Panellists Celebrate Continent’s Success Stories At 2022 UBA Africa Conversations

Caption: Company Secretary, United Bank for Africa Plc, Bili Odum; Executive Director, UBA Plc, Chukwuma Nweke; fashion designer and panelist, Kenneth Ize; High Commissioner of Namibia to Nigeria and panelist, Humphrey Geiseb; Deputy Managing Director, UBA Plc, Oliver Alawuba; culture and entertainment commentator and panelist, Steve Ayorinde; Ghanaian actress and panelist, Lydia Forson; Executive Director, UBA Plc, Chiugo Ndubisi; Nigerian journalist and moderator, Laila Johnson-Salami; and Group Head, Human Resources, UBA Plc, Patricia Aderibigbe; at the fourth UBA Africa Conversations themed: The Importance of Reflecting Our African Culture in Global Success Stories,” organised by UBA Group in commemoration of Africa Day 2022, at the UBA House, Marina, Lagos on Tuesday.

The United Bank for Africa Plc, on Tuesday, May 24, 2022, marked this year’s Africa Day of the continent’s unity with the fourth edition at its annual UBA at Lagos headquarters.

The UBA Africa Conversations, the group said in a statement, was established in May 2019 as a hallmark initiative in a series of celebrations for Africa Day, offering a platform for African and global audiences to connect with global thought leaders 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 edition themed ‘The importance of reflecting our African culture in global success stories,’ 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, the statement assured, is creating a positive impact globally, quoting the group’s Deputy Managing Director, Oliver Alawuba, who while welcoming the panellists and guests, assured that UBA remains at the forefront of supporting businesses across the continent.

“It is from Africa that UBA Africa was set up. UBA has invested so much in Africa. We are in 20 African countries and four countries outside Africa. Our focus has always been on driving investments into Africa, through conversations such as this,” he added.

As always, the statement continued, 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.

On his part, the Namibian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ambassador Humphrey Desmond Geiseb talked about how globalisation has been good for Africa, noting that despite the presence of “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.”

This, he continued, is a attested to by UBA’s foray as an African bank into the United States of America.

The Former Commissioner for Tourism, Lagos State, Steve Ayorinde, one of the panellists drew attention to the liberalisation of the media and digital content which are 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.

African Movie Academy Award Winning Ghanaian Actress, Lydia Forson, while appreciating UBA’s contribution towards changing the African narrative, spoke to how the African culture is now more widely accepted around the world.

“It is great to see a bank like UBA being intentional about promoting Africa. Now, the world gets to see more of us, because, we have started to tell our own stories,’ she stressed.

On his part, young talented Fashion Designer, Kenneth Ize, believes that the continent holds a lot of potential that we are yet to tap into, which is why “Africa is our home, our culture, and we have to do everything to preserve our culture.”

Television Anchor and journalist, Laila Salami-Johnson, who moderated the panel emphasised that “our creativity is really putting Africa on the map.”

Africa Day, the statement noted, has been celebrated every May 25th, since 1963, across the African continent and worldwide, and was inaugurated by the Organisation of African Unity, in celebration of the unity, diversity, and beauty of Africa and its people.

UBA, one of Africa’s leading financial services institutions, with a pan-African footprint spanning 20 African countries and globally in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates and France, is fully committed to unifying Africa and continues to lead the narrative focused on the development, growth, and unity of Africa.

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