*This article was originally shared on the WeChat Platform AfriqueMonAfrique in celebration of Africa Day 2019 – to find out more and follow them, visit their listing on Andinet Directory here*
Africa Day has come around once more, a time when we celebrate the motherland, and in the spirit of Sankofa, remember where we came from and how we can use the lessons of the past to help us in both our present and our future. As we celebrate with our various events, social media posts and think pieces, let’s also take the time out to celebrate those in our community trying to unify Africans at home and abroad!
Today Afrique Mon Afrique celebrates the launch of a project that does just that!
Andinet Directory™, founded by a diverse team of Africans and African Diasporans, is a free web and WeChat Directory spanning mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau listing businesses, organizations, groups, student associations and skilled individuals across black communities of African descent.
Coming from the Ethiopian language of Amharic, the word ‘Andinet’ means unity, and represents the directory’s goal of providing a unified database of ‘all things black’ here in China.
‘One thing we wanted to change was how little we know about each other’s communities’, said Andinet Directory™ co-founder Hannah Getachew of Ethiopia, ‘I live in Beijing and have always wanted to know what the black community in other parts of China were like – what services, events, and groups they have, for example – but we found that information wasn’t readily available or easy to access.’
Continuing on from Hannah, her fellow co-founder Runako of Jamaican-Grenadian heritage echoed these sentiments, ‘We essentially wanted to make it easier to build ties across our different cities and sub-communities. It’s also about helping welcome newcomers to China. When we first came it took a while to get settled, find our community and even locate the basic products and services we’d need– be they hairdressers, home comforts or food products – its our hope that Andinet Directory™ can help those deciding which city to move to or visit, or help people set themselves up comfortably on arrival.
On the future potential growth of Andinet Directory™ and upcoming projects the team state that they are excited about putting more effort into unifying the community and involving smaller cities in these efforts. Public Relations Officer, Saron Tamerat is particularly looking forward to drawing more attention to smaller cities and lesser-known groups, brands and charitable organizations, ‘We’ve seen some amazing organizations doing work in their respective cities, away from larger hubs such as Beijing and Shanghai – a huge part of what we’re doing is about making sure they all get the recognition and support they deserve.’
Most recently, as Andinet Directory™ continues to grow, the team have put their hand to helping support black brands by offering three lucky winners their very own Brand Starter packs, designed to help brands in early stages of development with brand identity, websites and even cash to support their growth.
Black Livity China Technical Officer Emmanuel Kyeyune tells us that this is just the beginning of the support the team plan on providing to the community, ‘This is our chance to really showcase how innovative and creative we are as a people, and also help each other reach new heights, all in the spirit of Andinet – unity’
If you have a brand, organization, group, service or are a skilled individual (artist, photographer etc) and are of African descent, find out how you can get involved today by visiting Andinet Directory™ here