Leaders of Black diaspora gather in Los Angeles for 2nd annual AFRICON

Photo credits: Anastasia Velicescu, Gil Jackson

Over the past few days, leaders from the global Black diaspora gathered in Los Angeles for AFRICON – one of the country’s biggest celebrations of the African continent and the diaspora, presented by Amplify Africa.  The second annual event brought together music, innovation, business, activism, education, and more, to uplift, acknowledge, and celebrate the diversity of the African continent through the lens of entertainment, business, media, technology and leadership.

In addition to panels and celebrations, this year’s AFRICON also raised funds for I Heart Africa, the philanthropic organization founded by Chaka Bars, that is working to resettle 100,000 people displaced by a volcanic eruption in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo.


During the four-day event, there were panels and performances, including a rare DJ appearance by Jidenna as part of Chiefy Chiefy. Elsa, Chaka, Kweku Mandela and more were honored at the AFRICON Afro Ball gala for their contribution to African excellence. Panel topics included Black Media: Controlling Our Own Narrative, Creating Generational Wealth Through Innovation & Investments, Deconstructing the Standard of Beauty, Investing in Africa’s Future, Civil Rights & Advocacy in the Black Diaspora, Political Engagement of the Diaspora: Home & Abroad, and more.

Attendees included:


  • Jidenna (Artist)

  • Chaka Bars (Activist)

  • Elsa Majimbo (Comedian + Influencer)

  • Kweku Mandela (Global Citizen and House of Mandela Foundation)

  • Tunde Ogundipe (SVP & GM or African Music Strategy & Culture, Sony),

  • Isaac Kigozi (Head of Trade and Investment, Uganda)

  • Prince Joel Makonnen-Haile Selassie (Entrepreneur and great-grandson of HIM Emperor Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethiopia)

  • Ava Hall (Former VP, BET International)

  • Caroline Wanga (CEO of Essence Magazine)

  • Deniece Laurent-Mantey (Foreign Affairs Officer at the U.S. Department of State)

  • Elon Johnson (Sr. Creative Executive, Head of Development at Tyler Perry Studios)

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