BYP Network hosted its US Leadership Summit 2023 to unite people across the world and advance the global future. With the New York event edition’s featured session, “United Across Borders: Advancing Globally,” Abdul Karim Abdullah, Founder of AfroFuture (previously Afrochella), and Kike Oniwinde Agoro, CEO & Founder of BYP Network, shared their insights into the importance of global solidarity and working together for a better future. Here are some highlights from this inspiring event.
Importance of Advancing Global Progress
According to Abdul, the years 2013 and 2015 saw significant discussions surrounding cultural appropriation and the wearing of African clothing. To foster understanding and appreciation among diverse cultures, it is crucial to create an inclusive space where we can celebrate and educate ourselves about each other through fashion, culture, art, and music.
By sharing these aspects of our identities, we can lay the foundation for global progress, as others gain a basic understanding of our culture and heritage. This encourages dialogue, empathy, and the breaking down of barriers that divide us.
Growing up in London to Nigerian parents, Kike had a transformative experience when she visited Nigeria in 2018. This trip solidified her belief in the universal sameness of humanity. It was like stepping into another world, where she encountered levels of poverty she had never witnessed before. Overwhelmed by what she saw, she realized the stark disparities between her home country and more developed nations worldwide. This eye-opening journey left her with a profound realization: “As a community, we’re being left behind.”
Kike emphasized the importance of taking proactive steps to uplift our communities, as it not only has a positive impact on a global scale but also leads to greater recognition and empowerment for every individual within the Black community.
Opportunities for Cross-Border Collaboration
AfroFuture presents a unique opportunity to foster cross-border collaboration and unite the African diaspora. With every country seeking to engage with Africa, the world has become interconnected, and forming alliances with fellow Black individuals is invaluable.
There exists a knowledge gap where many African Americans are unaware of the happenings on the continent, while Africans lack access to media that represents their own experiences. Our festival aims to fill this void by creating content that educates the world and offers a fresh perspective on visiting Africa, experiencing its rich culture, and engaging in business with Africans.
Instead of solely focusing on fixing perceived issues in Africa, we should acknowledge that the continent has already adapted in remarkable ways. From blockchain transactions to mobile money systems, Africa has been at the forefront of innovation long before the rest of the world caught on. We must educate ourselves about global developments and remain open to understanding different parts of the world, transcending borders and stereotypes.
Challenges to Overcome in Advancing Global Progress
In the pursuit of advancing global progress, we face the challenge of overcoming internal divisions and xenophobia within our community. It is disheartening to witness the persistence of a “crab in the bucket” mentality, where we hinder each other’s growth instead of supporting one another. The Black community possesses valuable talent and skills that the world needs, yet these divisions hold us back from reaching our full potential. We must strive for unity, embracing collaboration and solidarity to rise above these challenges and work together toward a brighter future.
Watch the Talk Now
Abdul Karim Abdullah, Founder of AfroFuture
Abdul Karim Abdullah is the Founder and CEO of Culture Management Group (CMG) and AfroFuture Festival (formerly Afrochella). AfroFuture is a festival that aims to showcase and uplift talented individuals from Africa and within the continent. Their goal is to promote engagement and boost tourism in Ghana and Africa by providing a platform for the diaspora to celebrate African music, food, art, and culture from an authentic perspective. AfroFuture under Abdul’s patronage received recognition from various media outlets such as BBC, CNN, Essence, Vogue, and GQ. Abdul holds a degree in Psychology and Biology from Syracuse University and a Master’s in Public Health from CUNY Hunter College.
Omose Ighodaro, Journalist and Founder of AfroVibes Media
A Nigerian-American born in Louisville Kentucky, Omose Ighodaro has had a range of experience acting as an event and red-carpet host. She is a graduate of Columbia University’s Journalism program and has reported business and trending news stories for companies like Bloomberg News.
Back in 2016, when she initially launched AfroVibes, her main objective was to shed light on the remarkable stories of Africans, including business professionals, entertainers, and celebrities. By consistently showcasing the positive achievements of Africans and African-Americans, Omose’s ultimate aim is to inspire increased investments in these individuals and Africa as a whole.
Kike Oniwinde Agoro, CEO & Founder of BYP Network
Kike Oniwinde Agoro is the Founder and CEO of the BYP Network, a platform that connects Black professionals and with organizations. She is a University of Nottingham BSc Economics graduate, a University of Florida MSc scholar, and a former Great Britain javelin thrower.
Kike is a Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree, a Maserati Top 100 Most Innovative Founders honoree, a Financial Times Top 100 BAME Leaders in Technology honoree, and a Computer Weekly Top 10 Woman in Technology honoree. She is a member of the boards of the London Chambers of Commerce Black Business Association, Getting on Boards, and London Tech Ambassador. She is a devoted mother and wife.
Want to get more insights about how to advance global progress?
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