China is Africa's largest trading partner, and this trade dates to over 600 years ago when the trader Zheng He of the Ming Dynasty first landed on the East Coast of Africa.
In addition, there are now over 50,000 Africans studying in China, which surpasses the number of African students in North America and Europe combined. However, despite these extensive linkages,
there is low cultural awareness and understanding on both sides.
Kente & Silk aims to address the gap in information and the negative perceptions that impact the Africa-China relationship by rebranding Africa in China.
We do so through hosting interactive and insightful events that promote greater engagement between Africans and Chinese and provide opportunities for greater
understanding and collaboration – for example, Africa Week.
Over the last 6 months, our events have engaged over a 1000 people and include:
Africa Week 2018: A series of events and activities held across Beijing between May 18th and May 26th to celebrate Africa and increase positive engagement with Africa in China.
We engaged over 650 people during this week.
China Africa Stories II, Sept 2018: A half-day forum focused on exploring the youth’s role in Africa-China relations
AfroBeats Meets Jazz, Nov 2018: An electrifying jazz performance by renowned Ghanaian contemporary Jazz Musician – Steve Bedi and Band
Africa China Tech for Social Impact, Nov 2018: an interactive and stimulating discussion on Africa’s burgeoning tech scene and opportunities for collaboration with China.
Documentary Screening of Guangzhou Dream Factory, Dec 2018: a film screening of the award-winning documentary “Guangzhou Dream Factory” and a panel discussion featuring the producer: Erica Marcus, on the portrayal of Africans in China.
Launch of the Complete Beginner’s Guide to China-Africa Relations, Feb 2019: Launch of the Complete Beginner’s Guide to China-Africa Relations, Feb 2019: an engaging and sold-out event to launch a landmark resource on Africa-China relations, which featured a moderated discussion with the author: Lina Ayenew and Africa-China trivia.
China-Africa collaboration presents huge opportunities for both sides. Africa’s markets are growing and increasingly affluent – presenting
Chinese companies an opportunity to expand their global market share.
Similarly, China presents African companies with a plethora of partnership opportunities and models that have relevance to the African context.
Kente & Silk aims to serve as a bridge that connects African and Chinese stakeholders together in impactful and mutually-beneficial partnerships.
We do so by providing market analysis, stakeholder mapping and business plan support.
Importantly, we also go beyond the usual consulting method by also implementing various aspects of our client’s strategy on their behalf.
We aim to be 'boots on the ground' for our stakeholders who may not always have staff, representation or knowledge of the markets (in China or Africa) they seek to work in.
Thus far, our projects have included:
Developing in-depth case studies on technological innovations from the China market to support partnership development.
Creating a business plan and a pitch deck for an African Start-Up to use in engaging with Chinese stakeholders.
Supporting an African tech start-up increase its brand awareness in China.
Our past clients include: Education for Ethiopia & Cassava SmartTech
Today, ‘Made in Africa’ products are increasingly of high-quality, globally relevant and proudly telling a story of innovation, youthful dynamism, and rich culture and traditions.
Thus, we believe that Africa is ready to move beyond being an exporter of primary products to Asia and the world to one where it exports value-added and globally competitive products.
We also believe that greater exposure to African products in Asian marketplaces will help to play a critical role in changing societal perceptions of Africa in Asia.
Given this, we aim to work with brands that tell Africa's burgeoning story and that have the potential to shift the status-quo towards greater export of high-value African products to China.
Our long-term goal is to support such brands enter China's market by facilitating imports; supporting the distribution and marketing of their products.
Do you want to go fast or far?
An African Proverb states, “if you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go together".
At Kente and Silk we believe in the power of collaboration, and have partnered with a range of partners to deliver our wide range of quality events. Interested in working with us?