Author Archives: Google Africa Blog

Meet the African #YouTubeBlackVoices Creator Class of 2021

Black creators have played an important role in shaping the culture on YouTube. From fashion and comedy to politics, learning and wellness, Black creators have raised the bar for how creators engage with their audience, build community, and propel our platform forward. The #YouTubeBlack community is filled with so many talented, brilliant, passionate, and driven creatives, and we’re honored to equip these awesome creators with additional resources to match their drive.


We’re excited to spotlight Black creatives and to continue to center both their voices and perspectives. As part of that mission, we developed the #YouTubeBlack Voices grant program -- an initiative dedicated to investing in Black creators and artists, and equipping them with the resources to succeed on our platform. This grant program is part of our larger #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund, a global, multi-year commitment to empower Black creators and artists on our platform, as well as to produce and acquire new YouTube Original programs, focusing on racial justice and Black experiences.

In 2016 some of the largest and most-influential Black creators on YouTube came together for the first-ever #YouTubeBlack Summit. That moment was the start of a movement --both on our platform and off -- that became the #YouTube Black community. Over the years we’ve continued to partner and build specific programming for the #YouTube Black community -- summits, workshops and events like #YouTubeBlack FanFest.


We’re building on that momentum, and today, after many months of collaboration, we’re excited to introduce you to our inaugural class of #YouTubeBlack Voices creator grantees from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, who are part of our 132 creators from across the world who are participating in the Class of 2021.


In the coming months, we will work closely with the Class of 2021. This will include dedicated partner support, seed funding invested into the development of their channels, and participation in an intensive development program that will focus on training in production, community engagement and wellbeing, followed by ongoing workshops and networking programs.


The #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund is only part of the comprehensive work currently underway to make YouTube a place where Black artists, creators, and users can share their stories and feel protected. We continue to invest in product and policy changes to meet that goal. We recently provided an update on our work to make YouTube a more inclusive platform, including how we handle harmful and hateful comments.


This is the first round of investments we are making in creators and artists from the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund. Over the next few years, we will directly invest in 500+ creators and artists from across the world to support, grow, and fund their channels and content development.


Please meet the #YouTubeBlack Voices Creator Class of 2021!*
 



Akah Bants | Lagos, Nigeria
Akah Bants: Akah Nnani is a critically acclaimed Nigerian-born actor, YouTube creator, producer and TV host. He started his YouTube channel in 2015 from a desire to share his opinions without the barriers of traditional media. His channel features comedy, personal stories, political commentary, and vlogs — and has resonated with Black viewers across several countries. Akah is passionate about the mental and social emancipation of Nigerians, and lends his voice to challenging leaders in his country to uphold excellence in governance.



Dimma Umeh | Lagos, Nigeria
Dimma Umeh: Dimma Umeh is an award-winning blogger and vlogger. Regularly featured on Nigerian websites, her YouTube videos have garnered over 25 million views since she started her channel in 2015. She's been featured on CNN's innovate Africa and in local and international publications, including Essence, Genevieve magazine and Guardian Life.




Eric Okafor | Lagos, Nigeria
Eric Okafor: Eric Okafor, also known as Knewkeed, is a YouTuber and content creator. He is best known for his technology-focused videos, and is one of the top tech creators in Nigeria and West Africa. After starting his career as an on-air media personality and a digital marketer, Eric decided in 2016 to focus full-time on growing his career as a YouTube creator. He gained international recognition in 2018 for his Y9 Huawei unboxing video and has continued to grow his reach and influence.


Financial Bunny | Johannesburg, South Africa
Financial Bunny: Nicolette Mashile is a champion of personal-finance education across the African continent. She has been a content creator since 2017 and is the best-selling author of the recent financial literacy book, “What’s Your Move.” She is also a television personality, property investor, and MBA candidate.


Kaluhis Kitchen | Nairobi, Kenya
Kaluhi’s Kitchen: Content creator and author Kaluhi Adagala started Kaluhi’s Kitchen in 2016 as a food channel for the everyday person looking to elevate Kenyan classics to a more fun and modern version. Kaluhi uses local, sustainable, affordable, and easy to find ingredients, along with visual step-by-step guides for her unique recipes. Kaluhi loves telling stories through food and has been featured in the New York Times, Cosmopolitan, Food Network, and CNN.


Kay Yarms | Johannesburg, South Africa
Kay Yarms: Kay Ngonyama, known as Kay Yarms, started her YouTube channel in 2017. She has quickly grown her fanbase through a variety of lifestyle videos, including make-up tutorials, vlogs, and product reviews.


Lade Owolabi | Abeokuta, Nigeria
Lade Owolabi: Lade Owolabi is on her life’s mission is to help others become the best version of themselves. She is a personal brand strategist and content creator. Lade makes videos on faith, family, and lifestyle topics.


Iamdodos90 | Lagos, Nigeria
Iamdodos90: Dodos Uvieghara is a beauty and lifestyle creator who started on YouTube in 2015. She is
passionate about empowering women to feel beautiful and confident through sharing her love for beauty, fashion, and lifestyle topics on her channel.



Lasizwe Dambuza | Johannesburg, South Africa
Lasizwe Dambuza: Born and raised in Pimville, Soweto, Lasizwe Dambuza began his video creation journey in 2014. His videos have gone on to achieve viral success, and he now has a reality show on MTV Africa that is currently in its third season. He has won numerous awards and recognition for his work.



MacG | Midrand, South Africa
MacG: MacG’s channel features weekly episodes of conversations between long time friends Macgyver Mukwevho and Lenn Moleko and Ghost Lady. These discussions cover everything—as MacG says, nothing is off limits.


Mitchelle Adagala | Nairobi, Kenya
Mitchelle Adagala: Mitchelle Adagala is a Certified Personal Trainer and the owner & founder of THRIVE FITNESS. She started her YouTube channel in 2017 and focuses on all things health, wellness and fitness.


Mumo | Nairobi, Kenya
Mumo: Mumo is a photographer and videographer whose channel focuses on helping entrepreneurs. He provides business ideas, tips on how to get started as an entrepreneur, and step-by-step tutorials. Mumo is looking to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and help people all over the world get answers to their business questions.


Ofentse Mwase Films | Johannesburg, South Africa
Ofentse Mwase Films: Ofentse and Nelisiwe Mwase are filmmakers who started on YouTube in 2007. They specialize in making comedy and music videos, as well as commercials, short films and corporate video projects. They love storytelling and creating great visuals.


Oscarmini | Abuja, Nigeria
Oscarmini: Oscar Frank has been in love with tech for as long as he can remember. He started a tech blog in 2010 when he was still a teenager, and evolved the content into his current YouTube channel in 2018. His goals are to help his audience better understand and use their tech, as well as to make the right purchasing decision after watching his videos.


Owamie Hlongwane Entertainment | Free State, South Africa
Owamie Hlongwane Entertainment: Owamie Hlongwane is a 30-year-old YouTuber from the village of Gaba in Venda. Content creation is her passion—she focuses on beauty, lifestyle, and entertainment. Owamie started uploading videos in 2017.


Patricia Kihoro | Nairobi, Kenya
Patricia Kihoro: Patricia Kihoro is a Kenyan-based singer, actress, radio presenter, digital content curator, improv comedian, and entrepreneur who loves potatoes, travel, music, performance, working out, riding around Nairobi on boda bodas, and most of all, laughter. She started her channel in 2009, and returned to YouTube in 2017 to showcase her city, her singing (sometimes to her food), her friends and family, travel, and festivals. Patricia loves to celebrate African brands, innovators, art, and culture with a strong bias towards music. She aims to have her audience leave in good spirits and with positive energy, having learnt something new.


Thato Rampedi | Pretoria, South Africa
Thato Rampedi: Thato Rampedi is a digital entrepreneur who has been creating for the past three years. He produces content that varies in style and spans multiple genres, His series #MoTee explores relationships, and his series #TheSitDownZA brings his friends into conversations about their upbringing and current lives. Thato also creates comedy videos with his brother and incorporates his friends and family into his vlogs.


Toast with Naledi | Johannesburg, South Africa
Toast with Naledi: Naledi Monamodi’s channel is centered around storytelling and sharing her past experiences to entertain, heal, and motivate others. Naledi looks to warm her way into people’s hearts with her content—and hope all viewers find a friend or sister in her.


Tomike Adeoye | Lagos, Nigeria
Tomike Adeoye: Tomike Adeoye is a YouTube creator, TV presenter, entrepreneur, and actress. She began vlogging in 2018, capturing moments and events so that her audience can experience her life along with her. She focuses on authenticity and bringing joy to her audience.


Zeelicious Foods | Lagos, Nigeria
Zeelicious Foods: Winnie Emmanuel is a food content creator, food consultant, and recipe consultant who started on YouTube in 2017. She teaches people how to make a variety of African and Nigerian-inspired recipes to help them expand their repertoire of dishes.


 ==== 

Meet the African #YouTubeBlackVoices Creator Class of 2021

Black creators have played an important role in shaping the culture on YouTube. From fashion and comedy to politics, learning and wellness, Black creators have raised the bar for how creators engage with their audience, build community, and propel our platform forward. The #YouTubeBlack community is filled with so many talented, brilliant, passionate, and driven creatives, and we’re honored to equip these awesome creators with additional resources to match their drive.


We’re excited to spotlight Black creatives and to continue to center both their voices and perspectives. As part of that mission, we developed the #YouTubeBlack Voices grant program -- an initiative dedicated to investing in Black creators and artists, and equipping them with the resources to succeed on our platform. This grant program is part of our larger #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund, a global, multi-year commitment to empower Black creators and artists on our platform, as well as to produce and acquire new YouTube Original programs, focusing on racial justice and Black experiences.

In 2016 some of the largest and most-influential Black creators on YouTube came together for the first-ever #YouTubeBlack Summit. That moment was the start of a movement --both on our platform and off -- that became the #YouTube Black community. Over the years we’ve continued to partner and build specific programming for the #YouTube Black community -- summits, workshops and events like #YouTubeBlack FanFest.


We’re building on that momentum, and today, after many months of collaboration, we’re excited to introduce you to our inaugural class of #YouTubeBlack Voices creator grantees from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, who are part of our 132 creators from across the world who are participating in the Class of 2021.


In the coming months, we will work closely with the Class of 2021. This will include dedicated partner support, seed funding invested into the development of their channels, and participation in an intensive development program that will focus on training in production, community engagement and wellbeing, followed by ongoing workshops and networking programs.


The #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund is only part of the comprehensive work currently underway to make YouTube a place where Black artists, creators, and users can share their stories and feel protected. We continue to invest in product and policy changes to meet that goal. We recently provided an update on our work to make YouTube a more inclusive platform, including how we handle harmful and hateful comments.


This is the first round of investments we are making in creators and artists from the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund. Over the next few years, we will directly invest in 500+ creators and artists from across the world to support, grow, and fund their channels and content development.


Please meet the #YouTubeBlack Voices Creator Class of 2021!*
 



Akah Bants | Lagos, Nigeria
Akah Bants: Akah Nnani is a critically acclaimed Nigerian-born actor, YouTube creator, producer and TV host. He started his YouTube channel in 2015 from a desire to share his opinions without the barriers of traditional media. His channel features comedy, personal stories, political commentary, and vlogs — and has resonated with Black viewers across several countries. Akah is passionate about the mental and social emancipation of Nigerians, and lends his voice to challenging leaders in his country to uphold excellence in governance.



Dimma Umeh | Lagos, Nigeria
Dimma Umeh: Dimma Umeh is an award-winning blogger and vlogger. Regularly featured on Nigerian websites, her YouTube videos have garnered over 25 million views since she started her channel in 2015. She's been featured on CNN's innovate Africa and in local and international publications, including Essence, Genevieve magazine and Guardian Life.




Eric Okafor | Lagos, Nigeria
Eric Okafor: Eric Okafor, also known as Knewkeed, is a YouTuber and content creator. He is best known for his technology-focused videos, and is one of the top tech creators in Nigeria and West Africa. After starting his career as an on-air media personality and a digital marketer, Eric decided in 2016 to focus full-time on growing his career as a YouTube creator. He gained international recognition in 2018 for his Y9 Huawei unboxing video and has continued to grow his reach and influence.


Financial Bunny | Johannesburg, South Africa
Financial Bunny: Nicolette Mashile is a champion of personal-finance education across the African continent. She has been a content creator since 2017 and is the best-selling author of the recent financial literacy book, “What’s Your Move.” She is also a television personality, property investor, and MBA candidate.


Kaluhis Kitchen | Nairobi, Kenya
Kaluhi’s Kitchen: Content creator and author Kaluhi Adagala started Kaluhi’s Kitchen in 2016 as a food channel for the everyday person looking to elevate Kenyan classics to a more fun and modern version. Kaluhi uses local, sustainable, affordable, and easy to find ingredients, along with visual step-by-step guides for her unique recipes. Kaluhi loves telling stories through food and has been featured in the New York Times, Cosmopolitan, Food Network, and CNN.


Kay Yarms | Johannesburg, South Africa
Kay Yarms: Kay Ngonyama, known as Kay Yarms, started her YouTube channel in 2017. She has quickly grown her fanbase through a variety of lifestyle videos, including make-up tutorials, vlogs, and product reviews.


Lade Owolabi | Abeokuta, Nigeria
Lade Owolabi: Lade Owolabi is on her life’s mission is to help others become the best version of themselves. She is a personal brand strategist and content creator. Lade makes videos on faith, family, and lifestyle topics.


Iamdodos90 | Lagos, Nigeria
Iamdodos90: Dodos Uvieghara is a beauty and lifestyle creator who started on YouTube in 2015. She is
passionate about empowering women to feel beautiful and confident through sharing her love for beauty, fashion, and lifestyle topics on her channel.



Lasizwe Dambuza | Johannesburg, South Africa
Lasizwe Dambuza: Born and raised in Pimville, Soweto, Lasizwe Dambuza began his video creation journey in 2014. His videos have gone on to achieve viral success, and he now has a reality show on MTV Africa that is currently in its third season. He has won numerous awards and recognition for his work.



MacG | Midrand, South Africa
MacG: MacG’s channel features weekly episodes of conversations between long time friends Macgyver Mukwevho and Lenn Moleko and Ghost Lady. These discussions cover everything—as MacG says, nothing is off limits.


Mitchelle Adagala | Nairobi, Kenya
Mitchelle Adagala: Mitchelle Adagala is a Certified Personal Trainer and the owner & founder of THRIVE FITNESS. She started her YouTube channel in 2017 and focuses on all things health, wellness and fitness.


Mumo | Nairobi, Kenya
Mumo: Mumo is a photographer and videographer whose channel focuses on helping entrepreneurs. He provides business ideas, tips on how to get started as an entrepreneur, and step-by-step tutorials. Mumo is looking to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and help people all over the world get answers to their business questions.


Ofentse Mwase Films | Johannesburg, South Africa
Ofentse Mwase Films: Ofentse and Nelisiwe Mwase are filmmakers who started on YouTube in 2007. They specialize in making comedy and music videos, as well as commercials, short films and corporate video projects. They love storytelling and creating great visuals.


Oscarmini | Abuja, Nigeria
Oscarmini: Oscar Frank has been in love with tech for as long as he can remember. He started a tech blog in 2010 when he was still a teenager, and evolved the content into his current YouTube channel in 2018. His goals are to help his audience better understand and use their tech, as well as to make the right purchasing decision after watching his videos.


Owamie Hlongwane Entertainment | Free State, South Africa
Owamie Hlongwane Entertainment: Owamie Hlongwane is a 30-year-old YouTuber from the village of Gaba in Venda. Content creation is her passion—she focuses on beauty, lifestyle, and entertainment. Owamie started uploading videos in 2017.


Patricia Kihoro | Nairobi, Kenya
Patricia Kihoro: Patricia Kihoro is a Kenyan-based singer, actress, radio presenter, digital content curator, improv comedian, and entrepreneur who loves potatoes, travel, music, performance, working out, riding around Nairobi on boda bodas, and most of all, laughter. She started her channel in 2009, and returned to YouTube in 2017 to showcase her city, her singing (sometimes to her food), her friends and family, travel, and festivals. Patricia loves to celebrate African brands, innovators, art, and culture with a strong bias towards music. She aims to have her audience leave in good spirits and with positive energy, having learnt something new.


Thato Rampedi | Pretoria, South Africa
Thato Rampedi: Thato Rampedi is a digital entrepreneur who has been creating for the past three years. He produces content that varies in style and spans multiple genres, His series #MoTee explores relationships, and his series #TheSitDownZA brings his friends into conversations about their upbringing and current lives. Thato also creates comedy videos with his brother and incorporates his friends and family into his vlogs.


Toast with Naledi | Johannesburg, South Africa
Toast with Naledi: Naledi Monamodi’s channel is centered around storytelling and sharing her past experiences to entertain, heal, and motivate others. Naledi looks to warm her way into people’s hearts with her content—and hope all viewers find a friend or sister in her.


Tomike Adeoye | Lagos, Nigeria
Tomike Adeoye: Tomike Adeoye is a YouTube creator, TV presenter, entrepreneur, and actress. She began vlogging in 2018, capturing moments and events so that her audience can experience her life along with her. She focuses on authenticity and bringing joy to her audience.


Zeelicious Foods | Lagos, Nigeria
Zeelicious Foods: Winnie Emmanuel is a food content creator, food consultant, and recipe consultant who started on YouTube in 2017. She teaches people how to make a variety of African and Nigerian-inspired recipes to help them expand their repertoire of dishes.


 ==== 

Meet the African #YouTubeBlackVoices Creator Class of 2021

Black creators have played an important role in shaping the culture on YouTube. From fashion and comedy to politics, learning and wellness, Black creators have raised the bar for how creators engage with their audience, build community, and propel our platform forward. The #YouTubeBlack community is filled with so many talented, brilliant, passionate, and driven creatives, and we’re honored to equip these awesome creators with additional resources to match their drive.


We’re excited to spotlight Black creatives and to continue to center both their voices and perspectives. As part of that mission, we developed the #YouTubeBlack Voices grant program -- an initiative dedicated to investing in Black creators and artists, and equipping them with the resources to succeed on our platform. This grant program is part of our larger #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund, a global, multi-year commitment to empower Black creators and artists on our platform, as well as to produce and acquire new YouTube Original programs, focusing on racial justice and Black experiences.

In 2016 some of the largest and most-influential Black creators on YouTube came together for the first-ever #YouTubeBlack Summit. That moment was the start of a movement --both on our platform and off -- that became the #YouTube Black community. Over the years we’ve continued to partner and build specific programming for the #YouTube Black community -- summits, workshops and events like #YouTubeBlack FanFest.


We’re building on that momentum, and today, after many months of collaboration, we’re excited to introduce you to our inaugural class of #YouTubeBlack Voices creator grantees from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, who are part of our 132 creators from across the world who are participating in the Class of 2021.


In the coming months, we will work closely with the Class of 2021. This will include dedicated partner support, seed funding invested into the development of their channels, and participation in an intensive development program that will focus on training in production, community engagement and wellbeing, followed by ongoing workshops and networking programs.


The #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund is only part of the comprehensive work currently underway to make YouTube a place where Black artists, creators, and users can share their stories and feel protected. We continue to invest in product and policy changes to meet that goal. We recently provided an update on our work to make YouTube a more inclusive platform, including how we handle harmful and hateful comments.


This is the first round of investments we are making in creators and artists from the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund. Over the next few years, we will directly invest in 500+ creators and artists from across the world to support, grow, and fund their channels and content development.


Please meet the #YouTubeBlack Voices Creator Class of 2021!*
 



Akah Bants | Lagos, Nigeria
Akah Bants: Akah Nnani is a critically acclaimed Nigerian-born actor, YouTube creator, producer and TV host. He started his YouTube channel in 2015 from a desire to share his opinions without the barriers of traditional media. His channel features comedy, personal stories, political commentary, and vlogs — and has resonated with Black viewers across several countries. Akah is passionate about the mental and social emancipation of Nigerians, and lends his voice to challenging leaders in his country to uphold excellence in governance.



Dimma Umeh | Lagos, Nigeria
Dimma Umeh: Dimma Umeh is an award-winning blogger and vlogger. Regularly featured on Nigerian websites, her YouTube videos have garnered over 25 million views since she started her channel in 2015. She's been featured on CNN's innovate Africa and in local and international publications, including Essence, Genevieve magazine and Guardian Life.




Eric Okafor | Lagos, Nigeria
Eric Okafor: Eric Okafor, also known as Knewkeed, is a YouTuber and content creator. He is best known for his technology-focused videos, and is one of the top tech creators in Nigeria and West Africa. After starting his career as an on-air media personality and a digital marketer, Eric decided in 2016 to focus full-time on growing his career as a YouTube creator. He gained international recognition in 2018 for his Y9 Huawei unboxing video and has continued to grow his reach and influence.


Financial Bunny | Johannesburg, South Africa
Financial Bunny: Nicolette Mashile is a champion of personal-finance education across the African continent. She has been a content creator since 2017 and is the best-selling author of the recent financial literacy book, “What’s Your Move.” She is also a television personality, property investor, and MBA candidate.


Kaluhis Kitchen | Nairobi, Kenya
Kaluhi’s Kitchen: Content creator and author Kaluhi Adagala started Kaluhi’s Kitchen in 2016 as a food channel for the everyday person looking to elevate Kenyan classics to a more fun and modern version. Kaluhi uses local, sustainable, affordable, and easy to find ingredients, along with visual step-by-step guides for her unique recipes. Kaluhi loves telling stories through food and has been featured in the New York Times, Cosmopolitan, Food Network, and CNN.


Kay Yarms | Johannesburg, South Africa
Kay Yarms: Kay Ngonyama, known as Kay Yarms, started her YouTube channel in 2017. She has quickly grown her fanbase through a variety of lifestyle videos, including make-up tutorials, vlogs, and product reviews.


Lade Owolabi | Abeokuta, Nigeria
Lade Owolabi: Lade Owolabi is on her life’s mission is to help others become the best version of themselves. She is a personal brand strategist and content creator. Lade makes videos on faith, family, and lifestyle topics.


Iamdodos90 | Lagos, Nigeria
Iamdodos90: Dodos Uvieghara is a beauty and lifestyle creator who started on YouTube in 2015. She is
passionate about empowering women to feel beautiful and confident through sharing her love for beauty, fashion, and lifestyle topics on her channel.



Lasizwe Dambuza | Johannesburg, South Africa
Lasizwe Dambuza: Born and raised in Pimville, Soweto, Lasizwe Dambuza began his video creation journey in 2014. His videos have gone on to achieve viral success, and he now has a reality show on MTV Africa that is currently in its third season. He has won numerous awards and recognition for his work.



MacG | Midrand, South Africa
MacG: MacG’s channel features weekly episodes of conversations between long time friends Macgyver Mukwevho and Lenn Moleko and Ghost Lady. These discussions cover everything—as MacG says, nothing is off limits.


Mitchelle Adagala | Nairobi, Kenya
Mitchelle Adagala: Mitchelle Adagala is a Certified Personal Trainer and the owner & founder of THRIVE FITNESS. She started her YouTube channel in 2017 and focuses on all things health, wellness and fitness.


Mumo | Nairobi, Kenya
Mumo: Mumo is a photographer and videographer whose channel focuses on helping entrepreneurs. He provides business ideas, tips on how to get started as an entrepreneur, and step-by-step tutorials. Mumo is looking to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and help people all over the world get answers to their business questions.


Ofentse Mwase Films | Johannesburg, South Africa
Ofentse Mwase Films: Ofentse and Nelisiwe Mwase are filmmakers who started on YouTube in 2007. They specialize in making comedy and music videos, as well as commercials, short films and corporate video projects. They love storytelling and creating great visuals.


Oscarmini | Abuja, Nigeria
Oscarmini: Oscar Frank has been in love with tech for as long as he can remember. He started a tech blog in 2010 when he was still a teenager, and evolved the content into his current YouTube channel in 2018. His goals are to help his audience better understand and use their tech, as well as to make the right purchasing decision after watching his videos.


Owamie Hlongwane Entertainment | Free State, South Africa
Owamie Hlongwane Entertainment: Owamie Hlongwane is a 30-year-old YouTuber from the village of Gaba in Venda. Content creation is her passion—she focuses on beauty, lifestyle, and entertainment. Owamie started uploading videos in 2017.


Patricia Kihoro | Nairobi, Kenya
Patricia Kihoro: Patricia Kihoro is a Kenyan-based singer, actress, radio presenter, digital content curator, improv comedian, and entrepreneur who loves potatoes, travel, music, performance, working out, riding around Nairobi on boda bodas, and most of all, laughter. She started her channel in 2009, and returned to YouTube in 2017 to showcase her city, her singing (sometimes to her food), her friends and family, travel, and festivals. Patricia loves to celebrate African brands, innovators, art, and culture with a strong bias towards music. She aims to have her audience leave in good spirits and with positive energy, having learnt something new.


Thato Rampedi | Pretoria, South Africa
Thato Rampedi: Thato Rampedi is a digital entrepreneur who has been creating for the past three years. He produces content that varies in style and spans multiple genres, His series #MoTee explores relationships, and his series #TheSitDownZA brings his friends into conversations about their upbringing and current lives. Thato also creates comedy videos with his brother and incorporates his friends and family into his vlogs.


Toast with Naledi | Johannesburg, South Africa
Toast with Naledi: Naledi Monamodi’s channel is centered around storytelling and sharing her past experiences to entertain, heal, and motivate others. Naledi looks to warm her way into people’s hearts with her content—and hope all viewers find a friend or sister in her.


Tomike Adeoye | Lagos, Nigeria
Tomike Adeoye: Tomike Adeoye is a YouTube creator, TV presenter, entrepreneur, and actress. She began vlogging in 2018, capturing moments and events so that her audience can experience her life along with her. She focuses on authenticity and bringing joy to her audience.


Zeelicious Foods | Lagos, Nigeria
Zeelicious Foods: Winnie Emmanuel is a food content creator, food consultant, and recipe consultant who started on YouTube in 2017. She teaches people how to make a variety of African and Nigerian-inspired recipes to help them expand their repertoire of dishes.


 ==== 

Introducing people cards: easy way to get found on Google Search


If you search for famous people on Google, it’s easy to find information about well-known personalities: search their names and you’ll often find knowledge panels that organize information about them from trusted sources, all in an easy-to-digest format. But what happens when you search for people who aren’t famous - or even search for your own name? It’s not always easy to find the person or information that you’re looking for. After all, there are many people who share the same name, and it’s hard to know who’s who on the internet.


If you’re a content creator, business professional,  or anyone looking to build up your own online presence, you might have a website, social profiles, and other information spread across many sites. If you’re just getting started, you may not have a website or much of an online presence at all. Today, we are solving these challenges by expanding  a feature called people cards to the region. It’s like a virtual card, where you can highlight your existing website or social profiles you want people to visit, plus other information about yourself that you want others to know.

Creating a people card is easy. First, sign into your Google Account, then simply search for your name or “add me to Search” and tap the prompt that appears. To start building your people card, you can choose to include the image from your Google account, add a description of yourself, links to your website or social profiles, and, if you want, a phone number or email address. The more information you provide, the easier it is for people to find you.

Our goal with Search is to always make sure people can find helpful and reliable information, so we have a variety of protections and controls in place to maintain the quality of information on people cards. Only one people card is allowed per Google Account, and a phone number is required to authenticate the account. We have a number of mechanisms to protect against abusive or spammy content, and if you come across low quality information or a card that you believe was created by an impersonator, you can tap the feedback link to let us know. If you no longer want your people card to appear in Search, you can delete it at any time.

If you’re trying to find someone on Search, these new cards make it quick and easy to find the right person. When you search for someone’s name and there’s a card available, you’ll see a module with the name, profession and location, which you can tap to see their card. For people who share the same name, you’ll see multiple modules, and the information can help you distinguish between the different individuals to find who you’re looking for. 

For the millions of influencers, entrepreneurs, prospective employees, self-employed individuals, freelancers, or anyone else out there who wants to be discovered, we hope this new Search feature will help the world find them. For people in Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa searching on mobile phones, people cards are rolling out in English starting today.

Posted by Olumide Balogun, Product Marketing Manager, Google Search

YouTubeBlack Africa Creator Week- Supporting and Celebrating African Creators

Back in June, we announced a $100 million fund to center and amplify Black voices and perspectives on YouTube, alongside a commitment to doing better as a platform to protect Black creators, artists and users. Since then, we’ve been doing a lot of work behind-the-scenes to bring these commitments to life because we believe when we center Black and other diverse voices, we reflect back the power of our global community.


As part of this commitment, we are hosting our first virtual Africa Creator Week from Monday 23 - Friday 27 November dedicated to engaging, educating and inspiring African creators on the platform. This region-wide virtual initiative is aimed at demonstrating our growing commitment to creators and artists in the region.


Highlights for the 1-week program include expert-led masterclasses with sessions on content strategy, channel optimisation, monetisation and brand partnerships for creators to learn the tips and tricks to grow their channels and be discovered by an engaged community. Creators will also hear first-hand from top creator, Mark Angel during Creator Talks, a session to spotlight one outstanding creator from the community, sharing their YouTube journey through a casual interview format. We will also host a Creator Panel featuring four creators across verticals to foster peer-driven open conversations, creator collaboration and knowledge sharing.
The Africa Creator Week will conclude with a two-hour virtual celebration event to celebrate African creators and creativity on Friday, November 27 at 5pm GMT. The event will have music performances by Fireboy, Niniola, Reekado Banks, Sauti Sol, Sho Madjozi with dance showcases from Dream Catchers, Ikorodu Bois, Triplet Ghetto Kids. Hosted by YouTube Creator, Akah Bants. The event is opened to everyone and will be live streamed on the Google Africa YouTube channel. Click here for the livestream link and set your reminders!
This week, we’re also celebrating African creators whose channels have reached new milestones. Congratulations to Beauty and style creator, Dodos, makeup and beauty creator Kay Ngonyama and Tech YouTuber Eric Okafor on attaining 100k subscribers and receiving their Silver Creator Awards. These creators and others continue to use YouTube to express themselves and give a voice to Africa’s stories.
Overall, we’ll be building some positive engagement on the vibrancy of the creator ecosystem, and our commitment to black creators in the region.




Posted by Alex Okosi, Managing Director, Emerging Markets, YouTube



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Celebrating Ghanaian Contemporary Art with Google Arts & Culture

Editor's note: Today we hear from Odile Tevie, Director, Nubuke Foundation. Read about Nubuke Foundation's ongoing partnership with the Google Arts and Culture to showcase Ghanaian art and artists. 

Nubuke Foundation has been an arts community anchor in Accra, Ghana for the past 15 years. The multifacetedness and breadth in our programming is a response to the audiences and creative communities who visit our space in the East Legon of Accra. The audiences are a reflection of the neighborhood; migrant communities, academia, middle income communities with focus on schools and in particular young primary and secondary school children and families.

In order to preserve Ghanaian culture and share it with the world, Nubuke Foundation has partnered with Google Arts & Culture to give a global audience the opportunity to virtually experience contemporary art from Ghana. As the first Ghanaian partner to come onboard on Google Arts & Culture, we are thrilled to share over 270 artworks and 9 online exhibits shining light on Ghanaian contemporary art and artists. Our goal is to continue to fuel the creative communities through our new bespoke gallery space in Accra and now also virtually on Google Arts & Culture.

Family Room (Abusua Asaso), Gideon Appah, 2017

James Town Fishing I, Jonathan Kwegyir Aggrey

The Choir,  Ayimaa-Kankam Marjorie

Menkronso Kwesida (Psalm Sunday), Patrick Tagoe-Turkson

 

We first partnered with Google Arts & Culture in 2015, collaborating on the 89plus Residency Program at Google Arts & Culture Lab. Twenty one artists participated in a workshop at the foundation and explored the synergies of technology and art. After the workshop, artist Elisabeth Efua Sutherland was invited in residence at the Google Arts & Culture Lab in Paris, where she presented a performance involving virtual reality, sculptures, dance and developed a performance based on an ancient Akan mythological character from Ghana involving virtual reality, sculptures, dance and sound

From today, you can explore what makes Ghanaian contemporary art so unique from the comfort of your home. Start by discovering the archives of one of Ghana's pioneering photographers James Barnor who covered the declaration of Ghana’s independence at the Old Polo Grounds in Accra, among other important national assignments. See how artist Musah Yussif experienced the COVID-19 lockdown and zoom into the details of his portrait series titled The Saints.’ Delve into Winfred Nana Amoah’s mixed-media portraits of women from his hometown of Hohoe as well as portraits of waste collectors from Accra’s Nima through the collage figurations of artist Rufai Zakari. Learn more about our Young Ghanaian Artist Programme through the artworks of Gideon Appah, Eric Gyamfi and Kwame Asante Agyare. Or visit the coast of Ghana through the paintings of Jonathan Kwegyir Aggrey.


As we embark on this new virtual chapter, we look forward to sharing stories from Ghana’s contemporary art scene and engaging with new creative communities. Art is a celebration of life and a snapshot into our shared history, heritage and identity. We hope you will enjoy exploring our collection on Google Arts & Culture.



Author: Odile Tevie, Director, Nubuke Foundation
Nubuke Foundation is the first Ghanaian partner on the Google Arts & Culture.

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The opportunity for “Digital Sprinters”

People around the world are confronting once-in-a-generation challenges: a global pandemic, an economic downturn of unprecedented proportions, rising demands for equity, and dramatic strains on financial resources.

The rain from this perfect storm is falling hardest on emerging markets. In many cases, they’re struggling to manage the pandemic with fewer public health resources and also suffer from greater economic vulnerabilities. Yet emerging markets also have some of the most vibrant economies and greatest entrepreneurial energy in the world. With the right policy frameworks, they can become ideal launching pads for future innovation. This challenging moment may be exactly the right time for these economies to pursue ambitious digital transformation, using their immediate recovery efforts to develop sustainable economic gains.

Nearly a third of U.S. small business owners are using digital tools to save their business during the COVID-19 crisis. In emerging markets too, digital technologies are often providing a lifeline: a plus-size clothes designer in Manaus, Brazil, a musical instruments maker in Istanbul, Turkey and an owner of a guest house in Durban, South Africa have all been able to survive by using digital technologies and online commerce.



Becoming “Digital Sprinters”
We call these emerging economies “Digital Sprinters” because, by becoming more digital, they have the potential to sprint ahead toward economic development. Based on our experiences, we believe governments and the private sector should focus on four key areas, as detailed in a report we're releasing today:



  • Physical capital: this is about digital connectivity and infrastructure. It’s not just about investment but also how infrastructure is managed.
  • Human capital: countries need a comprehensive approach to worker training, economic security, entrepreneurship, and combating discrimination.
  • Technology: increasing the use of data, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing, which empower the growth of next-generation technologies and unlock future growth. This means new opportunities alongside new questions about how best to harness these technologies.
  • Competitiveness: policies that promote competitive and open markets, interoperable regulatory standards, and tax regimes that are predictable and based on international standards.

Our recommendations reflect just one perspective on public policy frameworks for digital transformation. We hope that the report will help advance conversations about digitally-driven growth among governments, civil society, international organizations, academic institutions and entrepreneurs.

Potential economic gains
The economic potential from digital transformation is huge. A new study finds that, by 2030, digital transformation could generate as much $3.4 trillion of economic value in these Digital Sprinter markets. At a country level this translates to 25 percent of GDP in Brazil, 31 percent in Saudi Arabia and 33 percent in Nigeria, to name a few examples.


Emerging markets face a watershed moment today. As COVID-19 is disrupting world order and breaking supply chains, emerging markets have an opportunity to transform and emerge as stronger players. We hope these reports published today can play a part in helping decision-makers take advantage of these opportunities.



Posted by Kent Walker, Senior Vice President of Global Affairs.

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e-Conomy Africa 2020: Understanding Africa’s $180B internet economy future


Genetic scientists study human DNA to better understand medical conditions and how to treat diseases. But their research is often based on samples that don’t actually reflect the world’s population. Around 80 percent of the human DNA used in genetic studies is from people of European descent. This means that researchers are often unable to study and address conditions that affect global ethnicities.

In January 2019, Abasi Ene-Obong, a young tech engineer from Nigeria, founded 54gene with the aim of making gene studies more representative by increasing access to African genomic data—which currently accounts for less than 3 percent of all genetic data sets. After securing two rounds of funding, 54gene has gone on to complete a fully resourced biobank in Lagos, crucial to support academic research, drug development, and disease detection.

Ene-Obong’s story is just one example of how talented African entrepreneurs are creating new opportunities across the continent. As a new report from Google and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) shows, the startup ecosystem is helping drive Africa’s internet economy towards a projected value of $180 billion by 2025, or 5.2 percent of the continent’s GDP.

We collaborated on the report—titled ”e-Conomy Africa 2020: Africa’s $180 billion internet economy future”—to highlight the strengths and challenges of the internet economy today, and to better understand where it might go in the future. Here are some other things we learned.





Startups in Africa are progressing and reaching new milestones

According to Partech Ventures Africa, African tech startups reached a new milestone in 2019 with $2.02 billion of equity funding raised. That’s 74 percent more than in 2018, and represents an average deal size of $8.08 million.

At the forefront of the internet economy’s growth are startups in sectors like financial technology (fintech), e-commerce, health, e-logistics, e-mobility and food delivery. Fintech leads the way in terms of funding, receiving 54 percent of all African startup investment in 2019. This indicates high investor trust, which is significant given the sector’s important role serving unbanked and financially excluded Africans.

One example is the Nigerian digital payments and commerce platform Interswitch, which received $200 million in equity funding from Visa in 2019, as well an IFC investment of $10.5 million. These investments came at a time of big growth for the electronics payment market, and, as a result, Interswitch has helped transform the infrastructure of Nigeria’s banking system, while extending its services to 23 other countries.

E-commerce startups have also shown strong growth, thanks to improved digital payment services and a rise in mobile technology and payment channels. In 2019, e-commerce accounted for $134 million in funding across 30 deals--a 36 percent increase in the number of deals compared with 2018. With COVID-19-mandated lockdowns in countries across the continent, consumers have quickly gotten much more used to e-commerce, and their new online shopping behavior may well extend beyond the pandemic.




Young developer talent is shaping the future
The African developer scene boasts 700,000 professional software developers, many of them trained through university programs, others self-taught.

There’s an enormous amount of talent, but these developers need help to find jobs and take their ideas forward.

Coding classes, like those offered by Google, Decagon, Gebeya and others, are helping close knowledge and skills gaps, while professional communities continue to grow. There are more than 160 active Google Developer Groups and 200 Developer Student Clubs in Sub-Saharan Africa, offering training and support to help developers meet job requirements. And since its launch in 2018, the Google for Startups Accelerator Africa program has worked with 47 startups from 17 African countries—helping them develop products and build successful companies and products. One of the 2016 global accelerator graduates, Nigerian fintech startup Paystack, was recently acquired by Stripe for over $200 million.

IFC is also playing its part to advance digital skills development, making investments in regional startups and accelerators that cultivate tech talent. Gebeya—a company IFC supports in Ethiopia—has trained over 500 young software developers, most of whom are women, and is providing seed funding to 30 graduates to pursue their own digital ventures. IFC investee Flat6Labs is fostering tech entrepreneurship (and women entrepreneurs in particular) by directing early stage funding to startups in both Egypt and Tunisia.

Whether it's helping startups grow, training developers or providing tools for small businesses, both Google and IFC are committing to bringing the benefits of technology to millions more people across this extraordinary continent. We invite you to read the report and learn more about the opportunities unfolding throughout Africa’s thriving internet economy.





Posted by Nitin Gajria, Regional Director, Sub-saharan Africa, Google Africa and Sérgio Pimenta, Vice President, Middle East & Africa, IFC


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Cybersecurity Month: Providing helpful resources for parents, teachers & students to navigate the digital world

The Cyber Security Awareness Month is observed in October across the world annually and was created to ensure that every individual stays safe and secure online. According to UNICEF, millions of children are at a heightened risk of online threats as learning and daily activities move increasingly online during lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.


As part of our commitment to help kids and families stay safe online, especially during this period, we’re excited to announce a few initiatives happening this month.







Online Safety Webinars for Parents and Families
The online safety webinars are designed to help parents learn about helpful and find digital wellbeing tips to navigate the online world with their kids safely . The training content covers tips for setting digital ground rules for the family, helpful resources for discovering and managing family friendly content, and protecting simple solutions for protecting the family´s online privacy and security. Parents can also find quick links to learn about safety tools like Family Link, Youtube Kids, & Digital wellbeing.   To register for the webinars across SSA, please visit goo.gle/onlinesafety


Localizing Online Safety Awareness through fun and informative Story Books
In continuation of our work to make it simpler for children to learn how to be safe while online, we have partnered with children's author, Nomthi Odukoya to create an online safety story book, titled How to be Safe Online, for families with children aged 10 to 16 years old.
This book simplifies the basics of digital citizenship and safety so children can explore the online world with confidence. Children can learn important safety tips including tips on how to communicate effectively online, tips on how to spot scams and phishers, how to safeguard valuable personal information, how to spread positivity online, tips for disempowering cyberbullying, and how children can to escalate to a trusted adult when they face difficulties online.

The stories have also been adapted to local Kenyan, Nigerian and South African names, to make it easier for kids to relate with the story better. We are working with educational partners to share free copies across Sub Saharan Africa to families and institutions with kids aged between 10 and 16 years old.

We invite you to download the e- version for advanced readers aged 8 and above on the Read Along app. Download the read along app to get started


Scaling the Online Safety Learning in Schools
On the heels of the launch of our online safety education curriculum in Nigeria, we are pleased to announce new plans, in partnership with the South African Western Cape Education Department to launch an online safety curriculum guideline for grades 8 to 12. The guidelines which will be integrated into the Life Orientation subject will be announced at a virtual event today, 21st of October, 2020. We invite you to register to attend here.

More than ever before, the need to help more people understand and practice online safety practices is crucial especially for families with children, who have been learning either virtually or through a hybrid of in person and virtual training. We understand this, and remain committed to building, developing and investing in tools and projects to help families stay safe.

To learn more about our resources to keep you and your family safe, please visit the Google Safety Center.




Posted by Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde, Head, Brand & Reputation, Sub-Saharan Africa

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Mashujaa: Celebrate the communities of Kenya with Google Arts & Culture

Editor's note: Today we hear from Ambassador Dr Amina Mohamed, Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and Heritage, Republic of Kenya



Today in Kenya we’re celebrating Mashujaa Day, or National Heroes Day, and honoring the remarkable people who have shaped our nation. We are shining the spotlight on a pantheon of cultural and folk heroes, and how their superpowers continue to be the strength and heartbeat of not only the communities from which they came, but all of Kenya. We need days like these to remind us how our shared heritage and our diversity unites us as people, and it is therefore with great pride that I unveil the second chapter of the online project Utamaduni Wetu: Meet the People of Kenya, created in collaboration with the National Museums of Kenya, Google Arts & Culture and the creative agency Shujaa Stories.



Originally launched in 2019, Utamaduni Wetu: Meet the People of Kenya is Google’s most ambitious digitization project to date in Africa, and one of the first digital content features on the subject of Kenyan communities. Everyone can now explore over 10,600 high-resolution photographs170 expert-curated exhibits80 Street Views of 16 sites and learn more about the intangible heritage and stories of the country’s 44 communities officially registered by the government. The exhibits shine light on the regions, history, traditions, morals, worldview and wisdom of Kenya’s communities, some of whose stories—usually passed on through oral history—have been written down and shared online for the first time.





Today, on Mashujaa Day, I am delighted to announce that we now have at least one superhero for each of our 44 communities, and I invite you to explore their stories on Google Arts & Culture. Originally conceived by the late Masidza Sande Galavu and Jeff Muchina of Shujaa Stories, the first 21 heroes were unveiled at an exhibition at the National Museums of Kenya and online as part of Utamaduni Wetu: Meet the People of Kenya. Now, thanks to the leadership of Dr. Mzalendo Kibunjia, the Director General of the National Museums of Kenya, a dedicated team of researchers, curators, academics and young creatives has worked to bring 40 more stories to life. They have travelled far to get first-hand knowledge of the communities and passionately researched, documented and illustrated a total of 61 heroes spanning cultures, generations, gender and geography.


The government’s collaboration with Google Arts & Culture has democratised access to Kenya’s rich heritage and enabled more people to discover our culture and human connections in new, exciting and interactive ways. It has also encouraged real-life visits to the country’s museums, monuments and heritage sites.


I encourage you to read each of the stories, and be inspired by the achievements and bravery of each superhero. They are a celebration of the values and the heritage of the peoples of Kenya and of our unity in diversity. I would like to echo the words of the great author Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, who said, "The peoples of Kenya have an incredible richness of history and culture. Learning from what we already have, from all the communities, is the way into the world."


Posted by Ambassador Dr Amina Mohamed, Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and Heritage, Republic of Kenya



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Mashujaa : Les communautés kenyanes à l’honneur grâce à Google Arts & Culture


Aujourd’hui, au Kenya, nous célébrons Mashujaa Day, la Journée nationale des Héros, l’occasion de rendre hommage aux personnalités d’exception qui ont façonné notre nation. Gros plan sur un panthéon de héros issus du monde de la culture classique et populaire, pour montrer comment, par leurs super-pouvoirs, ils continuent d’incarner la force et le cœur non seulement des communautés dont ils sont originaires, mais de l’ensemble du pays. Nous avons besoin de jours comme celui-ci pour nous rappeler que notre patrimoine commun et notre diversité font de nous un peuple, et c’est donc avec une grande fierté que je dévoile le deuxième chapitre du projet en ligne Utamaduni Wetu : À la rencontre du peuple kényan, créé en collaboration avec les musées nationaux du Kenya, Google Arts et culture et Shujaa Stories.


Initialement lancé en 2019, Utamaduni Wetu : À la rencontre du peuple Kényan est le projet de numérisation de Google le plus ambitieux à ce jour en Afrique, et l’un des premiers à proposer des contenus numériques sur le thème des communautés kényanes. Chacun peut désormais découvrir plus de 10 500 photographies en haute résolution, 129 expositions organisées par des experts et 80 Street Views de 16 sites et en savoir plus sur le patrimoine immatériel et l'histoire des 44 communautés que compte officiellement ce pays. Les expositions mettent en lumière les régions, l’histoire, les traditions, la morale, la vision du monde et la sagesse des communautés du Kenya, dont certains récits, généralement transmis oralement, ont été transcrits et mis à disposition en ligne pour la première fois.


Aujourd’hui, en cette Journée de Mashujaa, je suis ravi d’annoncer que nous avons désormais au moins un super-héros pour chacune de nos 44 communautés, et je vous invite à découvrir leurs portraits sur Google Arts et culture. Conçus à l’origine par feu Masidza Sande Galavu et Jeff Muchina de l’agence de création Shujaa Stories, un groupe de jeunes designers et écrivains qui ont créé les animations de super-héros, les 21 premiers héros ont été dévoilés lors d’une exposition dans les Musées nationaux du Kenya et en ligne dans le cadre du projet Utamaduni Wetu : À la rencontre du peuple Kényan. Aujourd’hui, sous la direction du Dr Mzalendo Kibunjia, directeur général des musées nationaux du Kenya, une équipe motivée de chercheurs, de conservateurs, d’universitaires et de jeunes créateurs a permis de donner vie à 40 autres histoires. Ils ont parcouru un grand nombre de kilomètres pour acquérir une connaissance de première main des communautés. Ils ont ensuite mené des recherches, documenté et illustré avec passion un total de 61 héros hommes et femmes de toutes cultures et de tous âges, originaires de régions différentes.


La collaboration entre le gouvernement et Google Arts & Culture a permis de démocratiser l’accès au riche patrimoine du Kenya et à faire découvrir notre culture et les liens qui nous unissent de manière innovante et interactive. Il a également encouragé les internautes à se rendre dans les musées, à visiter les monuments et les sites du patrimoine kényan.


Je vous encourage à lire toutes les histoires. La bravoure et les prouesses de chacun de ces super-héros sont une source d'inspiration pour nous tous. Ils mettent à l’honneur les valeurs et l’héritage des peuples du Kenya ainsi que notre unité dans la diversité. Je voudrais me faire l’écho des paroles du grand écrivain Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, lorsqu’il disait : « Les peuples du Kenya ont une histoire et une culture d’une incroyable richesse. Notre faculté à apprendre à partir de ce que nous avons déjà, qui nous a été transmis par toutes les communautés, c’est la voie qui nous permettra de nous ouvrir au monde. »


Poste par Amb. (Dr.) Amina C. Mohamed, Secrétaire d’État aux sports, à la culture et au patrimoine, République du Kenya