Earlier this month, we celebrated our links with the African community at the Wales International Development Summit at Cardiff City Stadium.
At the Summit on 2nd May, The Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language, Eluned Morgan, and the new head of Oxfam GB, Dr Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah, spoke about the importance of international development in Wales.
Ms Morgan oversees the Wales for Africa programme of the Welsh Government as part of her portfolio. She praised the Welsh communities working in Africa for the ‘work they do behind the scenes’ and said:
“I want the world to know that Wales takes global responsibility seriously. I want the world to know Wales has always been and remains an outward-looking nation with a proud history of internationalism and solidarity with communities experiencing poverty across the world.”
The Minister also thanked the people of Wales who collectively have raised £1m for Disasters Emergency Committee and its Cyclone Idai appeal.
Dr Sriskandarajah – who is known as Danny – was recently appointed as head of Oxfam GB. He previously led CIVICUS, the Johannesburg-based alliance of civil society organisations, and was the youngest ever Director General of the Royal Commonwealth Society. He said:
“I continue to be inspired by the work we do in international development. It’s important that we have a strong, vibrant civil society. We need a strong commitment to internationalism. Without a strong, vocal, independent civil society we can’t have a strong democracy.”
The event was organised by Hub Cymru Africa and partners from the Wales Overseas Agencies Group (WOAG) with funding from the Welsh Government’s Wales for Africa programme. It brought together practitioners, volunteers, academics, diaspora and campaigners who are engaged and interested in international development.
Partner organisations including Tearfund, Fair Trade Wales, Oxfam Cymru, Save the Children and United Purpose were at the event and held a series of workshops to highlight key issues within the sector. These included sustainable palm oil, gender-based violence and sexual harassment, universal health cover, Fairtrade farmers, and youth activism.
Beth Kidd, Acting Head of Partnerships for Hub Cymru Africa, said:
“It was a truly inspiring day and really demonstrated how the international development sector benefits the people of Wales; it educates people about global issues and it creates a more resilient, diverse and creative workforce. We continue to support the diaspora community and want to promote voices from the southern hemisphere here in Wales.”
One of the highlights of the event was a performance by inclusive theatre group Hijinx, who also met with the Minister, Eluned Morgan. In 2018, the award-winning theatre company took a group of learning disabled actors and staff to tour Lesotho to challenge people’s perceptions of learning disabilities. The Able to Act project was funded by Welsh Government’s Wales for Africa programme through Hub Cymru Africa.
You can see more photos from the event on our Flickr album here.