Friday was the kickoff for Nigeria-based media company THISDAY’s 3rd annual festival titled “Africa Rising”. The star-studded THISDAY Music and Fashion Festival at the THISDAY Dome in Abuja, Nigeria featured performances by Jay-Z, Rihanna, and Usher. The fashion portion of the festival featured models Naomi Campbell, Tyson Beckford, Alek Wek, Oluchi, and designers Chris Aire and Ozwald Boateng. The annual festival which is “focus on finding ‘sustainable solutions’ rather than the ‘problems’ facing Africa”, will be making it’s international debut with stops in Washington DC’s Kennedy Center on August 1 with Beyoncé and Seal as headliners, and in London on October 14. THISDAY has some 700 staff members in 38 offices across Nigeria. It also maintains a bureau in Washington DC, from which it provides news on Africa to a variety of global news organisations and agencies across all platforms- from online to broadcast.
“Right now the international community seems to be dealing with the symptoms not the problems of Africa. The symptoms are poverty and disease, but the problem is lack of social and physical infrastructure. This initiative is to highlight the need to focus sustainable solutions on the problems through massive investment in infrastructure and microfinance in order to rebuild Africa from the ground up. Europe is what it is today because after World War II the ‘Marshall Plan’ took hold. It did not deal with poverty, it focused on rebuilding Europe.” – said media mogul Nduka Obaigbena, THISDAY’s Editor-in-Chief.
The “Africa Rising” event “tour” reflects a rapidly growing trend in the Africa-focused aid sector: African’s creating products with a sustainability focus targeted to both African and international consumers. I’m eager to see what the attendance numbers are for the UK and US events.