What’s the right way for Africa and Asia to communicate?
Sometimes, 2 different worlds collide with each other. Sometimes cultures that are opposites from one another will meet face to face. When this happens, we never want it to be a violent car crash. We want to shoot for an equitable exchange. But how do we ensure that the latter is what takes place? At the present moment, Africa is colliding with Asia. There are numerous situations where this collision does looks like a car crash, except for one. The AsiAfrica Foundation, based in Thailand is now constructing a bridge between Asia and Africa ‘the right way.’ The name says it all.
Aina Nghipuilepo shows us a beautiful embodiment of this collision. She is the Foundation’s Business Development Officer. She is a prime example of a bridge between the Land of the Brave to the Land of 1000 smiles. As you may have heard, Thailand has been affectionately named, The Land of 1000 smiles. The name comes from Thailand’s economy being heavily reliant on tourism and the Thai people smiling on every single brochure. Land of the Brave is taken from Namibia’s national anthem. As Aina details in her interview with BlackAsiaMagazine, being an African student in Thailand, posed unique challenges. These were challenges that she was equipped to meet on her own but that are better met with the support of the Foundation.
For us, in keeping with our values, how do we define this term: the right way? What are the ideal ways for Asian and African cultures to interact? The Foundation has taken it upon itself “to educate and bring awareness to issues that impact society directly and indirectly.” This contribution is definitely a long-term goal and comes in various forms like introducing scholarships for African students or designing webinars to inform people about cryptocurrency or promoting cultural exchange through dance. Some of the popular dances that Dr. Roland is an expert in are Kizomba and Salsa.
The services provided by the AsiAfrica Foundation in Thailand are invaluable to the people and the communities they serve. Preeminent among these services, the foundation helps Africans in Thailand create stable lives and stable futures.
Dr. Roland Amoussou is one of the only men from Africa, that I’ve come across thus far who is holding the line. The relationship between Africa and China demonstrates a prime example of ‘the wrong way’ for 2 regions to collide. China’s penetration into Africa has mainly benefited China. Outside of a few elite in certain African countries, the local people in African nations gain little to nothing from China’s presence. In fact, China being there is viewed by many as another form of imperialism.
Dr. Amoussou’s work in Thailand does a few things at once. First, it provides for a structure where economic and cultural exchange is bilateral. Included in this structure as well, is a mutual appreciation for the talents and gifts inherent to Thai culture and various African cultures. Such an appreciation can only come about when African cultures and Thai culture know each other in a realistic sense. As an alternative to working with China, Thailand could provide the resources that Africa and the world need.
In summary, we are at a juncture in world history when many different kinds of people are finding themselves in some very unfamiliar circumstances. This is a wonderful thing, as it feeds human curiosity. Different cultures and different communities are meeting each other and learning about each other. It is up to us to plan these interactions, as meticulously as we possibly can. These now distinct communities must adapt and evolve to fit the challenges set before them. The responsibility falls to us, now, to shape our world to make sure that we all can play and play fairly.