This week will see the launch of a new global virtual summit, focused on how Africa can harness soft power effectively. Hosted by Nigerian stakeholder communications firm, RDF Strategies, in collaboration with Dragon Africa and a number of media and corporate partners, the fifteen-part series will run from Aug 12th – Sept 4th, and feature 50+ speakers from across the creative and commercial sectors.
Themed ‘Creative Power: Content, Culture, & Platforms – Where is the Money?’ the virtual event represents a first of its kind convening of creative and technology leaders from across the globe. Sessions will be free to attend, and include a Q&A component, allowing audiences to converse directly with some of the most prominent thought leaders and pioneers, focused and passionate about Africa.
Some of the sessions include:
Some of the speakers include:
Some of the partner organisations include:
“When you look at the global dialogue on Africa – compared to somewhere like the US – it is markedly different,” says Nkiru Balonwu, Partner of RDF Strategies & Convener of The Africa Soft Power Project. “The global news, and even our own, love to amplify the negative issues that face the continent, while often remaining silent on its successes. The onus falls on us as everyday Africans – and those of African heritage around the world – to challenge these negative stereotypes and build a better picture of our future. Music, art, film, fashion, and all creative mediums are unified by a common theme: their ability to powerfully communicate, and engage people through narrative. Beyond the creative sector, brands and businesses would do well to understand that there is a direct correlation between on-going stories of African success, and the continent’s ability to attract money, and increase individual country-level GDP.”
“It has been an absolute pleasure coming together to build this platform as a bridge for important conversations between Africans and the African diaspora,” said Obi Asika, Founder & Chairman, Dragon Africa. “I strongly believe in our soft power and the need for all African nations to intentionally invest in it. From my lens, when I say ‘soft power’ I am referring to our cultural and creative industries, the innovators, the storytellers, from Nollywood to Afrobeats, from our cuisine to our fashion, our art and literature, our culture and our lifestyle. In this first series we have an amazing array of speakers who will dive deeper into some of these areas. We are also focused on monetization, on how we can build African-owned platforms that can scale to meet our needs and most importantly how we can build alliances between Africa and our diaspora to raise capital & build capacity for us to win together. There has never been a more important time to take ownership of Africa’s narrative and introduce our true heritage and history to a world that has been sold a mononarrative not of our making.”
As the world’s last large, underdeveloped market, the importance of the creative and knowledge industries take on added significance when we consider that the continent will be home to more than a third of the world’s population and half of the world’s youth by 2100. Individual discussions within The Africa Soft Power Project summit will form around how Africa can harness its soft power effectively, to advance strategic interests and shape global conversations.