Africa Day, designated by the African Union as an annual celebration of the continent’s unity, falls on 25th May each year. It is an initiative of the African Union, which aims to celebrate African diversity and success as well as the cultural and economic potential of the continent. In Ireland, events to mark Africa Day are supported by Irish Aid, which is the Government’s programme for overseas development.
Cork City Council in association with African communities in Cork and in partnership with the HSE, Community Gardaí and NGO’s working in this field come together to organise a number of events to celebrate Africa Day every year.
Africa Day 2018
Cork City Council hosted a vibrant programme of events to mark Africa Day 2018:
- Africa Day 2018 main event was celebrated on Saturday, 26th May in Fitzgerald’s Park, Cork City
- African Film Night on Wednesday, 23rd May in St. John’s College
- Seminar, theme ‘African Migration: Motives, Challenges and Opportunities’ on Thursday, 24th May in Millennium Hall, Cork City
- African Art Exhibition that was on display in the Atrium, New Civic Offices, Cork City until Wednesday, 30th May
The main Africa Day event was celebrated on Saturday, 26th May, 2018 in Fitzgerald’s Park, Cork City was our most successful one to date with over 3,000 people visiting the park throughout the course of the afternoon. This was a fabulous family fun day out with a DJ playing all afternoon in between acts from African Communities, which will range from music to dance. There were lots of activities for children, such as drumming workshops, hair braiding, bouncy castle and a lizard obstacle course. The park was festooned in colour with national flags and the whole event provided a very visible impact of African Culture in Cork.
An African Film Night to showcase African films was held in St. John’s College on Wednesday evening, 23rd May. The feature film that was screened on the night was ‘Keteke’, staring Lydia Forson and Adjete and directed by Peter Sedufia in 2017. Three shorter films screened on the night were ‘Kanyambo’, ‘Burger and Chip’, and ‘Cross Roads’.
A Seminar, themed ‘African Migration: Motives, Challenges and Opportunities’ was organised and held in Millennium Hall, Cork City on Thursday, 24th May. The Seminar was opened and Africa Day 2018 was launched by the Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr. Fergal Dennehy and this was followed by a number of presentations and a Q&A session. The keynote speaker on the night was Dr. Naomi Masheti. Other speakers included Dr. Karl Kitching speaking on “Ensuring Equality of Access to Education”, Lassanne Ouedraogo speaking on “Global Migration and Mobility Challenges – Motives and Opportunities”, Alexis Amaye speaking on “Seizing Opportunity: A Diaspora Perspective” and Cork City Council’s Social Inclusion Analyst Maria Minguella speaking on “Cork City of Sanctuary Movement”.
An African Art Exhibition by Love and Care for People was organised and displayed in the Atrium, New Civic Offices, Cork City from Thursday, 24th May until Wednesday, 30th May. In addition to the seminar, the Art Exhibition was also launched in Millennium Hall, Cork City on Thursday, 24th May. Four talented artists exhibited their work - Vanessa Moodley, Zen Tshabangu, Charity Isibor and Leah Kidogo. Artwork consisted of paintings, ceramic pieces, tapestry and photographs.