2000s

2000

The Centre held one of its most successful annual conferences, entitled “Unfinished Business –Tackling the legacies of slavery and colonialism”. Professor J F Ade Ajayi, Editor of UNESCO General History of Africa, delivered the opening address, “The Unfinished Business: Issues to be addressed”. Other featured speakers were David Lammy, MP; Sam Walker, Director of Black Cultural Archives; and High Commissioners H.E. Ms Sheryl Carolus, from South Africa; H.E. Prince Bola Ajibola, from Nigeria; and H.E. Professor George Kirya, from Uganda.

 

2001

African Visions was born as the Centre’s annual African Literature Festival, coordinated by Peter Jenkins, and it soon became a prominent feature on the UK literary landscape.

 

 

 

 

2002

The Africa Centre hosted the presentation of the Caine Prize for African Writing. The selected writers were Amanda Ngozi Adichie from Nigeria; Florent Couoa-Zotti from Benin; Allan Kolski Horwitz from South Africa; Rory Kilalea from Zimbabwe; and the winner Binyanvanga Wainaina from Kenya.

 

2003 – 2006

As the last Director of the Africa Centre, Adotey Bing inherited three decades of the centre’s dynamic life, with all its various programmes and activities as well as the accumulated financial instability built through the years. Throughout his term as director, Bing’s main concerns were focusing on the new mission of the Centre and securing long term funding so as to permit forward planning and future self-sustainability. In 2003, the Africa Centre received an award from Arts Council towards the Centre’s redevelopment plans. One of the key factors in securing that positive decision was the letter sent on behalf of the Africa Centre to Arts Council England by President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, in his capacity as Chairman of the African Union.

In 2006 Oliver Tunde Andrews was appointed Chairman, and since then the future of The Africa Centre – while naturally informed by global economic factors – has been stabilised and while presenting an acclaimed series of cultural events, is also looking positively to new horizons that will forge The Africa Centre as the central focus for all things African – cultural, social and business.

 

2006 – 2013

The Africa Centre has promoted a cultural  programme since 2006, under Business of Culture’s management  This has included theatre seasons, visual arts exhibitions and the acclaimed Screening Africa film programme. More recently, in the first 9 months of 2011, The Africa Centre  is hosting about 2-4 events per month – including panel discussions focusing on topical issues/current affairs relating to Africa, monthly screenings of Africa films  & Q&A; and partnership events with African cultural providers, such as African Theatre with groups including Tiata Fahodzi.

The future is looking positive and exciting, so keep logging in to find out what is on at The Africa Centre.

The Africa Centre was such an appropriate place for FAMA’s first public outing. A place that has been significant to the African cultural landscape in London and UK. A place that has been prominent in the history of Africans in London and UK. A place that has pretty much every African artist who has ever put foot in London on its guest list.

The main space is huge and sectioned into a smaller space with sofas and African artefacts, a living room as it were, which complements and increases the intimacy and the atmosphere of the bigger space. The bar is another beautiful and welcoming space: again the decor stands out.

Ery Nzaramba
Actor, Writer, Director
Writer of FAMA