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I remember promising that I would keep a Davos diary during my participation at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2012. I apologise that I couldn’t because Davos was intense, incredible, insane and simply amazing all at the same time. That said, throughout the Davos experience, one strong emotion resonated and reverberated not just with me, but with every other African in attendance ; and that was the feeling that the world was moving forward and Africa was no where near catching up and more importantly, it was nobody’s fault but ours. Too many issues dissected and analysed, even more profound solutions, but still it felt like we were languishing in some quicksand of blindness.

This afternoon, I received a letter from a fellow global shaper from the Abuja(Nigeria) hub  who happened to be my roommate, and has become a dear friend. I thought it would be something important to share.

Dearest Sisters,

When History is being made, the participants sometimes do not recognize it. When History is being made, it at times happens unknowingly and can be easily passed off as an ordinary affair initially. All in all, it is incumbent on the partakers of history to recognize the crystal moment that fate has brought upon them, to harness that moment and provide the opportunity for it to have a lifetime effect. These unique moments can change the course of our lives and shift the order of the world, as we know it. Some are lucky to recognize when the volcanic coals appear on their laps, unfortunately most pass it off as a stint of excitement and proceed to shelve it in their memory.

In plain terms, it has been a huge privilege to meet 5 other phenomenal African women. Although the World Economic Forum brought us together, I believe there is a higher calling to our meeting that could possibly have a huge impact on our beloved motherland and change the dynamics of our future and future generations. We could be the catalyst that fosters the socio-economic integration that we so long to see on the continent. I want my children to one day get on the Afri-train from one end of the Sahara to another uninhibited and unencumbered viewing the beauty and wonder of each destination on the southern line. The Brand of Africa that we project will pave way for the next set of African children to walk around with their heads high, playing on the global stage not as a handicap participant but on equal terms with their Western counterparts. The complex of coming from a degenerating state of affairs will not hound them the way it clung to our spirits and overshadowed our every being.

The cloak of inefficiencies, corruption, short or zero term vision will no longer be worn by our generation I hope, for the grave consequences of such have stamped it seal on our foreheads, making life much harder than it ought to be. Where the rest of the world is imagining the next innovation to make great feats such as the flying car possible, the African child is imagining a world free of famine, strife, bad governance, lack of infrastructure, education, healthcare and water.

As we heard over and over again throughout our time in Davos, it really is up to us to change the worn and torn brand of a pathetic Africa to the bold and colourful Africa embodied in the designs of Escado Bird, the discipline and unrelenting drive of Brand Effect, the vibrant energy and vitality in WanaWana, the collaborative and focused spirit in Mekdes and the strong hunger to push boundaries and redefine impossibility to nothing by Rapelang shows a glimpse of the immense potential of the continent. Imagine putting all these powers together to form a body of problem solvers such as the animation X-Men portrayed. Imagine that Africa.

Beyond Imagining lets actively create it because it is within our reach. We have complained enough to last the next 5 generations. Lets take up the mantle of furthering the message ‘When History Was Made’ and may posterity judge us on the right end as those that redefined what it meant to be African.

Here’s to the launch of a new brand and platform of engagement. Here is to my newfound sisters and friends. Here is to theAfricaproject version 3.0.


Simi Fajemirokun

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