African Diplomats Donate
-To Nigeria’s Less Privileged, Talented Kids
Members of the African Diplomatic Group in the Federal Republic of Nigeria have identified with a group of less privileged children at the Abuja Tennis Club.
A release from the group says the heads of African diplomatic missions in the Federal Capital donated sports equipment to some poor but talented children who live in the vicinity of the Abuja National Stadium on Saturday, September 15, 2018.The group’s donation marks part of its annual 2018 observance of Africa Day which had a day earlier begun with a formal indoor program on Friday, September 14, 2018 at a local hotel in Abuja.
Cameroon’s High Commissioner to Nigeria and Dean of the African Diplomatic Group, His Excellency Salaheddine Abbas Ibrahima, while making the donation on behalf of the group, stressed the need for proper investment in the development of the youths that will promote peace and unity on the continent of Africa.
Ambassador Ibrahima said the need to invest in the youth is important to encourage social interaction among them.
“Generally, people see tennis as a game of the elites, but when we see less privileged children playing the game, it is a duty for us to help them grow. This is the motive of our action, it is the reason we gave them support to promote interaction among youth, which is key instrument to develop unity in our continent”, the head of the African Ambassadors and High Commissioners said.
He said Africa has been divided for so long by various conflicts and misunderstanding and it is important to take children from their early ages to know each other, interact and exchange values.
“By so doing we will achieve the desired goal and make meaningful progress in the continent”, he added.
The High Commissioner of Rwanda in Abuja, His Excellency Stanislas Kamanzi, had brought the plight of the less privileged children to his colleagues as they tried to identify where to render their annual humanitarian gesture to mark Africa Day 2018.
Also speaking, the President of the Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF), Ifedayo Akindoju, appreciated the group’s gesture. He disclosed that the gesture was the first of its kind in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Nigeria at large.
He revealed that the beneficiaries were orphans between the ages of seven and ten years, adding that the donation of the sporting equipment is a good impartation to humanity.
According to him, it is the first time it is happening and it shows that the diplomatic community in Abuja is sensitive on how sports can affect youths positively.
“These children live around the stadium. Some are even children of Fulani herdsmen, who reside in hamlets with their parents and cattle. They have been playing tennis from the age of five and we did selection by identifying them all along. We know them as part of the tennis community in the National Stadium.
He then noted that the selected children was based on their performances and their background.
Mr. Akindoju appreciated the African Envoys, adding, “Thanks for giving the children a sense of belonging as they too promise to live up to their expectations in the tennis game.”
Earlier the same day, the African diplomats played friendly soccer matches amongst the African foreign missions in Abuja before heading to the Abuja National Stadium for their humanitarian gesture.
Meanwhile, the group on Friday, September 14, 2018 held a formal program at a local hotel. Friday’s evening program included speeches, cultural performances and a buffet dinner of cuisine of the various African states represented in Abuja.
Under the theme, “Winning the Fight Against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation”, the Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps noted the African Union (AU)’s efforts in trying to prevent and combat corruption.
“The AU has put in place the requisite legal and policy frameworks notably the African Union Convention on Prevention and Combatting Corruption (AUCPCC)”, he added.
He noted that the declaration of 2018 as the African Anti-Corruption Year provides further opportunity for consolidation of gains in the fight against corruption and enhancing regional and international cooperation in dealing with corruption.
Africa Day commemorates the founding of the then Organization of African Unity (OAU), now the African Union (AU). Initiated on May 25, 1963, the day aims to celebrate African Unity, with each year having a different theme.