Live-In Pan-African and Diaspora Library Opens in Ghana

22nd June 2020 BY Ivor Moyo

A landmark residential library dedicated to the work of African and Diaspora writers from the late 19th century to the present day has opened in Accra, Ghana. 

The Library of Africa and The African Diaspora (LOATAD) is a literary oasis and is unique in Africa. Its expansive collection features books by writers from almost all African countries and Black authors from the United States, the Caribbean, Europe and beyond. It boasts an extensive archive and special collection of rare and out-of-print books, drawing historical links between African and Diaspora writers and their work. The library elevates Black literature across geography and generations, and serves as a physical meeting place for Africans and Diasporans to connect through books on the continent. 

LOATAD has three bedrooms available for rent to visitors from around Africa and the world wishing to enjoy a unique travel experience. Each room is named after a prominent African writer. LOATAD also hosts a residency programme for writers seeking to immerse themselves in their work for an extended period while making use of the library’s resources.

LOATAD was founded by Sylvia Arthur, a British-Ghanaian writer and founder of Libreria Ghana. A private library with a public mission, LOATAD’s work is focussed on the production, preservation, and dissemination of knowledge derived from African and Diaspora literature.  Arthur says, “Now more than ever, spaces that centre Black narratives are necessary, but we’ll continue to elevate African literature long after the current news cycle moves on.” 

LOATAD runs a comprehensive public events programme that uses African literature as a stimulus for ideas and social change, including author readings, film screenings, live performances, literary dinners and debates. The institution is a must-visit destination in Ghana’s burgeoning cultural tourism scene.

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