On May 25, members of the African Development Forum (ADF) at KDI School joined other Africans around the world to celebrate Africa Day. Africa Day is an annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity (now known as the African Union). The organization was founded on May 25, 1963 to bring all African countries under a common umbrella. The day is celebrated in various countries across the African continent, as well as by African embassies and African citizens living abroad.
At KDI School, the day is always met with anticipation and joy by African students who are eager to celebrate their heritage and share their culture with the entire KDIS family. This year, you would have thought that COVID-19 was going to get in the way, but we are happy to say that was not the case.
The day was celebrated in a number of ways. First off, to spread the African consciousness, most African students wore African clothing all day long. All along the school corridors, dormitory entry points, the library and campus pavements, you would spot students wandering about with refined enthusiasm. Some people later cooked African cuisine and shared it with their friends. To cap it all off, our African students, as well as other non-Africans interested in African affairs, met on zoom in the evening to have a light discussion on the role of African Diaspora in the development of Africa.
Right before the discussion started, the session kicked off on a thrilling quiz. The quiz, which was based on subjects that concern the African continent, touched on politics, economics, social issues, entertainment, and other topics. Indeed, the members got the opportunity to refresh their memories, test their existing knowledge on African issues, and learn while they were at it.
The session later culminated into an animated discussion. The discussion, which took off with ease and flowed effortlessly, analyzed the role that the African diaspora has and continues to play in the development of the continent. The African diaspora community has played a crucial role in the development of their countries of origin, through remittances, the promotion of trade, investments, research, innovation, and knowledge and technology transfers. As such, discussing ways their resources can be better leveraged for the development of Africa or how African governments can establish policies to attract their investments or put their resources to better use is vital. The goal of this discussion was to meet this particular need.
Three ongoing students at KDI School, Ms. Chulu Mwansa, Mr. Atoyebi Kehinde, and Ms. Naomi Ryu, formed the panel. The session was moderated by Ms. Maryam Kaisi, a seasoned journalist from Malawi (2021 MPM).
Having worked closely with African diaspora communities in the USA, Europe and Asia, Ms. Chulu Mwansa (2021 MPP) approached the discussion from the perspective of her extensive experience. Mr. Atoyebi Kehinde (MIPD 2021) took on the perspective of leveraging the networks and influence of key influential figures of African descent, and then using them to build local industries in their mother countries. Ms. Naomi Ryu, the only non-African on this panel (Korea) shared a number of indispensable ideas from Korea’s experience. Her rich experience living abroad (7 years in Nigeria) also came in handy.
The discussion stretched into an engaging Q&A session and then came to a close around 7:00 pm.