The AU and Ghanaian /African Diaspora in Finland
My write up today is about the Ghanaian/African Diaspora in Finland and how they marked the Africa Day as a day to celebrate the African Union (AU) on 25th May of each year. I dedicate it to the AU.
Incidentally, 25th May is my birthday too, but I focus mainly on the AU and activities of the Ghanaian/African migrants in Finland to mark that day.
What I write here is to highlight some positive things from activities to celebrate the AU’s anniversary.
The African Union
History tells us that the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) now African Union was formed on 25th May 1963 in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, with Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah playing an instrumental role.
The African Union (AU) is a continental body consisting of the 55 member states that make up the countries of the African Continent. It was officially launched in 2002 as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU, 1963-1999), according to information on its website.
The Union promotes a prosperous and peaceful Africa which is driven by its own citizens and represents a dynamic force on the global arena (see https://au.int/en/overview).
The history is that in May 1963, 32 Heads of independent African States met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to sign the Charter creating Africa’s first post-independence continental institution, The Organisation of African Unity (OAU).
The OAU was the manifestation of the pan-African vision for an Africa that was united, free and in control of its own destiny. This was solemnised in the OAU Charter in which the founding fathers recognised that freedom, equality, justice and dignity were essential objectives for the achievement of the legitimate aspirations of the African peoples, the information further says.
The guiding philosophy was that of Pan-Africanism which centred on African socialism and promoted African unity, the communal characteristic and practices of African communities, and a drive to embrace Africa’s culture and common heritage (see https:// au.int/en/overview).
Diaspora activities in Finland
There is no doubt that the African Diaspora and people of African descent are eager to portray and promote a sense of African unity, the communal characteristics and practices as pertains in African communities, and a drive to embrace Africa’s culture and common heritage in Finland.
This is in agreement with the AU’s objective that the Diaspora Division serves as the focal point and hub for implementing the African Union decision to invite and encourage the African Diaspora to participate in the building and development of the African continent (see https://au.int/diaspora-division).
Unity in diversity
Almost all activities organised have endeavoured to portray a sense of unity in diversity, bringing together the diverse cultural identity of the people originally from their African countries.
Although customs of, for example, northern African societies differ vastly from the customs of other parts of the continent, there are more common customs and cultural similarities.
With their various cultural and religious backgrounds, the African Diaspora in Finland promote unity and integration without any considerations to the fact that there are different countries in Africa and that there could be vastly diverse identities.
and Cultural display
Events organised by members of the African Diaspora focus mainly on information that is enlightening about the African Union and its tenets as well as the African culture.
Some of the highlights of the events involved group of people that holding discussions about what the African Diaspora such as academics and other stakeholders in Finland and elsewhere can do to drive change in the education sector in Africa.
Participants from and representing the various countries on the continent took part in the activities to commemorate the Africa Day.
They engaged in cooking and eating of some African kinds of food (or an improvisation from food combinations) which are deemed typically Ghanaian or that of other African countries.
African migrants, including those originally from Ghana and other African countries organised celebrations and other events in typical “African way”. They adorned African clothes and performed cultural activities portraying the cultures of the various countries of the continent. Thank you!
By Perpetual Crentsil