May 25 5:00 PM UTC
Let's talk ABAWT: Celebrating Africa's Future - an ode to Africa Day 2021
The media and statements by political leaders played a role in continuously driving a narrative that implies that Africans want to move to Europe. Contrary to popular belief, the share of Africans living abroad has barely increased since the 1960s. What is not being talked about is that when Africans move, half of all who leave their countries of origin settle in another African country — not in Europe, Asia or North America and more young Africans are leaving behind their lives in the West and breaking barriers in their countries of origin. Hundreds of thousands of young Africans living in the diaspora are regularly choosing to leave their "comforts" in the West to return to Africa. In 2019, Ghana successfully hosted The Year of Return, a year-long programme of activities to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first recorded enslaved Africans in the State of Virginia in the United States. During the Year of Return, Ghana’s President Akufo Addo even granted citizenship to some people from the diaspora community. A second edition called Beyond the Return was planned for 2020, but also here the global pandemic put a halt on Ghana’s plans. So why are more and more young Africans choosing to leave the West? Besides systemic barriers that prevent many from fully realizing their potential abroad, this generation doesn't just want to work for a paycheck. They want to know that what they are doing is valuable and has a real impact on real people. They want to be a part of the continent's rebirth. Technology and the global connection available makes such decisions to dive into a grander mission on the continent more accessible. While the involvement of the African diaspora in the continent's development has significantly increased over the past decade, very few of these stories have been documented. In this event, we have the pleasure to talk with three brilliant and enterprising young African’s from three different countries. These ex-diasporans, who recently moved back to the continent, will share their story and how entrepreneurship is lived in the country of return. We will highlight how these entrepreneurs are breaking barriers, challenging their communities and creating new industries and markets with technology — all while making their own rules in unfamiliar surroundings. We at ABAWT have come together with StArfrica to celebrate #AfricaDay2021, spark a broader conversation around those who return to Africa, help to inform those in the diaspora thinking about moving back to the continent and those already in Africa on how they can help re-integrate their brothers and sisters. Ultimately, the mission of this talk is to provide a counter-narrative to the singular story of Africa and migration. Agenda 19:00 - Welcome 19:10 - "Celebrating entrepreneurship in and the future of Africa" | Panel Discussion 20:00 - Q&A session Panelists Cynthia Butare, videographer as well as community analyst at Rwanda Development Board based in Kigali, Rwanda. Joshua Akparanta, Brand Strategist and founder of Thirty Seven Studios based in Kigali, Rwanda. Leslie Emenalo, CEO of KoboPay, a financial inclusive digital banking platform designed based in Abuja, Nigeria.