The International Centre for African Music and Dance was established at the University of Ghana in the 1992-93 academic year to serve as a focus for the development of materials and programmes in African Music and Dance that meet the needs of scholars, research students and creative artists. It is intended:
i. to provide a forum for international meetings, conferences, seminars, workshops and special events in African music and dance;
ii. to serve as an Archival Documentation and study centre for African Music and Dance;
iii. to promote and coordinate research, creative and development projects in music and dance;
iv. to prepare and publish monographs, source materials, bibliographies and an International Journal of African Music and Dance, and to serve as a clearing house for information on events, artists, scholars and institutions concerned with the study and promotion of African music and dance.
The Centre operates as a unit within the School of Performing Arts which offers diploma and degree courses of the University of Ghana in music, dance and drama. In addition to participation in the Centre's programmes, visiting scholars and students affiliated to the Centre will be able to avail themselves of the classes and private lessons in African music and dance given by the traditional musicians and dance instructors of the School as well as the facilities of the reference library of the Institute of African Studies which is adjacent to the School of Performing Arts and which has a valuable collection of Africana. The Centre is governed by an International Advisory Board consisting of three ex-officio members and twelve ordinary members, six of whom represent the major sub-regions of Africa, while the remaining six represent institutions and scholars in Asia, Europe, North America, Latin America and the Caribbean. The Centre has three categories of membership:
i. Associate Membership, offered to directors of cooperating institutions, scholars in ethnomusicology, music education, dance ethnology or related fields who have good track record of research and publications, and creative artists who have distinguished themselves in some area of African performing arts.
ii. Ordinary Membership, open to individuals through journal subscription, and
iii. Corporate Membership, offered to music and dance organizations and institutions with manifest interest in African music and dance.
The programmes of the Centre take into account the need for developing materials and resources that will make it a conference and study centre, a base for the dissemination of knowledge and materials about African music and dance as well as a place for organizing short term training programmes, including management training seminars in culture and development with particular reference to African music and dance. To enable scholars and creative artists from other African countries to contribute to this programme or use the facilities of the Centre for research and writing or presentations, provision has also been made for a few visiting Fellow-ships. Other scholars and artists coming on their own can register with the University of Ghana as affiliates or associates of the Centre.