African embassies and consulates accredited in Budapest celebrated the 51st anniversary of the foundation of the African Union predecessor in Vajdahunyad Castle in Varosliget on the traditional Africa Day. “The success of the evening, the high number of participants indicate that interest in Africa is rising again”, said Mr. Sándor Balogh, President of the African-Hungarian Union. The civil organization has been working together with the diplomatic corps in organizing the event for several years.
The Guest of Honor of the event, Mr. János Maronyi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, who is leaving office, said that he considers global opening one of the greatest successes of the Hungarian foreign policy of the past four years, and within this the strengthening of African relations. He reminded us that the Africa Forum was held in Budapest last year with the participation of several African politicians. H.E. Lounés Magramane, Ambassador of Algeria in Hungary, the Dean of African Ambassadors expressed his hope that the new ministerial structure in which matters of foreign policy and economy will be jointly handled, will further strengthen African-Hungarian economic relations. Hungarian diplomacy is strengthening these relations too. Next year Hungary is planning to participate actively in the year of European development, said Mr. László Vízi, Head of Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Budapest will again be home of prestigious events that deal with Africa too.
It is also a sign of intensifying relations that Hungarian Trade and Commercial Centers (HTCC) will open in two African countries: in Blantyre, Malawi and in Banjul, Gambia. Mr. Gáspár Gulyás, UN Ambassador for Gambia, who has worked a lot for the opening of the houses said that Gambia is mainly considered worldwide as a major touristic destination. Hotels are already full and the season is only coming in autumn. This way Hungarian investors could be seriously interested in developing Gambian tourism. To get to Africa will be much easier soon as the rapid development of the continent will bring along the increase in the number of flights there. Mr. András Földvári, Representative of Turkish Airlines announced that new flights will be launched to Bamako and Conakry too.
The most important announcement of the evening was Mr. Jozsef Steier, Honorary Consul of Guinea’s, who said that the President of the country, Dr. Alpha Condé visits Budapest in autumn.