Friday, 5 June 2009

FOND celebrated Africa Day on May 25

The Romanian NGDO platform (FOND) and the Civil Society Development Foundation (FDSC), in partnership with the Refugee Women's Organisation in Romania (OFRR) and Save the Children Romania, with the support of the Department for European Affairs (Infoeurope Center), celebrated the Africa Day on the 25th of May.

FOND organised a seminar on the Joint Strategy Africa-EU as part of the project "Development Cooperation in Romania: Building FOuNDation for Policy Work" financed by the Presidency Fund. The main objective was to present the Strategy and the opinions of both actors involved. The seminar was also an opportunity to analyze the Romanian relations with the African continent and how they can be improved.

Among the guests were representatives of the EC, the Algerian Embassy in Bucharest, the MFA, NGOs and media. Mihail Dobre, from the MFA, raised the question "What is Africa for Romania?" and said that before 1989 the cooperation between Romania and Africa was very strong. "What remained after 1989?" is a strong political will to cooperate with the African continent. He also mentioned that official development assistance (ODA) is an area in which collaboration with NGO's is possible. Ana Vasilache, from Partners Foundation for Local Development (FPDL) - a FOND member, presented the experience of her organisation in Africa. Their mission is to make governments work in a more effective and efficient way. Since 1998 FPDL has developed a network of trainers and training institutions from more than 30 countries and 4 continents, including Africa. More than 120 trainers worked with local governments from West and East Africa (1999-2005) on different programs: leadership, strategic planning, gender equality.

In the evening, the event moved to Romanian Peasant Museum, under the motto "Africa is everywhere". Several persons from different fields spoke about their experiences in Africa and Romania. Marian Voicu (from the National Romanian Television) launched a photo competition on Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). Iuliana Rada (from FDSC) presented the MEDIP project (Media Engagement Issues in Development and Promotion). The main objective of this project is to increase the contribution of the new EU member states to achieve the MDGs. FOND coordinator Adela Rusu spoke about development cooperation policy and FOND's contribution in this area. The event was accompanied by an open fair with traditional African costumes and handcraft, a photo exhibition and a documentary screening.

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Information provided by Adela Rusu, FOND

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