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Minister Flanagan invites public to attend Africa Day events

Aid Effectiveness, Education, News/feature, Ireland, 2016

Minister Flanagan invites the public to attend Africa Day events in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford

Minister launches Africa Day 2016 programme

Free Family-Friendly Events highlighting Ireland-Africa Links

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Charlie Flanagan T.D., has today (Wednesday) announced this year’s programme of events to mark Africa Day 2016, supported by Irish Aid. These will include a flagship family day for 30,000 people in the grounds of Farmleigh Estate in Dublin’s Phoenix Park on Sunday 29 May and regional events in Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford

This year’s Africa Day programme will feature free public performances by well-known African and Irish musicians, children’s entertainment, inter-generational education projects, film screenings, traditional African drumming and dance workshops and cultural performances. In Dublin, a free Dublin Bus shuttle bus service will operate between Heuston Bridge/Parkgate Street and Farmleigh, allowing attendees to enjoy musical acts such as renowned Irish folk group Kíla and futuristic multicultural group Ájo Arkestra, as well as an African bazaar with food, drumming, dance, hair-braiding, henna hand-painting and traditional fashion designs from a range of African countries

Launching Africa Day 2016, Minister Flanagan said:

“I am delighted to continue our tradition of highlighting the strong connections between Ireland and the countries of Africa on Africa Day, the official day of the African Union. Ireland’s links to the African continent are very deep - historically many Irish missionaries worked in Africa inspiring many of today’s Irish aid workers. Our growing government-to-government links underpin many cutting edge development co-operation partnerships.

“Supported by Irish Aid, Africa Day celebrations in Ireland present an important opportunity to show how those Ireland-Africa connections are operating in many positive and exciting ways. These celebrations serve to underline the importance I attach to my Department’s Africa Strategy, which sets out Ireland’s priorities in Africa in the political, development and economic spheres, and facilitates us in deepening our foreign policy dialogue with African countries on global challenges and on issues such as governance, peace and security and human rights.

“Africa Day also provides a platform to celebrate the achievements of African nations, as well as their diverse cultures and heritage. By supporting Africa Day in 2016, we are again demonstrating our confidence and hope for the continent over the years to come.

“This year Irish Aid will hold a national flagship Africa Day event for families in the grounds of Farmleigh Estate Dublin’s Phoenix Park, as well as partnering with local City Councils on Africa Day celebrations to be held in Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford. It’s a great opportunity for Irish and African people to experience each other’s cultures and we hope that thousands of people will join us to experience the culture and traditions of Africa at events during the week.”


Press Office

11 May 2016

Notes for Editors:

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Charlie Flanagan T.D., will officially launch Africa Day 2016 with a photocall in the grounds of the Farmleigh Estate in Dublin’s Phoenix Park today, Wednesday 11 May, at 2.30pm. If you would like to attend please contact Sebastian Enke / Louise Archbold, DHR Communications: Tel: 01-4200580 / 087-3239496 / 087-2601145.

Irish Aid is the Government’s programme for overseas development. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Further information is available at www.irishaid.ie.

Africa Day, which falls on 25th May annually, is the official day of the African Union and marks African unity. In Ireland, Africa Day events highlight the scope and benefits of Ireland’s engagement with Africa by:

  • Raising awareness of the official overseas aid programme managed by Irish Aid and its central focus on sub-Saharan Africa;
  • Increasing public understanding of Africa by highlighting the diversity and potential of the continent; and
  • Raising awareness of the potential for bilateral trade and investment linkages between Ireland and African countries.

Further details on the full schedule of Africa Day activities are set out below and are also available via the new mobile-friendly Africa Day website at www.africaday.ie. The website includes an interactive map of the Dublin event and a full schedule of all activities taking place in Dublin and around the country.

Africa Day is also on Twitter @AfricaDay, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/africadayireland and on Instagram @africadayireland - Hashtag: #africaday2016.

A number of Africa Day ‘champions’ are available for interview on request:

  • Timi Ogunyemi, freelance photographer, blogger and founder and editor of creative collective Picture This!. Timi was born in Lagos, Nigeria and came to Dublin as a 15 year old in 2002.
  • Salome Mbugua, founder, former CEO and current president of AkiDwA, the national network of migrant women living in Ireland. Salome is a native of Kenya and has lived in Ireland since 1994.
  • Zane Kirchner, international rugby union player from South Africa’s Western Cape province. Zane now plays for Leinster Rugby and has been living in Ireland since 2013.


  • For further information on Irish Aid and Ireland’s relations with Africa:
    Aileen Murray, DFAT Press Office: Tel. 01 408 2031 / 087 243 8291
  • For information on Africa Day 2016 events and interviews with Africa Day champions:
    Sebastian Enke / Louise Archbold, DHR Communications: Tel: 01-4200580 / 087-3239496 / 087-2601145.

Africa Day 2016 Events:

Dublin:The national flagship event for Africa Day will take place from 11am to 6pm on Sunday, 29th May in the grounds of Farmleigh Estate in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. This is a family-focused event, and is free of charge to attend. Highlights include:

  • Three music stages featuring international and home-grown acts: this year will see Africa Day main stage performances take place on a bigger and better stage, headlined by the internationally renowned Irish folk / world music group Kíla; afro-futuristic multicultural group Ájo Arkestra; eight-piece Afro-soul band Feather; Dublin-based rapper and poet Jafaris; and Sidiki Dembélé Sextet, a collaboration between Griot Master drummer Sidiki Dembélé from Côte d’Ivoire and some of Ireland’s best African and jazz instrumentalists. There will also be a dedicated rap and hip-hop stage.
  • African Bazaar: featuring 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.
  • Brand new additions to this year’s programme include African turban and head wrap workshops; creative writing workshops for children; Irish and African storytellers and spoken word performances; and a number of special ‘pop-up’ performances which will take place throughout the day.

Dublin Bus will provide a free shuttle-bus service from the Heuston Bridge / Parkgate Street bus stop into the Phoenix Park. There will also be a limited number of free car parking spaces available at Farmleigh. However, as the car park is likely to fill up early, event organisers ask attendees to avail of public transport and the free shuttle bus service.

Ethiopian Airlines will sponsor the ‘Mount Kiddimanjaro’ children’s area that will include fun fair rides, drumming workshops, zorbing and face-painting.

The Irish Times has once again teamed up with Irish Aid on an African-themed writing competition for Africa Day 2016. The national competition is designed to showcase emerging talent, as well as established writers. More information on the competition is available here.

Regional Events

In Cork, the City Council, in partnership with African communities, is organising a range of Africa Day events, running from 21st May to 28th May. This will include the launch of Africa Day festivities by Lord Mayor, Councillor Chris O’Leary in front of Brown Thomas, St Patrick’s Street, Cork on 21st May, featuring African music and dance. Africa Day celebrations in Cork will also include an integrated soccer tournament at The Glen Resource Centre, with eight teams participating from a range of nationalities; a conference with a focus on integration; and a ‘Best Dressed’ competition, showcasing the beauty of African culture, bringing young women of African origin together to represent their countries. Finally, Africa Day celebrations will conclude on 28th May with a parade featuring musicians and dancers from African countries, along with a marching band and céilí dancers. Commencing on St Patrick’s Street, the parade will make its way through Winthrop Street and Oliver Plunkett Street, culminating in an outdoor event in Bishop Lucey Park. This free event will have a strong focus on cultural performances, music, dance and children’s entertainment. For more information visit: www.africaday.ie/cork.

In Galway, Africa Day festivities will run from 25th to 29th May and include an interactive music workshop, which will celebrate African culture through music and song at the United Methodist Presbyterian Church, Victoria Place. The workshop will be facilitated by Helen Webb and SONKE Multicultural Choir and will be open to the public. A football event will take place at the Westside Astro facility at which eight primary schools from Galway City will participate. The 9th Galway African Film Festival will take place in the Huston School of Film & Digital Media at NUI Galway. The film festival will highlight the variety of life experiences on the African continent through screening a selection of short films, feature films and documentaries. The ARD Family Resource Centre will run an Africa Day event at Doughiska, showcasing dance, music, and food from a range of African countries. Africa Day Doughiska aims to celebrate the rich diversity of African culture in that area of the city, where approximately 20 per cent of the Doughiska, Roscam and Ardaun population are of African descent. For more information visit: www.africaday.ie/galway.

Limerick will play host to Africa Day events from 23rd May to 26th May. This will include a launch event and interactive seminar on 23rd May at The Strand Hotel; a programme of drumming, story-telling and art, targeted at children and young adults, at Limerick City Library; and the screening of African film ‘Invasion 1897’ at Mary Immaculate College. Festivities will conclude with a family fun day featuring music, dance, song, African food and a fashion show at the Milk Market on Mungret Street. For more information visit: www.africaday.ie/limerick.

Waterford City & County Council will replicate an African village on Ballybricken Green on 25th May. The village will feature a round living-structure surrounded by a range of traders who will display African food, skills and goods, including jasperware, animal carvings, material prints, and clothing. There will also be African poetry recitals and traditional music and dance from a number of African countries, including Ethiopia and Ghana. Additionally, the Council’s Integration and Support Unit will provide an education programme for schools, highlighting the work of Irish Aid through documentary and discussion sessions. For more information visit: www.africaday.ie/waterford.