Former Chief Executive of The Place, Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp CBE has been appointed Director of The Africa Centre, succeeding Mark Higham.
A respected cultural leader in the UK, his appointment is at the helm of the Africa Centre going into a new phase, including a major capital project and redefining itself as the international centre for contemporary African culture, business and innovation. The Africa Centre will continue in it’s pledge to highlight African and black British culture, telling the stories of Africa and its diaspora.
Tharp is a key figure in the UK arts and culture scene with over 35 years professional experience in the sector. Beginning his career as a dancer; as one of the leading dance artists of his generation, he performed for 13 years with the internationally-acclaimed London Contemporary Dance Theatre.
His appointment marks an exciting period of transformation for the Africa Centre, now located in its new home in Southwark, joining a cultural community that includes Tate Modern, the Young and Old Vic and Jerwood Space as neighbours.
Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp said:
“For over 50 years the Africa Centre has been a hugely important part of London’s cultural landscape, as a focal point for all things African and a home-from-home for Africans and people of African descent. I am thrilled at being given the opportunity to lead the Africa Centre through its next exciting phase of transformation and renewal.
The Africa Centre’s new home marks an exciting moment of development that in turn reflects changes happening across the African continent. Research published by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation in 2017 highlighted that: ‘of the 25 fastest growing economies in the world between 2004 and 2014, ten are African’. Africa is on the move.”
The long term vision for the Africa Centre rests upon five key areas of delivery, Culture, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Intellectual Debate, Education and Social, which will drive core programming. Image credit: Megan Taylor