The 4th annual Houston Africa Day celebration saw the City of Houston playing host to Her Excellency Ambassador Hilda Suka-Mafudze, the African Union Ambassador to the United States, and other diplomats from Angola, Uganda, Guinea, Liberia, South Africa, South Sudan, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo, and Tunisia.
The Africa Day occasion in Houston was hosted at the downtown George R. Brown Convention Center, and it was presided over by Fox 26 news anchor Jonathan Martin.
The event at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston celebrating Africa Day featured a lineup of notable speakers, including Mazda Denon, Houston’s Global Trade Manager for Africa, Linda Anukwuem from the AIX Firm, Tunde Fasina, CEO of Wazobia African Market, Mike Waterman, President of Visit Houston and Executive Vice President of Houston First, H.E. Hilda Suka-Mafudze, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, and many others.
Mayor Sylvester Turner proclaimed May 27, 2021, as “Africa Day,” and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee presented a Congressional certificate of recognition to him during the event.
Each year, Mayor Sylvester Turner organizes an event to celebrate Africa Day, which highlights the multiculturalism of Houston, the fourth most populous city in the United States, and its global influence. The event brings together people from different backgrounds to commemorate the cultural and business contributions of the African diaspora in Houston.
At the evening celebration, the city of Houston highlighted the various regions of Africa through arts, culture, and a culinary experience called “A Taste of Africa”, which was in line with the African Union’s 2021 Africa Day theme of “Arts, Culture, and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want”. The gala event featured cultural dancers, artists, and singers who created an African atmosphere.
May 25th marks the celebration of Africa Day, or African Unity Day, which is observed every year. The day serves as a tribute to the establishment of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on May 25th, 1963, which later evolved into the African Union (AU).
Mayor Turner expressed that Houston Africa Day is a means of celebrating the lively art, culture, and cuisine of the African community in Houston. He added that Houston takes immense pride in its cultural diversity and that Africa Day provides an opportunity to demonstrate the city’s connections to the African continent.
Chris Olson, the director of MOTIA, mentioned that “Houston is the biggest U.S. trading partner with Africa” and added that Houston-based companies have great potential in the fields of healthcare, agriculture, manufacturing, and energy, which are also among the leading sectors in Africa.
Mazda Denon, Houston’s Manager for Global Trade with Africa, stated that the growth of Africa is an opportunity for Houston to foster its relationship with the continent. Denon highlighted that the celebration of Africa Day is a platform to demonstrate this bond
The support of Houston First, Chevron, Wazobia African Market, Office of Business Opportunity, Houston Airport System, Zoa’s Moroccan Restaurant, Peli Peli South African Kitchen, Lucy’s Ethiopian Restaurant, and Who’s Who: The African Diaspora made Houston Africa Day possible.