of Africa’s untapped treasures is her history, it has not been told enough. We
all need to know our story – the good, the bad and the complex. 
“The biggest
happening in the past century was our independence but in this century, it is
our unification- the power of unity lies with you.”
These were the words of Samia Nkrumah at the 2019 UBA’s Africa
It was a riveting panel discussion which featured some of
Africa’s brightest minds.  
Economist, serial entrepreneur,
philanthropist and Chairman UBA Group; Tony O. Elumelu, CON, Nigerian
playwright, poet, essayist and activist; Wole Soyinka, Ghanaian politician and
chairperson of the Convention People’s Party(Ghana), and daughter of Kwame
Nkrumah; Samia Nkrumah and Guinean historian, playwright, short story writer
and Honorary professor of Howard University and the University of Tokyo;
Djibril Niane and Musician and activist; Femi Kuti.
Legal practitioner and Activist, Ayo Obe moderated the
From L-R, Samia Nkrumah, Prof. Wole
Soyinka, Tony O. Elumelu, CON, Djibril Niane, Femi Kuti and moderator of the
session Ayo Obe
know all too well that Africa is a vibrant continent filled with an abundance of
resources but we still remain underdeveloped. This is yet another reason why
our history needs to be told. How do we
begin to cope with the modern phenomenon when we do not know the ancient
phenomenon of our existence, how we came to be and how we existed?
” were
the words of Wole Soyinka as he
passionately spoke on the importance of understanding who we are as Africans,
our years of suffering and being empowered by that understanding. 
Professor Wole Soyinka
The conversations about Africa cannot be fully exhausted,
there is a lot to be said about how our past can lead us to the future we
strongly need and desire. 
Tony Elumelu rightly
understand the past and they say that those who understand the past are able to
live the future. We understand that Africa as a continent has always been
united first by the struggle for independence and after independence the unity
for economic empowerment and development of the continent. Identifying with
African day is an opportunity to remind ourselves and the world that until we
are able to provide economic opportunities for every African, we have miles to
go and we cannot sit back and relax”. He added “After 500 years of suffering,
we can’t still be complaining in 2019, I want to see start-up from different
industries conquering the world.”


Tony O. Elumelu

Looking to the future
requires reflecting on the past, and it often evokes both negative and positive
emotions in us. We do not exclude it because it burdens us, we must learn from
it. As Wole Soyinka stated; “History
goes beyond an academic exercise, it’s a development exercise.”

Cross -section of the audience


What’s the way forward? The answer hasn’t
changed, it’s broader and it still requires every one of us playing our part. 
Samia Nkrumah emphasized this; “It is important for us
to re-orientate ourselves as Africans, where we come from- we had a history
before. We won’t have the courage to change the narrative if we don’t have the
re-orientation. We must put pressure on our leaders take unity seriously.
Complete liberation will come with unification”

As Africans, when we look back to our history to lay our
future, we can create an economically, culturally and educationally developed

Djibril Niane added that “Our
past has been denied and our people know nothing about it, but the path has
been created, democracy will get stronger and work in each country. Peace will
reign and Africa will be united”


Throughout the session, one message was clear: We must
relearn and rewrite our history as Africans.

our history will help us decolonize who we are
says Femi Kuti. He continues “We don’t
appreciate 500 years of slavery because there is no footage of history. History
is important. If we had leaders who understood history, the priority of our
leaders will be to provide infrastructure. We have come a long way but we have
a very long day to go”. 

Femi Kuti
The theme of the panel session – “Africa’s History
Redefined, Our Past, the Path to the Future”
was well engaged with by the
audiences present and online. Some of the guest in attendance were: Pan-
African Entrepreneur, Adebola Williams, members of the Delyork Creative
Academy, CEO Avon Medical; Dr. Awele Elumelu, members of the press, Fashion
Icon, Noble Igwe, Media goddesses, Folu Storms, Stephanie Coker, Producer Akin
Akinkugbe, Film actresses, Juliet Ibrahim, Sharon Ooja, members of the press
and staff of UBA Group and many others.
‘Debola Williams
members of the Delyork Creative Academy and Tony Elumelu
CEO Avon Medical; Dr. Awele Elumelu
Tony Elumelu with Noble Igwe
Folu Storms
Chairman UBA Group and Stephanie Coker-Aderinokun
Akin Akinkugbe
Tony Elumelu and Sharon Ooja


 To sum up the significance of UBA’s Africa
Conversation, Tony Elemulu reiterated UBA’s existence for 70 decades as
a symbol of African development. He went on to say, “identifying African day
is an opportunity to remind the world that our work is not done until we are
able to provide economic opportunity fo
r every African.”
The session ended on a high
note with a picture session and a mini cock-tail for invited guests. 

For more images, click here https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10156027414300653&id=86946405652


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