Africon 2023 talks diaspora potential for creatives
Conference speakers: (From left) Rapper Vic Mensa, diplomat Malikat Rufai, moderator and journalist Corein Carter, CEO of Africon Dami Kujembola, and CEO of Afrofuture Abdul Abdullah.

Jamaican and Caribbean culture was well represented at the recently held Africon 2023, a conference that is a vibrant celebration of the African Diaspora and its culture, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

PinexGinja, the Jamaican-themed event known for its commitment to fostering connections between Africa and Jamaica, hosted a memorable party at Africon, adding an extra touch of excitement to the experience.

Africon 2023 centred on the theme of African unity, emphasising the connections and collaboration between the African continent and its diaspora. The conference showcased the diversity of African cultures while providing a platform for engagement, empowerment, and the unveiling of Africa's untapped potential.

PinexGinja, which is celebrating five years, truly brought the Afro-fusion spirit to the conference with Djs Mysta Crooks, BadGyal Rozay, and Khalil. Their dedication to fostering unity and collaboration resonated with attendees.

Dami Kujembola, CEO of Africon.

The PinexGinja-hosted party brought together participants from various backgrounds to celebrate the shared heritage that fuels innovation, creativity, and progress.

Dami Kujembola, CEO of Africon, said that it is important for this collaboration.

"The presence of the Caribbean at Africon is essential to truly embrace the spirit of African unity. The historical and cultural connections between Africa and the Caribbean run deep, and by including the Caribbean in this celebration we acknowledge and honour the shared heritage and intertwined narratives of these two regions," he said.

For his part, Mark Beckford, founder of PinexGinja, said:

"The Caribbean brings its unique flavours, rhythms, and perspectives, enriching the vibrant tapestry of African culture and providing a platform for collaboration and cross-pollination of ideas. Together, Africa and the Caribbean can amplify each other's voices, strengthen bonds, and create a united front that paves the way for greater opportunities, innovation, and progress for both regions."

Founder of PinexGinja Mark Beckford.

One notable panel discussion at the forum, 'African Diaspora: Embracing and Navigating Duality', delved into the experiences of individuals within the African Diaspora, exploring the complexities of embracing and navigating multiple worlds. Panellists shared personal stories and shed light on the challenges and opportunities presented by straddling different cultural contexts.

Another captivating panel, 'Breaking the Glass Ceiling in Corporate America', focused on the unique challenges faced by black professionals in predominantly white corporate spaces.

Africon 2023 went beyond diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts, as highlighted by the panel 'Diaspora Audience: More Than a DEI Initiative'. This panel explored the cultural and economic significance of engaging diaspora communities, emphasising their potential as consumers, innovators, and thought leaders.

The conference also placed a spotlight on the immense talent within the African entertainment industry with the panel 'African Entertainment and Talent for a Global Audience'. Discussions revolved around the opportunities and challenges faced by African creatives seeking global expansion, and strategies were shared to expand the influence and cultural impact of African entertainment.

Attendees were treated to a fireside chat titled 'The Billion-Dollar Conversation', which covered various aspects of entrepreneurship, including strategies, challenges, and opportunities for growth.

Another highlight of Africon 2023 was the dynamic pitch competition, powered by Black Ambition, which provided a platform for founders of African descent to showcase their innovative solutions. This competition aimed to unlock untapped markets and create new opportunities for entrepreneurs.

The notable speakers at Africon 2023 included Deniece Laurent, senior advisor on US-Africa Leaders' Summit implementation; Corein Carter, CEO, Color Creative Consulting Agency and Forbes contributor; Dr Geoffrey Mount Varner, chief medical officer, Lifeline Medical Consulting, LLC, among many other esteemed individuals in their respective fields.

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