Africa Matters Initiative

Farai Mubaiwa , South Africa

Farai founded the Africa Matters Initiative (AMI) in April 2015 to raise African voices and ensure that they are not undervalued or ignored as is frequently the case in dominant global narratives. AMI has educated over 2,500 people to this end and reached thousands more spreading their message on social media. African people are often reduced to a single narrative in what novelist Chimamanda Adichie refers to as ‘the single story’. This results in a skewed view of the continent from both outside of and within Africa. The Africa Matters Initiative aims to change this status quo by challenging misconceptions and demonstrating the importance of African nations and citizens on the global stage as well as within Africa. The AMI team was formed at Stellenbosch University in South Africa and has subsequently spread to other parts of Africa and the world. AMI empowers young people through summits, workshops and online engagement. The team organises the 'Towards a Better Africa' summit each year, bringing together politicians, academics, businesses and young leaders to formulate local solutions to local issues. AMI conducts school talks discussing issues around African empowerment and finding local solutions to local problems. These school talks have been delivered to 1,000 students in the past year with plans to increase their reach ten fold in the coming year, giving talks in Namibia as well as South Africa. AMI also hosts a range of workshops on topics such as African leadership, African feminism and identity politics. The Africa Matters Initiative also has an online presence, where a number of contributors write critical pieces on important issues of their choice, reaching people across the continent and the diaspora. As AMI continues to grow the team is seeking new ways to increase awareness and to generate revenue. For example, AMI is in the process of designing a clothing range that they can sell to develop a stable income stream.