The Dublin Africa Day event in May will feature free public performances by well-known African and Irish musicians, children’s entertainment, traditional African drumming and dance workshops and cultural performances.
Supported by Irish Aid, the national flagship event will take place in the grounds of Farmleigh Estate in Dublin’s Phoenix Park on Sunday 21 May from 11am to 6pm.
Renowned Irish folk group Kíla will headline the main stage as part of a line-up, which will also see performances by: K.O.G. & The Zongo Brigade, the UK based nine-piece Afro-fusion group who have played Glastonbury main stages as well as many other UK and European festivals and venues; Ireland's leading intercultural choir, Discovery Gospel Choir; “melty rock” and agro-soul band, BARQ; and Aik J, a Dublin artist who unites the genres of hip-hop, R&B and pop with a soulful style.
Launching the Africa Day 2017 programme, Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development Joe McHugh said: “Irish Aid’s Africa Day flagship event at Farmleigh is a great occasion for families and friends to celebrate African culture and the strong bonds that exist between Ireland and the continent of Africa.
“Irish Aid has been working in Africa on behalf of the people of Ireland over several decades to deliver improvements in the areas of nutrition, education, poverty eradication, gender equality and the environment and also in response to humanitarian emergencies.
"This work is built on the contributions of Irish missionary nuns and priests who were the bedrock of relations between Ireland and Africa in the first instance. Their footprint has enabled relations to continue to grow in an authentic manner, underpinned by trust and respect.
“Trading relationships between Ireland and countries throughout Africa are also developing steadily and many exciting new opportunities for economic growth are emerging."
He added: “I invite everyone with an interest in these and other connections between Ireland and Africa to join us at the Africa Day event in Farmleigh on Sunday 21 May. Details on additional Africa Day events to be held in other locations throughout Ireland will issue via the www.africaday.ie website over the coming weeks.”
There will be three stages of musical performances, as well as an area for dancing, drumming workshops and storytelling. Other highlights will include an African bazaar with food, hair-braiding, turban and head wrap workshops, face-painting and traditional fashion designs from a range of African countries. African Community Groups and a number of NGOs will attend on the day, as will the Embassies of Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa and Sudan. A dedicated ‘Mount Kiddimanjaro’ children’s area will feature amusements and funfair attractions to keep younger visitors entertained.
Reflecting Irish Aid’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, attendees at this year’s Africa Day in Dublin are encouraged to leave their cars at home and instead walk, cycle, or take public transport to Farmleigh.
To support this, Irish Aid will be providing bicycle racks at this year’s Africa Day event and Dublin Bus will once again offer a free shuttle bus service, operating from 11am to 6pm on the day between Heuston Bridge / Parkgate Street and Farmleigh.
There’s also an African-themed short-story and poetry competition that aims to promote aspiring, emerging and established writers based in Ireland. This is the third year that the it will take place. Irish Aid has again teamed up with The Irish Times for the African-themed short story and poetry competition for writers of all ages.
Entries are invited in three categories: Primary School, Secondary School and Adult. Writers are invited to submit a short story or poem with an African theme, set in either Ireland or Africa.
Primary-school children can submit a piece of up to 250 words and secondary school students of up to 1,000 words. The word count for entries from adults is 2,000 words.
Announcing the 2017 competition, Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Joe McHugh stated: “Celebrating Africa’s culture in this way helps to shine a light on the growing connections between Ireland and Africa.’’
Martin Doyle, Books Editor of The Irish Times, said: “The Irish Times is delighted to team up with Irish Aid again to provide a platform for a new generation of storytellers and poets. The competition has proved to be extremely popular in previous years and I look forward to seeing the entries this year.
"The Africa Day short story and poetry competition presents an ideal opportunity to showcase African culture and to explore being African in Ireland or Africa itself.”
The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 3 May 2017 and the winners will be chosen by Irish Aid and The Irish Times. The winning entries will be published on www.IrishTimes.com on Sunday, 21 May, the same day as the flagship Africa Day event in Dublin, and winners will receive a selection of books to the value of €50 each. There will also be a photographic presentation at The Irish Times.
Irish Aid will host its flagship Africa Day event, on Sunday 21st of May 2017 in the grounds of Farmleigh Estate in the Phoenix Park, Dublin 15. This free family-focused event will feature the sights and sounds of Africa, through performances by well-known African and Irish musicians; children’s entertainment; traditional African drumming and dance workshops; and much more.
Submissions for all categories can be made via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, putting “Writing Competition” in the subject line, or by post to “Africa Day Writing Competition, DHR Communications, 80 Francis Street, Dublin 8”. Submissions for the adult and secondary school category must be typed.
Entries for the primary school category may be handwritten. Further information is available on www.africaday.iewww.africaday.ie.