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Africa day celebrations in Dublin’s Iveagh Gardens

Thousands of people enjoyed a free, family-focused afternoon in Iveagh Gardens in Dublin today to celebrate Africa Day 2010.

Africa Day Dublin, hosted by Irish Aid, the Government’s overseas development programme, celebrates the diversity and potential of Africa and draws on the talents of a dynamic African community in Ireland.

Visitors to Iveagh Gardens enjoyed live performances by African and Irish artists, sports and art activities and traditional food from Malawi, Zimbabwe and Cameroon. African drumming and dancing workshops, traditional African games, educational activities and family treasure hunts proved very popular.

The main stage featured a line up of African and Irish performers including Choice Music prize winner, Jape, Congolese musician Niwel Tsumbu and Irish musician Dave Flynn; The Amazing Few; the Discovery Gospel Choir, and the Newpark Afro-Cuban Orchestra.

RTÉ newsreader Bryan Dobson chaired a dynamic discussion in the Speakers Tent on ‘How to Build Ireland’s Engagement with Africa’. Over 80% of Ireland’s overseas development assistance is focused on the continent. Panellists included Minister of State for Overseas Development, Peter Power TD, Justin Kilcullen, Director of Trócaire and Salome Mbugua, Director of AkiDwA, the African Women’s Network.

Speaking at the Africa Day event, Minister of State for Overseas Development, Peter Power TD said:

“Ireland and Africa have never been so close; whether through increased development cooperation or growing cultural, trade and community ties. Today’s event is a way of celebrating everything that is positive about Africa and it also raises awareness of the challenges faced by much of the continent and Ireland’s contribution to the response.

“The theme of Africa Day events this year is food and food security. The fight against hunger is a core priority for Irish Aid and we can all be proud of Ireland’s international leadership in this area. Visitors to Iveagh Gardens today had the opportunity to learn more about Irish Aid’s work in Africa and the solutions to hunger and other challenges which Ireland is pioneering in partnership with African Governments and communities. By working in partnership with African countries and non-governmental organisations, many of whom I am delighted to see represented here today, we are helping to build a better future for millions of people.”

Photographs will be circulated by Maxwells *No reproduction fee.

Notes for Editors

  • Africa Day at Iveagh Gardens is the first of two flagship family events hosted by Irish Aid in 2010. A second large family event will take place in Limerick on May 30th and a programme of awareness-raising and educational events will take place across the country to celebrate Africa Day from 15th to 25th May.  Full details of the programme for Africa Day Celebrations throughout Ireland are available at http://africaday.ie/celebrations-throughout-ireland/overview.aspx
  • Irish Aid is the Government’s programme of overseas development. It is a division of the Department of Foreign Affairs. For further information, please visit www.irishaid.ie