“Basketball represents hope. Hope for a better community, a better life and a better tomorrow.” – Brian Ziruel
September 15, 2022:
Toronto, Canada (September 15, 2022) — Giants of Africa, co-founded by Masai Ujiri, president and vice-chairman of the Toronto Raptors, brought together working professionals from the African diaspora yesterday for a night of networking and panel discussions at Ricarda’s Atrium in Toronto. The event, AfriCAN: Advancing Africa Together, was designed to build a community that brings knowledge and resources back to the continent, while celebrating African pride and culture – a theme that aligns with the not-for-profit’s commitment to investing in the future of Africa.
During his remarks, Masai Ujiri shared the background and importance of this inaugural event. “As African Canadians, we want to see Africa prosper. By strengthening our bonds and exploring ways to individually and collectively make contributions back home, we can help fuel economic growth in Africa.” He continued, “Seeing such a strong turn out this evening demonstrates that we are just scratching the surface. There is so much talent in this room, around the city, and across the country. It is our obligation to keep encouraging and inspiring one another.”
The sold-out event was hosted by content creator and founder of BLACK FOODIE, Eden Hodan. A panel discussion featuring Onome Ako, CEO of Action Against Hunger; Khalid Hashi, CEO and founder of OGOW Health and Naki Osutei, Vice President, Canadian Personal Banking Strategy, Colleague Experience & ESG at TD Bank delivered powerful and diverse stories from African Canadians who are contributing to the continent in their own unique way. Interactive stations provided opportunities for attendees to network and connect throughout the evening. To close the event, Masai Ujiri joined Eden on stage for a fireside chat and audience Q&A session.
For more information on Giants of Africa, join the online community at
www.GiantsofAfrica.org or follow @GiantsofAfrica on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
About Giants of Africa and Masai Ujiri
Vice-Chairman and President – Toronto Raptors; Co-Founder – Giants of Africa Masai Ujiri is the first and only African-born President of a professional sports franchise in North America – the National Basketball Association’s Toronto Raptors. In 2019, Masai led the Raptors to their first-ever NBA Championship and the first NBA
Championship won by a team outside the United States in NBA history. Born and raised in Nigeria, with a deep passion for basketball, Masai began to pursue a career as an executive when his professional basketball career came to an early end. In 2003, Masai co-founded the Giants of Africa Foundation, based on the idea of using basketball as a means of educating and enriching the lives of African youth—both boys and girls. Giants of Africa has used sport to help empower youth to dream big, hosting basketball camps and clinics for boys and girls in 16 countries across the continent. In 2021, Giants of Africa launched the 100-court initiative and have unveiled basketball facilities in Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Rwanda and the Democratic
Republic of Congo to date.