By Dipo Olowookere
President of The Africa Center in New York City, Halima Aliko Dangote, is organising a fundraising as part of her major responsibility of raising capital for the centre.
The goal is to raise funds to complete the center building in New York.
For this year, three fundraising events have been lined up to achieve this and one would be hosted in Nigeria by the Aliko Dangote Foundation on March 23 at the Eko Hotels & Suite, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The Africa Center in New York City is a non-profit, multidisciplinary institution that provides a gateway for engagement with contemporary Africa, and a platform for the most compelling content from the continent.
The goal of the Africa Center is to help people understand and engage with contemporary Africa.
The center is located at One Museum Mile, at the corner of Fifth Avenue and East 110th Street in East Harlem, Manhattan.
The new location represents a cultural gateway to Harlem the traditional African- American neighbourhood in New York.
The building, designed by architect Robert A.M. Stern, is the first museum building built on New York’s Museum Mile since the completion of the Guggenheim in 1959.
While construction is being finalized, the Africa Center continues to present pop up events in its new space until the building is completed.
It will serve as a cultural centre, and will make the museum accessible to a wide range of people from the world over, thus solidifying the museum’s presence as one of the most challenging and diverse art institutions in the U.S.
The new building will encompass approximately 90,000 square feet (8,400 m2) with 16,000 square feet (1,500 m2) of exhibition space, as well as a theatre, education centre, library, classrooms, event space, restaurant and gift shop.
The growth into the cultural centre has been spearheaded by, among others, Hadeel Ibrahim, daughter of Mo Ibrahim, and Chelsea Clinton.
The focus areas of The Africa Centre’s programming include:
Business: The Center will help the private sector to navigate Africa’s 53 distinct business climates, will make hard-to-obtain data available and understandable, and will facilitate peer-to-peer introductions. The Center will help potential partners find each other, and share best practices from the continent.
Policy: The Center will focus its efforts on linking research capacity with change agents on the ground in Africa, building transcontinental teams to find policy solutions. They will also work to build a broader constituency for good policy through educational initiatives that aim to bring basic “Africa literacy” to a wide range of audiences.
Culture: Building on its history as the Museum for African Art, the Center will be a home for exhibitions, performances and showings of visual, performing, and digital art from Africa
Companies such as Dangote are at the forefront of re-defining for the world what African business is and what Africans can accomplish. Showcasing Africa in a new and positive light is what makes this project worthwhile and something that we can be proud to attach our name to – so long as we are on the Board and able to effectively influence what the Center does.
The ambition of the Center is to become a major rallying point on African issues globally, and Dangote Group’s position and relevance in Africa makes us a natural partner to the project.
Halima Dangote, President of The Africa Center will host an online press conference on Thursday, March 23 at 14:00 GMT.
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