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Africa Day Celebrations

Africa Day, which falls on 25 May, is the official day of the African Union. It marks African unity and celebrates African diversity. Africa Day also represents an important opportunity to raise awareness of the progress which is being achieved in pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs and Agenda 2030), and the challenges that remain to ensure that no-one is left behind.

Facilitated by TIDI, every year, Trinity College partners with the African Heads of Diplomatic Missions accredited to the Republic of Ireland to host a key event to celebrate Africa Day. TIDI plays an active role in supporting the growth and enhancement of Irish-African relations through collaborative development research and education initiatives which are focused on practical solutions for real-world challenges. As the relationship between Ireland and Africa continues to grow and change, with deepening economic ties and shared understandings of our social and environmental interconnections, TIDI, with the support of the African Embassies accredited to the Republic of Ireland are delighted to collaborate on this annual event to mark Africa Day.

This event is held in collaboration with:

Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Ireland
Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in Ireland
Embassy of the Republic of Kenya in Ireland
Embassy of the Kingdom of Lesotho in Ireland
Embassy of Morocco in Ireland
Embassy of South Africa in Ireland
Embassy of Nigeria in Ireland
Embassy of Sudan in Ireland


Past Africa Day celebrations focused on the following themes and keynote speakers:






'Africa-Ireland Relations: Current and Future'


President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins






'Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in Youth'

Vuyisile Msila, Head, Institute for African Renaissance Studies, University of South Africa; Keith Lewin, Emeritus Professor of International Development, University of Sussex; John Fitzsimons, CEO, Camara Education.






'The African Year of Human Rights'

Prof. Finn Tarp, Director, UNU-WIDER; Ms. Neltah Chadamoyo, Chief Executive Officer of the Africa Centre; Mr. Driss El Yazami, Chair of the National Human Rights Council in Morocco;
Ms. Mary Lawlor, Executive Director of Front Line Defenders.






'Inspiring Change: Empowering Women’s Futures in Africa'

Heydi Foster-Breslin, CEO of Misean Cara & Irish Human Rights and Equality Commissioner; Lilian O. Ajayi, Executive Director/Founder of Global Connections For Women Foundation (GC4W) and Ambassador of Goodwill to the State of Arkansas; Faiza Mohamed, Director, Equality Now; Minna Salami, Member of Duke University's Corporate Educator Network & The Guardian Africa Network & founder of Ms. Afropolitan.







'Imagining Land: Significance of Land in African Economics, Politics & Culture'

President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins gave the opening address with key note keynote speech from Prof. Howard Stein, Dept. of Afroamerican and African Studies, University of Michigan. Panel Members included: Gregory L. Akall, Dept. of Geography, University of Cambridge; Thomas Sommerhalter, Concern Worldwide; and Dr. Michelle D’Arcy, Dept. of Political Science, TCD.




'Africa Rising: New Paradigms of Development in Post 2015 Africa'

Prof. Adrian Hill, Director, The Jenner Institute, Oxford University; Mr. Adewale Soyingbe, Director, EMEA Trade, Citi Europe plc, Dublin; Mr. Vinay Nair, Head of International Business Development, Acumen; and Mr. Dereje Habtewold, Director, Environmental Units Programe Directorate, Ethiopian Environmental Authority. Respondents were: Prof. Padraig Carmody, Dept. of Geography, TCD and Prof. Attracta Imgram, UCD School of Politics & International Relations,



'Scaling Up Agriculture: Sharing challenges and experiences of modernising agriculture in Ireland and Africa'

Panel discussion with: Prof. Patrick Paul Walsh, School of Politics and International Relations, University College Dublin, Dr. Philip Damas, Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania, Ms. Lara Ladipo, Director, Partner Africa, Kenya, Dr. Carol Newman, Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin and Mr. Kevin Friel from the Irish Dairy Board.



'Investing in Africa: Society, Agriculture and Enterprise'

Dr. Marcela Villarreal, Director Gender, Equity and Rural Employment Division, Food and Agriculture Organisation; Kalongo Chitengi, Zambia Country Director, Self Help Africa; Prof. Margaret Kigozi, Executive Director, Uganda Investment Authority; Dr. Eoin Gahan, Head of Trade, Environment and Survey Analysis, Forfás and Prof. Keith Palmer, Executive Chairman, AgDevCo


'Food for Thought: Revitalising African Agriculture for Food Security and Poverty Alleviation'

Dr. Ousmane Badiane, Director for Africa, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); Dr. Steven Were Omamo, Deputy Director, Policy, Planning and Strategy Division, UN World Food Programme; Justin Kilcullen, Director, Trócaire



'Africa – Moving Forward'

Dr. Louis Kasekende, Chief Economist of the African Development Bank; Ambassador Tunji Olagunju, Special Advisor to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on NEPAD and Minister of State for Overseas Development, Peter Power TD