Wednesday 20 July 2022

SDG Action:
Why the United Nations Hosted CartoonAFRICA Campaign in Bonn, and How Bonnections Took it Further… 

Francis Umendu Odupute, CEO of African Press Cartoon, and initiator/curator of ‘Cartoon Africa international Biennil (CAIB)festival’ hosted by Nigeria.


“…@Francis, it would be awesome to exhibit the cartoon Africa posters in Bonn at the Alte VHS community center during the local SDG Days (17 events for 17 goals).  One of these events will be a May 25 Africa Unity Day celebration at Alte VHS, organized by the local NGO DAZ e.V. (German-African Center). Very best, Sandra”

The above email proposal from Bonnections’ Sandra Prufer, sent on Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at 5:14am, set the stage for several correspondences that led up to the ongoing traveling “CartoonAFRICA” SDG cartoon campaigns to engage and interface aesthetically with many more audience in Bonn, Germany within the prism of graphic humour, after an audacious global showing at the 2019 UN SDG Global Festival of Action in Bonn, from May 2 to May 4, 2019.

 Thanks to UNDP’s Christina Ann and her SDG team, the initiator and curator of “Cartoon Africa International Biennial (CAIB)” initiative, Francis Umendu Odupute, ensured some “fantastic posters” gleaned from Cartoon Africa international Biennial (CAIB) festivals graced the 2019 SDG Global Festival, on the invitation of the United Nations.

The traveling “Cartoon Africa International Biennial (CAIB) SDG Cartoon Campaigns…” was exhibited at the wooden foyer by the cloak room at the 2019 United Nations SDG Global Festival of Action which took place in Bonn, Germany, from May 2 to May 4, 2019, as part of the SDG Action creative innovations.  The following links from the event offer more insights on CAIB contribution at the SDG Global Festival of Action:

SDGs: CAIB SDG cartoon campaign/exhibition at the wooden foyer by the cloak room of the festival in Bonn, on May 1, 2019. 

UN’s Endorsement of CAIB as SDG Action Partner:

The CAIB initiative, jointly powered by African Press Cartoon, FICDATA Artists Cluster and the Beautiful Feet International Kreativ Brainz Klub (BFIKBK), has been certified a “UN SDG Action Partner” by the United Nations. It all began with an invitation letter addressed to Mr. Francis Umendu Odupute, dated 31 January, 2019, and signed by Marina Ponti, Global Director a.i. of UN SDG Action Campaign which stated in part:
“…I am writing to invite you to join us at the SDG Global Festival of Action which will take place from 2 to 4 May 2019 at the World Conference Centre in Bonn (Germany) and feature the Africa International Biennial (CAIB) Traveling Cartoon Campaign in the Festival’s Exhibitions Zone.
“The Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development is a ground-breaking annual event powered by the UN SDG Action Campaign with the support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Federal Foreign Office and other partners,” Ponti wrote, adding that “The Festival gathers the global community taking action to make the SDGs a reality. With the assumption that the SDGs will only be achieved if everyone takes action, the Festival puts the spotlight on and celebrates innovators, mobilizers and change-makers who are transforming lives- through advocacy and inspiring actions- and who are joining the global movement for the SDGs.
“With over 1,500 participants from all over the world from a wide range of sectors (national and local governments, youth, civil society, private sectors, foundations, media and music sector) the SDG Global Festival of Action provides an unparalleled opportunity for scaling up and broadening the global movement for the SDGs and for forging new partnerships and coalitions for the SDGs….” Ponti wrote.
                                   Marina Ponti, Global Director of UN SDG Action Campaign


SDGs: An SDG festival participant rests in front of the exhibited posters for CAIB SDG cartoon campaign.

Nigeria’s Amina Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary General, at the 2019 UN SDG Global festival of Action in Bonn. 

“At least ten thousand African children and youths are targeted to be engaged, empowered and positively involved in the fight to secure Africa of the future (and the rest of the world), through some tangible Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) actions by the year 2030”, says Francis Umendu Odupute, initiator and curator of the growing ‘Cartoon Africa international Biennial (CAIB) festival’, a collaborative agenda of the AFRICAN PRESS CARTOON, the Francodus International Communications Development Advocacy Through Art (FICDATA),  and the Beautiful Feet International kreativ brainz Klub  (BFIKBK), all based in Nigeria.

In consultation with other implementing partners, c “CartoonAFRICA SDGs ArtivismWritivism Training Series” for African children and youths as part of the on-going ‘CartoonAFRICA UN SDG CARTOON CAMPIGNS AND WORKSHOPS’ to scale up of our growing CARTOONAFRICA INTERNATIONAL BIENNIAL (CAIB) FESTIVAL, an international public education initiative which is now in its 7th year since it was launched in Lagos, Nigeria, in November, 2012. Visit our website:  
CartoonAFRICA  SDG ArtivismWritivism Training Series”, is a youth engagement creative education and empowerment project expected to to empower one million African children and youths within 10 years, with necessary creative skills set to be financially self-reliant;  and to directly involve African children and youths in the global actions to achieving the United Nation’s vision 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through artistic expressions and multimedia innovations within the creative sector. The serial trainings is the capacity building/financial empowerment segment of the CAIB program.
According to Odupute, if the funding needs are met, the strategic “CartoonAfrica Traveling SDG Cartoon Campaigns/ArtivismWritivism training series” is expected to tour various cities, towns and rural communities across Africa and overseas empower young people in Africa, broaden audience engagement and scale up the CAIB program for more impact until 2030 when the CAIB SDG action project comes to its climax.
FICDATA and other implementing partners are currently seeking collaborations and funding support for some of the key modules in this long-term regional capacity building/skills development training series for African young people, as well as to host at least one special children/youth cartoon art and photography exchange program climaxing in an exhibition of cartoons, photography, etc. resulting from the trainings/exchange program, in Washington, D.C, and in Benin City, respectively in the year 2021. The exchange program will enable Nigerian children/youths to cross-pollinate creative ideas with their American peers, engage in creative exchanges in visual literacy and pictorial storytelling, and engage in cross-cultural intercourses in line with Sustainable Development Goal 17. 
 “Over 200 cartoonists from over 120 countries are already involved in this collaborative agenda to use artistic expressions within the prism of graphic humour  to provide answers to many development concerns in line with meeting the SDGs”, Odupute reveals, while chronicling the successes, failures and prospects of the CAIB program since it began in November, 2012, at the White Space (in Ikoyi), Lagos State, Nigeria, adding that “Through the magnanimity of highly skilled cartoon contributors worldwide, we began gathering all these artworks/project content, namely: editorial cartoons, comics and graphic novels, photo stories, short cartoon animations, comedic paintings  and illustrations, etc, since November, 2012, till date.
“Under strategic  thematic frameworks aimed at mobilizing a critical mass of change advocates, cartoonists, cartoon animators, illustrators, photographers and other graphic communicators and visual reporters in Africa and around the world, we have been interfacing across different sectors, through graphic humour  and edutainment, and fostered creative dialogues on how cartoons and comedic art can be effectively deployed to efficaciously draw attention to development concerns in Africa not given the attention they deserved within the context of  the United Nation’s vision 2030 ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) and the ‘New Partnership for African Development’ (NEPAD), etc”, the CAIB curator says.
Odupute agrees that to meet the SDGs, everyone around the world must take action, no matter how small or simple, hence his decision to seek novel ways he could collaboratively make a tangible contribution in “advancing the global movement for the Sustainable Development Goals in the most creative, wholesome, transformative, impactful and innovative way that gainfully carries young people along.”
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Odupute explains further, “Presently, through the BFI “WASH in Schools (WinS) project” in selected schools we have helped many schoolchildren and youths to realize how they can lead healthy lives through improved sanitation and personal hygiene culture. The creative education is gradually triggering voluntary behavior changes and  transforming many youngsters into SDG activists and change-makers by their positive inclusion and involvement in taking simple, scalable creative actions that gradually lead up to efficaciously imbibing the messages of the SDG campaigns in their little corners and circles of influence”.
Within 2018 alone, some 1000 schoolchildren and youths benefitted from the ongoing BFI WASH in Schools (WinS) project in Benin City, Edo State, and in Okwe and Omelugboma, in Delta State, (Nigeria), where they received free WASH4All comic books gleaned from CAIB platform and used as teaching aids/training materials that helped sensitized and triggered many schoolchildren’s interest in the fight against WASH-related diseases. (Visit:;
The free WASH4All Comic books were produced and distributed in collaboration with Horizon International (USA), and printed with a seed funding from The Pollination Project (TPP), USA, and individual donors/supporters. (Visit: )

Proofs of possible tangible transformative effects of the CAIB  initiative on youth participants’ lives with potential legacy and sustained changes can be seen from the following impact stories:;

The 4th edition of Cartoon Africa International Biennial (CAIB) festival opened in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria on Friday, 23rd November, 2018, under the theme “AFRICA OF THE FUTURE: Sustainable Development through Youth Empowerment”, and builds upon the 3rd edition in 2016, tagged “AFRICA OF THE FUTURE: Sustainable Environment = Sustainable Development", which also had consolidated on the 2nd edition in 2014, with the central theme: “AFRICA OF THE FUTURE”. See: .

CARTOON AFRICA INTERNATIONAL BIENNIAL (CAIB) festival is a collaborative agenda to deploy artistic expressions and multimedia innovations within the prism of graphic humour to broaden audience engagement and spur people to proactive SDG actions in favour of Africa’s productivity in a global context. Since its establishment in 2012, this public education cum social impact program targets mostly young people in Africa and is currently scaling up for new frontiers to make more impact plus enjoy more value chains…
 CAIB exists primarily as a social impact art and media program with a long term economic plan of transforming the creative economy of Nigeria and the rest of Africa through indigenous African cartoon media contents, animations, children/youth literature, etc. CAIB is being organized by Beautiful Feet International Kreative Brainz Klub (BFIKBK), an organ of Beautiful Feet International (BFI), in collaboration with African Press Cartoon Company (APC) and the Francodus international Communications development Advocacy through Art (FICDATA), an arm of Francodus International Communications (FIC).

 *How Bonnections Collaborated to broaden CAIB audience engagement in Bonn:
On Thursday, 23 May 2019 at 15:48, Sandra Prufer wrote (and copied Francis):
Dear Imen & Africans Rising Team,
Thanks for the info about the upcoming Africans Rising events and activities around the globe on May 25.
At the very last minute, we are now again organizing a local African Liberation Day event this year.
The "Africa of the Future" Cartoon exhibit will already open on Friday evening, but the the exhibit will be induded in a neighborhood walking tour organized by our Tannenbusch House friends on May 25.
The anniversary celebration at the Tannenbusch House also includes a musical evening with Melchi, a young musician & singer-songwriter from Cameroon.  At both events, we will present and/or read the Kilimanjaro declaration.
Would it be still possible to add our #May2019 event to the global activitiy map?
All the best,
“Today we are faced with a challenge that calls for a shift in our thinking, so that humanity stops threatening its life-support system. We are called to assist the Earth to heal her wounds and in the process heal our own - indeed to embrace the whole of creation in all its diversity, beauty and wonder. Recognizing that sustainable development, democracy and peace are indivisible is an idea whose time has come.”
― Wangari Maathai (1940 - 2011), Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Founder of the Green Belt Movement
You are cordially invited to an intercultural evening and Iftar community dinner on May 24 at the International Women & Family Forum in Tannenbusch. Join us to enjoy a traditional fast-breaking meal in the spirit of peace. The Iftar buffet opens after sunset (9.26 PM).
Bonnections teamed up with the Cartoon Africa International Biennial (CAIB) to host an exhibit of the Cartoon artwork displayed earlier this month at the UN SDG Festival of Action and trigger a cross-cultural dialogue about the Sustainable Develpment Goals during the local SDG Days. #SDGGlobalfest. #Act4SDGS
The "Africa of the Future" exhibit opens the day of the second global Fridays for Future strike (May 24) and on the eve of African Liberation Day (May 25). Thereby we like to hightlight the demands and connecting struggles of the global climate justice movement and the Africans Rising youth movement. Africans Rising calls in its Kilimanjaro Declaration to build a Pan-African campaign that is:
- Expanding space for civic and political action
- Fighting for women’s rights and freedoms across society
- Focussing our struggles on the right to Equity and Dignity
- Demanding good governance as we fight corruption and impunity
- Demanding climate and environmental justice
The cartoons and other artwork will be displayed until June 1 at the forum during regular opening hours. The Forum also open its doors on May 25 (1 - 3 PM) for Africa Liberation Day and the Tannenbusch Tour (as part of anniversary celebrations).
You are also warmly invited to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of the Tannenbusch House on May 25 with our friends of the Tannenbusch House community:
- Discover Tannenbusch Walking Tour (1 - 3.30 PM)
- International Game Afternoon (4 - 6 PM)
- International Music Night with Camaroon Singer-Songwriter Melchi Vepouyoum (7 - 10 PM)
(Tannenbusch House, Oppelner Str. 69)
Sandra Prüfer
Journalist │ Communications Consultant

“Cartoon Africa exhibit will continue to be used!” – Sandra Prufer

On Friday, May, 24, 2019, Sandra Prufer wrote:
Dear Francis,
The Cartoon exhibit will open tomorrow. We switched to another location, the International Women & Family Forum in Bonn Tannenbusch. This centre was founded by Lul Autenrieb, a Somali community activist, women & human rights advocate and survivor of sexual violence.
This way this isn't just a pop-up exhibit on May 25 for the Africa Day Fest at Alte VHS community centre, and we are able to reach more and a wider variety of people.
 See invite below. Please share the Facebook event invitation through your channels.
The exhibit will also be a part of a neighborhood walking tour on Saturday to celebrate Africa Liberation Day and the 2nd anniversary of the Tannenbusch House which is a community & social innovation space for sustainable living;
We are excited to show your cartoon exhibit in this culturally diverse, low-income neighborhood and spark an intercultural dialogue about the SDGs, climate & environmental justice. The exhibit will close on June 1 with a collaborative (Africa themed) "Parachute for the Planet" painting with kids from the neighborhood. We will invite them to draw their inspiration from the cartoons and SDGs.
Together with local artists and non-profit partners, I will explore the possibiliy of a future collaboration as described in your email.  A fundraiser advocacy art exhibition and training workshop for young people in Bonn, next year, around the period of the 2020 SDG Global Festival of Action sounds like a great idea.  A possible partnering organisation could for example be Caritas & their House Mondial, where we will show the Human Rights poster exhibit during the local SDG days (May 31 - June 19). The house has a nice arts room in the basement.
 I will keep you posted and email you photos from the cartoon exhibit.
Very best,

On Friday, May 24, 2019, Sandra Prufer wrote:
“Dear All,
Here's a photo album of today's community event & opening of the CAIB Cartoon exhibit "The Future of Africa". More pics to follow.
All the best
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                             Sandra Prufer and Epifania

Description: A PARTICIPANT POINTS AT A CARTOON DURING A  TOUR OF THE CAIB2018 EXHIBITION OPENING IN BENIN CITYSDGs: CAIB curator, Francis Odupute (first right) listens as an exhibition visitor points to a cartoon for explanations, on November 23, 2018, during the opening of 4th CAIB festival in Benin City, Nigeria.
Description: Some participants at the CAIB 2018 festival exhibition  interpreting and dialoguing over some cartoon messagesSDGs: Some participants dialogue over a cartoon on climate crimes during the 4th CAIB festival which opened in Benin City, on November 23, 2018. 

Description: SAM AIGBIRIO_REPRESENTATIVE OF THE COMMISSIONER FOR ARTS CULTURE TOURISM AND DIASPORA AFFAIRS CUTS  TAPE TO DECLARE CAIB2018 FESTIVAL OPENSDGs: Mr. Sam Aigbirio, Permanent Secretary representing the Edo State Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism and Diaspora Affairs, cuts the tape to declare the 4th CAIB festival open on November 23, 2018, at The Hexagon, Benin City.
SDGs: A cross section of visitors and participants at the 2nd CAIB festival hosted by the Edo State Government, through the Ministry of Arts, Culture and Tourism, in Benin City, Nigeria, on November 27, 2014.
Description: ON GENDER: Francis Umendu Odupute, leads the MeWOR Cartoon Working Group session in Nairobi, Kenya, on May, 2017.The “Media for Women’s Rights (MeWOR) project was subsumed into CAIB program to achieve CAIB’s regional SDG action aim of broadening regional awareness and audience engagement of youths at the grassroots to spur action in favour of domesticating the AU Protocol on women’s rights in local contexts.