Knowledge, activism and institutions for Africa’s transformation

Key strands in Takyiwaa Manuh’s feminist scholarship

  • Charmaine Pereira
Keywords: Takyiwaa Manuh, knowledge, power, institutions, gender, feminism, transformation.


This essay examines ways in which selected texts in Takyiwaa Manuh’s scholarship treat the themes of knowledge, power and institutions with a focus on their role in Africa’s transformation. The range of Manuh’s scholarship covered includes her earlier work on how the political power of the Convention People’s Party was used to advance Ghanaian women’s participation in public affairs and African Unity; her later work on universities as institutions of knowledge production, addressing their relations with the wider society and the project of change and social transformation; as well as her work on women’s empowerment in Ghana. The main argument of this essay is that Manuh’s feminist work foregrounds the role of knowledge and action in the pursuit of social change, with institutions providing formalised conditions of possibility for the coalescence of knowledge and action in practice. Moreover, whilst Manuh’s scholarship is grounded in the realities of Ghanaian women’s lives, her work transcends a single national context in its relevance for Gender and Women’s Studies and for African Studies. As evident in her involvement in continental and transcontinental research networks, Manuh’s scholarship invites us to reflect on the politics of place and context in knowledge production for the African continent and beyond.