Keijo Mikkanen, secretary general of UPF-Finland
Keynote speaker Dr. Thomas Sama
Theologian Erica Stigell
Josephine Atanga (second from right) moderates the panel discussion.
Dr. Perpetual Crentsil (second from right) is awarded an Ambassador for Peace certificate by UPF-Finland Secretary General Keijo Mikkanen. At right is Fatima Usman, the chair of AFAES.
Hon. Suldaan Said Ahmed, a member of Finland’s Parliament, is awarded an Ambassador for Peace certificate.
Left to right: Hannu Hassinen, former FFWPU-Finland leader; Hon. Suldaan Said Ahmed; Josef Svačina, current FFWPU-Finland leader; Keijo Mikkanen, secretary general of UPF-Finland
New Ambassador for Peace Hon. Suldaan Said Ahmed
Representing UPF-Finland, Keijo Mikkanen (right) receives a bouquet in appreciation of UPF initiating Africa Day in Finland.

Helsinki, Finland—UPF co-sponsored the 11th celebration of Africa Day in Finland.

A total of 43 participants attended the event, which was held on May 25, 2022, at the new offices of the registered organization Africans and African-Europeans Association (AFAES).

The theme of the 2022 celebration was “Year of Nutrition.”

The warm, family-spirited event started with welcoming remarks by Fatima Usman, chair of AFAES, who gave a historical review and presented a video.

The program alternated between presentations, musical performances and a panel discussion.

Dr. Thomas Sama, a non-resident fellow in economic affairs at the Nkafu Policy Institute, gave a very insightful keynote speech titled "Nutrition, Social Science and Public Policy."

Then theologian Erica Stigell gave a presentation rich in life experiences titled "The Protective Significance of Nutrition," in which she detailed how proper nutrition and lifestyle helped her to recover her physical health.

After that there was time for an informative and interesting panel discussion with specialists from different African countries and one native Finn. There were follow-up discussions on "Focus on Nutritional Health" moderated by Josephine Atanga, CEO at JEHOM Driving School.

Toward the end of the program two new Ambassadors for Peace were nominated, thus continuing the tradition started on the 10th Africa Day last year: a new member of Finland’s Parliament, Hon. Suldaan Said Ahmed, who gave greetings from the Parliament, and Dr. Perpetual Crentsil, who has been a wonderful support for immigrant pupils in schools. In the end, the participants enjoyed delicious international refreshments.

After the celebration, newly appointed Ambassador for Peace Suldaan Said Ahmed posted the following comment on his Facebook page (translated from Finnish):

"I am really pleased with the nomination of Ambassador for Peace by UPF. To develop the culture of peace and cooperation over all boundaries of religions are for me one of the most important reasons to work in the political arena. Specially in these difficult times in which we are living now, we all have to create hope for a better tomorrow."

At a separate Africa Day celebration organized in the Kanneltalo cultural center by the Moniheli umbrella organization of some 140 NGOs, a representative of UPF-Finland was presented with a bouquet of appreciation for UPF initiating Africa Day in Finland.

In addition, two other Africa Day events were celebrated in the cities of Jyväskylä and Joensuu, in deep respect of the original Africa Day celebration realized by UPF and AFAES each year since 2012.


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