African Studies Association 62nd Annual Conference

Date: November 21 – 23, 2019

Location: Boston Marriott Copley Place

Event: African Studies Association 62nd Annual Conference

AiB had the great pleasure of participating in African Studies Association’s (ASA) 62nd Annual Conference, which happens to be the largest gathering of Africanist scholars in the world. It had an attendance of about 2,000 scholars and professionals. There was also the following:

  • More than 300 panels and roundtables
  • Plenary events featuring keynote speakers
  • An awards ceremony and dance party
  • Institutional and organizational receptions and meetings
  • An international exhibit hall
  • Screenings of award-winning movies from Africa, and/or by African producers

In 2018, the ASA convened in Atlanta, Georgia for its 61st Annual Meeting. They were honored to welcome ASA 2019 conference in Boston! The Theme was: “Being, Belonging and Becoming in Africa.” The 2019 Program Chairs were James Ogude, University of Pretoria and Matthew Heaton, Virginia Tech.

Africans in Boston were invited to participate in this sponsored exhibit. It was an opportunity to showcase our organization, such as programs, services, events, and aspirations to a wide audience of Africa’s scholars and proponents.

We had our own booth, which included a desk and a backdrop for banners. We printed shirts, flyers, and 2 Banners. Overall, it was a great event to be part of. Special acknowledgement goes to Voury and Ethel for attending this great occasion as well as Dawud for his support on graphics.

Open Studios by AFH

Date: September 25, 2019

Location: Artist For HumanityBoston

Event: Open Studios

Artists For Humanity (AFH) was founded in 1991. Its mission is to bridge economic, racial, and social divisions by providing under-resourced Boston youth with the keys to self-sufficiency through paid employment in art and design. AFH is built on the philosophy that engagement in the creative process is a powerful force for social change, and that creative entrepreneurship is a productive and life-changing opportunity for young people.

They invited Africans in Boston and our members to their Open Studios event. It was a great opportunity to take a tour of studio and meet & greet those in attendance. We were glad that we got to connect and chat with the artist world. They plan to do future events with their global arts residency. Special acknowledgement goes to Ethel and Nampeera for attending this great occasion.

RED, BLACK N GREEN documentary screening

Date: September 13, 2019

Location: Marriott Boston


Africans in Boston were invited to this community screening of a feature-length documentary, RED, BLACK N GREEN by Thitu Productions, directed by Sally Muiruri. Through interviews with members of the Kenyan Community in Massachusetts, Sally analyzes unity among Africans and other immigrant communities in Massachusetts. The documentary brilliantly exposes discrimination based on tribal, class and socio-economic differences within the African community.

Sally Muiruri shared her story as a female African documentary filmmaker. The screening was followed by a discussion on how the African community can overcome the divisions. Jescah Apamo-Gannon, a Certified Behavior Analyst, and an Adjunct Professor at Simmons University, moderated the community discussion.

Overall, it was a great occasion that some of our management team and members attended. Below is a glimpse of documentary. Enjoy!

Trailer Link: –

UMass Boston e-Ubuntu Ceremony 2020

MAY 15, 2020

According to our executive director, being a husband, dad, and provider has put a lot of pressure on him lately. He is sure you are going through the same and probably even more than he will ever know. Fortunately, four days before his birthday in April 2020 he received a special surprise gift via email from the Africa Scholars Forum of UMass Boston.

It stated that they wanted to recognize him for his community leadership efforts and invited him to give a keynote lecture at their eUbuntu African recognition event. He was initially shocked by this recognition. Although he has occupied leadership roles and volunteered his services to the public through non-profit affiliations and so forth, he never really expected to receive such appreciation for genuine efforts.

In fact, he had to let this invitation marinate in his mind for a bit. He then travelled down memory lane and realized that he had done a lot work behind the scenes for various African Diaspora nonprofits as a volunteer and by way of his entrepreneur journey as a Ghanaian-American. One not-for-profit, African Coalition (AC) of Mattapan and Brockton, immediately came to his mind, which was the first he joined forces with after graduate school.

As of 2016 till present, he is the current secretary/clerk of AC. In 2018, He joined African Bridge Network (ABN) of Boston as a volunteer and eventually became a team leader of their current human services industry initiative and project. In 2019, he joined Africans in Boston (AiB) as a general volunteer and later transitioned to current executive director position. Overall, from 2016 to now, he has been leading others and taking initiative behind the scenes in different capacities, whether it be in Boston or elsewhere.

To be frank, he did not expect someone from the outside looking in to acknowledge his work. In this case, it happened to be an institution of higher learning. After more than 24 hours absorbing this unbelievable praise, he responded to the email and wrote; “Thanks for the recognition, invitation, and great opportunity!” A few days later he officially accepted his invite to do the keynote lecture and to receive his community engagement award, which ironically took place on his birthday, April 18th. On one hand he was grateful for the invite and on the other hand he was more grateful to be alive for another year, especially during COVID-19 pandemic.

Overall, he must give thanks again to the African Scholars Forum at UMass Boston for recognizing his community engagement efforts and contributions to the African community locally and globally. Luckily, the virtual event went well. Below are some positive words from attendees.

“Dear Tony,

I wanted to thank you so very much for delivering such an inspirational keynote address to our graduates at our eUbuntu African recognition ceremony last Friday! Our graduates have informed me that they felt uplifted by the insights that you presented about your rich experience and background! What a journey!”- #eUbuntu2020

Here is a public link to view the UMass Boston e-Ubuntu Ceremony 2020:


Tony K Ansah, Jr., M.P.A. is a self-published author and a social entrepreneur based in Rhode Island, U.S.A. He has written and published several books and content via poems, quotes, fiction, non-fiction, blogs, and articles.

His new book, Diary of a Ghanaian Diaspora Entrepreneur 3.0, can be found below:

text @

audio @

Tony has also received national & international recognition from Face2Face Africa, Modern Ghana, The African, Ghana News Online, SDG Philanthropy Platform and Alliance Magazine (just to name a few) for his articles about African business, culture, and philanthropy.

Mandela Fellowship at the Museum of Fine Arts

AiB and Bridgewater State University Partner to Focus on Nonprofit Management

July 3, 2019

This summer Seth J. Meyer, a Professor at Bridgewater State University (BSU), reached out to Africans in Boston (AiB) to help plan a day of fellowship around nonprofit relationships between Africa and the US. AiB’s Events Manager, Nampera Lugira, spearheaded a panel of African nonprofits within the Boston area who could come and talk about how they work across continents.

Nampera Lugira organized and moderated AiB Panel on African Nonprofits in the Diaspora with over 17 African Mandela Fellows courtesy of Bridgewater State University.

The AiB Panel on African Nonprofits in the Diaspora included the following panelists:

Kobena Bonney – Director, Africans in Boston. Kobena is the current President of the Ghana Association of Greater Boston (GAGB). GAGB is a charitable and socio-cultural mutual aid organization of Ghanaians and friends of Ghana in the Greater Boston region of Massachusetts.

Voury Ignegongba – President, Africans in Boston. Voury is a Chadian-American business man and real estate developer who founded Africans in Boston in 2010.

Oluwatoyin Adewumi, Ed.M, Executive Director, Oluwatoyin (Toyin) is a 2-year breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed on February 14, 2017. A mother, wife, and entrepreneur, her experiences during treatment became the clarion call to establish TamBo Foundation.

The afternoon panel was wonderful and really gave the fellows some food of thought. There were also some fellows exchanging information of panelists. We hope there will be some future coalition building with Seth J. Meyer, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Bridgewater State University.

Home Inspection and the Legal Process Workshop

Saturday, April 11, 2019 from 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM
40 Waltham Street, Lexington, MA 02421

Africans in Boston, Inc. (AiB) offered this workshop to share important information to the community about Real Estate and Financing.

At this workshop, people learned about AiB, real estate/homebuying techniques, and received information about financing a home.

Kenneth (Ken) Tlagae, CIPS, MBA
Ken is a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS). He specializes in dealing with first time home buyers, international clients, and investment and commercial properties. And his coverage areas include South Boston, Boston, North-Shore and Metro-West.

Kevin Murphy
Kevin is Homebridge Financial Services Mortgage Loan Originator in Massachusetts.
He has vast knowledge of the mortgage industry and is available to assist clients with determining the right home loan and financing for their situation.

The seminar was organized by AiB, Berkshire Hathaway Homerservies N.E. Prime Properties Lexingtion team Realtor Ken Tlagae. Food and refreshments were provided to those in attendance.

Africans in Boston Partners with Phenomenal Women Global to deliver the Phenomenal Women’s Boston Conference

On Saturday, June 22 2019, Africans in Boston (AiB) collaborated with Phenomenal Women Global to co-host the Phenomenal Women’s Conference at the Sheraton Hotel in Needham. Aligned with the nonprofit’s mission of empowering women in underserved communities to achieve their personal and professional goals, Phenomenal Women Global encapsulated knowledge, inspiration, and opportunity into an amazing six-hour experience. Women from around the world who are exceptional in a multitude of fields attended the event to reflect on their journeys and share their wisdom. Many companies and organizations also attended the event to network with each other and continue to build up strong support systems. Here are some highlights from this phenomenal event: 

The conference began with Liza Sekaggya, the Co-Founder of Phenomenal Women Global, introducing the mission of the organization and giving a warm thank you to AiB for their support of the conference.

The conference was further supported by members of the AiB, women from diverse professions and backgrounds where they all play a very important role in the organization. Some of the innovative and ingenious members in attendance included:

  • Ethel Kawesa, Director of the Credit Union Initiative of AiB, which aims to provide greater access to credit and banking opportunities within the diaspora in New England. 
  • Olivia Sserabira, Founder of Peace & Hope Training Center in Kampala, Uganda. Olivia is committed to providing young girls with skills so that they are self-reliant.
  • Irene Nakabonge-Lugude, Founder of Manyi Juices, an iron rich juice line designed to support people diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia.
  • Rachael Maendeleo of Makomas Foundation, an organisation created to support enterprising women farmers in West Africa by providing work, stability and hope.
  • Diane Nalubega is a dedicated individual whose mission is to educate and protect the children of Uganda.

A number of equally outstanding women provided insight within their respective panels to start off. Our first panel focused on women and entrepreneurship, with impressive testimonies from Dr. Lawino Kagumba, Abra Degbor, and Olivia Sserabira. Liza then joined Christine Makori, Senior Counsel of the World Bank, in the second panel as they talked about their shared experiences moving up the ladder of the United Nations. “Our power is there” Liza replied when reflecting on the influence that women have in the prestigious organization. Just before the lunch break, World Record Holder Monika Satler enlightened us with five key principles on how women can stay motivated in a male dominated society. A third panel “shared on the importance of building yourself through coaching, mentoring and spirituality in order to achieve your full potential and achieve success in your professional and personal lives” –With Sally Muiruri, Irene Nakabonge Lugudde, and Judy Pineda Neufeld.The second motivational speaker Latonia Francois of “Let’s Write Life and Mental Health Advocate. Latonia walked us through her experience how she started and how she got to where she is today.

After lunch, the conference continued for the next hour and a half with three networking tables consisting of in-depth discussions between expert speakers and attendees. The topics of health, law, and finance were discussed in depth by remarkable women in each respective field, & valuable advice was given to participants looking to expand their knowledge in the area. Sylvia Mburu, the assistant vice president of Santander Bank, made a key point of knowing the vast options one can take for securing loans in the face of a corporate system that may be discriminatory towards certain demographics. When it came to managing stress that women go through on a day to day basis, Dr. Christine Sekaggya gave research proven tips on how to navigate these situations.

In the afternoon, conference attendees heard from Sharline Nabulime of the Waltham City Council, who spoke about holding political office and the importance of ensuring representation for women and people of color in government. In the second session of the afternoon, film producer Sally Muiruri, global health entrepreneur Irene Nakabonge Lugudde, and local organizational development consultant Judy Pineda Neufeld discussed the importance of self-care, spirituality, and mentorship in developing phenomenal women. Latonia Francois, founder of Let’s Write Life, rounded out the day with a motivational talk on the importance of journaling in developing an empowering narrative of self.

The two organizations closed the conference with certificates of participation. The event continued at Rhino Restaurant and Lounge in Waltham, where participants and panelists networked into the evening among good cheer. AiB congratulates the phenomenal women leaders representing both the local and global diaspora, and acknowledges their commitment and perseverance in serving as role models for girls and women.

AiB looks forward to a continued partnership with the various organizations that support the mission of our organization. We appreciate the commitment to supporting women of color around the world.  Thank you for a very successful event!

A special thanks to our photographer for the day, Johnson Semakula!

AiB Vendors


Hakuna Matata Sundays: AiB members enjoy an afternoon of networking and African food at Suya Joint

Sunday, May 5, 2019 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM 

This past May, AiB members gathered to enjoy mounds of fufu, egusi, fried plantains, and the finest Nigerian spiced meat at Suya Joint in Roxbury. AiB facilitated the networking event as part of a series called Hakuna Matata Sundays, a recurring weekend endeavor to support local African-owned restaurants and to provide an opportunity for fellowship and social gathering among the diaspora.

For many AiB members, they thoroughly enjoyed the experience: “As far as the Hakuna Matata Sundays, this was my first time attending. What I enjoyed the most was the company, the new people I met, and learning about what they do in their professional lives as well as how they contribute to AIB. And also I cannot forget the amazing Nigerian food we had!”

AiB and Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts partner to promote awareness of African art

In May 2019, Africans in Boston (AiB) and the Museum of Fine Art (MFA) partnered in the first event in a series of initiatives to highlight African art. Through this partnership, AiB and the MFA hope to promote awareness of African art and to unite Africans and people of African descent through educational activities.

The MFA’s African Gallery Director, Kathryn Gunsch, provided AiB members with a tour of African artifacts and display features showcasing African artists – including Made Visible, an exhibition exploring contemporary South African fashion and identity.

“Thank you for hosting Africans in Boston this Sunday. The tour was absolutely amazing. Everyone present was extremely grateful for the knowledge shared and care of the artifacts. We are looking forward to other events in the future,” said Nampera Lugira, AiB Events Manager.


Africans in Boston at the 12th ADL New England’s Annual Community Seder

Boston, March 24, 2019

Africans in Boston Executive Director, Vivian Kobusingye Birchall participated as a member of the organizing committee for the event and attended the Community Seder, under the theme “A nation of Immigrants,” held on Sunday March 24, 2019.

Africans in Boston looks forward to strengthened partnership with ADL.