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Africa Day

Africa Day 2010 Celebrated around the World

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UPF chapters helped organize Africa Day celebrations in Angola, Canada, Congo, Ecuador, Georgia, Ghana, Israel, Nepal, Netherlands, Russia, the United Kingdom (London and Birmingham), and New York and Washington, DC, USA. The following are some highlights of reports about the gatherings.

Luanda, Angola: Rev. Pedro Sambu Kinambuta, Secretary General of UPF-Angola, referred to problems such as migration, poverty, and wars. However, he said that African families need to understand the cause of such problems and educate their children in universal values so their children can grow up and take up leadership roles as good parents, good educators, and responsible citizens.

Montreal, Canada: “On this day, we are all Africans,” announced Mr. Robert Duffy as he invited people to comment on their experiences with Africa and its peoples. Rev. Samuel King-Kabu, a native of Ghana and currently pastor with the Lutheran Church in Montreal, emphasized that Africa is a study in contrasts: rich and poor. He shared of the challenges in improving infrastructure, including water and communication links. Father Tiburtius Fernandez, a Roman Catholic priest, described his experiences during his 14 years in Africa and spoke of a ‘tsunami of modernity’ washing over Africa.

Brazzaville, Congo - About 200 people attended a celebration of Africa Day at the Hotel Phoenix. Speakers included the former 2nd Vice Secretary General of the African Union and a representative of the Director General of the United Nations system.

Quito, Ecuador: Mr. René Ortiz, Honorary Consul of the Republic of South Africa to Ecuador, was the featured speaker. African music concluded the evening.

Tbilisi, Georgia: UPF invited 20 African students and athletes to a day of dialogue about principles of peace, a visit to a school, and an outing to the countryside. Africans shared with the Georgia students about African history and culture. The young people were excited and wanted to meet again. A visit to the Jvari monastery was an opportunity to experience something of Georgia’s heritage and the magnificent scenery of the Caucasus Mountains. The day ended with a barbecue party, singing, and dancing. This was also the first time the Africans had met each other, and they decided to organize an “African Union” in Georgia.

Nakomkope, Ghana - The Assembly member of the area, Hon. Dameh Azator, introduced the opinion leaders and some key persons in the community. He described workshops that are raising up young people as leaders of peace, saying that peace begins with individuals. “We cannot sound the drum of peace in our communities," he said, "unless we first change our mindset.”

Tel Aviv, Israel: An African football tournament took place in Tel Aviv, with the Nigerian team beating Cote d’Ivoire in the finals. Bouquets of flowers were presented to the wives of Ambassadors from African countries to Israel.

Kathmandu, Nepal: Only two African nations have a physical diplomatic presence in Nepal: Egypt and South Africa, and both sent representatives to the Africa Day celebration. Somali refugees in Nepal described their experiences and expressed their hopes for peace.

Amsterdam, Netherlands: Maartje Bos talked about European support for the Community Partnership for Youth and Women Development, a multi-purpose community organization in Northern Ghana.

Moscow, Russia: UPF joined the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Africa in a conference in partnership with one of the largest Russian interethnic NGOs, the Assembly of the Peoples of Russia. “Our meeting symbolizes the desire of peoples of Russia and Africa towards settlement of democracy principles and universal values,” said Sergey Kuchinsky, General Director of the House of the Peoples of Russia. The audience included H.E. Dr. Moses Ebuk, Ambassador of Uganda to Russia; H.E. Dr. Sam K. Mbambo, Ambassador of Namibia; H.E. Dr. Kodzo Alabo, Deputy Ambassador of Ghana; and Onessimus Atanze, Temporary Representative Plenipotentiary of Nigeria.

London, United Kingdom: Speakers at a panel addressed the provocative question of whether has globalization enriched or impoverished resource-rich developing African nations. “Huge amounts of foreign aid money is lost to developing countries in Africa through the tax dodging and capital flight of multi-national companies, including a number established in the City of London,” said Ruth Tanner, Campaign and Policy Officer of War on Want, calling for civil society groups to create stronger networks around the globe as a strong force for fairness and justice. In Birmingham, representatives from 12 different African countries attended a symposium and cultural program on Africa Day.

Washington DC, USA: Liberian Ambassador H.E. Milton Nathaniel Barnes was the keynote speaker at a celebration with the theme “Vision and Hope for Africa” hosted at the UPF Peace Embassy in Washington DC. Other speakers included his wife, Dawn Cooper Barnes, Chair of the Spouses of All African Ambassadors group; H.E. Mory Karamoko Kaba, Ambassador of Guinea; and H.E. Mahamoud Adam Bechir, Ambassador of Chad.

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