Africa Day 2014 to Celebrate Partnership between Ireland and Africa22/4/14
Timi Martins;Tina Nsubuga; Minister Costello; Francesca Adetayo; His Excellency Mr Felix Yusuf Pwol; His Excellency Mr Anas Khales; Her Excellency Mrs Lela-alem Gebreyohannes Tedla
The Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello TD, today (22.04.14) announced a nationwide programme of events to mark Africa Day 2014.
The main event will be a family festival in the grounds of Farmleigh Estate in Dublin’s Phoenix Park on Sunday, 25th May. Regional events will take place during the same week around the country, in Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford.
Launching the programme, Minister Costello said: “This year’s Africa Day aims to shine a light on the opportunities that exist between Ireland and the continent of Africa for developing partnerships and collaboration. Our theme for this year’s celebrations is ‘Partners for Growth’ and it is in the true spirit of working together that we celebrate Africa Day and its people, particularly those who now call Ireland home.
“Recent years have seen a major increase in the numbers of Irish businesses working in various African countries, while enterprises started by migrants from African backgrounds are also thriving here at home. We will be exploring trade opportunities as part of this year’s programme of Africa Day events, as well as focusing on partnerships and opportunities for growth in social and cultural spheres.
“Irish Aid is delighted to continue with our tradition of commemorating the anniversary of Africa’s unity. In fact, Ireland is among one of only a handful of countries across the globe to celebrate this day in a very public way. In highlighting the cultural and economic potential that exists in Africa, we hope to encourage connections and collaborations with Ireland and to build on our commitment to promoting sustainable growth and supporting mutual trade now and into the future.”
The programme of Africa Day events in Ireland is coordinated and supported by Irish Aid at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. In addition to celebrating African unity during Africa Day, Irish Aid aims to increase public awareness of Ireland’s overseas development programme, which is strongly focused on sub-Saharan Africa. This year, Irish Aid celebrates its 40th anniversary.
The Africa Day events planned for 2014 will see free public performances by well-known African and Irish musicians; children’s entertainment; intergenerational education projects; film screenings; art exhibitions; traditional African drumming and dance workshops; and public seminars.
The national flagship event for Africa Day will take place from 11am to 6pm on Sunday, 25th May, in the grounds of Farmleigh Estate in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. This will be a family-focused event, and will be free of charge to attend. Highlights will include:
- A stunning line-up of main stage music performances by: the internationally renowned Irish folk / world music group Kila; Irish and Nigerian fusion band, Tig Linn; Ireland’s foremost Afrobeat band and multicultural music project, Colours Afrobeat Foundation; 10-piece ska, pop, punk fusion band, The Amazing Few; and the Irish four-piece Square Pegs, paying homage to Chicago blues, 1950′s R&B and New Orleans big band sounds.
- An ‘African Bazaar’ with stalls from over 20 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 dedicated rap and hip-hop stage, featuring up-and-coming artists and showcasing emerging talent.
- Children’s activities, including theatre performances, face-painting, mask-making, storytelling and sports.
In Limerick, the City of Culture 2014, an extra special week-long programme of events is being organised by Limerick City Council – with support from Irish Aid – to mark Africa Day 2014. Highlights will include:
- African drumming workshops, art workshops and storytelling.
- A symposium on development and trade in the Hunt Museum, focusing on the 2014 theme of ‘Partners for Growth’.
- A ‘Sportsfest’ and family fun day at the Crescent College in Dooradoyle on Saturday 17th May.
- A schools creative writing and art competition, taking place in City Hall on Tuesday 20th May.
- A ‘Sounds of Africa’ concert at St. Mary’s Cathedral on Thursday, 22nd May.
- An African jazz and spoken word lunchtime event in the Hunt Museum on Friday, 23rd May
- A signature concert with a fusion of African and Irish music and culture in the grounds of City Hall on Saturday, 24th May.
In Cork, the City Council is also organising a range of Africa Day events. These will kick off on Saturday, 17th May, with African music and dance outside the Central Library in Cork. An evening of films by African directors will take place in St. John’s College later that week. In addition, there will be a seminar – run in partnership with Cork Chamber of Commerce – on Friday, 23rd May, to engage with the business community. Finally, Africa Day will be celebrated on Saturday, 24th May, with a parade featuring musicians and dancers from African countries, along with a marching band and céilí dancers. Commencing on St Patrick Street, the parade will make its way through Winthrop Street and Oliver Plunkett Street, culminating in an outdoor event in Bishop Lucey Park. This free event will take place from 1pm to 6pm with a strong focus on music, dance and celebration.
Galway, meanwhile, will celebrate the 7th Annual African Film Festival at the Galway One World Centre, which takes place from 23rd to 25th May and will screen a number of features, shorts, documentaries and children’s films. Galway City Partnership will also provide educational school initiatives to coincide with Africa Day, and the ARD Family Resource Centre will run an Africa Day event at Doughiska, showcasing art, dance, music, poetry and food from a range of African countries. Africa Day Doughiska aims to celebrate the rich diversity of African culture in the Doughiska area on the East side of Galway city, where approximately 20% of the Doughiska Roscam and Ardaun population are of African descent according to the last Census.
Africa Day activities in Waterford will have a strong focus on local schools. The City Council is working with the Waterford One World Centre and the Garter Lane Arts Centre to offer an education programme for local primary-school pupils featuring a film and workshops addressing human rights, peace and conflict, as well as positive images of Africa. There will also be a free public screening of the film ‘A Long Walk to Freedom’ on the evening of 25th May, followed by a cultural reception with performances from the Waterford African Drummers and African Gospel Choir. On the 23rd and 24th May, there will be Africa Day celebrations for children and adults taking place in Waterford City with events featuring a range of traditional dancers, singers, craft and photographic exhibition, an Afro Irish choir and lots more.
The full programme of activities for Africa Day – as well as background information about the initiative – is available on www.africaday.ie.
Contact: Martina Quinn / Sarah Harte, DHR Communications, Tel: 01-4200580 / 087-6522033 / 087-9858259 or Michael Treacy, Irish Aid on 01- 408 2660 / 087-9372324.
Note for Editors:
- Africa Day, which falls on 25th May annually, is the official day of the African Union and marks African unity. In Ireland, events to mark Africa Day celebrate African diversity and the cultural and economic potential of the continent, in addition to raising awareness of the development challenges that remain and the progress that is being achieved.
- Irish Aid is the Government’s programme for overseas development. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Further information is available at www.irishaid.ie.
- Check out Africa Day on social media: follow us on Twitter @AfricaDay, use the hashtag #africaday2014 and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/africadayireland