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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Managing the pan-African workplace: discipline, ideology, and the cultural politics of the Ghanaian Bureau of African Affairs
Author:Ahlman, Jeffrey S.ISNI
Periodical:Ghana Studies (ISSN 1536-5514)
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:labour relations
political consciousness
Abstract:Nearly fifty years after the demise of the Ghanaian Bureau of African Affairs (BAA), this article seeks to interrogate the intersecting worlds of the transnational and the intimate in this institute's day-to-day work life by analysing the BAA's archive, which is unmatched by any other Nkrumah-era political organization. The BAA had its origins in competing visions of Ghana's role in the broader movement for African decolonization and the country's own nation-building project. At its most foundational level, the legacy of the BAA has little to do with its many controversial anticolonial operations throughout the continent or its maintenance of 'secret' freedom fighter training camps in the country. As detailed in BAA personnel files, administrative memos, and minutes, Bureau employees, expatriate wards, and even some administrators faced a work regime whereby seemingly banal contestations over sick and maternity leave, pay scales, and workplace technologies were transformed into wide-ranging debates over threats to national productivity, state and institutional security, and social and ideological discipline. Groups of BAA typists, clerical assistants, bookbinders, and other wage-earning employees coped with the political and gendered pressure of becoming the 'good,' disciplined, and ideologically sound workers Nkrumah imagined, while, at the same time, through their purported malfeasances, highlighting the limitations of this ideal. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]