Virtual events across Ireland to celebrate Africa Day 2021
Press release24 May 2021
Africa Day (25 May) will be celebrated online this year, with virtual events taking place across the country. Twenty-three local authorities and their community partners are hosting a diverse range of virtual activities, from storytelling to traditional crafts, musical performances to webinars. Members of the African diaspora in Ireland and the communities of African heritage are also invited to share their own Africa Day content by tagging @AfricaDayIreland on Facebook, @AfricaDay on Twitter or AfricaDayIreland on Instagram, and use the hashtags #AfricaDayIreland and #AfricaDay2021.
2021 is the 16th year in which Irish Aid at the Department of Foreign Affairs is supporting events to mark Africa Day in Ireland. Speaking ahead of Africa Day, Minister for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Colm Brophy T.D., said,
“For a second year, Africa Day in Ireland is being celebrated virtually. Africa Day is an important date for communities across Ireland. Today we celebrate our vibrant connections with the diverse continent of Africa. We also mark the immense contribution of the African diaspora to Irish society, including in our national response to the COVID pandemic.
I am delighted at the record number of local authorities bringing Africa Day events to local communities around the country this year.
Ireland’s solidarity and partnership with the continent of Africa is unwavering, including at this challenging time. Ireland is working to strengthen public health systems in Africa through an investment of almost €100 million this year.
I wish you all a Happy Africa Day, and I look forward to a time when we can celebrate this important day in person again.”
The annual programme of Africa Day in Ireland is supported by Irish Aid at the Department of Foreign Affairs. Events aim to highlight the scope and benefits of Ireland’s engagement with Africa and increase public awareness of Irish Aid’s development programme throughout Africa.
24 May 2021
Notes for Editors:
- Images sent directly to photo desk
- Irish Aid is the Government’s programme for international development. It is managed by the Development Cooperation and Africa Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs. Further information is available at www.irishaid.ie.
- Africa Day, which falls on 25 May annually, is the official day of the African Union and marks African unity. Marked in Ireland and around the world, the day is an opportunity to appreciate and celebrate the continent’s diverse history and heritage while acknowledging its cultural and economic potential. Since 2006, Irish Aid at the Department of Foreign Affairs has been the driving force behind the annual Africa Day celebrations 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;
- Raising awareness of the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development;
- 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, in line with the Government’s Africa Strategy.
- African communities in Ireland, and people of African descent, including individuals, families and groups, are also invited to share and showcase their own Africa Day 2021 content online, such as food they are making or clothes they are wearing to mark the occasion, or to share a piece of writing, music or poetry that speaks to their identity and heritage, by tagging the Africa Day social media accounts.
- Africa Day is on Twitter @AfricaDay, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/africadayireland and on Instagram @africadayireland - Hashtag: #AfricaDay2021.
- Details about Africa Day activities are available on the Africa Day website at www.africaday.ie.
- Irish Aid’s support for Africa Day includes grant funding for local authority events. A record number of local authorities across the country will mark Africa Day this year:
- Clare County Council
Clare County Council will produce a short video to explore and promote the cultural relationship around music and dance for circulation on social media channels and through the Public Participation Network and Clare Immigrant Support Centre networks. Participants will be asked to submit their videos/performances in advance, which will be edited to produce the overall production, to be aired virtually on 25 May. It will be promoted via Clare County Council’s YouTube Channel.
- Cork City Council
Cork City Council have planned a week of activities which had their official launch on 22 May with a message of greeting and support for Africa Day from the Lord Mayor of Cork City, Cllr Joe Kavanagh. Throughout the week, they have numerous interviews and panel discussions around Africa Day in addition to food exhibitions, quizzes and music sessions.
- Cork County Council
Cork County Council are organising a special three-hour workshop on afro-hair braiding techniques. The workshop will be targeted at the African Diaspora, including people living in direct provision centres and people of mixed heritage living in County Cork. This free event is open to anyone and will take place on the evening of 25 May.
- Dublin City Council
Glencree will run a public webinar with an introduction by Lord Mayor Hazel Chu followed by a number of speakers and short personal narratives by a diverse (age, gender, ethnic, faith and linguistic backgrounds) range of people of African Irish origins, including stories of support during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Dun Laoghaire – Rathdown County Council
Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council will deliver a vibrant and exciting celebration: “Celebrate Together”. Dublin South FM 93.9 will help coordinate the event by celebrating African music from across the globe and at home. Trilogy Fusion Band will play a fuse of afro, fuji and Tunga style cover of African music. There will also be cooking lessons with Chef Christy Illo who will cook Nigerian and Ghanaian popular dishes.
- Fingal County Council
Fingal County Council will host a two-hour webinar on the evening of Africa Day. The line-up will include an African band, poetry sessions, cookery lessons, singalongs and a history piece on key African dates. It will finish with a fashion show.
- Galway City Council
Primary schools will participate in the Show Racism the Red Card programme with each school identifying themselves with a country in Africa and designing a placard highlighting the country’s history. A live event by Africa United Galway will be broadcast and streamed on social media. It will include performances/talks with local community members and local students to raise awareness about Africa and promote Africans and African culture in Galway City. Galway African Diaspora-Ireland (GAD) and Yoruba Heritage, Art and Cultural Group of Ireland will also hold live events including musical performances, parades, fashion show, artefacts and more. Events will take place on 29 May from 5pm to 9pm, all events to be streamed on social media channels.
- Galway County Council
Galway County Council is organising a day of African celebrations with traditional dance, music, and games. This will facilitate and encourage African communities in Galway to share their culture and heritage with the wider public to get a ‘Sense of Africa’. They will hold virtual Afro-fusion dance workshops. Invite individuals/families, schools, direct provision centres throughout Galway to share short videos of traditions, dances, music, games, sport and African greetings. They will also commission a videographer to create a promotional video showcasing all the short videos with prizes for the most creative. Events will be streamed on social media channels and local radio.
- Kerry County Council
Working with Community Artist Muiriosa Murphy, Kerry County Council will have a mural designed to represent Africa Day using ideas from asylum seekers from African countries. This collaborative project will show the images of what Africa means to them and will be then drawn up by the artist into a mural for display in Tralee International Resource Centre (TIRC). They aim to launch the idea and call for submissions of drawings or stories on Africa Day on their Facebook page and through social media channels of TIRC.
- Kildare County Council
Kildare County Council will host a virtual Africa Day celebration on Kildare Community Stories, a dedicated Facebook page for community content. Kildare residents, families and groups have been invited to contribute photos, video clips, art, poems or stories on African traditions, heritage and culture. The online coverage on Tuesday 25 May 2021 will feature these submissions, along with throwbacks to previous joyful Africa Day gatherings. Everyone is welcome to join this free virtual get-together with music, prizes and more.
- Limerick City and County Council
Limerick will mark Africa Day through a range of activities including organising a cultural piece that explores the diversity within the continent of Africa using the voices and experiences of people from different African countries in Ireland. This will include commissioning a poet to write a piece in which volunteers of African descent will read a sentence in their ethnic language on video for broadcast; an Afro-Irish artist ‘tiny desk concert’, pre-recorded which will include performances from three Limerick based young artists of African descent; and an online afrobeat dance workshop and a zoom master chef event with ReStart, a social enterprise created by UL students. Their aim is to help integrate refugees and asylum seekers into Irish society. Events will take place on 25 May.
- Laois County Council
In Laois, Africa Day 2021 will be celebrated virtually on 19 June across Laois County Council’s webpages, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Events planned including storytelling, poetry, art competitions, music, showcases of African businesses and much more.
- Longford County Council
Longford County Council will run an online event of entertainment of African culture and music, celebrating achievements of Longfordians of African background (in sports, arts, business, community). They will have an MC, entertainers, plaques for award recipients, and spot prizes. Events will take place on 25 May via Zoom and will be promoted via Longford County Council social media channels.
- Mayo County Council
Mayo will celebrate the vibrant cultural heritage of Africa by highlighting the contribution made to Mayo by African communities and people of African descent to inform the public about the relationship between Africa and Ireland. The event will be hosted by Celesta Khosa with the event being broadcast on Tuesday 25 May using all Mayo County Council’s social media channels. Participants can access a link through Mayo.ie, promotion will also be via Mayo.ie.
- Meath County Council
Meath and the surrounding areas will come together to celebrate Africa Day with virtual activities that will showcase art and culture from various African nations represented in Ireland. They will have panels of discussion featuring African community leaders, second generation African musicians and poetry artists to highlight the issues and celebrate their success. The event will take place on 25 May from 4-6pm and it will be promoted through Cultur’s and Meath County Council’s social media channels.
- Monaghan County Council
Monaghan Virtual Africa Day Festival will hold a number of online events to celebrate African culture, heritage and traditions of the community of African people who have made their home in Monaghan. They will include an ‘African Experiences’ virtual exhibition of different art, crafts and heritage collections, live cookery demonstrations from African women living in Monaghan, and a storytelling virtual session.
- Roscommon County Council
In association with Athlone Women’s Forum (AWF), Roscommon County Council will be promoting African culture and the integration of African women into Irish society. The online programme will include demonstrations of African meal preparation, weaving African hair styles, how to tie/fix African head gear. There will also be a talk on African family values and storytelling. The event will take place from 2pm to 4pm on 25 May and will be advertised and promoted on all the Council’s Social Media Platforms.
- Sligo County Council
Sligo County Council will bring together families who are in rural and urban settings, and in Globe house accommodation centre on zoom between 11am and 12am for cookery and customs stories, and again from 6:30-8pm for music and song. The event will take place on 25 May and will be advertised and promoted on all the Council’s Social Media Platforms.
- South Dublin County Council
South Dublin County Council is hosting a Yoruba story-telling workshop at a crèche in Balgaddy. There will be a talk with two speakers on ‘Resilience – Building Back Better in a challenging world’, which will also include three African arts and cultural performances. Their aim is to strengthen families by equipping them with practical skills to cope and to recover from life challenges while also exploring the Showcase Artistic performances by talented People of Africa Descent. The event will take place on 28 May from 6pm – 7:30pm and will be advertised and promoted on all the Council’s Social Media Platforms.
- Tipperary County Council
Online zoom events will include both residents of Bridgewater House and Borrisokane International Protection Accommodations Centres to help families from both centres to get to know each other. The events will incorporate poetry readings and national tribal dress. Other activities include creative workshops (via zoom) for different age groups making traditional African crafts, virtual ‘Best African Dress’ competition with a prize, ‘T-Shirts for Africa’ Day to wear at online events and have local restaurants put on an African dish for the day to raise awareness (no cost). The events will take place on 25 May and will be advertised and promoted on all the Council’s Social Media Platforms.
- Waterford County Council
Waterford County Council will deliver a day-long virtual video of Africa Days past and present in Waterford that shows the diverse, rich and colourful African culture in Waterford. The video will celebrate and showcase culture with song, dance, food and fashion via the many different nationalities that represent African states residing in Waterford. Schools are also encouraged to give a lesson in African culture, geography or history with a view to promoting Africa Day. Students can record, and post to Waterford County Council’s dedicated online page, a short clip detailing ‘an interesting fact that I learned about Africa is…..’. The events will take place on 25 May and will be advertised and promoted on all the Council’s Social Media Platforms.
- Westmeath County Council
Westmeath Libraries are working with a local African storyteller to bring the vibrancy of African stories to a wider audience. In addition, they are working with colleagues in Westmeath Community Development to reach out to the local community in Kinnegad for contributions which will again be made available through social media channels. The events will take place on 25 May from 10:30am – 5pm and will be advertised and promoted on all the Council’s Social Media Platforms.
- Wicklow County Council
Wicklow County Council is organising a number of events throughout the day, including African dance by No Wahala Crew, African hair threading tutorials, Nigerian Cuisine and Live African Music by up-and-coming musicians. Emer O’Neill from RTÉ Home School Hub will also give African dance tutorials and they will finish the day with a webinar.