International Year of Afro-Descendants celebrated in Uruguay
The SA Embassy, Montevideo, Uruguay, participated in the celebrations organized by the Afro Mundo Group in the Province/Department of Rivera from 10-12 November 2011. The year 2011 marks 200 years of the process towards Uruguay’s independence (Bi-Centenary Celebration) and also the year of the African Descendants as declared by the United Nations General Assembly.
The Embassy participated in the forum discussion “Foro International Kizomba” (Kizombo International Forum) and a speech was delivered by Mr Aaron Themba, Acting Head of Mission/Charge D’Affaires ai at the time, regarding the Year of the African Descendants, with specific reference to the African Diaspora and also the role that African Descendants play in economic, social, political in the respective countries they are living as well as challenges they are confronted with.
Amongst senior guests who participated in the conference was the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Luis Almagro, the Minister of Interior, Mr Eduardo Bonomi, and representatives of the Minister of Tourism and Sport and also labour and social security.
In her introductory speech / comment welcoming the representative of the Embassy, the representative of the Agency on Development, Dra Gretel Villamonte acknowledged the presence of the Embassy in this important gathering and the role that the Embassy is playing with the Group MUNDO AFRO over the past years. She mentioned that the South African Embassy has a very strong relationship with the Group Mundo Afro.
In her speech, the Vice President of National Post Services, who is also an Afro descendants, Ms Solange Moreira, informed the audience that as part of celebrating the year of the Afro Descendants, a postage stamp bearing the face of the former President, Dr. N.R Mandela (Madiba) will be launched before the end of December 2011. The Embassy is facilitating this imitative through the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
Background music of famous South African Band, Ladysmith Black Mambazo was played which included Nkosi Sikelela Afrika and Shosholoza (Victory South African song normally sang by supporters when Green and Gold South African Teams take the field or compete).
The forum in which the Embassy participated, was shared by senior government officials such as Dr. Javier Miranda, Director of Human Rights in the Ministry of Education and Culture, who gave a very good and strong speech. The forum was attended by Members of Parliament/ Deputies from different political parties who participated in the conference and outlined their party policy / manifestos regarding the concern of African descendants on matters relating to employment, education, health and living conditions.
A book called “Obras Escogidas” (Selected Works) was launched by an AfrIcan Uruguayan Jorge Emilio Cardozo.
SA Embassy Montevideo, Uruguay