The African Union today celebrates the wealth of culture, heritage and vision across the continent, with dance, spoken word and music, as it marks its Expo 2020 Dubai Honour Day today (27 February).
Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai, and His Excellency Sheikh Shakhboot bin Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of State, welcomed Her Excellency Dr Monique Nsanzabaganwa, Deputy Chairperson, African Union Commission, at a ceremony in Al Wasl Plaza this morning.
HE Sheikh Shakhboot bin Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan said: “The African Union’s participation at Expo 2020 Dubai has brought forth a significant opportunity for visitors to discover Africa’s history, culture, and vision, as well as its efforts to empower its citizens and realise its true potential as a crucial change-maker in the world.
“We in the UAE are proud to have been an active partner on the African continent throughout our 50-year history, with an unwavering commitment to its development and prosperity. As we celebrate the African Union’s strong representation at Expo 2020 Dubai, we look forward to witnessing the rise of new initiatives and collaborative efforts that will lead to the progress and wellbeing of our people.”
HE Dr Monique Nsanzabaganwa said: “We are a united people whose history is far reaching and life changing, embracing our stories – the ugly and the good, the nostalgic and the awe inspiring.”
She spoke about how it is the 20th anniversary of the creation of the African Union this year: “Reflecting back on two successful decades of implementing programmes that have continued to change the lives of our brothers and sisters, changing the course of our continent towards that of a shared prosperity, peace and sustainability.
“For all the unity we display, we are certainly going to continue making change that matters, touching lives and creating tangible solutions that our people are at the heart of.”
The speeches were followed by a poetry performance ‘From East to West’, from Adelle, a Kenyan media personality, poet and activist, recognised for her efforts to empower African women and youth; and Chief Moomen, a poet, playwright and curator of theatrical spectacles from Ghana. Pianist Donovan Rossouw from Cape Town accompanied them, then performed his own piece, before Mr Adam, a guitarist from Niger, played a Tuareg song. Kina Ku Moxi, three percussionists and five dancers from Angola, concluded the show with captivating and energetic traditional dance, chants and singing.
This evening, the Jubilee Stage will come alive from 1900, with entertainment from across the continent, a celebration of culture and heritage, to give a taste and feel of creative Africa. Performers include globally recognised stars such as Mafikizolo, Fally Ipupa and Ayra Starr. This morning’s pianist Doovan Rossouw will again take to the stage, with Moroccan performer Cheikh Oueld Labied. There will also be poetry and spoken word from Spokenpriestess and Versatile to round off the evening.
The African Union Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai is located in the Opportunity District and tells the story of the organisation, from the vision of the founding fathers onwards. It shows an Africa that is serious about empowering and creating opportunities for its citizens and the world, and is a proud demonstration of the heritage, culture, and vision of the continent.
National and Honour Days at Expo 2020 Dubai are moments to celebrate each of Expo’s 200-plus International Participants, shining a light on their culture and achievements and showcasing their pavilions and programming.
Running until 31 March 2022, Expo 2020 Dubai invites visitors from across the planet to join the making of a new world in a six-month celebration of human creativity, innovation, progress and culture.