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Africa Day 2018 Reception - Iveagh House by Minister of State Ciaran Cannon T.D.

Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies & Gentlemen,

I am delighted to welcome you to Iveagh House today as we celebrate the 55th anniversary of Africa Day. It is a day that reminds us of the strong and lasting bonds of Ireland’s partnership with the continent and countries of Africa.

Some of you were here for last year’s celebrations. For others, including me, this year is your first opportunity to be directly involved. Since my appointment as Minister for International Development almost a year ago, my time has been filled with many rich moments and a great number of new experiences including three rewarding trips to Africa.

In October I visited Tanzania and met our partners in ventures old and new. I saw, first-hand, the tremendous work being done by Ireland acting through Irish Aid in partnership with local communities. They meet the needs of new arrivals, reduce instances of gender based violence and build sustainable livelihoods for all. I am proud that we support them in their work.

I also saw the youthful dynamism that characterises the continent, in its buzzing cities and through events showcasing African innovation. It demonstrates the rapid social change taking place and gave me hope for a strong and sustained economic development.

Ireland shares the experience of being a country with a large youth population. They are one of the pillars of our prosperity. At the last AU-EU Summit in Abidjan we rightly focused on youth participation. The importance of engaging and supporting our young people cannot be overstated. The choices we make today can either create a world full of promise or one where aspirations are always out of reach.

In January I attended the Global Partnership for Education pledging conference in Senegal where we signalled our strong commitment to education by doubling our funding. This will bring our total contribution to €25 million over the next three years.

Growing trade with African partners is also a priority. While visiting South Africa I attended the South Africa-Ireland Partnership Forum where we discussed cooperation on trade and investment. Deepening economic engagement between Ireland and the countries of Africa remains at the heart of our relationship. Our approach sees two-way trade as a step towards supporting economic growth and creating jobs, both here and on the African continent, for the mutual benefit of all our citizens.

As many of you will know, we will host the 6th Africa Ireland Economic Forum in October. It will focus on the complementary themes of agri-food and women in business. It will provide a space for business people to come together to identify their shared interests and forge real and lasting relationships. Planning of the Forum is at an advanced stage, and I hope to be able to make a more formal and detailed announcement about the event very soon.

In South Africa we also discussed the contribution that South Africans have made to the Northern Ireland peace process, including that of current President Cyril Ramaphosa, who played an important role in the decommissioning process. These links strengthen our bond.

2018 marks a number of important anniversaries in Ireland-South Africa relations. This year, we celebrate 25 years of diplomatic relations between Ireland and South Africa, as well as the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth.

To commemorate these milestones, I am very pleased to announce that the Department will bring an exhibition dedicated to Nelson Mandela and display it in Dublin’s Kilmainham Gaol.

This exhibition, on permanent display in the Apartheid Museum in South Africa, covers the extraordinary life of Nelson Mandela and the contribution he made to South Africa and the world. It will also celebrate the deep links between Ireland and South Africa, including Ireland’s support for the anti-Apartheid movement in the 1970s and 1980s, President Mandela’s visit to Dublin after his release from prison in 1990, and through to the vibrant and modern relationship our countries enjoy today.

I also serve as Minister of State for the Diaspora, and through this, I am reminded on a daily basis of the important role the diaspora plays in society. The Africa diaspora contributes so much to Ireland in terms of culture, business, and music and by broadening the horizons of our small island.

In an ever more divided world we must take every opportunity to celebrate the value of each other’s traditions and culture. I am delighted that we will once again be celebrating Africa Day at Farmleigh this Sunday and across the country at a number of local events. Last year almost 20,000 people attended the wide range of events offered showing the significant interest that we have in celebrating Africa’s rich diversity.

The African diplomatic community in Ireland is growing and we warmly welcome your active participation in this year’s Africa Day events.

In relation to the national flagship event at Farmleigh, I also wish to place on record my appreciation for the generous support and inputs that we receive from our colleagues at the Office of Public Works, An Gard Síochána, Dublin Bus, DHR Communications and all who are involved in helping to make it a safe and enjoyable day for all concerned.

I hope that everyone here will join us at Farmleigh on Sunday and I wish you all the best for the remaining events. Happy Africa Day.

Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies & Gentlemen,

I am delighted to welcome you to Iveagh House today as we celebrate the 55th anniversary of Africa Day. It is a day that reminds us of the strong and lasting bonds of Ireland’s partnership with the continent and countries of Africa.

Some of you were here for last year’s celebrations. For others, including me, this year is your first opportunity to be directly involved. Since my appointment as Minister for International Development almost a year ago, my time has been filled with many rich moments and a great number of new experiences including three rewarding trips to Africa.

In October I visited Tanzania and met our partners in ventures old and new. I saw, first-hand, the tremendous work being done by Ireland acting through Irish Aid in partnership with local communities. They meet the needs of new arrivals, reduce instances of gender based violence and build sustainable livelihoods for all. I am proud that we support them in their work.

I also saw the youthful dynamism that characterises the continent, in its buzzing cities and through events showcasing African innovation. It demonstrates the rapid social change taking place and gave me hope for a strong and sustained economic development.

Ireland shares the experience of being a country with a large youth population. They are one of the pillars of our prosperity. At the last AU-EU Summit in Abidjan we rightly focused on youth participation. The importance of engaging and supporting our young people cannot be overstated. The choices we make today can either create a world full of promise or one where aspirations are always out of reach.

In January I attended the Global Partnership for Education pledging conference in Senegal where we signalled our strong commitment to education by doubling our funding. This will bring our total contribution to €25 million over the next three years.

Growing trade with African partners is also a priority. While visiting South Africa I attended the South Africa-Ireland Partnership Forum where we discussed cooperation on trade and investment. Deepening economic engagement between Ireland and the countries of Africa remains at the heart of our relationship. Our approach sees two-way trade as a step towards supporting economic growth and creating jobs, both here and on the African continent, for the mutual benefit of all our citizens.

As many of you will know, we will host the 6th Africa Ireland Economic Forum in October. It will focus on the complementary themes of agri-food and women in business. It will provide a space for business people to come together to identify their shared interests and forge real and lasting relationships. Planning of the Forum is at an advanced stage, and I hope to be able to make a more formal and detailed announcement about the event very soon.

In South Africa we also discussed the contribution that South Africans have made to the Northern Ireland peace process, including that of current President Cyril Ramaphosa, who played an important role in the decommissioning process. These links strengthen our bond.

2018 marks a number of important anniversaries in Ireland-South Africa relations. This year, we celebrate 25 years of diplomatic relations between Ireland and South Africa, as well as the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth.

To commemorate these milestones, I am very pleased to announce that the Department will bring an exhibition dedicated to Nelson Mandela and display it in Dublin’s Kilmainham Gaol.

This exhibition, on permanent display in the Apartheid Museum in South Africa, covers the extraordinary life of Nelson Mandela and the contribution he made to South Africa and the world. It will also celebrate the deep links between Ireland and South Africa, including Ireland’s support for the anti-Apartheid movement in the 1970s and 1980s, President Mandela’s visit to Dublin after his release from prison in 1990, and through to the vibrant and modern relationship our countries enjoy today.

I also serve as Minister of State for the Diaspora, and through this, I am reminded on a daily basis of the important role the diaspora plays in society. The Africa diaspora contributes so much to Ireland in terms of culture, business, and music and by broadening the horizons of our small island.

In an ever more divided world we must take every opportunity to celebrate the value of each other’s traditions and culture. I am delighted that we will once again be celebrating Africa Day at Farmleigh this Sunday and across the country at a number of local events. Last year almost 20,000 people attended the wide range of events offered showing the significant interest that we have in celebrating Africa’s rich diversity.

The African diplomatic community in Ireland is growing and we warmly welcome your active participation in this year’s Africa Day events.

In relation to the national flagship event at Farmleigh, I also wish to place on record my appreciation for the generous support and inputs that we receive from our colleagues at the Office of Public Works, An Gard Síochána, Dublin Bus, DHR Communications and all who are involved in helping to make it a safe and enjoyable day for all concerned.

I hope that everyone here will join us at Farmleigh on Sunday and I wish you all the best for the remaining events. Happy Africa Day.

Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies & Gentlemen,

I am delighted to welcome you to Iveagh House today as we celebrate the 55th anniversary of Africa Day. It is a day that reminds us of the strong and lasting bonds of Ireland’s partnership with the continent and countries of Africa.

Some of you were here for last year’s celebrations. For others, including me, this year is your first opportunity to be directly involved. Since my appointment as Minister for International Development almost a year ago, my time has been filled with many rich moments and a great number of new experiences including three rewarding trips to Africa.

In October I visited Tanzania and met our partners in ventures old and new. I saw, first-hand, the tremendous work being done by Ireland acting through Irish Aid in partnership with local communities. They meet the needs of new arrivals, reduce instances of gender based violence and build sustainable livelihoods for all. I am proud that we support them in their work.

I also saw the youthful dynamism that characterises the continent, in its buzzing cities and through events showcasing African innovation. It demonstrates the rapid social change taking place and gave me hope for a strong and sustained economic development.

Ireland shares the experience of being a country with a large youth population. They are one of the pillars of our prosperity. At the last AU-EU Summit in Abidjan we rightly focused on youth participation. The importance of engaging and supporting our young people cannot be overstated. The choices we make today can either create a world full of promise or one where aspirations are always out of reach.

In January I attended the Global Partnership for Education pledging conference in Senegal where we signalled our strong commitment to education by doubling our funding. This will bring our total contribution to €25 million over the next three years.

Growing trade with African partners is also a priority. While visiting South Africa I attended the South Africa-Ireland Partnership Forum where we discussed cooperation on trade and investment. Deepening economic engagement between Ireland and the countries of Africa remains at the heart of our relationship. Our approach sees two-way trade as a step towards supporting economic growth and creating jobs, both here and on the African continent, for the mutual benefit of all our citizens.

As many of you will know, we will host the 6th Africa Ireland Economic Forum in October. It will focus on the complementary themes of agri-food and women in business. It will provide a space for business people to come together to identify their shared interests and forge real and lasting relationships. Planning of the Forum is at an advanced stage, and I hope to be able to make a more formal and detailed announcement about the event very soon.

In South Africa we also discussed the contribution that South Africans have made to the Northern Ireland peace process, including that of current President Cyril Ramaphosa, who played an important role in the decommissioning process. These links strengthen our bond.

2018 marks a number of important anniversaries in Ireland-South Africa relations. This year, we celebrate 25 years of diplomatic relations between Ireland and South Africa, as well as the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth.

To commemorate these milestones, I am very pleased to announce that the Department will bring an exhibition dedicated to Nelson Mandela and display it in Dublin’s Kilmainham Gaol.

This exhibition, on permanent display in the Apartheid Museum in South Africa, covers the extraordinary life of Nelson Mandela and the contribution he made to South Africa and the world. It will also celebrate the deep links between Ireland and South Africa, including Ireland’s support for the anti-Apartheid movement in the 1970s and 1980s, President Mandela’s visit to Dublin after his release from prison in 1990, and through to the vibrant and modern relationship our countries enjoy today.

I also serve as Minister of State for the Diaspora, and through this, I am reminded on a daily basis of the important role the diaspora plays in society. The Africa diaspora contributes so much to Ireland in terms of culture, business, and music and by broadening the horizons of our small island.

In an ever more divided world we must take every opportunity to celebrate the value of each other’s traditions and culture. I am delighted that we will once again be celebrating Africa Day at Farmleigh this Sunday and across the country at a number of local events. Last year almost 20,000 people attended the wide range of events offered showing the significant interest that we have in celebrating Africa’s rich diversity.

The African diplomatic community in Ireland is growing and we warmly welcome your active participation in this year’s Africa Day events.

In relation to the national flagship event at Farmleigh, I also wish to place on record my appreciation for the generous support and inputs that we receive from our colleagues at the Office of Public Works, An Gard Síochána, Dublin Bus, DHR Communications and all who are involved in helping to make it a safe and enjoyable day for all concerned.

I hope that everyone here will join us at Farmleigh on Sunday and I wish you all the best for the remaining events. Happy Africa Day.

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