The first edition of the Africa Economic and Cultural Week which was earlier scheduled to hold in Paris, France, from May 20-25 will now hold virtually (online) May 24-26 in strict compliance with the coronavirus pandemic protocols.
Otherwise known Nzuko 2021, the event is being held in commemoration of this year’s Africa Day. It is the brainchild of AfricaFora, an outfit dedicated to the promotion and universal propagation of Black and African culture and products, and most importantly, committed to strengthening the relationship between Africa and the world in general, but especially between France and its black African citizens.
The three-day economic and cultural event which is being held in conjunction with partners such as diplomatic missions, cultural and trade organisations, and the media is expected to be a momentous occasion for Africans and their friends.
It will feature an exhibition of a broad range of African products by the different African countries, as well as top-level speakers on various topics such as Governance, Education, Trade & Economic development, Oil and Energy, Health. Agro-Food producs. Youth and Information Technology, and sundry matters concerning Africa’s culture and heritage.
Confirmed key speakers include Dr. Ifeanyi Nsofor, a Senior New Voices Fellow at the Aspen Institute and a Senior Atlantic Fellow for Health Equity at the George Washington University; Gloria Ukwenga, founder and director of Africana League; H.E. Olivier Rajohnson, Ambassador, Republic of Madagascar; Dr. Ugo Nwaogu, Kadiatou Kante, Krystal Gaillard, Phillipe Garnier, Dr. Louis Ogbeifun, Mawuko Adjaho, Dr. Collins Nweke, Jude Eze and Dr. Jude Osakwe.
Event sponsors, AfricaFora, is an African-owned enterprise founded by a Nigerian, Winifred Uloaku Gaillard, a trained journalist and a certified Life Coach from New York Institute of Technology who specializes in expatriate family and intercultural life coaching. According to her, Africa’s culture had been attacked and disparaged for too long, citing as an example what she called an ongoing campaign against some of the continent’s foodstuffs like palm oil and cassava which are portrayed as unfit for human consumption.
She said the project has generated a lot of enthusiasm, adding that this is the time for Africans and Afrodescendants to own their narratives. “To this end,” she noted, “we hope that each African and diaspora country will participate and showcase each country’s contribution to Africa’s multi-faceted natural, economic and human wealth.”
Gaillard is an old hand in the business of organising events. But her more memorable outings so far include Asampete 2000, which paid tribute to the Black and African woman, and the first Nigeria/South Africa Cultural Day in Johannesburg.