Nkiru Balonwu speaks to Arise News ahead of the Africa Soft Power Summit

Ahead of the upcoming Africa Soft Power Summit, which takes place in Kigali, Rwanda from May 23rd – 27th, ASP Founder & Creative Director, Nkiru Balonwu, spoke to Arise News about the event, its timing around Africa Day, and why soft power is so important to the continent at large.  
“The Africa Soft Power Project is all about propelling Africa forward, using Africa’s innovation, talking about creative industries, and leveraging women’s leadership,” Balonwu told Arise Anchor, Boason Omofaye. “Additionally, as you mention, the African Union have designated May 25th as Africa Day. It’s not something that’s regionally known around the world. So part of our project is to amplify that as a global celebration and a day that everybody anywhere in the world can celebrate, in the same way that we celebrate Black History Month or International Women’s Day.”
“We cannot move the continent forward without women. I personally think, and I think it’s a fact that if you do not engage women effectively and actively, we will not go anywhere in the conversation around Africa’s progress. We make up half of the continent, and so if we don’t engage, we will not move forward. That is what the continent needs to understand and from our pov what the private sector needs to understand, which is a big part of Africa Soft Power’s focus. It’s not really a ‘women’s issue’… it’s our issue together, and that’s the only way we can think about it to move forward.”

Full agenda now announced

With conferences and supporting activities taking place across five action-packed days, the summit is set to be the organisation’s largest event to date, 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 full agenda for the event has now been released, and you can view that here.

Cocktails & Conversations II

Also announced in recent days, is the inclusion of BellaNajia’s special invitation-only drinks event within the summit programme. Dubbed Cocktails & Conversations II – because it follows-on from the media platform’s hugely successful gathering at the 2022 summit – this year’s evening of ‘cocktails and profound conversations’ will focus on the theme of ‘Harnessing the Power of Digital Media for Influence, Income, & Impact. You can find out further details on the event here.