Africa will celebrate Africa Day on Saturday, 25 May 2019, and in South Africa this year it will coincide with the Presidential Inauguration in Tshwane, to be attended by most of Africa’s leaders. This 56th Africa Day commemorates the establishment of the original Organisation of Africa Unity (OAU) in 1963 – later becoming the African Union (AU) , with the African continent becoming a pioneer in being the first continent to focus on continental unity, and to encourage nation building through unity and freedom from oppression. Africa Day and Month also seeks to increase the appreciation and demand for arts and culture goods and services, and to stimulate competitive markets for trade among African countries.
In Lisbon on 3 May 2019, Africa Day was celebrated through an event hosted by the 16 African Ambassadors accredited to Portugal, held earlier to accommodate Ramadan in the context of the African Muslim countries. Speakers including the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Ms Teresa Ribeiro, who highlighted the achievements of the Continent and looking at the challenges and opportunities ahead. Secretary of State Teresa Ribeiro stressed that Africa will be the main priority of Portugal’s Presidency of the EU Council in the first semester of 2021.
The event this year again took place in the form of a well-attended luncheon, with around 160 selected guests attending with cuisine prepared by Embassies from across Africa - in the case of South Africa favourites like lamb chops, boerewors, pap & chakalaka and koeksusters & milk tart. The event also included a fashion show with traditional Africa clothing and garments, as well as musical performances from Cape Verde and a cultural (arts and craft) exhibition and arts and crafts exhibited from the various countries.