Information, Fun and Exchange
The dialogue of cultures was the main theme of the African Union Day, which was celebrated in Dortmund on June 4, 2011. Representatives from the city of Dortmund, Diplomats and Diaspora-Africans were invited to contribute to this memorable event. The event took place in commemoration of the foundation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on May 25 1963, which today is followed by the African Union (AU).
This date is of great importance for Africa, Africans and Diaspora-Africans since it symbolizes the success in the fight against colonization and continental racism. For that matter, AfricanTide Union e.V. invited the Diaspora-Africans and everybody else interested in Africa to gather together and celebrate the day.
Since mutual understanding of each other is a key factor for successful integration, the program of the African Union Day aimed at entertaining the visitors and to encourage the dialogue between the different cultures. Special emphasis was put onto engaging all age groups of visitors to the event, since we believe that mutual understanding and integration should be independent from age.
The event started with greetings from the CEO of AfricanTide Union e.V., RosaLyn Weber, who also gave a short introduction into the African Union, its history and objectives in addition to its significance for current Africa and the Diaspora-Africans. Following this, a panel discussion with representatives from the city of Dortmund, Diplomats and Diaspora-Africans dealing with the problem of newly arising inequalities on the African continent, took place. Development policies were equally discussed as the challenges Diaspora-Africans face here in Germany. The audience actively participated in the discussion by raising questions and commenting on the presenters’ opinions.
Meanwhile, the children attending the event were invited to approach the topic Africa creatively in a workshop. Together they created a poster symbolizing the diversity of the African continent and the beats of drums and singing gave the children an acoustical impression of the abovementioned diversity. Later on during the workshop the children created a net of wool across the room, by which they learned that none of the African countries is an isolated entity, but rather all countries are deeply interconnected.
The performance of the Talking Drums reunited adults and children and all of them truly enjoyed it: audacious stilt artists and the rhythm of drums brought some of the African vitality to Dortmund. Following this show act, two presentations were held which discussed the current political and economical situation on the African continent, such as the composition of the budget of the African Union and its implications for problem of neutrality of the African Union towards the interests of donating countries such as the European Union. Music from Guinea completed this part of the day.
The evening program started with the search for “The Face of the African Diaspora”, a beauty contest in which girls and young women between the age of 14 and 20 presented their face and body to a panel of four experts as to win the title of “Face of the African Diaspora”.
In total about 200 people joined the event and celebrated the African Union Day along with AfricanTide Union e.V. making the day a great success and strongly contributing to mutual understanding between cultures.