cheif_awrd_afr_daybetty_and_tundeThe 2012 Africa Day Celebration in Atlanta was quite a success and people came out to partake in the celebration despite the sweltering heat. The Sixth Annual Africa Day put on by Chief Tunde Adetunji and the Africa Heritage Foundation (AHF) is the grassroots festive event that informs, acknowledges and promotes worldwide potential business opportunities, ideas and values of Africa as a continent of possibilities to Atlanta as well as the global community. The celebration embraced Africa’s vibrant culture and heritage and also facilitated networking opportunities. This year’s celebration was held with the theme“Africa Matters, Africa is the Future”.  

The occasion was marked with the presentation of the ‘Outstanding Georgian Citizen Awards to Dr. Neil Schulman, a medical professor at Atlanta's Emory University and Dr. Betty Siegel, President Emertius of Atlanta's Kennesaw State University. They were recognized for their outstanding achievement and commitment to excellence in their distinguished professions. They both presented exhilarating speeches endorsing the mission, visions and goals of the Africa Heritage Foundation.

Dr. Siegel, who ia also an author in addition to being the former president of Kennesaw State University, acknowledged the importance of the African Horizon Movement and "Bridging the Gap and Building the Bridge"  that serves to unite Atlanta and Georgia with Africa business potential, technology transfer, brain-gain,international relations and networking opportunities. The first female president of the University System of Georgia, she served as the college’s president for 25 years, making her the longest serving female president of a state university in the United States. Siegel is also the founder, President Emeritus and Distinguished Chair of Siegel Institute of Leadership, Ethics & Character at Kennesaw State University. 

aafrmDr. Shulman, a professor in the School of Medicine Emory University also endorsed the mission of Chief Tunde’s African Horizon Movement. The co-founder of the International Society of Hypertension in Blacks and chairman of the Global Humanitarian Summit at Emory, Dr. Shulman commended the efforts of Africa Heritage Foundation, and said that the grassroots effort to mobilize the people of this country and around the world to learn from and respect Africa will make the world a better place.

Also speaking was Patricia Whatley, a director at America’s Interest, a company that provides innovative services to organizations of all types. She delivered a speech emphasizing the importance of solidarity on Africa Day. Whatley, who is also chairman of the Zoning and Appeals Board of Carroll County, Georgia, said that America’s Interest shares AHF’s visions of "Bridging the Gap and Building the Bridge,"and making the city of Atlanta and the state of Georgia the epicenter and the destination of numerous potentials for the United States. 

“We have commended the tireless effort of Chief Tunde Adetunji and the AHF since the centennial ‘96 Olympics,” she said.”We are strongly committed to his vision and promise to do everything possible to work and support the AHF in the area of fundraising. His vision is diverse, and we believe this will change the world,” said Whatley.

african_dance_visionDuring the Africa Day ceremony, Chief Tunde received the Outstanding Secretary of State Award, and the Senate Proclamation for organizing Africa Day from Georgia’s Secretary of State Department. This award came to Chief Tunde just after receiving a letter from Secretary of State Brian Kemp congratulating him for organizing the 6th Annual Africa Day, and also for launching ‘Africa Matters, Africa is the Future’ as well as the US Africa Economic Empowerment initiatives including "Bridging the Gap, Building the Bridge" project.

Secretary Kemp thanked Chief Tunde for his efforts to make Atlanta the 'Gateway to Africa.' “It is an initiative that will be economically and culturally beneficial to the US and Africa, and promote economic development not only in Atlanta, but also the state of Georgia,” said Secretary Kemp.

Africa Day Celebration 2012 showcased both the Sinfonietta Music Group and  the Vision Dance Group that performed the Africa Matters musical rendition for the kick-off campaign of the Africa Horizon Movement. The event would not have been complete without these cultural performances. The Vision Dance Group, dressed in matching African print dazzled the crowd with an “Africa Matters” dance performance. The Sinfonietta Musical Ensemble performed a few graceful pieces that was fitting for such a ceremony.

africaday_2012Pastor Kenan Burba of Westminster Presbyterian Church closed out the 2012 Africa Day celebration with a heartfelt prayer. He later said that the Africa Day celebration was a great and exciting experience. “All the speeches and dances that took place were indications that there is a brighter future for Africa. True and sincere unity is a secret to progress and development,” said Pastor Burba.

Atlanta’s Africa Day Celebration has also been endorsed by the African Union (AU) Commission’s Honourable Dr. Jean Ping during his tenure as chairperson. His Excellency Dr. Jean Ping focuses on the unity of Africa and the unity of the Diaspora as an antidote to promote global peace, unity, love as well as understanding to combat the worldwide economic recession. During his visit to Atlanta last year, he said  “In commemorating the Africa Day celebrations, we are also fulfilling our duty of memory towards our founding fathers who established the Organization of African Unity on May 25th 1963." Dr. Ping highlighted Africa’s economic growth and the fact that investors are beginning to see the continent as the future of the world. He said that Africa has enormous, untapped economic potential as one of the fastest growing regions in the world and home to 6 of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies.

This year the Africa Day Celebration paid tribute to the magnificent efforts and progress of the Africa Union Commission under the Leadership of His Excellency Jean Ping. Africa Day  Celebration 2012 also recognized and commended the vision and efforts of  Georgia's Governor Nathan Deal  and Atlanta's Mayor Kassim Reid for instituting initiatives for the development of Atlanta as a true and progressive international city. Africa Day Atlanta has also been endorsed by the city council of Atlanta who offered a proclamation signed by all of its members praising the efforts of the foundation and acknowledging future opportunities in Africa.

chieftThe Africa Heritage Foundation has spearheaded the campaign for the first Olympics to be held in Africa.. Africa Heritage Foundation Diaspora TV and Radio, a divison of AHF, has been on the front line disseminating authentic news and information about Africa development and concurrent news. The establishment of the Africa Heritage Center & Museum in association with Southern Polytechnic State University where there is networking with the college and universities institutions in America, Brazil, China, India,Africa, and the Oceania is evidence that progess is being made. AHF has experienced success as a worldwide venture since helping to launch '96 Centennial Olympics in Atlanta.

The Africa Day Celebration 2012 saw the participation of more youth. The celebration has sent a signal to the youth as being a proponent of leadership for both development of positive initiatives between Africa and the United States. Through events like Africa Day in Atlanta, Chief Tunde aim is to create an environment where the interests of African nations, Georgia and also the United States can be discussed among power brokers and business and political leaders. Tunde believes that as Atlanta becomes the gateway to Africa, it is also the place to facilitate further discussions about the Diaspora becoming the sixth region of African. After a successful 2012 Africa Day, Chief Tunde continues to spread his message that ‘Africa Matters, Africa is the Future,’ and he is already preparing for next year’s Africa Day which promises to be even bigger and better.