Following the success of the first ever Beijing Africa Week in May 2018, the second edition was launched in Beijing on Friday 17th May 2019 with a contemporary African Art exhibition curated by Magean Mace and James Sserwadda.Organized by Kente and Silk, this year’s Africa week promises to promote Africa and deepen the knowledge and understanding of Africa’s rich culture, uniqueness and history through a line up of creative and innovative events scheduled from the 17th of May to the 26th of May 2019.
It also promises to provide a platform for networking among Africans and the dynamic business community in Beijing including funding opportunities for African startups in China.
The week continues with creatively designed events including ART AFRIK WATOTO; a family-friendly event for children with art, face painting and a Reggae Night on the 18th, Culinary Journey” with special African dishes on 21st and a film screening on the 22nd.
The popular and well patronized China Africa Stories will be held on 26th of May with interactive workshops and panels designed to enable African and Chinese youth prepare and shape a digital future.
To climax the week, a Start-Up pitch competition highlighting the entrepreneurship of Africans in China will be held with prizes and business development support.
As trade and development continues to increase between African countries and China, it is essential that events such as this are held at both ends to showcase and appreciate each other’s uniqueness and history.
Founded by Ghana’s Zahra Baitie and Miatta Momoh from Sierra Leone, Kente and Silk is a social enterprise that aims to change the status quo of Africa-China relations by rebranding Africa in China, supporting African startups to engage with China and introducing value added products from Africa to the Chinese market.
In 2018, the team held Beijing’s first ever Africa week with series of creative and educational activities including a startup competition with an award of RMB30,000 to the winner.
Despite significant relations between Africa and China and the potential of win-win partnerships, the Africa-China relationship is imbalanced by limited cultural and people – people understanding on both sides, dominance of low value-added products/natural resources in exports from Africa to China and a limited African agency; a challenge Kente and Silk exist to contribute its quota in reducing significantly if not eliminating.