Bringing a taste of Africa to Australia

Bringing a taste of Africa to Australia

Leading digital money transfer service WorldRemit celebrates the work and achievements of unspoken heroes in diaspora communities around the world, and Melbourne’s African Music and Cultural Festival co-founder Fred Alale is just one example of many.  

The festival is a celebration of African culture in Melbourne, showcasing the vibrancy of the continent through music, dance, food and art. Across Australia, attendance at events such as this has grown significantly over the years, continuing to add to the rich diversity of the nation. Check out the video from last year’s event HERE!

After yet another successful event last year, the event will once again take place in Melbourne on December 8, 2018, working to bring African-Australians together.

“It’s massive to have this festival at Federation Square, right at the heart of the city, we bring Africa to Victoria, and to Australia,” co-founder Fred Alale said.

“Through the sounds, the smells and the tastes that are on show at the festival, the vibrancy of the African culture comes alive.”

Last year, the festival attracted crowds of over 30,000 people, including representatives from government and non-government organisations. This year, the festival expects to draw crowds of more than 40,000 people.

Working in partnership with WorldRemit over the last two years, Fred said the organising committee has a vision to see the festival continue to grow in size, representative of the growing diaspora and interest in the African continent from the wider population.

“We want to one day be in the position that when the festival happens, we will shut down Melbourne because everybody knows the festival is happening and they would be all heading to attend it,” he said.

Currently there are around 350,000 Africans living in Australia, with Melbourne home to the highest number of people from Sudan, Mauritius, Somalia, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Eritrea and Tanzania. With these numbers, remittances to the Sub-Saharan region reached USD$34 billion in 2017, according to the World Bank.

Last year, WorldRemit handled three quarters of mobile money remittances to African services such as Vodafone M-Pesa, MTN, Ecocash, Airtel Money and more, with African countries such as Ghana, Kenya and Zimbabwe currently leading the way globally in mobile money transactions.

WorldRemit continues to service this community and growing need by providing a hassle-free and secure way for people around the world to send money to their family and friends in over 35 African nations as easily as sending an instant message.

Fred said this culture of sending money home plays an important role in the lives of many in the African diaspora.

“They usually have people back in Africa who they’re supporting either through education, or even just to live, and WorldRemit provides the facility and opportunity to be able to do it instantly and easily,” he explained.

WorldRemit is very active in the community, in supporting community initiatives and raising capacity within the community.

“They’re also very active in Africa, where they’ve got a very good, strong footprint, so it’s important for us to be able to say we work with organisations that have a stake in improving lives of people and making a difference back in our continent of origin.”

WorldRemit is also working to improve the lives of the African diaspora in Australia, supporting the African Music and Cultural festival over the last two years.

This year, the event once again will take place at Melbourne’s Federation Square on December 8, 2018 from 11am until 11pm.