November 2024 marks 60 years since The Africa Centre first opened the doors to its original headquarters in Covent Garden, London, having recently been established as a charity with a mission to foster non-governmental relations between newly independent Africa and Britain. The Centre was launched a month after Kenneth Kaunda had been elected the first president of the then newly independent Zambia. In the presence of many dignitaries from around the world, the president officiated the official opening of the “home away from home to all who are Africans and those who have a care for the interests of the continent and its people”, as aptly put by the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu. 

To celebrate this milestone year, the charity’s Chief Executive Officer Olu Alake, has announced an exciting programme of events happening throughout the year, culminating in a major event in November. 

Since its opening, The Africa Centre has been dedicated to championing contemporary Africa and the achievements of the diaspora – be it education, arts, entrepreneurship, innovation, and culture. It has had a lasting impact on Africans living in the UK and beyond. Now located in a new flagship building at 66 Great Suffolk St in Southwark, London, the Centre has fast become a major cultural and heritage hub. It’s moving into an exciting new chapter, repositioning itself as a global powerhouse and centre of excellence that will drive the narrative on Africa and the African Diaspora. It aims to achieve this through high-level advocacy, championing African excellence across all sectors, facilitating impactful cross-sectoral global partnerships, and showcasing the innovation and entrepreneurialism that will propel people of African descent forward. 

Some of the key programme activities include:

  • Commemoration of 30 Years of South Africa’s Freedom in April and Nelson Mandela Day in July

  • Exploration of the contribution of African footballers to the world game and Africa’s development.

  • Celebration of Africa Youth Day

  • Series of art exhibitions from all over Africa

  • African Business showcase events.  

Olu Alake said, “The Africa Centre enters this year celebrating our 60th anniversary with a profound sense of pride, gratitude, and excitement. We are reminded that this organisation stands as a testament to the vision, dedication, and passion of thousands of people of African descent who have committed themselves to bringing the continent and all her children to excellence.  This year’s programme is therefore not just a retrospective celebration of what we have done, but a purposeful recommitment to living those founding ideals of The Africa Centre to propel us into making a major positive impact for Africa over the next 60 years. We welcome everyone to join us in this quest.”

Chair of the Board of Trustees, Oba Nsugbe said, “Sixty years old! Sixty years young! When you get to the ripe old age of sixty: you celebrate with your friends, thank everyone who has helped you get there and then thank everyone who will be helping you through the next sixty years. That's what we intend to do! All year! "

As part of its celebrations, the charity is inviting its diverse communities to share any memories they have of their time at the Centre. The collection will be part of a living archive which will be one of the key legacies of this milestone year. Anyone interested in participating can do so here. The Centre also welcomes any corporate partners or individuals who are interested in supporting or sponsoring some of the activities planned for the year. 

For further information, please contact: [email protected].