JAM | Jun 4, 2023

Ethiopian Consulate powers Africa Day celebrations at Buff Bay Primary

/ Our Today

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Yodit Getachew Hylton, Honorary Consul of Ethiopia in Jamaica. (Photo: Contributed)

The Consulate of Ethiopia in Jamaica commemorated the 60th anniversary of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), now known as the African Union (AU), Africa Day, on May 25, at Buff Bay Primary School in Portland. 

Speaking at the event, Yodit Getachew Hylton, Honorary Consul of Ethiopia in Jamaica said, “This is indeed a special day for me! I am privileged to be a part of this year’s celebration of Africa Day 2023 in the parish of Portland here, at Buff Bay Primary School.”

She reminded the guests gathered, that “[I]t was on this date in 1963, that 32 heads of independent African states met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia along with leaders from African liberation movements to establish a way forward for Africa’s complete independence from imperialism, colonialism and apartheid. Ethiopia’s former Emperor Haile Selassie, and other important figures, were the founding fathers of this trailblazing organisation.  

Continuing, she further said, “This celebration of the 60th anniversary is an opportunity to recognize the role and contribution of the founders of the continental organisation, and many other Africans on the continent and in the diaspora, who have contributed greatly to the political liberation of the continent, and equally, to the socio-economic emancipation of Africa.“

Founding leaders of the Organization of African Unity, now renamed the African Union. (Photo: Contributed)

She also commented that, it was an opportunity to share the information, knowledge and best practices of the past and to encourage each other to take on the vision of the AU for Africa, as well as to drive the realization of the “Africa We Want”, under the agenda of 2063 by which time most countries in Africa should achieved developed country status. 

Speaking further, she said “It is also a great moment for Jamaicans, the people from the wider Caribbean, as well as Africans,  to reflect on the spirit of pan-Africanism their roots, which connects the past to the present and to the continent’s aspirations for the future.” 

Before a group of dignitaries gathered, including high commissioners and representatives of high commissions of the continent, the Charles town Maroons made a superb cultural presentation.

The Honorary Consul commented on their performance thus: “Speaking after the wonderful presentation of the Charles Town Maroons is a treat for me, as the link to Africa is clear for all to see and to remember.”

As a part of the grand theme:  “Our Africa Our Future”, Hylton made an impassioned speech, which detailed the actions necessary to be taken to ensure the success of the current generation’s children by exposing them to their African roots. 

(Photo: Contributed)

She said, “This new generation of children, here at the Buff Bay Primary School, must be taught through a changed curriculum the benefits of deepening their knowledge of Africa. We could start by introducing the teachings of Jamaica’s National Hero, Marcus Mosiah Garvey, and his love for and understanding of the potential of the African continent many decades ago.”

Hylton also took the opportunity to thank the Government and people of Jamaica, for this second staging of the National Africa Day Celebrations in Jamaica, which affirms the historic, cultural, economic and people-to-people connections to the African continent. In particular, she thanked the Minister of Culture Olivia Grange, and her education counterpart Fayval Williams for their contributions to the success of this year’s celebrations.

Yodit Getachew Hylton, Honorary Consul of Ethiopia in Jamaica, poses for a photo alongside Jamaican Culture Minister Olivia Grange as the consul joined Buff Bay Primary in celebrating Africa Day on May 25, 2023. (Photo: Contributed)

In concluding her speech, Hylton stated, “Once again, I congratulate the Government and people of Jamaica, as well as the people here at the Buff Bay Primary School and the parish of Portland for this very appropriate celebration of Africa Day 2023.”

After her presentation, the Honorary Consul warmly invited all to visit the Ethiopian exhibition booth, to see the display of goods and services of Ethiopia. The Ethiopian exhibition displayed Ethiopian flags, artifacts and educational posters/material about the country. 

Hylton also conducted a demonstration of a traditional Ethiopian Coffee ceremony, and served Ethiopian traditional cuisine Injera, Wat & Defo Dabo. The students, teachers and the Maroon community had the opportunity to sample Ethiopian traditional food and coffee. 

(Photo: Contributed)

Finally, complementing the Africa Day celebration was an African fashion show displaying traditional Ethiopian clothes as well as West African attire. The music and dance by the Charles Town Maroons, as well as the children of Buff Bay Primary, were very entertaining.  

The school and the Charles Town Maroon communities led a colorful march around the town of Buff Bay, in which the Honorary Consul participated. The march captured the spirit of Africa in the community with the vibrant drumming, dancing, and clothing of the parade. 


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