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Minister O’Sullivan, launches programme of cultural and community events to mark Africa Day

Development Education, News/feature, Ireland, 2011

Family fun days, an African Bazaar, public debates, food-tasting and sports activities are among the events taking place in Dublin, Limerick and Galway over the coming weeks to celebrate Africa Day 2011.

Africa Day is an initiative of the African Union.  It falls on 25 May each year and celebrates African diversity and success and the cultural and economic potential of the continent. 

Unveiling this year’s programme for Africa Day in Ireland, Minister of State for Trade and Development, Jan O’Sullivan T.D., said today:

“It gives me great pleasure to announce this weeklong series of events to mark Africa Day in Ireland.  We can look forward to a great line-up of performances, fun family events, art exhibitions, debates and educational activities from 21 to 29 May. 

 “This presents a great opportunity for communities to join with people from all over Africa to celebrate their cultures and traditions. I am pleased to announce that we will be supporting a series of cultural and community events in Dublin, Limerick and Galway. We hope that other organisations involved in education and awareness-raising will organise and participate in events all around the country.

 “I would like to thank all of those who are giving their time and energy to organising the line-up and also Dublin City Council for their support in promoting Africa Day and organising community events.

 “Ireland has developed strong connections with Africa over many years, not least those forged by Irish missionaries and non- governmental organisations. More recently, we have seen an increase in trade and business links, while many African communities here are making an invaluable contribution to Irish society. 

 “Ireland’s overseas development programme is strongly focused on sub-Saharan Africa.  I am delighted that Irish Aid is in a position to support these events, promoting awareness of the overseas development programme and of the countries with which we work.”


Note for the Editor

  • Irish Aid is the Government’s programme for overseas development. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Directorate of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
  • The programme of events for Africa Day 2011 is being supported by Irish Aid.  For detailed information on Africa Day events, visit: http://africaday.ie/
  • Irish Aid has been active in supporting and promoting Africa Day since 2008.  This year the main focus is on support for community group, cultural and educational initiatives.


 The Africa Day 2011 programme of events includes:

  • The first ever solo art exhibition at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, featuring the work of African artist Romuald Hazoume, will launch the week of events on Friday, 20 May.
  • On Saturday 21 May, family-orientated events are being organised by the Africa Centre at Bushy Park and in the Africa Plains at Dublin Zoo. The weekend will also have drumming workshops culminating with an exciting concert on Sunday evening in the Temple Bar. 
  • Galway will host an African Film Festival and a music celebration the same weekend.
  • The following Sunday, 29 May, Limerick will have a packed fun filled day of events at the City Hall and the Milk Market which will feature diverse African musicians; a cultural corner; food fairs; an African Bazaar, sports activities, and arts and crafts.
  • Other events include a debate in Trinity College on Africa Day, 25 May, “Investing in Africa – Society, Agriculture and Enterprise”; a music and food fair in the National College of Art and Design in Dublin and a free series of events at the Irish Aid Volunteering and Information Centre on O’Connell Street in Dublin.


For further information or to request an interview with Minister of State for Trade and Development, Jan O’Sullivan, please contact Fionnuala Quinlan, Press Officer, Irish Aid, the Department of Foreign Affairs on 01-4082653 or 087-9099975.

 3 May, 2011