Events

Georgetown University To Hold Inaugural African Business Conference

Georgetown University is holding its inaugural African business conference with speakers Fuse ODG, Okayafrica CEO, Abiola Oke, and more.

Fuse ODG (pictured here) and his manager, Andre Hackett, are scheduled to speak on a music panel with Okayafrica CEO, Abiola Oke, at the Georgetown Africa Business Conference. Source: Facebook


Georgetown University is holding its first-ever African business conference tomorrow in Washington, D.C.

The conference, “Africa Rising: Business In Action,” is hosted by Georgetown's McDonough School of Business in conjunction with the Walsh School of Foreign Service’s African Studies Program. “The purpose of this event is to showcase the growth and impact of the private sector across the African continent and facilitate a discussion on opportunities to continue this success,” write the event organizers.

In total, the conference will feature six panels–touching on the themes of private equity, music, banking, technology, dynamos and diaspora–and over 20 speakers.

Of particular interest to Okayafrica is a music panel with our very own CEO, Abiola Oke, joined by the artist-manager team behind the acronym and movement known as T.I.N.A. (“This Is New Africa”), British-Ghanaian ‘afrobeats’ star Fuse ODG and Andre Hackett.

The Georgetown Africa Business Conference takes place Saturday, February 6, in the McDonough School of Business' Rafik B. Hariri Building on Georgetown’s main campus. Find out more by heading to the conference's website and Facebook.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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