The African Day was marked with a speech of Commissioner General Albina Assis Africano, in the presence of other African delegations, the Director of the Italian Pavilion Stefano Gatti, the representative of the African Union and Commissioner General of Zimbabwe Abigal Showina, and the ambassadors of Angola in Italy, France and Hungary.
Albina Africano emphasized the importance of the date, quoting the anniversary of the establishment of the African Union in 1963 as a major source of progress, creation of democracy, human rights and social and economic development of the continent.
Strong emphasis was given to the history and struggle of the sub-Saharan African countries to achieve economic growth.
The states of sub-Saharan Africa have, in fact, a high agricultural potential, although they are still mostly rural and the secor is very often based on women for food production. The African countries show this at the EXPO, by their presence in the different clusters, dedicated to staple foods of the African culture, such as fish, grains, cereals, coffee and cocoa.
“We have to turn that date into a day of reflection on the importance of food and nutrition as a key factor for the development of the continent. We have to give our people the strength to pursue policies aimed at capitalizing on the potential of cultural traditions and local food.“
That is why the motto of the Angola pavilion “Educate to Innovate” is crucial to the education of future generations by values and principles of health, especially traditional in the era of globalization.
The Commissioner concluded with a call to the Western world, in order to ensure an exchange of best practices to fight hunger and poverty in the most vulnerable societies.
Stefano Gatti, also Director General of the participating countries stressed the central role of Africa to organize this EXPO with three self-built pavilions (Angola, Morocco, Sudan) and 40 other participating countries.
“Africa within the last 20 to 30 years, went to represent the problem of nutrition in the world, to an example for the solution and as a great source of inspiration for the whole world.”
The representative of the African Union and Zimbabwe Pavilion General Commisioner, Abigail Shonhiwa demonstrated her pride in being part of this day.
“We want the Expo, Africa and Italy to remember” these are her words. She expressed her wish of a free Africa, pacific, led by citizens and with a strong role of women. “
Among the speakers was also Marco Ramazzotti, Italian translator of Oscar Ribas, who was a famous Angolan expert on customs and oral literature. The book “Traditional Angolan Cuisine” collects traditional culinary specialties in the belief that food communicates the richness and depth of the local culture.
Óscar Ribas is a symbol of Angola and thanks to the translation of his works, his knowledge becomes accessible to a wide audience. In addition to following a career as a writer, he was a socially active personality, defending the equality of the people against the colonizers and he was an advocate of racial integration. Óscar Ribas became blind very young, aged 30. This did not stop him wanting to communicate the Angolan culture with the help of his family. He lived from 1909 to 2004.
His homage was concluded with an intervention of Maria do Céu Ribas, his niece. The book will be on sale in the Bazar of the Pavilion in Italian and Portuguese.
The celebration continued with a march to the Cereals and Tubers Cluster, convoyed by a musical band of the Italian studens of the Puecher high school in Milan and bright colors and rhythms that have always characterized the African continent.