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Africa Day

Africa Day Celebrated in London

London, UK - Africa Day was celebrated in a UPF-UK organized event on June 4 with a variety of perspectives in a packed House of Lords committee room kindly hosted by Baroness Howells of St. Davids.

Baroness Howells began the program by stating that she is passionate about Africa. She explained that she is a descendant of slaves who were taken from Africa to the Caribbean. She is perceives that soon it will be Africa's turn to shine and is looking forward to that time.

UPF-Europe Secretary General Mark Brann spoke of the relationship of Europe and Africa. He emphasized that UPF's vision of peace relies on "...the two most profound principles that we seek to live by and to promote are first, the need to think and act as one human family under God and to learn to live for the sake of others."

He added that, "UPF is based on the vision that humanity was created to be one family under God in which there should be none of the divisions and barriers (of race, religion, ethnicity, nationality and culture) that currently separate and divide us and lead to such destructive conflict, but one in which all humankind can live as one, sharing all of its riches (both material and spiritual or cultural) for the benefit of all.'

The event was also graced by a visiting Nigerian UPF delegation that included two members of the Governor of Bauchi State Executive, the Commissioner of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Community Relations, from the Muslim faith, Hon. Salisu Ahmed Bara u, and a Christian member of the Commission, Rev. Kennedy Masau Kakto. The Governor of Bauchi State has emphasized the significance of interfaith relations in order to establish peaceful relations between different communities. The hard work of the Commission and others has allowed Bauchi State to develop more peaceful relations than other northern Nigerian states. The commitment of the two religious leaders to interfaith cooperation and learning best practices and approaches that can assist them to improve peace in their state was very impressive.

Charlotte Simon, representing Mothers of Congo, spoke from her personal experience about the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She described the suffering of the people in the Congo.

Africa’s youth is the key to maintaining Africa’s growth, according to journalist Belinda Otas. The young Africans in some nations are well educated, aware of geopolitical issues, very socially and strategically astute. They can see young people in other parts of the world and how their lives are shaped. How can we make the young people participators in the political process, in wealth creation and as consumers? How can we prevent them from being used by older, corrupt politicians for their own selfish gains. The current generation needs to cultivate the next generation politically, socially, economically, and culturally, she concluded.

Belinda Otas and Charlotte Simon - Africa Day 2013Speakers included:

Ms. Belinda Otas, a versatile journalist, writer, editor, cultural critic, and an independent blogger

Mrs. Charlotte Simon, co-founder of Mothers of Congo, from eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

Mr. Aliu Bello, who worked for UNICEF for 25 years, on "'Less Than 1000 Days to Go to Fulfill the MDGs and What Comes Next for Africa after 2015"

Hon. Salisu Ahmed Bara u, Commissioner of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Community Relations in Bauchi State, Nigeria, working with Christian pastor, Rev. Kennedy Masau Kakto, in interfaith work in Bauchi State

Rev. Kennedy Masau Kakto, a Christian pastor working with Hon. Salisu Ahmed Bara u

Mr. Mark Brann, Secretary General of UPF-Europe, on UPF's perspective of the partnership of Europe and Africa

Mr. Olaleye Alao, Secretary General, UPF-Nigeria, on the relationship of Africa and Europe, concluding with a song

(Photo Link) (Smile Photos Link)


Africa Day 2013 Hon Salisu Ahmed Bara u and Mr Aliu Bello

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