The Seoul Africa Festival is a vibrant celebration of the diverse cultures, traditions, and talents of the African continent that was founded in 2016 has grown to become South Korea's largest event with a singular theme - Africa. It is a collaborative effort, bringing together Africans, Koreans, and individuals from various foreign nationalities to revel in the unique charms of the African continent.
Seoul Africa Festival 2023
The 6th Seoul Africa Festival, held on October 21st, 2023, at Banpo Hangang Park, Seoul, was co-hosted by Africa Insight (an NGO registered with the Ministry of Foreign Affiars, specializing in African regions and related topics), along with the African Group of Ambassadors (Algeria, Angola, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Libya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, and Zambia), Seoul Metropolitan Government, and Kia.
A Celebration of Africa's Richness
The event featured a range of exciting activities, including performance by TAGG and Djembecola, Africa's Got Talent competition, a fashion show, a together festival, and a grand finale by Harmonize (Show-choir World Champion). Jonathan Thona Yiombi from Congo served as one of the MCs, adding a unique perspective to the festival's entertainment.
1. Cultural Exhibitions: Various embassies, educational institutions, and businesses set up booths and exhibitions, allowing visitors to gain firsthand experience of diverse African cultures. The organizations including bbb Korea, BuUBuU, DnP Africa, Africa Future Foundation, Team & Team International, Ubuntu Network, I Leader Kalimba Education, ESAK (Ethiiopian Students Association in Korea), Greenrainbooks, Vision Care, GOOOPPA, and VLEES participated.
Members of TAGG and Djembecola
2. Fashion Show: The festival's main stage, set against the backdrop of the Han River, hosts a spectacular array of performances, including an exciting fashion show featuring African premium brands like Katush and Lohije.
3. Dance Performances: Numerous cultural groups in Korea, such as the African dance company TAGG (Eunjung Kwon-Lee & Ahifon Soundea Daniel), Djembecola, and AfroKorea, showcase their impressive choreography, promoting the rhythmic and energetic facets of African dance.
Promoting Awareness and Collaboration
The Seoul Africa Festival has a profound mission, as articulated by Dong-hwan Choi, Chairman of Africa Insight. The festival aims to raise awareness of Africa, advocate for rights, strengthen capacity in Africa, and promote exchanges and cooperation between Korea and Africa. Africa is a youthful continent, with the majority of its population under 30, making interactions and cooperation with the promising African youth vital for a better world.
The Festival's Impact
Over the past five years, the Seoul Africa Festival has consistently drawn an average of over 50,000 attendees. It has played a significant role in fostering a growing interest in African culture among the Korean public and the business community's eagerness to explore opportunities in African countries. Moreover, the festival has received recognition for its role in promoting cultural diversity in Seoul.