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Kenneth Tharp announced as new director of The Africa Centre

NEW ROLE: Kenneth Tharp (Photo credit: Retts Wood)

THE TRUSTEES of the Africa Centre, London, today (May 10) announced that Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp CBE has been appointed Director of The Africa Centre.

One of the UK’s most respected cultural leaders, Tharp will take the Africa Centre into an exciting new phase, including a major capital project and redefining itself as the international centre for contemporary African culture, business and innovation.

Under Kenneth’s direction, the Africa Centre will continue to celebrate and showcase the richness of African and black British culture, challenging stereotypes and telling the diverse stories of Africa and its diaspora.

Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp said: “For over 50 years the Africa Centre has been a hugely important part of London’s cultural landscape, as a focal point for all things African and a home-from-home for Africans and people of African descent. I am thrilled at being given the opportunity to lead the Africa Centre through its next exciting phase of transformation and renewal.

His appointment marks an exciting period of transformation for the Africa Centre, now located in its new home in Southwark, a culturally vibrant community with Tate Modern, the Young and Old Vic and Jerwood Space as neighbours.

Sophie Chandauka, Co-founder and Chair of Judges - The Black British Business Awards commented: "Rarely have I come across an individual such as Kenneth who commands tremendous respect from not only peers within the arts, but also community and business leaders alike.

"As a pan-African woman with deep roots in corporate finance and entrepreneurship, I believe he is the right person to maximise the opportunity of the Africa Centre to serve as a hub for the convening of innovators, business and thought leaders of all backgrounds to work together to advance the socio-political and commercial prosperity of the African continent.”

First opening its doors in 1964, for over 50 years the Africa Centre has been a vibrant ‘home-away-from-home’, a dynamic intellectual powerhouse and iconic cultural space for the African diaspora in the UK. A hugely significant cultural institution − it was particularly instrumental in the development of the black British music scene − the Africa Centre’s history is also entwined with the struggle for independence and equality on the continent.

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