Africa Soft Power Project begins sessions on Africa creative and cultural industries
The Africa Soft Power Project (ASP) will today, May 5, launch its 2nd edition of the Africa Soft Power Series virtual summit with focus on the continent’s creative and cultural industries (CCI).
The event, which will run from today to May 25, will include high-level sessions and over 80 speakers, who will examine how Africans living in the continent and those in the diaspora can harness the power of its creative and cultural industries to effectively move the continent forward.
The project also aims at championing the inclusion of African voices and the voices of the diaspora community in the global discourse. Attendance is free, to register click: https://bit.ly/AfricaSoftPower
A sub-section: Africa Is Not Next, Africa Is Now with the theme, ‘The Bridge: The Past, The Present, The Future’, will see thought leaders, influencers and pioneers engage in a longer and broader conversation on Africa’s creative power and knowledge economy, and how these assets can strengthen ties among the continent, diaspora community and the world at large.
The sessions will showcase how films, music, fashion, sports, technology, finance, art, social impact and others, could be explored to attract new initiatives to accelerate economic growth and also to tell the African story in a positive light to the world.
According to founder and convener, ASP Series, Nkiru Balonwu: “This year’s Grammy Award wins for African artistes, Burna Boy and Wizkid, show that this is Africa’s time. The global reach of these artists and the inspiration that they bring is not only to Africa and its diaspora community but also to young people around the world. It highlights the growing influence of African creativity globally.
“The creative and cultural sectors can be a strong catalyst for investment, employment and future economic growth across the continent and beyond,” she stressed.
Explaining the theme, co-convener of the series, Obi Asika, said, “the bridge is about connecting and enabling Africa and the global black diaspora to engage, build and develop together; a more progressive future: a more connected future that will benefit the world.”
Afrexim bank boss, Professor Benedict Oramah, at the February Africa Soft Power series with theme, ‘The New Face of African Collaboration noted that there is a need to use the power of Africa’s creative industries to build a progressive and connected future for the continent.
According to him, the creative industries can be potent vehicles for more equitable, sustainable and inclusive growth strategies for African economies.
However, the session will open with a session whose theme is ‘Africa Now: Defining The Future.’ The session will feature keynote from foremost French diplomat, author and global thought leader, Ambassador Rama Yade.
Ambassador Yade is director, Atlantic Council, Africa Centre, and a senior fellow for the Europe Centre. She is the first French minister for human rights and the first woman of African descent to be a member of the French Cabinet. She has authored several books, including Blacks of France, Letter to the Youth, and A Chronicle of Power.
Other speakers include: Laureine Guilao, CEO, TipMe Liberia and former Deputy CEO, MTN Liberia; Nmachi Jidenma, head, Scouts and Partnerships, Sequoia Capital; Shikoh Gitau, CEO, Qhala and member, COVID-19 ICT Advisory Committee, Kenya. While Sophie Masipa, CEO, Kgommuu International and former head, Communications and Media Relations, Mo Ibrahim Foundation, will moderate.
The conversation will highlight how Africa’s teeming youth population are taking decisive steps, becoming global leaders and moving beyond talks to securing a future for Africa and its people in the global economic and cultural space.
The ASP project seeks to make the month of May an Africa month. The series has been specifically timed to begin today, May 5, on UNESCO Africa World Heritage Day and culminate on Africa Day, May 25; the anniversary of the Organisation of African Unity, now African Union (AU).
Commenting on the project, Dr Uzodinma Iweala, CEO, Africa Centre, New York City’s Harlem community, said: “We are excited to be part of the global community to highlight the history of Africa Day and to bring new energy to its recognition through Africa Month.”
“At a time where African voices on the continent and throughout the Diaspora continue to push the dialogue about what is possible for Africa and to move its people forward. There is no better moment than now for us to turn our attention toward each other and into tangible ways of collaborating and building closer connections that will benefit all.”
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