Africa together

  • April 30, 2014
Africa together

Inspirational African leaders from across the spectrum of arts, business and science will speak at the inaugural event of the African Society of Cambridge University in May.

Inspirational African leaders from across the spectrum of arts, business and science will speak at the inaugural event of the African Society of Cambridge University in May.

The Africa Together event has been organised by the newly formed African Society of Cambridge University [ASCU] in partnership with the Cambridge Union Society and other African student groups across the University as well as groups at Anglia Ruskin University. It will take place on 23 May to commemorate Africa Day.

Speakers include Sir David King, the Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative for Climate Change and Science Advisor to the President of Rwanda,  Fola Adeola, CEO of Guaranty Trust Bank, Amadou Mahtar Ba, Chief Executive of the African Media Initiative, Noëlla Coursaris Musunka, international model and philanthropist, Sona Jobarteh, the first female kora player to come from a Griot family, and Lanre Akinola, editor of This is Africa, the Financial Times Magazine.

Africa Together, which is co-sponsored by the Gates Cambridge Trust, is a collaborative effort not only bringing together African groups in Cambridge but engaging those in academic, public and private organisations across the UK. Exhibition stalls will be set up to allow employers and artists to showcase their work. 

The event will be chaired by broadcaster and presenter Henry Bonsu.

The ASCU was formed after the Cambridge-Africa programme hosted a meeting last year to bring together around 50 African students to talk about their experience at Cambridge or applying to get in. Gates Cambridge Scholar Njoki Wamai [2012] had been liaising with the programme about the need for a forum for the growing number of African students at the University to come together. There are currently some 280 African students  at Cambridge.

The ASCU was officially registered in July 2013 and Gates Cambridge Scholar Johanna Riha [2011] was elected President. It launched in January2014 with an event bringing together African-related societies at the university including the Somali, Ghanaian, Nigerian, East African and South African societies. ASCU aims to act as an umbrella organisation to create a cohesive community and support system within the University of Cambridge for African students and people who share an interest in and commitment to Africa;  to act as a platform for ideas development and generate active dialogue and debate on issues pertaining to Africa; and to create connections between the university and developments/industry globally and on the continent, not just through the current student body, but through alumni and prospective student networks.

Johanna Riha said: “‘Africa Together’ is not only an event about showcasing the best of Africa, but also gives speakers a platform to share their achievements, inspiring stories and journeys, in addition to raising and discussing topical local and global issues impacting the continent. It gives speakers, many of whom are leaders in their field, the chance to pass on their knowledge to the next generation. Similar events hosted in the UK have focused on African business, but we wanted to move beyond business and cover everything from telecommunications and banking to women’s rights and fashion.”

*Tickets cost £10, but discounted early bird tickets are available through   http://africatogether.org.uk/

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