The African Festival Essen 2015, was organized under the umbrella of the African Ivory Germany, a Non-Profit Organization founded by Miss Delphine Mukete that has its location on the premises of St. Augustine Catholic Community Essen Frohnhausen. In line with the Motto of the African Ivory Germany “Opening Africa to the World” the African Festival which took place on the 17th of October, 2015 in the St. Gertrude Hall Essen was conceived as a practical avenue for the realization of this motto. Dr. Robert Okongwu, the Festival’s Coordinator highlighted the importance of the project. He told the Guests that the Festival is an opportunity by Africans and for Africans to tell their own story themselves.It was the duty of Africans to chart a new course for the continent by contributing in presenting its abundant human and natural resources to the world in order to change the very negative pictures that Africa has been known for through the centuries. The donor- receiver relationship between Africa and the rest of the world cannot guarantee the needed platform upon which the continent can stand for its own development. The Festival was planned under three stages which included the following;
1. BUSINESS FORUM; As the major intention of the African Ivory is to create an opportunity for the world to get to know the continent more closely, we used the Business Forum to create the necessary link between individuals who have business concepts and investors. It was, therefore, an opportunity for these individuals to present their concepts to the investors who will then pick up contact with them. The keynote address was delivered by the Very Rev. Msgr. Prof. Dr. Obiora Ike, who spoke on the topic “Investment in Africa: Breaking the Boundaries.” Prof. Dr. Obiora Ike is the Founder of the Catholic Institute for Development, Justice and Peace (CIDJAP) Enugu, Founder Umuchinemere Micro Finance Bank Enugu Nigeria, and the President of Club of Rome, Nigerian Chapter. At the Business Forum, which was the first edition, Prof. Dr. Ike highlighted the abundant potentials for business that abound in Africa but noted that Africans must contribute in order to make these better known to the world. The world and Africa stand to gain beyond imagination when this begins to happen. The following presented their business concepts;
a. Kupefilms & KupeTv.
Kupefilms and KupeTv is a business concept developed by Mr. Ngandji Wittus. Major drive was to create a television station that will serve as an image maker for the continent of Africa. This, according to him, was necessary because social and mass media is gaining an increasing popularity in our world. And they decide the image the world would have on any topic on the globe. The advantage of such a project can never be overestimated.
b. Solar Wasser Europe
Solar Wasser is a business concept developed by Mr. Albin Zupancic. Water as one of the most basic necessities is increasingly in great demand. Unfortunately, even in parts of our continent, this most basic amenity is not accessible to most of the citizens. Mr. Zupancic’s concept makes it possible to harness rainwater, purify it and make it ideal for any domestic and industrial use.
c. Cashcraft Asset Management Nigeria
Cashcraft Asset Management Nigeria was represented by its executive director Mr. Agbola Bolade. He gave the Forum far-reaching information on the Federal Government of Nigeria’s program for an enabling environment for investors in Nigeria. He highlighted the various reforms that have taken place in the country as well as the plan of the present administration for an investment-friendly Nigeria.
Mr. Glarius and Mr. Larry are founders of AfroSurv. AfroSurv is a business concept that was developed to create smart cities for Africa. Creation of smart cities in Africa was seen as a stepping stone towards creating organized communities that will enable the development of infrastructure across the continent. Smart cities will provide job, easy environmental control, serve as a boost for health delivery, lead to improved security services and serve as a bedrock for postal and communication services.
2. AFRICAN HEROES AWARD 2015
The African Heroes Award 2015 formed the second part of the African Festival. And it corresponded to the goal of the project. The continent of Africa receives aids from many philanthropists. These are celebrated but are mainly expatriates. However, among the blessings of our continent is the existence of many Africans who have distinguished themselves in their services to humanity. The Festival was a great opportunity for us to celebrate these heroes.
Our selected African Heroes were;
- His Excellency Mr. Jean Marc Mpay Ambassador of Cameroon to Germany – for his commitment to the citizens of Cameroon in Diaspora
- Prof. Dr. Obiora Ike – for economic empowerment and Social Justice
- Prof. E. M. P. Edeh – for his contribution to Education, Charity, Peace andReconciliation
- Mrs. Harriet-Bruce Annan – for service to the slum children in Ghana.
3. AFRICAN FESTIVAL
The continent of Africa is richly blessed with a diversity of culture. This rich cultural heritage, when explored and utilized can become a great income generator and a huge employment market for the teeming youth population of the continent. We believe in this potentiality. At the Festival, African cultural groups thrilled the participants with cultural dances. The following groups graced the occasion;
- Mecuda Nrw Germany ( a Cameroonian Cultural Association )
- Meca Nrw Germany ( a Cameroonian Cultural Association )
- Igbo Women Association Essen Germany ( a Nigerian Cultural Association )
- Nzuko Ndiyomigbo Ruhrgebiet Mülheim Germany ( a Nigerian Cultural Association)
- Daazaa Cultural Group Berlin Germany ( a Nigerian Cultural Association )
LIST OF OUR SPECIAL GUESTS OF HONOR
- H. E. Mr. Jean Marc Mpay – Ambassador of Cameroon to Germany
- Prof. Dr. Obiora Ike – C. E. O. / Founder, Umuchinemere Micro Finance Bank Nigeria, Founder / Director, Catholic Institute for Development, Justice and Peace (CIDJAP) Enugu, Nigeria, President of Club of Rome, Nigerian Chapter
- Dr. Stephan Liebing – President, German and African Business
- Mr. Klaus-Dieter Pfahl – Bürgermeister, Essen Dellwig and Gerschede
- Mr. Henock Lemma – Director, Ethiopian Airlines Europe
- H. E. Mr. Reinhard Buchholz – Ex Ambassador of Germany to Cameroon
- Mr. George Barclay Nguher – Senior Counsellor, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
- Mr. Bolade Agbola – Director, Cashcraft Asset Management Nigeria
- Mr. Ngandji Wittus – C. E. O. / Founder, Kupefilms/KupeTv Germany
- Mr. Glarius and Mr. Larry – Founders of AfroSurv Germany
- Mr. Albin Zupancic – C. E. O. Solar Wasser Europe
- Engr. Marcel Anyanwu – C. E. O. Global Shipping GmbH Germany
- Dr.Ezea Matthew – Parish Priest, African Catholic Community, Essen
- Engr. Miranda Oben – Moderator
- Mr. Charles Ugochukwu – Chairman Enugu State Indigenes Germany
- Mr. Ngassa Terence – President Soba Foundation Germany
- Mr. and Mrs. Obi Ndika – C. E. O. TooranAir Reisebüro Germany
- Mr. Jean Marc Behala – C. E. O. Camer.be
Board of Directors African Festival Essen 2015
1. Miss Mukete Delphine – C. E. O. / Founder African Ivory Germany
- Dr. Robert Okongwu – Coordinator African Festival Essen 2015
- Dr. Emeka Igwe I. – Chairman Award Committee
- Mr. Ike Igwe – Chairman Logistics
Report by Dr. Robert Okongwu
Coordinator African Festival Essen 2015
Dr. Robert Okongwu is the Founder of African Catholic Community, Diocese of Essen Germany and the present Vicar St. Augustine Catholic Community Essen and St. Christopher Catholic Community Dortmund.