Africa’s first photo library opens in Accra

In Accra’s South La area, a cutting-edge photo library and exhibition space has been inaugurated in an effort to promote photography and visual storytelling that aims to tap into the continent’s abundant picture resources.

Over 30,000 photo books are available at the Dikan Centre, a multi-million dollar enterprise started by documentary photographer Paul Ninson, a Ghanaian-American.

It will present a wonderful chance to facilitate the search for photographic talent and serve as a resource for the African photography sector.

The Dikan Centre also houses a photo studio, art gallery, and editing room where movies and other products are edited in addition to the library.

The founder and CEO of the Dikan Centre, Mr. Paul Ampofo Ninson, praised Mr. Brandon Stanton, CEO of Creator of Humans of the United States of America, for realizing his ambition during his welcome remarks at the commissioning.

He added that the center is gathering strength and momentum to use the tools of visual education to enrich the African creative-visual arts industry and bring it into fine form and commercial viability. He said the center is poised to mobilize efforts to sharpen the identity of the African creative arts industry, which has been untapped, undeveloped, and unattended to for centuries.

If you know and have knowledge, see and/or hear, you are a storyteller Dikan will find you, said Mr. Paul Ninson. “We are determined never to leave behind any person, idea, history, culture, concept and facility necessary in re-imagining and firming the place of visual education in building a modernized African economy.”

Refresher courses and professional training programs are offered by the center, which is projected to draw photographers and visual storytellers from all around the world.

In addition to its interdisciplinary program, the center emphasizes creativity, critical thinking, and leadership abilities with a solid foundation built on the African context.

For centuries, he claimed, African history, culture, and society lacked the essential components for developing their potential into a workforce for the creative and visual arts that could be profitable.

The Dikan voyage serves as a pivot for the emergence of the African dream.

Mr. Ninson voiced concern that, despite its desperation to take advantage of the benefits this world has to offer, the African continent is hobbled by massive conflicts that crush people’s hopes.

The majority of this continent’s ideas, tenacity, talent, and skill sets are never realized or enhanced.

He asserts that the worldwide terrorist and migration crises are a result of private business failures and flaws in our institutions of governance.

“Millions of people on the continent are living in poverty, and our young people are in desperate need of job prospects.

We can’t let them down, he said.

The Dikan Centre articulates the need to hasten the realization of the new African dream of opportunity.

Paul began the library with his personal holdings while he was a student in New York. He bought photography and filmmaking books with his earnings and savings in an effort to fill the gap between the lack of and difficulty in obtaining such books in Africa. Others were gifts from organizations like the Howard Greenberg Gallery and the International Center of Photography.

Paul came to Ghana in 2021 to launch Dikan, a home for photographers and other creatives who tell compelling stories, after spending years investing and collecting books in New York and other libraries across the world.

By obtaining iPads and laptops at the Dikan library, Paul intends to make other visual educational materials accessible both online and offline in the near future.

The Dark book room, a space with materials chronicling black visions across decades, is one of Dikan’s most notable projects. The goal of this project is to increase access to books and other materials about Africans. The collection is intended to enhance education through supporting programs for learning, teaching, and research.

Library – Library Of Africa and The African Diaspora


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