My Africa, home to 54 nationalities, thousands of ethnic groups and over two thousand languages and dialects – Earths melting pot of diversity and culture.
And although we are individually so unique, we fight the same battles. Unemployment, rigid economics, youth empowerment and cultural pride loom across our continent. Although governments are creating structures, young people are also creating innovative ways to fight such battles.
This weekend in Gaborone Botswana, a dream of celebrating African entrepreneurship and cultural pride will become a reality in Bojanala Water front. Thandi Phiri, founder of the African Market ECPE along with her team are set to host a platform where Africa’s diverse culture and economic development will be celebrated. This years African Market ECPE (on its 4th running) will profile African entrepreneurs that produce a more authentic trade of their business – and boosting our own image of Africa;s diversity from the stereotypical norm of poor, helpless undeveloped people.
This year, we will expect Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, Kenya, Ghana, Liberia, Lesotho, South Africa and Mozambique harbouring all their diversity in this one day event. Although its more of a representation of 10 countries out of the 54, Thandi Phiri believes that having slightly touched on all regions will be able to stimulate thought on Africa’s potential in cultural evolution and stimulate thought and action of Intra Africa trade – especially on entrepreneurial level.
The beauty of this years African Market ECPE is that while it proves an economic benefit, there is room for Cultural traditional arts. Creative Director Sibongile Phiri has incorporated various artists that are well familiar to African infused/ cultural exchange oriented events such as Harmonic Angel (who we previously covered in this years Fete De La Musique), Pitch Perfect, Chasing JayKB (Who were at this year’s Grahamstown Arts Festival) among a variety of traditional dance groups.
We will also learn more of our diverse cultures though a tea garden (much gratitude to Kenyan and Ethiopean soil), an African spar and a short film segment and something added for the children.
Personally, I find it intriguing that we as Africans do not host such events which promote unity and cultural networking – but I believe this is a good start to us learning a different image of our counterparts.
Dont forget to read on our blog for the full review of the African Market, as well as a gallery of the event next week.