After fifty years, GILLBT’s future is one that revisits the founders’ vision for GILLBT to develop into a viable national organisation. The challenge in this relates to the embedding, rather than the indigenisation, of GILLBT. An embedded organisation is one whose vision responds to the aspirations of the national context. It means that strategies and strategic orientation are focused inwards. It also means that the organisation’s sustenance has a critical national component, with the roots nourished by the ‘national soil.’
Operationally this requires, first and foremost, developing GILLBT into an organisation whose legitimacy derives largely from the quality of our relations to Ghanaians and their institutions – in particular, the churches, universities and communities. Practically, this will be achieved through diverse activities. First, we are seeking to deepen and extend our relations with the University of Ghana in mutually beneficial ways. We are also establishing new relations with other universities, including the University of Development Studies with whom we have a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on development issues; likewise, with the University of Education, Winneba on training of teachers for Ghanaian languages.
But our most important focus is on Ghanaian churches where we seek to deepen our engagement through Comprehensive Planning. This involves a long term plan to begin, by 2025, Bible translation projects in all Ghana’s languages that need translation. This we hope to do in collaboration with churches and para-church organisations in the country.
In communities, our work will strategically shift from micro-level activities to providing linkages with regional and national level processes. For instance, expanding our adult literacy programmes to create “literate communities” by scaling up our literacy activities to engage with national formal educational programmes.
Finally, to provide an institutional infrastructure that will sustain our impact and contributions to the country, plans are well advanced to establish a Centre on Ghanaian and African languages, and Bible translation. To be located in Accra, the Centre will serve as a museum and documentation centre for Bible translation into our languages and cultures. In addition, it will provide training for language development and Bible translation. Through this Centre, we hope to create the infrastructure for preservation of our local languages, and their use in national development and in the life of the Church in Ghana, and beyond.