Stirrings of Engagement

Dear Friends

As you know the Save The Africa Centre campaign began over six months ago with the aim of highlighting the secret sale of the Africa Centre, and the lack of community consultation around the decision to sell the charity’s only significant asset and historic home, 38 King Street, Covent Garden to property developer, Capital and Counties.

Since the campaign began STAC has pushed for more engagement with the community from trustees. We now understand that as part of the process of considering the alternative proposals put to them by Hadeel Ibrahim and David Adjaye, which would secure a future for the Africa Centre at 38 King Street.

The Africa Centre trustees have commissioned a round of consultation about the future of the Africa Centre. This consultation is occurring as follows:

1. A series of interviews with particular Africa Centre stakeholders, particularly, as we understand long-time players in Africa-centred, or Africa-led organisations in London. The target group of this consultation is about 50 people. STAC is not privy to the names on this list.

2. An online survey which has been circulated through the Africa Centre’s database and other means. The Save The Africa Centre campaign team have agreed to circulate this survey to STAC supporters while retaining reservations about the construction of the survey – which implies a bias to move the Africa Centre from its current location rather than an open survey about the charity itself.

Nevertheless, it’s important that this opportunity to engage the opinion of the diaspora is not passed, and we would urge all supporters to complete the survey and express their opinions as vigorously as possible.

The Africa Centre survey can be accessed here:
 https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GR3V73R

2. The Save The Africa Centre campaign has not been formally approached for consultation – however a member of our team was approached and has informally given feedback, whilst this was informed by soundings from other members of the Save The Africa Centre campaign – it remains an informal submission.

Lastly, it should be added that the continued engagement from us all as members of the African Diaspora, friends of Africa continues to be crucial in securing a vital future for the Africa Centre; despite the limitations of this consultative process, we are keen to nurture any signs of progress from where we were six months ago – when the Africa Centre at 38 King Street faced the prospect of being sold without the knowledge or consultation of the African Diaspora community, its friends or supporters. On this basis, we commend what appears to be stirrings of engagement and stress our commitment to a revitalised Africa Centre at 38 King Street, Covent Garden.

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