One of the more interesting festivals that were launched on May 25th is called #INFORAFRICA. On the occasion of Africa Day, the annual commemoration of the creation of the African Union, a group of young Africans from the diaspora came together to celebrate, through art and culture, the resilience of the continent in the age of the coronavirus.
Although several of the organizers behind #INFORAFRICA live in France and call themselves the #INFORAFRICA Alliance, they were able to tap into diaspora networks across many countries in order to mobilize NGOs, entrepreneurs, civil society activists and opinion leaders from all over the continent.
The #INFORAFRICA festival billed itself as a provider of information on some of the most exciting new African trends, but some organizers see the movement as a conduit to new forms of African creativity, as showcased through live appearances by influencers and artists that were livestreamed on the #INFORAFRICA website and social media channels.
The #INFORAFRICA festival was curated by several African celebrities including the British-Congolese comedian Eddie Kadi and the British-Sierra Leonean TV anchor and author Isha Sesay. Other supporters of the movement include the Congolese musician Awilo Longomba, British-Ivoirian singer and songwriter Afro B, Congolese-Swedish singer Mohombi, Ghanaian actor John Dumelo, and soccer players Tresor Lualua and Yannick Bolasie.
Speaking on the launch of the campaign, Eddie Kadi said, “As the virus spreads away from African capitals, #INFORAFRICA, this unique continent-wide campaign, the first of its kind, will help amplify crucial life-saving messages to stop the pandemic across Africa. In such unprecedented times, artists and influencers must do their part and come together as a community to deliver messages of hope and unity to the very people who supported them during the course of their journey.”
In a bid to help the millions of Africans who are most at risk across the continent, #INFORAFRICA is raising funds for some of the most vulnerable people on the continent. These funds will initially go to the United Nations Foundation COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund to support the World Health Organization’s efforts to fight the pandemic and deliver grassroots humanitarian relief.
Awilo Longomba feels that “this campaign is about being a voice for the voiceless, standing for those who are left behind and helping our communities to recover.” TRUE Africa is a media partner of the festival, and I will speak on June 29th, on a panel dedicated to art, culture and creativity in Africa.
The #INFORAFRICA festival will end on June 6th, with a conversation on what Africa might look like, Post-Covid. The focus will be on new opportunities, and the themes that will be explored in that closing ceremony conversation are recovery, reinvention and renaissance.