The Organization of Women Writers of Africa, Inc (OWWA) was founded in 1991 by Jayne Cortez of the USA and Ama Ata Aidoo of Ghana. The Founding Board members : J.e Franklin, Cheryll Y. Greene, Rashidah Ismaili, Renee Larrier and Louise Meriwether. OWWA is a nonprofit literary organization concerned with the development and advancement of literature of women writers from Africa and its Diaspora.

OWWA is also a non-governmental organization associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information. OWWA was formed for the purpose of establishing links between professional African women writers. In recent years OWWA created, and organized, critical panels, readings, book celebrations, conversations with creative women, the presentation of literary awards, film/video screenings, and a literary literacy project connecting young students to literature and professional writers.

OWWA’s achievments include the international conferences : Yari Yari: Black Women Writers and the Future (1997), Yari Yari Pamberi : Black Women Writers Dissecting Globalization (2004). OWWA also co-coordinated the first symposiums in the United States to be a part of the UNESCO Route of the Slave Project: Slave Routes the Long Memory (1999) and Slave Routes : Resistance, Abolition and Creative Progress (2008). All events were held in New York City and co-sponsored by New York Univerisity’s Institute of African American Affairs. Additional support was provided by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, UNESCO, the Ford Foundation, the Rockfeller Foundation, The New York State Council on the Arts, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York Council for the Humanities.

The Yari Yari Conferences and Slave Routes symposiums were large scale international events which brought together hundreds of distinguished writers, scholars, artists, and organizers from over twenty-five countries. Several thousand people attended the activities and the population at large was reached through the television viewing of selected sessions. The next Yari Yari conference will be held in Accra, Ghana in 2013. Yari means the future in the Kuranko language of Sierra Leone. Pamberi means forward in the Shona language of Zimbabwe. All of the OWWA programs have been documented and are available in the OWWA archives at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The films Yari Yari: Black Women Writers and the Future, Yari Yari Pamberi: Black Women Writers Dissecting Globalization and Slave Routes : Resistance, Abolition & Creative Progress are available from Third World Newsreel twn@twn.org.

Support OWWA here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/318981