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Africa Day

Africa Day 2014 Celebrated with the Diplomatic Community in New York

New York, USA - A gala celebration of Africa Day took place at the Manhattan Center in New York city on May 23, 2014, co-sponsored by the African Group and the African Union in partnership with the Universal Peace Federation and the United Nations African Ambassadors Spouses Group. The theme for this year's Africa Day was “Year of Agriculture and Food Security.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon graced the gala celebration and addressed the hundreds of distinguished guests, comprising UN Ambassadors and dignitaries, African Union officials, and other high level officials of the diaspora. He commended African countries for their continuous progress, stating that: "Transformation, growth, dynamism, progress and partnership: these concepts are central to the African Union’s narrative as it embarks on the second half of its first centennial."

H.E. Mr. Téte António, permanent observer of the Mission of the African Union to the United Nations, welcomed the audience, and H.E Mr. Sidi Mohamed Boubacar, permanent representative of Mauritania to the United Nations, delivered the message of the chair of the African Union. Last year's Africa Day celebrated the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Organization of African Unity/African Union, and its "Agenda 2063," expresses the African Union's vision and aspirations for development during the next 50 years. Other speakers included Mr. Tageldin Ibrahim Hamad, secretary general of UPF, and H.E. Mr. Courtenay Rattray, permanent representative of Jamaica to the United Nations and chair of the Permanent Memorial Committee on Slavery.

Madam Afua Serwaah Kanda, president of the United Nations African Ambassadors Spouses Group and wife of the ambassador of Ghana to the United Nations, greeted the guests. The spouses group sponsored the evening’s African culinary buffet of exquisite dishes representing the various regions of Africa, which guests enjoyed after the cake-cutting ceremony and photos.

The evening had elements of solemnity and historical importance as well as an exceptional banquet of sumptuous dishes, vibrant entertainment and enthusiastic dancing to energetic African music. There were dynamic musical performances by DJ Nile Queen, Kongo Culture, Yacouba Sissoko, Salah, King Napoleon, Ruart Music Group and Razia Said.

For a video of the performance by country singer Franklin Burns and R&B sensation Choomasi click here. 

Other celebrations of Africa Day 2014 organized by UPF:

  • Australia: A week of festivities in Melbourne including a women's forum, street festival, sports festival, youth forum, talent competition, cultural events and business symposium; programs in Sydney and Brisbane 
  • Benin: West Africa Leadership Conference in Cotonou on “Building a Continent of Peace through True Family Values, Good Citizenship, Good Governance and Good Interfaith Cooperation”
  • Italy: Forum in Bologna on "Peace and Geopolitical Development in Sub-Saharan Africa"
  • Japan: Concerts in six cities by Mr. King Mensah, known as the "Golden Voice of Togo"
  • South Africa: Interreligious program in Johannesburg on “Commemorating Africa Day with Prayer and Devotion”
  • Switzerland: International conference at the UN headquarters in Geneva on "Towards Lasting Peace and Reconciliation in the Democratic Republic of Congo: The Role of Religion, Women and Civil Society"; program in Bienne on "The Role of Youth in Promoting Peace"
  • UK: Forum in London on "African Peace and Inclusive Development"

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