São Paulo – The Africa Week event – which was part of World Africa Day (May 25) celebrations, designed to highlight that continent – wrapped up with a ceremony Tuesday evening (28) at the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce in São Paulo. Africa Week relied on support from the Egyptian Economic and Commercial Office in São Paulo. Activities began on May 18 and revolved around the culture and potential of the African continent.
The group Fanta Konatê e os Tambores da Guiné, hailing from Guinea Conakry, performed folk African songs and dances (pictured). Bandleader Fanta Konatê is a singer, songwriter and dancer. Africa Week events included the 1st Sindiartes Fair at the Municipal Market, which featured African handicraft, replicas of the busts of Nefertiti and Tutankhamun – queen and king of Ancient Egypt – and workshops and lectures.
Speakers at the event included consul and Egyptian Office chief Mohamed Elkhatib; Afro-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (Afrochamber) president Rui Mucaje; African Cultural Center president Otunba Adekunle Aderonmu; and ambassador and Arab Brazilian Chamber International Relations vice president Osmar Chohfi.
Chohfi pointed out the number of Arab countries in Africa. “Ten out of the 22 Arab countries are located in Africa. This event is important for two main reasons: first off, because it puts the spotlight on Brazil-Africa ties, which are very close ties. The majority of Brazil’s population is of African descent. And apart from those human ties, Brazil managed to build a relationship of great mutual benefit with Africa over the past decades. Trade, economic and technical cooperation with Africa is traditionally relevant in Brazilian foreign policy,” the ambassador said.
Consul Elkhatib said the Week has fostered opportunities for Africa in tourism, economics and investments. “There is a lot going on between Africa and Brazil, that is why Africa Day must be celebrated. And especially so in my case, because Egypt is in the African Union presidency. The Arab Chamber represents 22 countries, including all of the Arab countries in Africa, such as Egypt. We have a major partnership between the Egyptian Office and the Chamber, and we would like to thank the Chamber for the collaboration and the invitation to have the Africa Week wrap-up here,” concluded Elkhatib.
The ceremony was also attended by the UAE consul general to São Paulo, Ibrahim Salem Alalawi, and by delegates from countries including Namibia, Gabon and Lithuania.
Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum