The author Toni Kan and the multi-genre culture producer Bolanle Austen-Peters, are part of a very select group of 23 high profile speakers expected in London, United Kingdom, in early October, for a series of panel conversations around the hot button issues on the African Continent. The parley is organised by Financial Times.
The FT Africa Summit, now in its 5th year, features C-Suite level individuals in business, politics and economics, as well as heads of state committed to making business central to their development goals.
Kan and Austen-Peters will, on October 8, 2018, rub shoulders with Africa’s richest businessman Aliko Dangote, the continent’s moral philosopher Mo Ibrahim, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Ghana’s current President Nana Akufo-Addo, South Africa’s Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan and the internationally acclaimed Zambian economist Dambisa Moyo, who sits on the Board of Chevron Corp.
Although the summit is largely about business, politics and economics, Kan and Austen-Peters are invited as part of a carefully chosen cultural and artistic speakers, “both to shake up the debate and to reflect Africa’s growing global influence in art, architecture, music and film”, according to the programme offering.
Mrs. Austen -Peters owns and runs a space that includes a gallery-which has produced a few art auctions in the last five years- a 300-seat theatre, an adequately stocked bookshop by Nigerian standards as well as a heavily patronised eatery specialising in African cuisine. She has a production company that has delivered theatrical plays which have toured the country and the UK and she has been involved in movies as a co-producer.
Mr. Kan has published two collections of poems, two novels and a collection of short stories. His widely received latest novel, The Carnivorous City, an uproarious guide to Lagos through the instrumentality of prose fiction, has sold over 6,000 copies, which means it is a mega best seller in Nigeria. Last year, Mr. Kan, who titles himself “Mayor of Lagos”, started a website Thisislagos, which presents news and features as well as light hearted columns focused on happenings in the city.
Their presence is meant to shake up the debate and to reflect Africa’s growing global influence in art,architecture, music and film”, according to the programme agenda on the Summit’s website.
Two panels to which the two of them are closely connected are the Infrastructure Panel, with a keynote speech on Investing in African Art and the Environmental, Social and Governance Panel, with a keynote address on My Lagos.
Mr. Kan will be speaking on My Lagos and then will be interviewed by David Pilling, FT’s Africa Editor
The Summit will conclude with the CEO panel with interviews by FT editor Lionel Barber, followed by the Summit Dinner “providing a worthy networking opportunity for all participants”, according to the organisers.