This year's Africa Day was celebrated in Budapest by several civil societies connected with African activities on May 23 in Hungary at the Painters Club.
The occasion was used as a platform to discuss some of the issues affecting immigrants and minorities, especially the best way for their integration.
Participants include Gabriel Deen of Mahatma Ghandi Foundation, Lorince Marcel from the Art Mission Foundation, Zoltán from the Immigration Head Office, a representative from MENEDEK and a refugee from Sudan.
The participants debated on language barrier, lack of jobs, racism, and detaining of refugees in Hungary
Gabriel Deen seemed unhappy that refugees are not being adequately protected. "Refugees should not be sent to prison," he argued, adding that they should be protected because they left their different countries in order to escape from brutality.
A representative from the Immigration Head Office, Zoltán, disagreed saying, since most of those who applied for asylum came into the country illegally, they must face the law for illegal entry should their application be rejected.
Meanwhile, the Sudanese refugee appeared unimpressive during the debate. It was apparent that he was naive about the topic in question. For example, he seemed to lack knowledge about the happenings in Sudan - his country.
Business and Aid also feature during the debate. Many participants believed that before the aid packages could be meaningful, transparency and good governance must first be the priority otherwise most people will have died before the arrival of the aid packages.
Apart from debate, about three hundred school children from various Primary and Secondary schools around the country seized the opportunity to learn about Africa, especially paintings from TINGATINGA art collections in which Dr. Sarungi Emoke of KIKOA Art explained in details with so much enthusiasm.
However, the turnout of Africans were so poor that prompted a Hungarian lady who had spent thirty-six years in Lagos, Nigeria to ask a pertinent question as she registered her disappointment.."Where are the Africans?"
Even without many Africans in attendance, AFRICA-HUNGARY PLATFORM which was housed in a nomadic tent, took the participants to Africa through a big screen showing African films from Cairo to Cape Town.
Both Afro Magic and Chalaban Bands provided entertainment.
SAHARA FOUNDATION, AFRICAN-HUNGARIAN UNION, HELLO AFRICA, AFRIKAERT FOUNDATION and the AFRICA-HUNGARY PLATFORM are some of the organisations that grace the occasion.