AU partners with TikTok to celebrate Africa Day through digital campaign

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CHINA - 2020/08/10: In this photo illustration a TikTok logo is seen displayed on a smartphone. (Photo Illustration by Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The African Union (AU) Commission on Monday announced a half month-long partnership with video-sharing social networking platform TikTok to celebrate Africa Day through a digital campaign.

The half month-long campaign, which will mainly feature a digital campaign titled “I Am African,” will bring together the AU’s youth division within the Women, Gender and Youth Directorate together with partners including TikTok to celebrate the Africa Day, the 55-member pan Africa bloc announced Monday.

Africa Day is intended to celebrate and acknowledge the achievements of the Organization of African Unity — the predecessor of the AU — from its creation on May 25, 1963 in the fight against colonialism, as well as the progress that Africa has made while reflecting upon the common challenges that the continent faces in a global environment.

The partnership accelerates the vision of the “One Million by 2021” initiative of the AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat. The initiative, among other things, envisaged providing opportunities to African youth in education, employment, entrepreneurship and engagement.

The AU stressed that the overall objective of the “I Am African” campaign is to amplify the AU Commission’s 2021 theme of the year “Arts, Culture and Heritage; Building Levers For The Africa We Want.”

This year’s edition of the campaign calls on users to creatively express their views on what makes them proudly African across various categories.

This month TikTok Africa will program a line-up of in-app initiatives to highlight African content with genre-specific playlists, including Gengetone, Afrobeats, Amapiano and an exclusive in-app playlist.

According to the AU, critical to the success of the campaign is its amplification through AU member states to generate interest and capture young people’s perceptions and identities pertaining to the theme, and to showcase the shared commentary.

The campaign is expected to celebrate and highlight the different and creative identities of young people across Africa and members of the African diaspora through the lens of arts, culture and heritage. It envisaged mobilizing young people across Africa and the African diaspora to creatively express their interpretation of the #IAmAfrican theme and encourage their peers to do the same for a catalytic effect.

Young Africans are expected to discuss pathways to reimagine African identity alongside thought-leaders and celebrities in the arts, culture and heritage sector, said the AU sources.

The campaign is expected to creatively capture and amplify the voices of young people through digital and new media such as TikTok, and create archival content.

Young Africans can participate by accessing the playlist on TikTok, show their creativity and use the music to share what makes them African by using the hashtag #IAmAfrican.

According to the AU sources, all videos uploaded using one of the songs featured in the playlist with the official hashtag stand a chance of being selected and shown on the music channel TRACE TV during the month of May.

As part of the half month-long campaign, there will be an exciting virtual conversation taking place on May 25 to complement the ongoing activities to commemorate Africa Day.

The popular video-sharing social networking platform, TikTok, is the leading destination for short-form mobile video.

Trace TV is the first global ecosystem that leverages afro-urban entertainment to connect and empower the new generation and the creators, according to the AU.

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