Africa Day at CEU
In celebration of Africa Day, an annual worldwide event that aims to celebrate African diversity and success and to highlight the cultural and economic potential that exists on the African continent, CEU hosted two public lectures and a reception at the University on May 22. The day was organized by the African group of ambassadors and honorary consuls of African countries in Budapest with the support of CEU.
Africa Day is a day to reflect on proud achievements of the African continent and its infinite possibilities. The celebration is a tribute to the continent's rich heritage, diverse languages, ethnicity, and cultural backgrounds. It is the annual commemoration of the 1963 founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), presently known as the African Union (AU). The AU, comprised of 53 member states, has brought together the continent of Africa to collectively address the challenges it faces such as armed conflict, climate change, and poverty.
Justice Iskander Ghattas spoke on the “Protection of Human Rights in African Legal Instruments.” Ghattas is an Egyptian judge, currently serving as the vice president of the Human Rights Council of Egypt. Prior to that, Ghattas was the president of the Court of Appeal of Egypt and also president of the Criminal Court in Cairo. He holds a doctorate in public law and has authored numerous monographs in the fields of political science and law. Justice Richard Goldstone spoke about the “Challenges of Young Democracies and the Role of Civil Society.” Goldstone is a retired South African judge who also served as justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, which was established after South Africa’s democracy in 1994. He is currently a visiting professor at several universities and has served as presiding officer in various inquiries into human rights issues including ones commissioned by the South African government and the United Nations.
The lectures were introduced by South African Ambassador to Hungary H.E. Takalani Netshitenze and the moderator of the event was Matteo Fumagalli, professor and head of CEU's Department of International Relations and European Studies.
“CEU's African students enrich our community both academically and socially and CEU alumni and students will be key contributors to realizing the potential and promise of Africa in coming years,” said Peter Johnson, CEU vice president for student services. “We were thrilled to co-host this year's Africa Day celebration at CEU to recognize and celebrate the achievements and the potential of Africa and we deeply appreciate this partnership with the African diplomatic community in Budapest.” CEU has 27 students from Africa this academic year.
“This was the first time that we broke the tradition of a strictly fanfare celebration and introduced an academic element to it, with a special emphasis on human rights issues with two esteemed African Jurists. Everything went according to plan with CEU’s professional support” said the South African Ambassador.
The audience of government, media, business, and NGO representatives, senior diplomats, students, and faculty participated in a special reception where several African nations introduced their countries through their national costumes, food, photos, and arts and crafts.
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