by Georges Budagu Makoko, Amjambo Africa Publisher

April 1 marks the third anniversary of the birth of Amjambo Africa, and brings back the wonderful memory I have of picking up the first issue of the first volume from the printing facility in South Portland. I remember the incredible joy I felt that day at seeing what had once been an idea become a living reality.

From my first days in Maine almost two decades ago, when there was very little help available to immigrants here, I’d been aware of the need for a platform such as Amjambo Africa to share news and important information relating to migration for both host and immigrant communities alike.

Over the last three years, I am proud to have played a role in producing and sharing quality content featuring articles on health care, education, the U.S. financial system, the U.S. immigration system, food, customs, contributions of entrepreneurs and artists, news from correspondents on the African continent, and reflections from a growing group of monthly immigrant columnists. Some of our content is written first in English and then translated; some is written in another language first and then translated into English. We are Maine’s most inclusive newsroom, and count foreign-born and first-generation Americans as important members of our team.

Back in 2018, we launched with a monthly, 16-page print publication in four languages and a focus on migration from sub-Saharan Africa. Over the years, as our capacity grew, we have added additional pages and languages. At present, we publish in six languages, cover the entire African continent, and report equity issues relating to the entire African Diaspora. We also include coverage of events and issues specific to immigrant groups that come from outside Africa, and as we continue to grow, we will add more languages and regions of the world. Three years in, we are pleased to host an active digital news site, in addition to our 32-page monthly, a weekly newsletter, and active social media sites.

Our publication is based on the belief that understanding, embracing, and celebrating diversity in Maine is a good thing, which provides a solid foundation on which to build a more inclusive, prosperous, and harmonious state for current and future generations.

My thanks to the whole Amjambo Africa team, which includes reporters, photographers, translators, editors, designers, advisors, as well as the board of directors of Ladder to the Moon Network, Amjambo Africa’s parent nonprofit, whose mission is education around the topic of migration. Our work would not have been possible without the help of sponsors and foundations (see our banner ad, homepage), advertisers, and individual donors, and I thank each of you from the bottom of my heart. It takes a village to build a strong organization, and you have helped us build our village.

To those who follow our coverage of local, national, and international news, and who turn to us for help navigating the complexities of living in Maine – please keep in touch. The closer we remain, the better we will always be at knowing and meeting your needs for information. Information is our most precious commodity, and none of us can afford to live without it.