Building connections and creating new narratives between Birmingham and Africa – New Narratives

10 young Brits – including some of our community and Youth Steering Committee! – have headed to Rwanda for an exciting co-creation lab to pilot a new programme, with the working title New Narratives

Run in partnership between our consulting wing, Co-Creation Hub Nigeria (through their Design Lab in Kigali), and British Council, the pilot takes place between February and April 2020 in Kigali and Birmingham. 

The programme aims to support young people to generate and disseminate a new and refreshing narrative of Africa and the UK. The intention is that this will stimulate new awareness and knowledge, and foster new and stronger collaborations to the mutual benefit of Africa and the UK.


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40 young people, comprising 30 young Africans from across the continent and 10 young Brits, are currently in Kigali for the first stage of the programme. Check out our twitter and instagram for live updates and envy-inducing photos.

Chloe Deakin, a 20-year-old social entrepreneur and activist from Coventry who has been involved with Beatfreeks for several years, is excited to have this unprecedented opportunity to take part in New Narratives, saying: “There are so many parallels between Birmingham and Kigali, with both cities having a huge push to tackle environmental issues, for example. Having spoken to other young people on the programme from so many places I know there are more similarities than differences between us. I can’t wait to come back and share my learnings with the community.”


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Following a week in Kigali, where participants will begin to develop ideas for projects tackling the narratives in Africa and the UK, the 40 participants will visit Birmingham for a week in late March. In a programme of activities they will continue to refine their ideas and confront narratives about the UK and Africa. 

Moses Anibaba, Regional Director, Sub Saharan Africa region of British Council says, “Africa’s rapidly growing youth population is the most significant factor for the future of the continent; their relationship with the UK has huge ramifications for our shared prosperity and security,” says Moses Anibaba, Regional Director of Sub Saharan Africa region of British Council. “New Narratives aims to contribute to ensuring that this future relationship is based on more up-to-date, correct and complete narratives generated through new connections and strong engagement between young people in both places.” 


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Our CEO and founder Anisa Morridadi had this to say: We’re excited to take both our work and young Brummies internationally on such an innovative programme. The aims of New Narratives are closely tied to Beatfreeks’ mission of unleashing creativity for good; we look forward to seeing the ideas that come out of the Kigali and Birmingham labs and how they can contribute to changing narratives about Africa and the UK. Society is global, and the greatest changes come from making connections. We know that young people can find solutions to many of our problems, and we believe New Narratives is a step on that path.”

Follow #NewNarratives2020 on twitter and instagram for all the updates!

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