African Caribbean Alumni Network (A-CAN)

About A-CAN

A-CAN has been created to bring together professionals that were previously members of an African Caribbean Society at any UK university. Over the last 10 years we have kept a record of former African Caribbean Society (ACS) Presidents, committees, and society members to create a comprehensive list of over 20,000 black professionals within England, Scotland, and Wales. A-CAN will act as a UK version of a fraternity for former ACS members and those seeking to support the progression of the UK’s African Caribbean communities.

The official launch of A-CAN took place alongside our annual Great Debate Finale on Tuesday 21st November at the House of Commons. Before the debate unfolded, individuals were awarded with certificates for their demonstrable excellence during the debate tours. The final panel included: Diane Abbott MP, Sophie Chandauka, Ije Nwokorie, Lorraine Wright & Kalm Paul-Christian. Check out the 2017 GDT Finale and A-CAN Launch recap here.

A-CAN’s Founding Patrons

Bim Afolami comes from Crowthorne, Berkshire. His father is a Nigerian consultant doctor in the NHS, who came to the UK in his early twenties. He was educated at Bishopsgate School, Eton College and University College, Oxford where he studied modern history, was vice president of the Oxford Union Society and played football for the university. Before he became an MP, he worked as a corporate lawyer at Freshfields and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and then as a senior executive at HSBC. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a member of the Ditchley Foundation. He has also served as a primary school governor for several years.

Chinyela ‘Chi’ Onwurah was born in Newcastle. She attended Kenton School before studying Electrical Engineering, graduating from Imperial College in 1987. Ms Onwurah worked in hardware and software management, product management, market development and strategy for a variety of companies in the UK, France, US, Nigeria, and Denmark. She also has an MBA from Manchester Business School and has Chartered Engineer status. Ms Onwurah became Newcastle’s first black MP in the 2010 election. She was appointed as junior Shadow Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills in 2010 and then was appointed Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office in 2013. She now serves as the Shadow Minister for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Industrial Strategy).

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