Minister Joe McHugh welcomes free Africa Day 2017 events
- National flagship Event celebrating Ireland-Africa links set to attract 30,000 visitors in Farmleigh, Dublin on Sunday, 21st May
- Events will also take place in Cork, Kilkenny, Kildare, Limerick and Galway
The Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Joe McHugh T.D., has welcomed Africa Day 2017 celebrations which are taking place on Sunday, 21st May at Farmleigh Estate in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, with events also taking place this weekend and next in Cork, Kilkenny, Kildare, Limerick and Galway.
More than 30,000 people are expected at the free family-friendly event at Farmleigh.
Speaking ahead of the Dublin event, which he will officially open, Minister McHugh said:
“I hope as many people as possible will join us for this year’s Africa Day celebration at Farmleigh and in the other five locations around the country.
“Ireland’s connections with Africa have developed in many exciting ways over recent years. Africa Day gives us the opportunity to highlight these connections, as well as the vibrant African diaspora here in Ireland and the contribution that they make to Irish society. It is wonderful to have all the African Embassies at Farmleigh again this year and I am delighted that we will be joined by the Sudanese Embassy for the first time.
“I am delighted that Irish Aid, the Government’s programme for overseas development, is centrally involved in the organisation of Africa Day. In addition to highlighting the cultural and economic potential of the continent, Africa Day also raises awareness of the progress that is being achieved through working with Irish Aid partners.
“I am particularly pleased to see that, as well as our flagship event in Dublin, Africa Day events will take place in Cork, Galway, Kildare, Kilkenny and Limerick over the next two weeks.
“Wherever you are celebrating Africa Day, it promises to be a great day out for everyone.”
The national flagship event in Farmleigh, Dublin will have a jam-packed schedule of live music, as well as children’s entertainment, food, dance, drumming and sports. Three music stages will feature international and home-grown acts, such as Kíla, K.O.G. & THE ZONGO BRIGADE, the Discovery Gospel Choir, BARQ, and Aik J. There will also be an area for dancing, drumming workshops and storytelling.
One of the focal points of the Africa Day Dublin event will be the outdoor African bazaar, called ‘Marrakech’. It will feature stalls from different African countries, offering food, drumming, dance, hair-braiding, henna hand-painting, traditional fashion designs, and lots more. In addition to African community groups, a range of development NGOs will be present in the bazaar, offering fun activities, while the African embassies in Ireland will also be represented at the event.
A special children’s area, called ‘Mount Kiddimanjaro’, will include fun fair rides, drumming workshops, zorbing and face-painting.
In Dublin, the festival will run from 11am to 6pm and all are welcome to attend. Reflecting Irish Aid’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, attendees are encouraged to leave their cars at home and instead take public transport, walk or cycle to Farmleigh. To support this, Irish Aid will be providing bicycle racks at Farmleigh and Dublin Bus will provide a free shuttle-bus service from the Heuston Bridge / Parkgate Street bus stop into the Phoenix Park.
In Cork, a public outdoor event will be held in Fitzgerald’s Park on Saturday, 27th May from 12noon to 6pm. The family focussed event will have plenty of activities for children, drumming workshops, hair braiding, face painting, balloons, bouncy castles and cultural games with prizes.
In Kilkenny, a public lecture on entrepreneurship at Maynooth University, Kilkenny Campus on Friday, 2nd June will be followed by a Mini Trade and Business Fair at MacDonagh Junction on Saturday, 3rd June, where African entrepreneurs and business owners in Ireland will be invited to advertise/showcase their products, services and ideas. Africa Day celebrations will conclude on Sunday, 4th June with performances by African, Irish and ethnic minority cultural groups; a fashion show; a comedy show and a special area to taste African cuisine at The Parade.
The Kildare “Taste of Africa” Festival Day is taking place in Newbridge Town Hall on Saturday 20th May. The event will showcase the diversity of African Culture and will be a magical day of celebrating African food, dance and music.
“Beyond Africa” is the theme for the 2017 Africa Day celebrations in Limerick. On Thursday 25th May, there will be a symposium of talks held in the Strand Hotel in an interactive World Café style. The final event will be a family fun day in the Milk Market on Sunday 28th May. Activities will include music, dance, crafts, children’s entertainment and food. A volunteer recognition event will be held in City Hall afterwards with the Mayor presenting the certificates to all the volunteers involved in this year’s programme.
In Galway, a number of Africa Day festivities will run from 17th – 25th May. It will include an interactive music workshop at the United Methodist Presbyterian Church, Victoria Place, a football event at the Westside Astro facility featuring eight Galway primary schools and the 10th Galway African Film Festival will take place from 19th -21st in the Mick Lally Theatre (Druid). A special Africa Day event will also take place in Doughiska, Galway’s most multicultural suburb.
Distributed by APO on behalf of Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Ireland.