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Paul Ninson's Dikan Center: Revolutionizing Access to African Photography

Innovation is the key to progress, and Ghanaian photographer and filmmaker, Paul Ninson, is leading the way with the launch of Africa's largest photography library, the Dikan Center in Ghana’s capital, Accra. The vision of this initiative is to make African photography accessible to all and to create a space for the community to learn, share, and grow together.

Ninson's personal passion for photography and his experience studying at the International Center of Photography in New York has led to the creation of this remarkable library. The Dikan Center, which opened its doors in December 2022, boasts over 30,000 books, including donations from private galleries, museums, and bookshops in New York.

The goal of the Dikan Center is to expand the frontiers of African photography. By making photography materials accessible to people, the center hopes to use these collections to make an impact on people's lives and on society as a whole.

The Dikan Center is not just a library; it is a hub of creativity and learning. In addition to the vast collection of photography books, the center features a classroom, a photo studio, and an exhibition space for emerging talents to showcase their work. This innovation has created a space for young creatives to take risks in documenting Africa's past, present, and future.

As attested by Francis Kokoroko, a documentary photographer in an interview, “the Dikan Center exposes the continent to possibilities and enables us to take inventory of what is actually being produced from the continent and what is Western.” It is a powerful tool for shaping the narrative and identity of Africa in a global context.

Paul Ninson at Dikan Center in Accra, Ghana. Photograph: Ernest Ankomah

The Dikan Center is a game-changer for photography in Africa, providing access to resources that were previously scarce. It is a significant step forward in promoting creativity and learning within the African photography community. By making photography accessible to all, Paul Ninson has created a space for African photographers to share their stories, experiences, and core values with the world.