. A global professional and consultant with 20 plus years of experience in digital marketing, award-winning broadcasting and journalism, Gavin is Executive Consultant to Freedom University Keta, and, as a Partner, represents NHP interests in the Americas and the Caribbean.
The mission of Freedom Campus is focused on housing, health, nutrition, education and the creation of opportunity for Ghana, and all Africans. Because of its unique setting – Freedom Campus is literally adjacent to the former infamous slave shipping port of Fort Prinzenstein – we have a never-ending obligation to remind the world of what happens when human beings are stripped of their dignity and traded as chattel. The practice of slavery continues around the world today, as always, fueled by avarice, poverty and ignorance.
While we have few weapons to combat greed, evil and inhumanity, Freedom Campus will be at the vanguard of the war against the factors that allow slavery to flourish – in Africa and elsewhere: poverty, disease and ignorance. Our primary thrust is to offer an opportunity to earn a decent standard of living and hope for the future to the youth, women and men of Ghana, based on a better utilisation of latent human and physical resources.
Together with our eminent Advisory Board (professors Victor Gadzekpo, Emmanuel Akyeampong, Elysée Soumonni, Kodzo Gavua and Sandra Green) we have joined the battle to solve the critical problems of insufficient and inadequate housing; insect-borne diseases; a costly, wasteful and unreliable agricultural food chain; and access to finance for infra-structure projects utilising indigenous human and material resources – essential for the future of the country and its people. At the same time, we will shed light on the Slave Coast industry and infrastructure developed to feed the insatiable demand for slave labour in the Caribbean, Europe and South America.
This project, integrated with the restoration of Fort Prinzenstein, will attract tourists, create jobs and generate income through much of the Volta Region. Freedom Campus is destined to become a key international educational hub in an on-going campaign to improve the quality of life in the Volta Region, Ghana and the African Continent.
Members & Expertise
“Children deprived of words become school dropouts; dropouts deprived of hope behave delinquently. Amateur censors blame delinquency on reading immoral books and magazines, when in fact, the inability to read anything is the basic trouble.” – Peter S. Jennison
In recent years after its founding as a non-profit institution, Freedom University Keta is on the move. With the counsel of Emmanuel Akyeampong, and a visionary definition of the future role of a polytechnic institute, we have been able to re-define our goals and establish an initial time table for meeting them. As our financial base and human resources expand and permit greater flexibility and scope in our undertakings, these goals will be constantly updated and refined.
In addition to our core team of dedicated volunteer managers and strategic partners, who have developed a range of educational, industrial, agricultural and social projects over the past two years, we rely on guidance and assistance from our distinguished Advisory Board.
We are proud to announce that our two initial scholars and educators, Professor Emmanuel Akyeampong of Harvard University, and Professor Victor Gadzekpo of Ghana, have now been joined on the Freedom University Advisory Committee by Professor Elyséé Soumonni of l’Université Nationale du Bénin, Cotonou, Professor Kodzo Gavua of the University of Ghana, Legon, and Professor Sandra Green of Cornell University.
Emanuel Kwaku Akyeampong
Professor of History and of African and African American Studies, with a joint appointment in the Departments of History and of African and African American Studies, Harvard University. Co-Editor in Chief with Henry Louis Gates Jr of Dictionary of African Biography 6 Vols. (Oxford University Press, 2012). Emmanuel’s history of Keta, Between Sea & Lagoon: Eco-Social History of Anlo of Southeastern Ghana (Western African Studies), is a fascinating and highly entertaining book. His summer Harvard Slave Studies course in Accra, is the oldest such course in Africa. Prof. Akyeampong is Intellectual Advisor and Chairman of the Freedom University Advisory Board.
Mrs. Bentsi-Enchill, a Queen Mother fondly known as ‘Auntie Sika’, is a cult figure in Ghanaian and international cuisine. Barbara will collaborate with Fran Osseo-Asare (below) to create an African culinary college; provide meals on wheels for the Keta needy as well as faculty and students of Freedom University, and design nutritional programmes for the Volta Region, and Ghana, generally.
Dominic Crawford Collins
Dominic is a classically trained composer (Royal College of Music), conductor, arranger, sound designer and producer. He also owns and runs a successful recording studio in Ireland. His compositions have been featured from Hollywood to the British Isles. Dominic’s ‘Colour of of Distance’ symphony, mixed at Abbey Road Studios with a narration by actor John Hurt, is the largest ever orchestral work to combine music with natural sound. Dominic will compose a Freedom University hymn.
Peter was Director of the Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC) from 2001 to 2012. He has been a guest lecturer at the University of Accra on several occasions and a decades-long friend of Kofi Anan. Peter will assist with guidance on institutional funding, and as a liaison with other East and West African states.
† Komla Dumor (1972 / 2014)
The most famous voice in Ghana, Komla, a graduate of the University of Ghana, with a MA from Harvard in Public Administration, became an iconic figure at BBC, London, as presenter of the World News and Africa Business Report on BBC World News television. Mr. Domor was assisting us in creating awareness, and presenting news of Freedom University. Komla’s death, aged only 42 years, leaves a void in the world of communications, the hearts of the people of Ghana, and our Dream Team.
Victor Patrick Yao Gadzekpo
Renowned academician and former President at Central College, Ghana, Professor Gadzekpo holds a PhD in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Washington, Seattle, USA, where he also earned his Master of Science degree. He also holds two undergraduate degrees from the University of Cape Coast, a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. Victor has held academic and administrative positions, including Head of the Department of Chemistry, University of Cape Coast, Visiting Professor to the University of Tokyo, Japan, from 1998 – 2000, and Research Fellow at the University of Wales College of Cardiff, UK, from 1984 – 1985. Between 1985 and 1987, he spent his time between the University of Cambridge and LKB Biochrom Ltd, where he conducted research in electrochemistry and developed electro-analytical instruments. He is is recognized as having made significant contributions to scientific knowledge, including a new method for the Determination of Selectivity Co-efficient, the ‘Matched Potential Method’; accepted and adopted in 1994 by the International Union of Pure Applied Chemistry, and currently in use throughout the world. Prof. Gadzekpo, an Anlo from the Volta Region, has indicated his willingness to accept the position of President of Freedom University.
Professor Emeritus, Pediatric Oncology & Palliative Care; Co-Founder, Arts in Medicine, University of Florida. Activist in African healthcare with extensive Rwanda experience. John, a distinguished poet as well as physician, is a member of the advisory board of Freedom University, Keta, with specific responsibility for establishing a clinic staffed by volunteer physicians and nurses, and a training programme for paramedics and first aid.
Martinique Director of Overseas Tourist Promotion, André immediately offered support and collaboration to Norris Hill & Partner, including establishment of a twin cities relationship between his country and Keta. The Caribbean islands will provide a source of slave descendant students for Freedom University.
Managing Editor at MultiMedia Group Ltd., the largest private commercial media group in Ghana. Elvis, an Anlo, is committed to NHP programmes and will provide free live air time to support them. This will build awareness of Freedom University and assist in obtaining support and funding.
Associate Professor, Department of Adult Education, St. Francis Xavier University (StFX), Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada. Dorothy, a distinguished educator, is engaged in women’s activism and, together with her husband, John Graham-Pole (above), has undertaken volunteer projects in Rwanda. Her experience will be of great importance in Freedom University’s social activist college, dedicated to combatting modern slavery.
A graduate from the hotel management college in Accra, Daniel is an important member of the Adele ethnic group, dividing his time between N’Kwanta and Europe, where he raises funds for an orphanage founded by his mother over 50 years ago. Daniel is an entrepreneur, Master Drummer, (including ‘Talking Drums’) and playwright. Daniel will assist in the Freedom University Music College.
‘DK’ Yaw Osseo-Asare
DK received an A.B. in Engineering Design and MArch, from Harvard University. His building and research explore sustainability by linking form-making, technology and geopolitics with social dimensions of global environment. TEDGlobal Fellow, Fulbright Scholar and co-founder of design think tank DSGN AGNC, he has presented his work at the Royal Institute of British Architects, Harvard Graduate School of Design, PennDesign, Cornell, KNUST, University of Ghana-Legon. DK is the Freedom University architect.
Gavin P. Smith
Gavin holds a Master of Global Management with distinction from Thunderbird School of Global Management; an MBA from the College of William & Mary Mason School of Business; and a BA in History from Wake Forest. A global professional and consultant with 20 plus years of experience in digital marketing, award-winning broadcasting and journalism, Gavin is the right person at the right time to tell our story and help secure the support we need.
Chief Executive Officer of Keta Municipal Assembly, Keta, Volta Region, Sylvester was instrumental in the assignment of communal land for the Freedom University campus and park.
Peter, Hungary’s foremost prize-winning corporate and logotype designer, will be commissioned to design Freedom University graphics, including a logotype, stationary systems, signage and souvenir and gift items items such as T Shirts to reward donations and provide awareness.
Since the late 1960s, Professor Soumonni has been teaching and conducting research in West Africa, first at the University of Ile-Ife (now Awolowo University), where he received his Ph.D., then at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, and since 1984 at the Université Nationale du Bénin in Cotonou. He currently is Coordinator of Institut Béninois d’études et de recherche sur la diaspora africaine (IBERDA). In 1997/98 Professor Soumonni was a Fulbright Research Scholar at Emory University, Atlanta. Elyséee is a member of the International Scientific Committee of the UNESCO “Slave Route” Project, and he sits on the Steering Committee of the UNESCO ASPnet Transatlantic Slave Trade (TST) Education Project. Professor Soumonni’s research focuses on the slave ports of the Bight of Benin, as well as the specific history of Dahomey and the various Yoruba states. He is a welcomed addition to the Freedom University Advisory Board.
Professor of Archaeology and Heritage Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon, Kodzo holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree and a Master of Arts degree in Archaeology from the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, as well as a Master of Arts degree in International Affairs and a Bachelor of Arts honours degree in Archaeology and Philosophy from the University of Ghana, Legon. Professor Gavua’s areas of specialization are Public Archaeology, Ethnography, Anthropology of Tourism, Economic Anthropology, Visual Anthropology, and Museology. He has over twenty-two years’ teaching, research and administrative experience at the University of Ghana, Legon, and at the University of Calgary, Canada. He is a welcomed addition to the Freedom University Advisory Board.
Sandra E. Greene is Professor of African History at Cornell University. She is the author of Gender, Ethnicity and Social Change on the Upper Slave Coast (1996); Sacred Sites and the Colonial Encounter (2002), West African Narratives of Slavery (2011), co-editor of The Bitter Legacy: African Slavery Past and Present, and the author of numerous articles. Sandra is currently completing a book manuscript entitled Slave Owners of West Africa: Decision Making in the Age of Abolition. She has also been President of the African Studies Association (USA) and is currently a member of the editorial board of the American Historical Review. She is a welcomed addition to the Freedom University Advisory Board.
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Support the project
You can make a difference right now
“If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” – Derek Bok
We need, and are grateful for, your support to enable us to better the lives of children, youth and adults in Ghana. Cash donations and grants are the lifeblood of our organization and will enable us to help thousands of victims of modern slavery, and to give heart to others that help is on its way.
Donations, which may include precious metals, jewellery, stocks, bonds, deeds to properties and building, as well as works of art such as paintings, rare books, manuscripts, artifacts, sculptures, bronzes and others, will be appraised by licensed experts and sold, the net proceeds credited 100% to Freedom University for benevolent purposes. Such donations may be offset against taxable income in accordance with Ghana tax law. If in doubt, please contact a qualified tax adviser.
In addition to monetary donations which may be made by credit card or bank transfer, our activities cover a wide range of projects which include, but are not limited to education, healthcare, nutrition, crop farming and much more. Freedom University needs everything from books to PCs, television sets, radios, vehicles, bikes, shoes, clothing (new and used, washed and ironed), classroom furniture and teaching aids, school bags, tools and garden implements, games, comics, CD players, tape recorders, mobile telephones, insect repellents, flashlights and batteries, electrical generators, candles and much more.
What we don’t use directly at Freedom University will be distributed within Keta and Ghana, generally. Almost any serviceable item will be welcome.
There is one important stipulation: The donor is required to deliver or have the items delivered, at his or her expense, either to our storage facility in Keta, or to our warehouse and distribution centre in Ho. If the items you are donating are near Keta or Ho, we will attempt to arrange transportation to bring it to one of our depots.
Only appropriate items should be donated. Forbidden items include: Illegal drugs and weapons or explosives, as well as any item that has been exposed to contamination, in any form. lf you have any questions, please contact us by email and we’ll do our best to respond quickly. About us: Keta Foundation is a non-profit organization formed by the founder/directors of the non-profit Freedom University, Keta, to increase awareness and broaden support for its many projects.
We’ll do our best to acknowledge each donation, and explain how it will be used, where possible, illustrated with photos on our website. A formal acknowledgement of your contribution will be provided for tax purposes. Freedom University’s yearly accounts, which are based on transparency, will be audited and published on our website.
Of course you have the right to specify the manner in which you wish to have your donation used. For example, it could go to the schooling of freed slave children and adults; health and medications for the Bomigo Island community, gender equality projects, clothing and shoes for the poor; the purchase of equipment and materials for a women’s farming cooperative.
Wish to enquire about admissions, syllabus, or anything else?
Our Ghana ADDRESS
P.O. Box WT 184
Volta Region, Ghana
\”The foundation of every state is the education of its youth.\” – Diogenes