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Africa Day Observed in Seoul
Envoys from Africa Gather for Africa Day Celebration
Egyptian Amb. Reda El-Taify (4th from left) poses with other foreign ambassadors and VIPs in a ceremony to mark Africa Day at his residence in Seoul on May 25, 2009.

On the occasion of Africa Day on May 25, 2009 a host of foreign ambassadors from the African Continent gathered at the Egypt Embassy in Seoul to celebrate one of the most meaningful day for the continent.

Africa Day is meant to celebrate the African unity. Africa Day is the annual commemoration on May 25 of the 1963 founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). On this day, leaders of 30 of the 32 independent African states signed a founding charter in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Amb. Honorat E. Abeni Koffi of The Repubic of Cote d' Ivoire delivers a speech at Egyptian Embassy in Seoul on Africa Day.

The ambassadors of the African countries accredited in Seoul assembled at the Egyptian Embassy in Seoul for the ceremony. They are;

Honorat E. Abeni Koffi of The Repubic of Cote d' Ivoire;
Christophe Ngwey Ndambo of the Democratic Republic of Congo;
Stefanus J. Schoeman of the Republic of South Africa;
Reda El-Taify of the Arab Republic of Egypt;
Rabah Hadid of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria;
Mohamed Salah Eldin Abbas of the Republic of Sudan;
Jean-Pierre Sole-Emane of the Gabonese Republic;
Amadou Dabo of the Republic of Senegal;
Mustapha Khammari of the Republic of Tunisia;
Desmond Akawor of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;
Mohammed Chraibi of the Kingdom of Morocco;
Alfredo Dombe, charge d' affairs of the Republic of Angola;
Tabu Irina, charge d' affairs of the Republic of Kenya;
Christian Mintah-Agyemang, charge d' affairs of the Republic of Ghana;
Eugene S.Kayihura charge d' affairs of the Republic of the Rwanda;
Masaoud B. Alghali, head of the Economic Cooperation Bureau of the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya

Foreign ambassadors and other VIPs gathered at Egyptian Embassy in Seoul to obverse Africa Day on May 25, 2009

Other top foreign envoys including EU Amb. Brian McDonald, German Amb. Norbert Baas, Czech Amb. Jaroslav Olša Jr., and Belarus Amb. Aleksandr E. Guryanov, also came to congratulate on the African Day.

From the South Korean government came Mr. Shin Kak Soo, vice minister of foreign affairs, and Mr. Oh Joon, foreign ministry's deputy minister for multilateral, global and legal affairs.

A number of local and international guests were also invited to the ceremony held at the Egypt Embassy on May 25, 2009.

Spouses of top foreign envoys assembled at Egyptian Embassy in Seoul on the occasion of African Day on May 25, 2009

They included Dr. Oh Jee-chul, president & CEO of Korea Tourism Organization; Ms. Susana Corbacho C. minister of Embassy of Peru; Mr. Ihab Tahoon, minister plenipotentiary of Embassy of Egypt's Economic and Commercial Office in Seoul, Mr. Shahidul Islam, ambassador fo Bangladesh, and Dr. Rew Joung-Yole, advisor of the Korea Rotary Youth Association Inc.

The ceremony included the African-style buffet dinner hosted by Egyptian Amb. Reda El-Taify.

Before the start of the official event, all the participants had a moment of silence in honoring the tragic death of the late South Korean President Roh-Moo-Hyun. On May 23, 2009 Roh jumped to death from a cliff in his hometown of Bongha in Gimhae-gun under pressure from the investigation of him and his family members by prosecution.

From left to rifht: Egyptian Amb. Reda El-Taify; Mrs. Hala Tahoon, wife of Egyptian Minister Plenipotentiary Ihab Tahoon; Ihab Tahoon; Mrs. Hoida Bashir, wife of Sudanese Amb. Mohamed Salah Eldin Abbas; Mohamed Salah Eldin Abbas

In a speech, the Egyptian envoy expressed his gratitude to all the guests.

In particular, he welcomed and thanked Mr. Mahmoud Eido, minister of water resources in Kurdistan for his attendance to the event.

He said that every year, on May 25 the 800 million Africans living in the continent and the many others living in the Diaspora celebrate the Africa Day, a day that commemorates the establishment of the Organization of the African Unity in 1963.

"On that day, 32 newly independent African nations signed the OAU charter, establishing the organization that played a pivotal role in the eradication of colonization on the continent, and later was transformed into the present African Union, the body that seeks to unite the African Continent" he remarked.

Dr. Rew Joung-Yole, advisor of the Korea Rotary Youth Association Inc. with Egyptian Amb. Reda El-Taify

He also touched upon the relations between South Korea and countries of African Continent.

"The relations between the Republic of Korea and African Nations have significantly developed over the last few years, especially after the African tour of the late President Roh Moo-Hyun," the envoy emphasized.

"During the trip President Roh visited Egypt, Algeria, and Nigeria," he said. "It was also during this tour that the Republic of Korea declared the Korean Initiative for the development of Africa."

Amb. Rabah Hadid (lwft) of Algeria poses with his diplomatic colleagues. At right is Amb. Jean-Pierre Sole-Emane of the Gabonese Republic.

He also thanked South Korean government for hosting the second round of the Korea-Africa Forum in Seoul in November. He said the forum will served as a opportunity for furthering overall relations between South Korean and African.

"Africa is the bright colorful future, with all the human capacity, natural resources, tourism attractions and many other things that it has to offer to the world," he said. "And it is a continent in need of Korean investments and technology for development."

EU Amb. Brian McDonald (right) talks with Czech Amb. Jaroslav Olša Jr. at Africa Day ceremony held on May 25, 2009 at Egyptian Embassy in Seoul.

He closed his speech by introducing the 2010 World Cup to be hosted by South Africa. "we hope that all of you will seize this opportunity to enjoy our continent," he said.

Amb. Honorat E. Abeni Koffi of Cote D'Ivoire delivered a welcoming speech for the guests. Amb. Koffi serves as dean of the African group of ambassadors serving in Seoul.

In his speech he said that the entire African Continent celebrates today (on May 25) the Africa Day, which is the occasion for Africans to magnify their identity, their union along with the strong will of Africa to play its necessary role in the international arena.

Amb. Mustapha Khammari (right) of the Republic of Tunisia poses with his diplomatic colleagues.

"Africa today is, in general, stable with democratically elected leaders," he said. "Measures and concerted efforts are being enforced by African Union and the international community to resolve pockets of conflicts, and ensure stability, peace and development of the continent"

"The cooperation between Africa and Korea has increased in scale these past three years," he continued. "Korea has reinforced his relations with Africa by the "Initiative for Africa Development" and the continent is hopeful that it will contribute to accelerate the development of Africa"

He said that Africa wishes stronger and mutually profitable partnership with South Korea.

Charge d' affairs Eugene S.Kayihura (center) of the Rwanda Embassy poses with Miss Son Eun-Jee (left) and Miss Kang Min-Jae of Rwanda Embassy in Seoul

"More and more African countries are opening diplomatic missions in Korea," he said. "The Republic of Korea could be a good partner for the economic development of Africa"

He finished his speech by stressing the need for more economic cooperation between South Korea and African countries.

"The particular situation of Africa being a continent full of minerals, energetic resources and agricultural raw materials creates innumerable business opportunities waiting for Korean investors to explore," he said. "Your experience, your investments, your partnerships together with the African efforts and the cooperation of all nations willing to join us will contribute to achieve economic and social development in our Continent"

For details or inquiries please call the Egyptian Embassy in Seoul at 749-0787/9.

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