AFRICA Day celebrations in Singapore took place on Monday evening 28th May 2018 at the Fullerton Hotel. The heads of missions of Angola, Egypt, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and Zimbabwe led in a toast and cake cutting ceremony to mark the commemoration of the 54th anniversary of the African Union. In his welcome speech, the Dean of the African Group and High Commissioner of Rwanda, HE Guillaume Kavaruganda, highlighted how 2018 has already been a memorable year for the African Union as “In March 2018, 44 countries signed the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, during an extraordinary African Union Summit in Kigali, Rwanda. Earlier this year again, 23 members signed the launch of the ‘Single Africa Air Transport Market’, which is part of Agenda 2063, a project that aim to promote Pan African Integration.” He also remarked that, “Africa is seeing more Foreign Direct Investments from Singapore. We take note on more stable growth in trade and this can be attributed to the Africa-Singapore Business Forum.”
During the evening two awards of appreciation in two categories – individual and institutional were given away. The individual award was made to Mr Shabbir Hassanbhai, former Non-Resident Ambassador (NRA) to Nigeria, for his outstanding service to Africa in his capacity as NRA. In addition, he played various leadership roles in the Singapore Business Federation and the Africa-Singapore Business Forum. He was also the driving force behind the creation of the NTU-SBF Centre for African Studies, of which he has been the Chairman of the Advisory Board and Exco since 2014. The institutional award was made to the NTU-SBF Centre for African Studies for its contributions to Africa on various platforms covering government, business and academia and using various mechanisms to promote understanding between Africa and Singapore. The award was accepted on behalf of the Centre by Mr Johan Burger the Director of the Centre.