Konkoma: UK Debut Tour

Saturday, 2 March 2013 - 9:00pm to Friday, 22 March 2013 - 8:00pm
Various Cities and Venues : See listings for details

Afro-funk 9 piece Konkoma debut their UK tour and are coming to a city near you!


Konkoma adds a progressive blend of Afro-funk, jazz, soul and traditional African rhythms as well as acknowledging the 70s recordings that spawned the sound. The idea was to create a band around two highly esteemed Ghanaian musicians – Alfred Bannerman and Emmanuel Rentzos. Both are mercurial talents who over the years have graced the stage with the likes of Bobby Womack, Hugh Masakela and Peter Green as well as being long term members of the Afro-rock band Osibisa, but it wasn’t until KonKoma that the two old friends have had a band built around the two of them.

Their line-up consists of: Emmanuel Rentzos on vocals and keyboards, Reginald ‘JojoYates on vocals, mbira, sepriwa and percussion, Alfred ‘Kari’ Bannerman on guitar and vocals, Nii Tagoe on vocals and percussion, Jose Joyette on drums,Derrick McIntyre on bass guitar, Scott Baylis on trumpet, Max Grunhard on alto and baritone saxophone and Ben Hadwen on baritone saxophone and flute.

Their debut disc on Soundway Records has been met with wide acclaim. Produced by Max Grunhard and Ben Lamdin, the album was recorded and mixed by Mike Pelanconi.  

This eagerly awaited tour marks the first chance for UK audiences to see this amazing band and stellar cast. Early bird tickets are available now and venues & ticket information can be found below.

2013 UK Tour Itinerary

02 March – LONDON New Empowering Church

08 March – IPSWICH Manor Ball Room

15 March-   BRISTOL Colston Hall

21 March-   BIRMINGHAM Hare and Hounds

22 March-   BRIGHTON Studio Theatre, Brighton Dome


Louis Moholo-Moholo Octet

Tuesday, 16 April 2013 - 8:30pm
VORTEX JAZZ CLUB 11 Gillett Square, London, N16 8AZ

Louis Moholo-Moholo Octet

Louis Moholo-Moholo - drums
John Edwards - bass
Alexander Hawkins - piano
Jason Yarde - saxophones
Ntshuks Bonga - saxophones
Henry Lowther - trumpet
Alan Tomlinson - trombone
Francine Luce - vocals

Very happy that the fantastic Louis Moholo-Moholo Octet returns to the Vortex for what can only be an utterly exciting show!

Louis Moholo is a South African drummer who, together with Chris McGregor, Johnny Dyani, Dudu Pukwana and Mongezi Feza comprised the Blue Notes. Hounded by apharteid they left South Africa in 1968 ostensibly to play at a music festival in the south of France. They never went back.

After France, they made their way to London where they were to have a profound influence on the jazz scene. Their style of playing, their influences and their radical stance encouraged and nurtured other British jazz musicians who were looking for more experimental approaches.

Click here for more information

African Composers Series: Juwon Ogungbe

Sunday, 14 April 2013 - 8:30pm
VORTEX JAZZ CLUB 11 Gillett Square, London, N16 8AZ

Juwon Ogungbe

Nigerian-British pianist and singer Juwon Ogungbe is one of the stars of UK-African music. Juwon Ogungbe blazes his own path in a wide range of settings - from the afro-soul-funk of his band, to his choral work with The Vocal Ensemble of Africa.

Returning from Richmond Virginia, USA where he has spent the last few months writing songs for his next CD and performing in a series of shows, he will play new material from this trip as well as songs from his current CD “Life Force Music”, which showcases a writer of songs of great depth driven by the infectious rhythms of his Yoruba-Nigerian roots.

Click here for more information

African Composers Series:Mervyn Africa at the Vortext Jazz Club

Friday, 12 April 2013 - 8:30pm
VORTEX JAZZ CLUB 11 Gillett Square, London, N16 8AZ

Mervyn Africa plays the Vortex Jazz Club

South African Jazz Musician, Mervyn Africa

South African pianist and composer Mervyn Africa has been one of the great names of African jazz for the last 30 years. His brilliant technic and ability to create sumptuous piano improvisation and composition drawing from his rich cultural and musical background has made him one of African greatest pianists.

On 12th April, he leads his band as they play from his new CD “Remember The Carnival” (F&M Productions) – a big band recording that sparkles with creative inventions.

Click here for more information

Women4Africa presents Strengthening our Communities through Strong Motherhood

Tuesday, 19 March 2013 - 6:00pm
Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton, SW2 1RW

In celebration of International Women’s Month 

Women4Africa presents

‘Strengthening our Communities through Strong Motherhood’

Speakers at the event will include:

·         Betty Makoni – CEO of Girl/Child Network Worldwide

·         May7ven – Artist/Entrepreneur

·         Roucheon Iloyi – Artist/Women4Africa Youth Ambassador

·         Tola Onigbanjo – Women4Africa Founder

Also speaking

·         Samara Hammond – CEO AMREF UK

·         Her Highness Queen Naa Tsotsoo Soyoo I – Ghana, West Africa

Rate: Free – must register via Eventbrite 

Refreshments provided on the night

Women4Africa Supported by Lambeth Council

On this wonderful occasion , we are Celebrating the International Women’s Month, and are seeking to add value to every woman that attends this Night of Empowerment. Women4Africa, is the Celebration of the Best of African Women, our 2nd Annual Awards will be held on Saturday the 18th of May 2013, at the Great Hall, Kensington.



Saturday, 9 March 2013 - 4:30pm



* African Internationalisation World View

- Role of African Women in our struggle for African National liberation by Vanesa Thomson, ASI Europe Chairwoman

- The Parasitic Capitalism: The foundations of US/EU democracies and economic development by Luwezi Kinshasa, ASI Secretary General


* Protect and Defend and Our Own

- Crisis of British mental health and African people by BMH UK Director, Matilda Macattram

- Build Revolutionary Organisations to defend and protect our own by Sister Levy, London Indpum President

- Stop US/ UK proxy Wars: The primary source of violence against African women in DRC by Victoria Dimandja of Liberation Congoloes Women Group


- Revolutionary Poetry and Acting by Patricia Balusa and melinda Nyoko

For more  information

Delta Spills: Who should pay the cost?

Tuesday, 26 February 2013 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm

Delta Spills: Who should pay the cost?


A bird on a lake, both are covered in oil

Date & Time: Tuesday, 26 February, 12:00-2:00PM

Place: TLT LLP, 7th Floor, 20 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7JE

Speaker: Senator Bukola Saraki, Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology.

Respondents: Joseph Croft, Executive Director, Stakeholder Democracy Network; Barnaby Briggs, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development, Shell.
Chair: Rolake Akinkugbe, Head of Energy Research, Ecobank.

The history of the oil industry in Nigeria has been marred by continuous oil spills, which have caused massive human and environmental damage, most notably in the Niger Delta region, where conflict has been rife since the 1990s.

It is estimated that 1.5 million tons of oil have been spilled into the country’s ecosystem over the past 50 years. In 2011, the UN Environment Programme reported that the Delta’s Ogoniland region alone could take 30 years to recover from oil spills. At the moment, companies are only liable to pay about £4,000 for an oil spill of any size, which is incomparable to the billions that BP has paid for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion in the United States.

Senator Bukola Saraki, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, has recently tabled the National Oil Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) Amendment Bill 2012, with the aim of strengthening the institutional and regulatory power of NOSDRA. The Bill, currently awaiting its third hearing in the Nigerian parliament, is the first legislative proposal to provide a framework for compensation, enshrining the ‘polluter pays’ principle into Nigerian law.

Following the recent ruling by a Dutch court that Shell Nigeria (a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell) was partly responsible for oil pollution in the Niger Delta and should pay compensation, this timely event will discuss Senator Saraki’s proposed amendment bill in the context of international agreements and protocols relating to oil spill response.

Places are limited for this event. Please RSVP on RSVP@royalafricansociety.org

Beyond Aid: Britain, Africa and Higher Education: Who benefits?

Tuesday, 5 March 2013 - 6:30pm to 8:30pm


Beyond Aid: Britain, Africa and Higher Education: Who benefits?

Date & Time: Tuesday, 5 March 2013, 6:30-8:30PM
Place: Jon Snow Lecture Theatre, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, WC1E 7HT

Interactive panel debate in partnership with the London International Development Centre (LIDC) and the Canon Collins Trust

Speakers: Professor Graham Furniss, Research & Enterprise Pro-Director, SOAS; Dr Mpalive Msiska, Lecturer in English & Humanities, Birkbeck; Lesley Coldham, External Relations Manager, Tullow Oil; Kwalombota Kwalombota, Public Health Consultant & Canon Collins Alumnus; and Professor David Simon, Trustee, Canon Collins. Chair: Jeff Waage, LIDC Director.

Higher education (HE) in a development context receives considerably less attention than primary education. Yet HE is crucial for the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the overall economic development of low and middle income countries. 

In the 2010/11 academic year, there were 36,710 African students enrolled at universities across the UK. Almost half of the African students in the UK were from Nigeria - third country of origin after China and India, surpassing the United States.

This debate, the second in our Beyond Aid series, asks - what is the impact for both the UK and Africa of these students coming to study in UK universities? Is it a simple brain drain versus brain gain dilemma or is the relationship more nuanced than that? What is the socio-economic, political and cultural impact of this phenomenon and what are the policy changes needed to make sure this exchange works to mutual benefit?

Beyond Aid is a joint project developed by the Royal African Society (RAS) and the London International Development Centre (LIDC), which aims to look beyond the perspectives of the development aid agenda and beyond the traditional leader-follower view of Britain-Africa relations. Using the RAS’ political engagement and public outreach and the academic resources of the LIDC, the two organisations have joined forces to host a series of debates exploring the impact of Britain’s non-aid activities on Africa and vice-versa. 

Image:© Rich Tea

To attend this and other RAS events, please register on this website here - after which you will be able to register yourself for this and further events held by the Royal African Society.

Venue Map




Kenya’s Election: Brave New World Or Highway To Hell?

Friday, 1 February 2013
By Richard Dowden


Since the last disastrous election a new constitution has come into force which has divided Kenya into 47 new counties. Each will have its own governor and parliament which will decide how its budget is spent. But devolution goes even further than that. The County Governments Act stresses democratic participation at every stage of decision making: mass communication and consultation on development plans, civic education programmes, debates at every level from the village to the country parliament, the right of the public to demand – and get – full information about plans and policies and the right to petition the courts. The overarching ideology is that the people will decide.

[L to R] Outgoing Kenyan president Mwai Kibaki at the UN General Assembly; Kenyans queing to vote in the 2008 elections] 

[Sources: UN Photo Library and Ian Schuler] 

Everyone is strapped in and the Kenyan election roller coaster has begun. A cacophony of electioneering propaganda is being blasted out through every medium. The political godfathers are flying around the country firing up their supporters, screwing down the vote, constituency by constituency and promising heaven after the March 4th poll. Kenya is poised at the top of a ride that could fling the country violently off the rails and send it to hell – as it did after the 2007 election. Or it could take the country elegantly into a dynamic new era, a transformation that would make it one of the most democratic countries in the world. John Githongo, a civil society activist, says: “the new world is being born but the old order has not yet died”.

The problem is that this idealistic and finely constructed constitution is managed by politicians who are largely tribal godfathers. Uhuru Kenyatta, the Kikuyu leader, is the son of the founding president, Jomo Kenyatta. Raila Odinga, the Prime Minister, is a Luo chief and the son of Oginga Odinga, Jomo Kenyatta’s greatest rival and critic. While the constitution prescribes democracy, transparency, good governance and idealism, this election is all about personal and tribal loyalties. However, no single ethnic-based party can win outright, so via a protracted and bewildering dance the parties have formed coalitions to secure victory. There are also a bewildering number of parties on the ballot papers but almost all are part of alliances representing, or fronts for, the main candidates and parties.

The registration of party candidates at the grass roots this week was all but wrecked in many key areas by chaos and violence; most of it organised and paid for, both within and between some of the leading parties. Under the law, if the process is flawed, the party headquarters decides who the candidate will be. This ensures that the party bosses keep control of the lists and locally popular candidates are kept out.

Politics in Kenya is exceedingly lucrative – with allowances, MPs are paid a third more than their British counterparts. The President gets 10 percent more than his opposite number in the US. They recently tried to award themselves a hugely increased retirement package but it was vetoed by the retiring President, Mwai Kibaki, although he did sign into law his own $200,000 golden handshake. So getting nominated at a local level (the first rung on the ladder to wealth and power) is very important. All you need is cash, the backing of a godfather and the right ethnic credentials. Issues and policies are hardly mentioned. Winning a parliamentary seat in Kenya is also like winning the lottery.

But already The People are finding their voice. When Mr Odinga tried to nominate his sister and brother to the list of candidates in his own county, local people had other ideas and cast their votes overwhelming for others. Ms Odinga was forced to retire. Elsewhere however, good candidates were outmanoeuvred by cunning or cheating candidates backed by the bosses.

So far it looks as if, at a local level, ordinary people were trying to flex their muscles, but judging by the names that ended up on the lists at national level, the same old faces and parties still dominate. Odinga led the national presidential polling last week with 46 percent of the vote and Kenyatta had 40. That means the presidential vote may go to a run off which is more difficult to predict because Odinga has more enemies than Kenyatta who has only recently become involved in frontline politics. But there is an even stronger and widespread feeling that the Kikuyu, Kenya’s largest ethnic group, having had the first and third presidencies of the country, have too much political and economic power. This could damage Kenyatta. The winner will be the one who has the deepest pockets to build the biggest coalition out of the remaining 14 percent.

There is also another exceedingly dangerous factor supercharging this election. Kenyatta and his running mate, William Ruto, the political Big Man of the Kalenjin ethnic group, face charges at the International Criminal Court. The hearing will take place just before the second round of the presidential poll. Will the violence of 2007 polls, which left more than a thousand people dead and the nation deeply divided, be repeated this time? A vote in which one candidate has nothing to lose could turn into civil war. Barricades and street battles were widespread at the nomination stage last week.

The accepted wisdom is that during the murderous ethnic cleansing and street battles of 2008 Kenya looked over the precipice. The godfathers decided to call off their dogs of war or Kenya would be wrecked. International negotiators led by Kofi Annan, flew in and pieced together a deal – part of which was a carefully balanced list of those to be investigated by the ICC. It allowed a coalition government to be formed with the rival parties but cited leading figures from both sides.

There is an assumption in Kenya that the ICC will negotiate a deal which allows charges against elected politicians to be deferred or the court hearings changed to suit the electoral timetable. Once they realise that this is not the case and the Court will proceed at its own pace, those indicted may feel they have nothing to lose and their best bet is to get elected by any stratagem available, in the hope that Kenyans and other African leaders  will support them in office and defy the Court or get the hearings held within the continent.

In any other African country except possibly South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt, they would probably be proved wrong, but Kenya is also of strategic importance for western economic, security and political interests in the region, consequently its indicted politicians might have a chance. Again and again over the last 50 years Kenyan politicians have been able to defy Western diplomatic pressure knowing Washington and London needs Kenya more than Kenya needs them. Now that China is an ally and very big trading partner and many fellow African rulers are uneasy about the Court, they may reckon their hand is even stronger today.

Richard Dowden is Director of the Royal African Society and author of Africa; altered states, ordinary miracles. For more of Richard’s blogs click here.

Masterclass: Africa - Making the Move

Saturday, 9 March 2013 - 10:00am to 5:00pm
Reconnect Africa - at School of Oriental and African Studies (£120 - early bird - £100)


Masterclass: Africa: The UK’s ONLY Careers, Enterprise & Investment event focused on helping YOU to make the move to Africa

Are YOU Ready?

The African continent today offers exciting opportunities for professionals in both employment and business, as well as through investment.  Whether your plan is to enter the African job market, set up or expand your business into the continent, or identify investment opportunities, there are some key issues you need to consider.

This unique event will bring you 3 masterclasses by experienced professionals with proven expertise in careers, enterprise and investment. From planning your move to positioning your business, Masterclass: Africa will give you the practical information and advice that you need to know.

Masterclass 1 – Your Career in Africa

If your focus is on moving your career into Africa, this Masterclass will provide invaluable information to help you plan for a successful transition with:

An overview of career opportunities in Africa today

An understanding the African job market

Identifying your skills and competencies for a new market

Developing a job search strategy for Africa

Marketing your skills and experience into Africa

Issues to consider in moving your Career to Africa

Masterclass 2 – Planning your Business in Africa

If you plan to set up a business in Africa or expand your business into the continent, this Masterclass will offer essential information to help you with:

Planning a successful business in Africa

Understanding your business strategy in an emerging economy

Preparing for market entry

Tips for expanding your business into African markets

Masterclass 3 – Making the Move to Africa (Case Study: Ghana)

If you plan to make your move to Africa, this Masterclass will provide you with essential information on how to prepare and plan for your move. Using a case study for Ghana, the areas that will be covered include:

How to plan your finances before the move

The key practical elements that should be in place for a successful transition

Outlining your personal plan and goals for your move to Africa

Thinking about life necessities for you and your family

Tips and advice on what you can do before you move

Effective planning is your key to a beneficial outcome and this workshop is focused on making sure you have the tools and knowledge to do it!

PlusInsights from Special Guest Speakers including:

Mr. Eric-Vincent Guichard, CEO, Homestrings
“Entering the Investment Arena: Opportunities for the Diaspora”

Eric-Vincent Guichard will share his views and insights into the latest trends‚ challenges and opportunities when investing in Africa.

Who Should Attend?

This event is intended to support professionals, entrepreneurs and established businesses actively considering working in Africa.  If you are setting up or expanding your business into African markets or seeking career opportunities in Africa, this event will provide you with the essential information and advice you need to know before making your move.

Why Should You Attend?

Expert Knowledge

Highly respected experts in their field will share their strategies for succeeding in careers, business and investment.  The masterclasses will be packed with information that can shorten your learning curve to success and reduce your risk of doing business on the continent.

Accelerated Networking

You will have the opportunity to meet like-minded people who are interested in pursuing their professional and business goals in Africa

 Inspiration and Case Studies

You will hear success stories – and cautionary tales – of those who have successfully relocated to Africa and are pursuing their career and business goals.  There is nothing so inspiring as true stories of success!

REGISTER NOW for the opportunity to learn from experts in their field who will outline some of the challenges and opportunities and provide practical tips and advice.

Masterclass Facilitators

Frances Mensah Williams is the award-winning CEO of Interims for Development Ltd., a business consultancy for Africa, and Editor of ReConnect Africa, the leading online careers and business publication for African professionals.  She has successfully recruited for leading companies in Africa and coached senior executives moving to work in Africa.  She writes extensively on careers and business in Africa and is the author of ‘Everyday Heroes: Learning from the Careers of Successful Black Professionals’.

Griselda Kumordzie Togobo (ACA, MPhil) is a Business Expert, Consultant and author.  Shortlisted for the Precious Awards Best Mentor in 2012, Griselda has helped many entrepreneurs to accelerate their business growth, transforming their lives, and giving them a fresh perspective on life and business. As an Engineer and Chartered Accountant, Griselda uses her business experience to assist individuals, small and medium enterprises on their road to success and productivity. She holds an Engineering degree from the University of Science and Technology in Ghana, and an MPhil in Industrial Systems, Manufacture and Management from Cambridge University. Griselda trained as an accountant with an international professional services firm, providing management consultancy services to large corporates, SMEs, charities and the NHS. She writes about personal development and business topics for various publications and has a blog at http://www.awovi.com.

Elvina Quaison is the founder and Director of Silk Solutions. She is a British born Ghanaian who has spent over 11 years working in and with African countries in both the public and private sector. She left the UK for Ghana in August 2011 to start her own business which assists people to make their own move to Ghana.


9.30 am          Registration

10.00 am        Masterclass 1 – Moving Your Career into Africa

11.15 am        Break

11.30 am        Masterclass 2 – Planning and Growing your Business in Africa

12.35 pm        Buffet Lunch

2.00 pm          Guest Speaker

2.30 pm          Masterclass 3 – Making the Move to Africa

3.45 pm          Break

4.00 pm          Mr. Eric-Vincent Guichard, CEO, Homestrings

4.30 pm          Q&A – Open Forum

5.00 pm          Refreshments & Networking

Entry fee
£120.000 (early bird booking is £100 – deadline 22 February, 2013