An in-depth look at the 2023 Africa Soft Power Summit

The Africa Soft Power Group’s (ASP) flagship Africa Soft Power Summit will take place in Kigali, Rwanda from May 23rd – 27th 2023. The summit represents the highest-level convening of the African creative, knowledge and digital sectors, bringing together public and private sector organisations, as well as pioneering individuals from the fields of business, finance, law, media, technology, sports, art, entertainment, academia, philanthropy, politics and more.

The proceedings will take place at the Kigali Serena Hotel, across five action packed days and including three main events: 

May 24th: The inaugural RAW Women’s Leadership Conference

Powered by ASP’s non-profit arm African Women on Board (AWB), RAW is Real, it’s Africa-hosted, and it’s women-led, seeking to push the reset button on gender discourse and ask the question: If the Diversity, Equality, & Inclusion (DEI) movement had been invented TODAY, how might we approach it differently?

May 25th – 26th: Creative & Innovative Industries Conference (CII)

The CII Conference will examine how the African creative sectors can deliver growth and return on the continent, as well as how these industries can be used to better tell the modern African story on the world stage, changing perspectives, shifting global dialogues, and strengthening relationships with the diaspora community along the way. 

May 25th: Africa Soft Power Gala & Awards

Providing a veritable feast of African creative and innovative output in action, in real-time, the ASP Gala will demonstrate the latest African art, fashion, film, entertainment, media, and tech, bringing the presentations and themes of the wider summit agenda to life before delegates’ very eyes. 

Creative endeavour with commercial viability

“Across five days, three key events, and a range of networking activities, we’ll see the spotlight shone on creative endeavour, and its commercial viability, not only on the continent but around the world,” said Nkiru Balonwu, Founder & Creative Director for Africa Soft Power. 

“During a packed-out week, the creative and digital economies of tomorrow will meet with the financial and business powerhouses of today, together forming clear pathways to future economic success for our women, young people, and the wider global community.” 

“The introduction of the inaugural RAW Women’s Conference is a particularly welcome addition to this year’s proceedings, and we are confident that more broadly, the often still largely unheard African voice – and those who join us from around the world – can examine new solutions to some of the key public and private sector issues of the day.”

The pre-agenda programme for the two main conferences has now been released and can be viewed here

Propelling Africa forward

For Templars, a leading pan-African law firm and visionary partner on the event, the RAW Women’s Leadership Conference holds particular significance:

“Templars is delighted to partner with Africa Soft Power on this unique event,” said Oghogho Akpata, Managing Partner, Templars. “As the continent – and the world – transitions into a more creative and digitally-orientated economic future, we are presented with a prime opportunity to recalibrate our workplaces and redefine roles.” 

“Particularly in the areas of female leadership, and wider equality and inclusion, Africa and its creative sectors can be a pioneering force in ushering in real change. The Africa soft Power Summit, and the RAW Women’s Leadership Conference it incorporates, are pioneering platforms on which to discuss and strategize these changes, and we are proud to play our part.” 

Nigeria’s Bank of Industry (BOI), who are also supporting the summit, emphasise the importance of the creative and digital sectors in powering the economic opportunities of tomorrow, on the continent and beyond:

“The Bank of Industry has been a vocal advocate for the creative and digital sectors, and their ability to generate growth,” said Kayode Pitan, Managing Director & CEO of Bank of Industry. “Africa Soft Power is a crucial organisation, not only in terms of raising awareness of the capabilities of these industries, but also in placing their key practitioners into direct contact with institutions occupying the more traditional business, finance, and public sectors.”

“We are very proud to partner with ASP on their flagship summit, and play our part in encouraging and facilitating these connections. Together, we can help to transition the Nigerian and wider African economy towards a more sustainable digital future, which sees the investment of today pay off in terms of greater economic opportunity tomorrow.”

Templars and BOI will be joined at the event by a range of other organisations, who share a commitment to advancing African soft power on the world stage, including the likes of BellaNaija, Trace Africa, Business of Photogtaphy (BOP), African Women on Board (AWB), Ford Foundation, Open Society, NBA Africa/Basketball Africa League, the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), and many more.

May is Africa Month: Additional activities and cultural celebrations

With May 5th having been established by UNESCO as African World Heritage Day, and May 25th recognized as Africa Day by the African Union, the Africa Soft Power Summit also aims to celebrate ‘Africa Month’, bringing modern African ideas and innovation to the world stage. 

Around the three main summit events, there’ll be a whole host of accompanying activities, from drinks receptions and trips out to the NBA Africa playoffs, to breakout sessions and roundtables, as well as an array of cultural outings in Kigali, one of Africa’s most welcoming of cities. 

And while it’s Africa-led, and Rwanda-staged, it’s important to note that the ASP Summit is for the entire world, examining the industries of today that will fuel the global economic growth of tomorrow.

Further information

🎟️ Tickets are on sale now, with creative and corporate group booking offers available, and all the information on that front can be found here.  
🏢 For those yet to book their accommodation for summit, the Kigali Serena is filling up fast! But we have here listed eight quality nearby hotels that provide easy access to the venue.
🗣️ For last minute speaking and sponsorship enquiries, you can get in contact with us directly at: asp@theafricasoftpowerproject.com