2020 Annual Report
Posted on 19th April, 2021 in News
A Note from Our Chair:
Dear members, partners and friends,
I am delighted to present the Royal African Society’s 2020 Annual Report.
I hope this welcome as Chair of the Royal African Society finds you and your families well and healthy. Of course 2020 was an extremely challenging year for the world and the difficulties continue in so many ways. The impact of the pandemic on the not-for-profit sector has been severe.
It has not been easy for us at the Royal African Society but thanks to the dedication of our staff, partners, and donors we have so far managed to negotiate our path through this ongoing crisis and in 2020 we were able to continue meeting the objectives of our core mission. As we celebrate our 120th anniversary this year we can say with pride that we are still fulfilling our historic mandate.
The pandemic and consequent social isolation means that connection and a sense of belonging has become ever more important and the Society provides a means for all those interested in Africa, whether in the UK or elsewhere in the world, to communicate with one another and to stay in touch. Through our different platforms, projects and programmes, we responded to the key issues of the time, including the impact of Covid-19 in Africa and the disproportionate loss of life amongst African diaspora communities in the UK; UK-Africa trade after Brexit and debates arising from the Black Lives Matter movement, such as curriculum reform.
To round off the year, our Annual Lecture was delivered online by Ambassador Johnnie Carson, former US Assistant Secretary of State, who examined past, present and future relations between the USA and Africa – and gave fascinating insights into what we can expect for Africa from the new US administration.
There is much to be proud of in our accomplishments at RAS: we successfully mounted our Film Africa festival despite the obstacles and difficult circumstances, and African Arguments became a go-to site for in-depth and high-quality coverage of the pandemic in Africa which helped to hugely increase our reach. We also managed to hold our events virtually, maintained our membership numbers, the APPG for Africa activities, and our support to ASAUK, our sister organisation.
All of these achievements would not have been possible without the hard work of our wonderful team and the continued support of our funders, partners and members. We also thank our Royal Patron HRH The Duke of Cambridge for his vital support.
We are extremely grateful to everyone who has helped the Society go from strength to strength and very much look forward to marking our 120th anniversary in 2021 with you all. As part of our celebrations, we aim to increase our membership base. We would particularly encourage our new and existing members to commit to Lifetime Membership to ensure that we can continue the important work of amplifying African voices and interests for many more decades to come.
Please do read the report to find out more about our activities in the past year, and our future plans.
Chair, Royal African Society