The United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, celebrated this year’s Africa Day in commemoration of African unity with the fourth edition of its annual UBA Africa Conversations which was held at the Tony Elumelu Amphitheater at the UBA House in Lagos on Tuesday.
The UBA Africa Conversations was established in May 2019 as a hallmark initiative in a series of celebrations for Africa Day. The conversations provide a platform for African and global audiences to connect with global thought leaders both in the private and public sectors, on their African journey, in a quest to change the narrative on Africa from desolate to successful.
This year’s conversation was themed ‘The importance of reflecting our African culture in global success stories’ and underscores the tremendous shift in Africa’s cultural influence – from Afrobeat to African films; Big African fashion labels and African authors; entertainment and culture. The African continent is creating positive impact globally.
UBA’s Deputy Managing Director, Oliver Alawuba, who welcomed the panellists and the guests to the event stated that as Africa’s global bank, UBA remains at the forefront of supporting businesses across the continent. He said, “It is from Africa that UBA Africa was set up. UBA has invested so much in Africa. We are in 20 African countries and 4 countries outside Africa; Our focus has always been on driving investments into Africa, through conversations such as this.
As always, UBA brought together a rich and diverse panel including Legendary African musician and Songwriter, Youssou Madjiguène Ndour, who gave the keynote address at the event, speaking on the need for collaboration to boost the continent’s fortunes. “Young people in Africa have a lot of questions and we have to listen to them and see how together we can be a solution for Africa. We need to understand that there is a lot to do. Together we can make it,” Ndour said.
The Namibian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ambassador Humphrey Desmond Geiseb talked about how globalisation has been good for Africa. He said, “Of course, there are still some gaps, there are still a lot of things about Africa that is not known, and I believe that culture and Arts can help to get it right for us.” He added that UBA’s foray as an African bank into the United States of America is a testament to this fact.
The Former Commissioner for Tourism, Lagos State, Steve Ayorinde who also sat on the panel pointed out that the liberalisation of the Media and digital content is helping to improve the African narrative. “As Africans, we are at the point where no one denigrates the African culture anymore. Indeed there is still a gap, but we are bridging that gap,” he said.