Minister of State Cannon launches nationwide programme of community-based events to celebrate Africa Day 2019
Free family-friendly Africa Day 2019 events highlighting Ireland–Africa connections to take place in Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Laois, Limerick, Meath, Waterford and Wexford.
Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciarán Cannon T.D., has launched a nationwide programme of events to mark Africa Day 2019. Supported by Irish Aid at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, this year’s Africa Day programme will centre on partnership with ten local authorities in Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Laois, Limerick, Meath, Waterford and Wexford.
This year’s Africa Day programme aims to embrace communities across the country through events ranging from African-themed film festivals, art exhibitions and seminars to football tournaments, school visits and a flag procession. Street festivals and family fun days will feature live music with performances by African and Irish musicians, traditional African drumming, dance workshops and cultural performances. Food, hair-braiding and traditional fashion designs from various African countries will also be showcased.
Speaking at the launch event, Minister Cannon said: “This year’s celebrations will focus in particular, on community involvement and engagement. Irish Aid is delighted to be partnering with ten local authorities around Ireland in delivering a vibrant programme of events over the period leading up to Africa Day on 25 May, and beyond into June; offering learning, fun and cultural celebration in the process.
“Ireland recognises the potential in its relations with countries across Africa, which have been a core theme behind our Africa Day celebrations for over ten years. These relations continue to grow and strengthen in terms of political, economic and development cooperation, including through the Government’s new policy for international development – ‘A Better World’. Ireland is also increasing its footprint in Africa through opening new embassies in Liberia and Morocco, and through expanding trade relations.
“We also recognise the strength and depth of cultures across our communities here in Ireland. By partnering with a record number of local authorities to celebrate Africa Day this year, we aim to harness the energy and cultural diversity that is now very much part of our society.
“Each of the ten local authorities partnering with Irish Aid to deliver Africa Day 2019 celebrations is collaborating with diaspora groups to design and run highly-engaging programmes. I would like to congratulate all of the participating councils and community groups for their innovation and commitment to celebrating Ireland’s vibrant relations with Africa,” he added.
Across the country, a diverse programme of events will take place. Highlights include:
- Fingal County Council and South Dublin County Council will host a programme of celebrations in collaboration with local community groups. A Family Fun Day will take place on Saturday, 1st June 2019 in Adamstown Community Centre. A celebration will also take place on Saturday, 25th May in the Lucan Centre, Primrose Lane, with African storytelling, art and photo displays. Tallaght Community Arts will present a performance entitled ‘Culture meets Culture’ where classic hip hop meets Afrobeat, in The Square, Tallaght on Saturday, 18th May.
- A Culture of Africa’s event in the ARCH Community Centre in Athy, Co Kildare on Friday, 17th May.
- ‘Tastes and Sounds of Africa’ on the grounds of Ormston House, Patrick Street, Limerick on Wednesday, 23rd May.
- Africa Day Cork, a family celebration in Fitzgerald’s Park, Co Cork on Saturday, 25th May, preceded an African Nations Flag Procession.
- Laois Africa Day 2019 event in the car park of the Portlaoise Parish Centre on Saturday, 1st June.
- Africa Day Wexford will tie in with the Wexford Strawberry Festival in Enniscorthy on Saturday, June 1st.
- The 12th Annual Galway African Film Festival, in the Bank of Ireland Theatre in NUIG, Co Galway, from 1st-2nd
- ‘Sounds of Africa’ festival in Waterford Cultural Quarter, Co Waterford, on Thursday, 6th
- A family friendly ‘Taste of Africa’ event in Claremont Stadium, Navan, Co Meath on Saturday, 15th
The programme of Africa Day events aims to highlight the scope and benefits of Ireland’s engagement with Africa and increase public awareness of Irish Aid’s development programme throughout Africa.