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#Africaday Live Blog: THE MEANING OF TODAY

Afrikadag (Africa Day) is a festival organised by the Evert Vermeer Stichting (EVS). EVS is one of Africa’s partners in raising awareness for her development and position in the world. The foundation does so by lobbying under the slogan FAIR Politics and organising public activities such as Africaday.

Is development in Africa going unnoticed by the world, can Africa do for itself? After centuries of European involvement do we still need Europe? Can we make development work in Africa and what are the lessons learnt from the past? These and many more questions will be raised and hopefully partial answered today, as Afrikadag takes off. The prominent guest list is endless. State Secretary Ben Knapen, Dance4Life ambassador Jan Kooiman, Egyptian Facebook-girl Esraa Abdel Fattah (my favourite), Sister Fa (Amenda´s favourite), former minister Jan Pronk and dozens of others from across the world.

The program book looks like a festival and there’s a lot of activities and events for the visitors of this great event to attend: inspirational speeches, debates, film program, meet and greet, interesting people and great food. This is the short version of course. It seems like EVS has turned the world upside down to make this day a great success. And I don’t see why not. There are a lot of visitors and the rooms are packed. I have to make difficult decisions, since some of the events I have been dying to attend are taking place at the same time. Unfortunately I can’t be everywhere at the same time.

I am happy to be here at Afrikaday and to see the extraordinary involvement of people from the western diaspora, but let’s not have only small talks and go back home. Let our dialogues be constructive and let actions follow. This is the place to network and work together. No one is here because he happens to be in the neighbourhood. We are here because we all have affinity with Africa one way or another. A lot of hard work took place to arrange this event. Young and old, don’t let today go waist. You can contribute today by participating in the countless activities or by giving the prominent guests an listening ear, as they share their extraordinary stories with you, so you may take it to the far corners of the world. Africa is beautiful, spirited and hopeful, and she needs to be heard. #Afrikaday is here.

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