Laois Africa Day
What is africa day?
Africa Day, designated by the African Union as an annual celebration of the continent’s unity, falls on 25th May each year. Celebrations to mark the day occur across the globe: in some African states, it is a designated national holiday, while in diverse cities – such as New York, London and Washington – academic gatherings and cultural showcases mark the day.
Africa Day Celebrations in Ireland
Irish Aid at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has been the driving force behind Africa Day celebrations in Ireland since 2006. Initially, it worked to fund and promote a small number of events centring around culture and policy. In 2008, it expanded the profile of activities by hosting a significant family day event in Dublin. This was followed by the roll-out of flagship celebratory events – in Dublin and Limerick – during the subsequent two years.
In addition to these flagship events, Irish Aid supported a programme of community-based and policy-focused initiatives around the country. Over the past ten years, the national programme of events and the profile of Africa Day in the media has grown consistently.
AFRICA DAY 2020 CELEBRATIONS
The Laois Africa Support Group collaborated with Laois County Council and the Department of Foreign Affairs to host Africa Day 2020 online. The theme for this year was ‘Silencing the Guns’. There were special guest appearances from Councillor Yemi Adenuga and Midlands 103 presenter Anne Marie Kelly. Virtual performances were given by Joe S music, Tobi A, Itz David and Rita’s Traditional Dance to name a few.
Check out videos from the event here.
AFRICA DAY 2019 CELEBRATIONS
The event was organised by the Laois Africa Support Group, Laois County Council and Laois Partnership, Department of Foreign Affairs/Irish Aid, EBS and local business owners. There were stalls displaying arts and crafts, food tasting, as well as African hair braiding, face painting, colouring masks for children and local and African traders.
There was plenty of musical entertainment, from traditional African sounds and singing, to dance workshops, drama and poetry. There were Irish dancers and a traditional African fashion show.
Laois Africa Day was the culmination of a week of events, where members of the Laois African Support Group hosted workshops on African culture in local primary schools.
The 2019 Laois Africa Day took place in Portlaoise Parish Centre car park on Saturday 1 June. The car park was transformed into a sea of colour, song and gaiety when people from all cultures gathered to celebrate Laois Africa Day.
AFRICA DAY 2018 CELEBRATIONS
Laois Africa Day 2018 was the first event by the Laois Africa Support Group. It took place in Kavanagh’s Courtyard on June 30. There was a host of local performers, displays of african artwork and an african cultural performance The event was organised with Laois County Council. AIB Bank and a variety of local business owners supported the event.