Diaspora celebrates Africa Day but reflects on economic and political troubles back home
30 JUNE 2014
Africa Day, the annual celebration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity on the 25th May 1963, was celebrated at Farmleigh House near the world famous Phoenix Park in Dublin. An estimated 8,000 visitors packed the festival venue, enjoying a mixture of African music, culture and food from across the continent.
Whilst spirits were high, many paused to reflect on the continued political and economic troubles affecting the continent. The Dublin Africa Day celebrations were backed by a number of charities including Irish Aid, who are playing a major part in uniting the African diaspora. One of the key themes was the fight against poverty. The need to improve money flows to developing nations has been highlighted again this month by a new report from the Africa Progress Panel think-tank chaired by Kofi Annan which estimates that overcharging on remittances is costing sub-Saharan Africa an average of $1.85 billion a year.
This years Nigerian Diaspora Radio stand was supported by Azimo, the online social money transfer service, which is working to reduce the average cost of remittances from 8% down to as low as 2-3%, with the aim of ensuring up to $18bn a year goes back into the pockets of hard-working migrants and local communities in developing countries.
Carol Azams who has lived in Ireland for over a decade and presents a show on Nigeria Diaspora Radio shared her passion for Africa and why events like Africa Day are so important. “Today is a showcase for Africa and it’s people. It’s a celebration of our cultural diversity and shared heritage. It’s a chance to come together as one family.”
Carol continued, “It’s still a challenge for new migrants arriving in Europe to assimilate into a new way of life. Even after many years living in Ireland I still find it a challenge sometimes. Events like Africa Day remind us all of home and family and that’s becoming even more important for our children. For many now being born overseas, events like this are an important way for them to learn about their cultural heritage.”
Rachael Tikare the Nigerian Community Manager at Azimo said that, “Azimo was started to support hard working migrants by lowering the cost of remittances which are the life blood of many communities in developing nations. The days of big profits are over; it’s now about knowing the needs of your customers and offering low-cost, fast and secure services. We are company built by migrants, we understand the challenges that the African diaspora face. We’ve built a great service across African and are currently charging zero fees of money transfers from the Ireland and Eurozone countries to Africa.”
Despite the grey skies and persistent threat of rain, Africa Day brought colour, vibrant music and amazing smells to Dublin. Everyone who attended is already looking forward to next years event.
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Launched in 2012, Azimo is a UK-based online social money transfer service which is changing the way people send money around the world. Honest, transparent and social, Azimo is the cheapest and easiest way to send money to 198 countries across the world, from your smartphone, tablet or desktop and even through Facebook.
Azimo is challenging the big boys of the money transfer market; with rates up to 85 per cent cheaper and a hard-working team who believe in providing the best customer service, Azimo has created a better way to send money between countries.
Committed to ethical trading, by lowering the cost of transferring cash overseas, Azimo is having a real impact on some of the poorest parts of the world. In addition, the online transfer service has committed to donating up to 10% of its profits to charities that work to support the poorest in society.
Founded by CEO Michael Kent and Marek Wawro, the company is backed by a US$10 million Series A funding round led by Greycroft Partners and including Accion’s Frontier Investments Group, eVentures, TA Ventures, RI Digital Ventures and KRW Schindler Investments.
Azimo is a financial technology company authorised as a Payments Institution by the UK Financial Conduct Authority and registered as a Money Transfer Business with HM Revenue and Customs.
For more information or to transfer money, go to www.azimo.com