Minister Joe McHugh welcomes free Africa Day 2017 events

  • National flagship Event celebrating Ireland-Africa links set to attract 30,000 visitors in Farmleigh, Dublin on Sunday, 21st May
  • Events will also take place in Cork, Kilkenny, Kildare, Limerick and Galway

The Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Joe McHugh T.D., has welcomed Africa Day 2017 celebrations which are taking place on Sunday, 21st May at Farmleigh Estate in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, with events also taking place this weekend and next in Cork, Kilkenny, Kildare, Limerick and Galway.

More than 30,000 people are expected at the free family-friendly event at Farmleigh.

Speaking ahead of the Dublin event, which he will officially open, Minister McHugh said:

“I hope as many people as possible will join us for this year’s Africa Day celebration at Farmleigh and in the other five locations around the country.

“Ireland’s connections with Africa have developed in many exciting ways over recent years. Africa Day gives us the opportunity to highlight these connections, as well as the vibrant African diaspora here in Ireland and the contribution that they make to Irish society. It is wonderful to have all the African Embassies at Farmleigh again this year and I am delighted that we will be joined by the Sudanese Embassy for the first time.

“I am delighted that Irish Aid, the Government’s programme for overseas development, is centrally involved in the organisation of Africa Day. In addition to highlighting the cultural and economic potential of the continent, Africa Day also raises awareness of the progress that is being achieved through working with Irish Aid partners.

“I am particularly pleased to see that, as well as our flagship event in Dublin, Africa Day events will take place in Cork, Galway, Kildare, Kilkenny and Limerick over the next two weeks.

“Wherever you are celebrating Africa Day, it promises to be a great day out for everyone.”

The national flagship event in Farmleigh, Dublin will have a jam-packed schedule of live music, as well as children’s entertainment, food, dance, drumming and sports. Three music stages will feature international and home-grown acts, such as Kíla, K.O.G. & THE ZONGO BRIGADE, the Discovery Gospel Choir, BARQ, and Aik J. There will also be an area for dancing, drumming workshops and storytelling.

One of the focal points of the Africa Day Dublin event will be the outdoor African bazaar, called ‘Marrakech‘. It will feature stalls from different African countries, offering food, drumming, dance, hair-braiding, henna hand-painting, traditional fashion designs, and lots more. In addition to African community groups, a range of development NGOs will be present in the bazaar, offering fun activities, while the African embassies in Ireland will also be represented at the event.

A special children’s area, called ‘Mount Kiddimanjaro‘, will include fun fair rides, drumming workshops, zorbing and face-painting.

In Dublin, the festival will run from 11am to 6pm and all are welcome to attend. Reflecting Irish Aid’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, attendees are encouraged to leave their cars at home and instead take public transport, walk or cycle to Farmleigh. To support this, Irish Aid will be providing bicycle racks at Farmleigh and Dublin Bus will provide a free shuttle-bus service from the Heuston Bridge / Parkgate Street bus stop into the Phoenix Park.

In Cork, a public outdoor event will be held in Fitzgerald’s Park on Saturday, 27th May from 12noon to 6pm. The family focussed event will have plenty of activities for children, drumming workshops, hair braiding, face painting, balloons, bouncy castles and cultural games with prizes.

In Kilkenny, a public lecture on entrepreneurship at Maynooth University, Kilkenny Campus on Friday, 2nd June will be followed by a Mini Trade and Business Fair at MacDonagh Junction on Saturday, 3rd June, where African entrepreneurs and business owners in Ireland will be invited to advertise/showcase their products, services and ideas. Africa Day celebrations will conclude on Sunday, 4th June with performances by African, Irish and ethnic minority cultural groups; a fashion show; a comedy show and a special area to taste African cuisine at The Parade.

The Kildare “Taste of Africa” Festival Day is taking place in Newbridge Town Hall on Saturday 20th May. The event will showcase the diversity of African Culture and will be a magical day of celebrating African food, dance and music.

“Beyond Africa” is the theme for the 2017 Africa Day celebrations in Limerick. On Thursday 25th May, there will be a symposium of talks held in the Strand Hotel in an interactive World Café style. The final event will be a family fun day in the Milk Market on Sunday 28th May. Activities will include music, dance, crafts, children’s entertainment and food. A volunteer recognition event will be held in City Hall afterwards with the Mayor presenting the certificates to all the volunteers involved in this year’s programme.

In Galway, a number of Africa Day festivities will run from 17th – 25th May. It will include an interactive music workshop at the United Methodist Presbyterian Church, Victoria Place, a football event at the Westside Astro facility featuring eight Galway primary schools and the 10th Galway African Film Festival will take place from 19th -21st in the Mick Lally Theatre (Druid). A special Africa Day event will also take place in Doughiska, Galway’s most multicultural suburb.

Africa Day events in Ireland are supported by
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Commonwealth African countries to discuss priorities for reviving world trade

Amid an unprecedented global trade slowdown, African policy-makers, negotiators and trade analysts will meet on 25-26 May 2017 in Mauritius to discuss priorities for reviving world trade and strengthening their trading capacity.

Since 2014, world trade has declined by more than US$3 trillion with Sub-Saharan Africa’s combined exports falling by about 40 per cent – from US$403 billion to less than US$250 billion.

Participants will discuss the most pressing trade and development challenges for Commonwealth African member states, in the light of unfavourable global economic and trade patterns, rising protectionism and growing discontent about globalisation.

The meeting will also be an opportunity for reviewing the current issues for multilateral trade negotiations, especially since the World Trade Organisation is hosting its 11th ministerial conference in Buenos Aires in December.

The regional consultation will take into consideration the outcomes of the Commonwealth Trade Ministers’ meeting, held in March this year in London, particularly to explore avenues through which intra-Commonwealth trade and investment opportunities can be enhanced.

The meeting will also provide a platform for African member states to assess various trade policy options, including UK-Africa trade relations post-Brexit, advancing African integration through the Continental Free Trade Agreement, and priority issues for the upcoming Global Review of Aid for Trade in July.

The Commonwealth Secretariat will launch its new Handbook on Regional Integration in Africa: Towards Agenda 2063 in Mauritius. The handbook provides a unique resource on current dynamics, opportunities, challenges and policy options for Africa’s regional integration agenda. Agenda 2063 is the African Union’s strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the continent over 50 years.

Past and present trade negotiators will also convene to finalise a proposal to establish an informal Commonwealth African Trade Negotiators Network.

Brendan Vickers, Economic Adviser at the Commonwealth Secretariat said: “African countries are engaged in a range of global, regional and bilateral negotiations on trade and trade-related issues. However, one of the major challenges confronting Africa is the lack of capacity to undertake trade negotiations, although many experienced negotiators from Africa are willing to help.

“This network aims to bring these negotiators together and provide a ‘think tank’ for Africa for future trade negotiations. Drawing on the collective experience, knowledge and wisdom of present and past trade negotiators, the network will help set out strategic priorities for Africa’s current and future trade agenda, assess opportunities and challenges, brainstorm particular negotiating and policy issues, and explore ways to unlock any impasse in some of the negotiations.”

The meeting is being organised in partnership with the government of Mauritius. It will be opened by Seetanah Lutchmeenaraidoo, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Commonwealth Secretariat.

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Acting Executive Director of the Fashion Council of Namibia Invited to Germany

The Acting Executive Director of the Fashion Council of Namibia, Mr. Kalistu Mukoroli has been invited to participate in a visit to Germany, themed “Berlin Fashion Week – The Creative Industries and Sustainability”. The visit takes place from 2 until 8 July 2017 and is part of the Visitors Programme of the German Federal Government.
Together with specialist journalists, young designers and other representatives of the creative industries from around the world, Mr Mukoroli will be presented an introduction to how the creative industries are promoted in Germany, as well as insights into Berlin’s fashion scene. The programme will include visits to the “Berlin Fashion Week” and meetings with major players, young designers and German fashion journalists and experts.
The group will visit showrooms, small start-ups, internationally-operating fashion labels, as well as fashion institutes in Berlin and Brandenburg. There will be opportunities to network with well-known representatives of the German fashion industry.
On 19 June 2017, the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Namibia, Christian Schlaga presented Mr Mukoroli with his letter of invitation at the embassy.

Distributed by APO on behalf of The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany – Windhoek.

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Martin Kobler condemns attack on Buraq: “This vicious attack undermines political efforts”

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Martin Kobler, strongly condemns the unprovoked attack on the Buraq al-Shati airbase in southern Libya yesterday.

“I am outraged by reports of significant numbers of fatalities, including civilians and by reports that summary executions may have taken place. Summary executions and targeting civilians constitute a war crime, which may be prosecuted by the International Criminal court (ICC),” Martin Kobler said.

The Special Representative stressed that this vicious attack must not push into further, serious conflict. There is no military solution to Libya’s problems. “I call upon all parties to condemn this attack and not to allow it to undermine intense efforts to find peaceful political solutions.” he added.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).

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