Building a stronger and more resilient African community in New Zealand is the aim of UBUNTU, New Zealand's first-ever national African Forum which is being held in Alexandra Park in Auckland on 21 July.
The forum, which is being organised by the Office of Ethnic Affairs, aims to initiate discussion on how African people can unite to build a stronger and more resilient community by tackling some of the challenges and opportunities faced by African migrants in New Zealand.
The 2006 Census indicated around 15,000 people of African origin live in New Zealand, most in Auckland and many from different ethnic groups.
UBUNTU is an African term that broadly means 'humanity to others' and Mervin Singham, the Director of OEA, says this term embodies the spirit of the Forum.
"It's about empowering the African community to address critical issues and help raise their profile as a community. This helps to more fully integrate the community, gives them a stronger sense of belonging and inclusion and helps to build a better New Zealand for all of us."
Mr Singham said the Forum would focus on other issues important to the African community such as forging stronger economic ties with Africa, building strong leadership within the NZ-based community, addressing negative media portrayal and topics about African youth, women and health.
"There will also be a strong focus on celebrating the rich culture and traditions that the African community has brought to New Zealand."
Speakers at the Forum include Hon Judith Collins, Minister for Ethnic Affairs, Gregory Fortuin, Former Race Relations Conciliator and Families Commissioner, Chris Jones, Hon Consul to Botswana, Dr Camille Nakhid, Chair of Auckland Council Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel, Dr Muhammed Musa from Canterbury University and Dr Mustafa Farouk from the Hamilton Ag Research Institute.
The Forum runs from 9.00am-4.00pm on 21 July 2012 at the Hobson Room, Alexandra Park, Greenlane Road West, Auckland. It is open to everyone but participants need to register by emailing email@example.com or by calling the Office of Ethnic Affairs on (09) 362 7981.
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