Saturday, 28 March 2009

African Envoys Celebrate Africa Day

Reported by Archie Bonka
Written by Hakeem Babalola
News Report

The annual Africa Day took place on May 26 at the Hungarian Military Museum, where African diplomats hosted Hungarian government officials, business executives, foreign dignitaries and eminent Hungarians involved in African affairs.

Djembe drums were positioned to welcome the dean of the African diplomatic corps, Joao Miguel Vahekeni, and the Hungarian Minister For foreign Affairs, Péter Balázs who was the honourable guest.

Vahekeni, who is also the Republic of Angola ambassador, smiled his thanks as he welcomed Hungarian government officials, foreign dignitaries, business executives, and invited guests to the event. His Excellency was overwhelmed with gratitude for the sponsors' contribution towards the success of another Africa Day in Hungary. He reminded those he refers to as friends of Africa to work hand in hand in terms of partnership, especially in this time of global crisis.

Meanwhile, Balázs said there is urgent need for African leaders to find a permanent solution to the conflicts which is a drag on the continent's economy. He added that the Hungarian government has identified a way for partnership with Africa in the framework of the European Union saying, "the priorities are on the long term projects in cooperation with non-profit organisations as well as the civil societies".

Nigeria, Sechelles Islands, Tunisia, South Africa, Morocco, Angola, Egypt, Algeria, Malagasy and Gambia used the occasion to showcase the positive side of their countries. Booklets, leaflets and fliers were displayed to promote the continent's diversity, landscape, tourism, business, arts and crafts, and education. However, it was observed that a booklet on 'Solid Minerals Development In Nigeria' still has the picture of Military man, Sani Abacha, as the Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces thirteen years after the dictator's demise.

Some Hungarian civil societies notably the African-Hungarian Union, Afrikaert and African-Hungarian Platform were also at the event. The main sponsors of the event are BMW, AHU, Egypt Air, and Danubis Travel. African fashion show and music were some of the side attractions at the occasion which although well attended, left out African communities living in Hungary.

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