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Africa Day ’24: NYC Mayor Adams raises AU flag to honor contributions of Africans

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New York City witnessed a landmark event on Africa Day 2024 as Mayor Eric Adams, alongside a distinguished delegation from the African Union Secretariat, African diplomats, the NYC African Council, the Africa Center, and their allies, led a historic flag-raising ceremony at City Hall.

This event is hailed as the most significant recognition of the African Union’s presence and influence in the city’s history.

Under a bright spring sky, the African Union flag was hoisted with great fanfare, symbolizing unity and the deepening ties between New York City and the African continent.

Mayor Adams, in his address, emphasized the cultural and economic contributions of the African diaspora to the city and reiterated his commitment to strengthening these bonds.

“This flag-raising is not just a ceremonial act but a testament to our shared values and mutual aspirations,” Mayor Adams stated.

“New York City is proud to honor the rich heritage and enduring contributions of African nations and their people who call this city home.”

The ceremony drew a diverse crowd, including representatives from numerous African nations, local government officials, community leaders, and residents. The African Union’s participation underscored the growing importance of African communities within New York City and highlighted the city’s role as a global hub for cultural exchange and diplomatic engagement.

Deputy Commissioner and Chief of Staff for International Affairs, Aissatta Kamara, said, “Today was the celebration of Africa Day by, and we did it by raising the African Union flag at Bowling Green, which is the financial center of New York City. And the United States. Today was very important for us because our community contributes so much to New York City and to the United States, and we wanted to come together to celebrate all Africans and to celebrate Africa Day and reinforce the mayor’s commitment to the community and all of our commitment to the community.

“Whenever we do anything for Africa, I’m always, almost, always, always emotional. This day is especially emotional because we were very, very intentional on doing it on Africa Day because we wanted to show once again that Africa is united and that the African communities united. We are not just people that come to take, we are people that give.

“We have dignity and we are ready to be able to support all of the Africans that are here through our engagements and to working together.”

She stated further, “Mayor Adams is a part of our community and we should support him. We should work with him. We should create opportunities and initiatives together to better our community. He cannot do it alone. We cannot do it alone. We have to collaborate and we have to do it together.”

The African Union Secretariat, represented by high-ranking officials, expressed their gratitude for the city’s warm embrace and the collaborative efforts that made this event possible.

“Today’s flag-raising is a historic moment that reflects our unity and shared vision for a prosperous future,” remarked a senior AU official.

Leaders from the NYC African Council and the Africa Center also spoke, highlighting ongoing initiatives aimed at fostering economic development, cultural exchange, and educational opportunities between Africa and New York City.

As the African Union flag fluttered alongside the American flag, it served as a powerful symbol of solidarity, marking a new chapter in the relationship between New York City and the African continent. The event concluded with cultural performances, adding a vibrant touch to the historic occasion and celebrating the rich tapestry of African heritage in the heart of the city.

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