There has been an explosion of innovation in tech on the African continent and African Americans are slow to adapt to the rapidly growing sector but, Black Enterprise is joining forces with multiple organizations to change that.
We recently partnered with Afrobytes, a tech conference taking place in Paris, and they have invited us to join the movement.
From my perspective, this is a huge step in the right direction. Other cultures have populated the continent such as China and India, and the U.S., specifically African Americans, have been falling behind.
I recently spoke with the CEO of Afrobytes, Ammin Youssouf, and the Director of Development and Strategic Partnerships, Vera Baker, to talk about the conference and why they felt it was so necessary for African Americans to get involved.
“When we build that bridge between African and European tech and the U.S., it is to say to our community, (we) in Europe and you in the USA, guys we have to own this bridge. If we don’t own this bridge, we will be left behind,” said Youssouf.
(Image: Sequoia Blodgett, Ammin Youssouf, and Vera Baker)
As a fairly new conference—going on its second year—the goal of the the Afrobytes team is to change the narrative—and they are already starting to see those progressions.
“There are so many negative stereotypes about Africa. I am African American and we were taught these really negative things about Africa and the place that we left behind 400 years ago. On the other end, we have young children today in Africa only learning about what they see on TV and in the media—from music videos to movies and athletes—without any sense of historical or cultural relevance to what’s going on. We have to get out of that and really try to learn and understand each other,” said Baker.
That’s what this conference will allow us to do, specifically in the tech sector.
BE has gone Global! Join us in Paris at the Afrobytes Tech Conference, as we work to bridge the African and African-American gap. Watch the clip below and log onto http://www.afrobytes.com/ for more information. Does the sticker price extend beyond your wallet? We got you. Use the code "BEAFROBYTES" for a discount. The time is now. #BlackEnterprise
Posted by Black Enterprise on Thursday, April 6, 2017
We’ve already started to see folks from the venture capital community venturing over to the continent. “Geeks on a Plane,” run by 500 Startups, just spent approximately two weeks frequenting Nigeria, Ghana, Cape Town, and Johannesburg. Although these efforts proved for a great start, we must continue the conversation.
My goal throughout this partnership is to really help bridge the gap between the African and African American community and help to shine some light on these stories. I’ll be moderating the panel, “Smart Content for Smart African Millennials,” touching upon creative ways to help generate inspirational content for Africa, African Americans, and the African diaspora.
If you are interested in joining us, click here and use the code, “BEAFROBYTES” to receive a 20% discount off your purchase.
Sequoia Blodgett is the Technology Editor for Black Enterprise, Silicon Valley. She is also the founder of 7AM, a lifestyle, media platform, focused on personal development, guided by informed, pop culture.