Joshua Kwesi Aikens

Joshua Kwesi Aikens

Human Rights Activist & Political Scientist
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Biography: 

Kwesi is an prominent activist and public scholar in both Germany and Ghana. In Germany, he currently serves as an expert member of the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry on Racism and Discrimination in the State of Thuringia. His research interests include the interaction between western-style and indigenous political institutions in Ghana, post- and  decolonial  perspectives on development, cultural and political representation of the African Diaspora, coloniality and the politics of memory in Germany.

In 2015, he coordinated and presented the parallel report to the official German report to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Aikins serves on the advisory board of Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland (Initiative Black People in Germany) and is involved in antiracist organizing and diaspora empowerment. He has been a leading voice in the Berlin movement to rename streets that still honor German colonizers. In 2009, he successfully lobbied to rename the Gröbenufer, a street honoring an enabler of the Brandenburgian enslavement enterprise on the shores of today's Ghana, to May-Ayim-Ufer, now honoring the Afro-German poet, social scientist and activist May Ayim. In Ghana, his involvement spans conceptual and policy work; he served as associate researcher for the Ghana Constitution Review Commission  and as development and scientific lead for Ghana Vote Compass, Ghana's first voter advice application.

 

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