By Roy Lie Atjam.
Wassenaar, 13 June 2019.
African Ambassadors accredited in The Hague held a reception to celebrate Africa Day 2019.
Guests turned out in their numbers to celebrate this momentous occasion. Not only were Ambassadors, Diplomats, African business people included, but guests from other continents as well were on hand to enjoy the festivities. Of course, the diaspora showed up in all its colors and resplendent beauty.
The occasion commenced with the playing of the Africa Union song and the national anthem of the Netherlands, after which, H.E Mr. Jean Pierre Karabaranga Ambassador of Rwanda and Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps delivered the welcome address.
Other speakers at this reception were Mr. Peter Kleiweg, Deputy Director General for Political Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. Kleiweg lauded Africa for its various achievements, such as in the field of digitalisation.
The keynote speech was delivered by the Ambassador of Egypt H.E. Mr. Amgad Abdel Ghaffar, representative of the Chair of the African Union.
The official part of the celebration was concluded with a toast to the continued progress and prosperity of the African continent. The Ambassador of Tanzania H.E. Ms. Irene Florence Mkwawa Kasyanju, presided. A rhythmic drumming session followed and the performances by the children enthralled all in attendance.
Ambassador Amgad Abdel Ghaffar stated “Let me first, as the representative of the Chair of the African Union, along with our Dean H.E Ambassador Karabaranga, to commence by welcoming you and also expressing my gratitude for attending today the celebration of the African history, accomplishments, and culture.
On this day, 56 years ago, the founding fathers of the OAU set out on the road of unity and cooperation in Africa and laid the foundation for continental economic integration and joint action, setting off Africa’s transition towards stability, progress and prosperity.
We are now reaping the fruits of the efforts exerted by the founding fathers of the OAU and the hard work of successive generations of Africans over the past decades.
Africa is steadily moving towards sustainable development through the implementation of its ambitious 2063 Agenda.
Every day adds more strength to our joint efforts to find solutions to conflicts and problems which our continent has suffered from for decades and which have for long prevented the realization of the dreams of its people.
In order to achieve their common objectives, it is crucial for African countries to make better use of the African private sector alongside the African public sector to be able to build mega continental projects to develop the African infrastructure, thus contributing to the realization of our integration and market linkage plans, in pursuance of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, whose entry into force will be celebrated soon and this will drive us to encourage investments in infrastructure projects in the continent, along with other existing Mega Projects underway like Cairo/Cape Road and the navigational river route (VICMED) that will link Lake Victoria with the Mediterranean sea through the Nile River.
The international partners will have an important role in financing such mega projects via Public Private Partnerships PPP’s which will be established in this regard.
Egypt as the Chair of the African Union also puts high equality important to Peace Building and Peace Keeping in our continent and also focusing on post conflict reconstruction to avoid conflict relapse.
In this regards I would like to inform you that Egypt will host in the Beautiful southern City Aswan on 12 till 14 December 2019 an International High Level Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development under the title “An Agenda for sustainable Peace, Security and Development in Africa” to foster dialogue and reaching actionable outcomes through linking “sustainable development” with “sustainable peace”, as it will bring together heads of states and governments, leaders of national governments, regional and international organizations, financial institutions, the private sector, and civil society, as well as visionaries, scholars, and prominent experts.
Moreover, during the next months Egypt will launch the African Union Centre for Post Conflict Reconstruction and Development (AUC – PCRD) will be launched in Egypt.
We’ll also have to seek persistently developing our human resources, with high appreciation and respect to the role of African Women in the continent’s Development Process, and while preparing the continent’s young people to cope with the global developments and take responsibility for the future of the continent.
That will come true through developing the African capabilities especially in Youth and Sports. And here, Egypt is proud to be the host of African Cup of Nations 2019, which will kick off on the 21st of this June 2019, a major sport event in the continent and will once again showcase the great African world class football players.
Finally I would like to quote the words of H.E President of Arab Republic of Egypt Abdelfattah Al Sissi in the commemoration of Africa Day This year:
// We have to commit ourselves to fulfilling the dreams of the OAU Founding Fathers and the aspirations of the great peoples of Africa to build a stable and prosperous continent that is capable of ensuring a decent life for all its people and serving the entire human civilization through its culture of tolerance and love//
Photography by the Embassy of Rwanda. For additional images please open the following link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rwanda-embassy-nl/albums/72157709094587062/page1