Szliman Ahmed, one of the old members of AHU said: “In Africa everyone can find themselves a home; Moses, Jesus and Mohammed could all be members of AHU”. Maybe not them but three new members joined the African-Hungarian Union: Mr. Zoltán Szedlacskó who has been working together with different African authorities for several years and they have been introducing personal identification programs, Mr. András Vágó who is an internationally known expert of the national development cooperation, Mr. Balázs Bokor who has served the country as a diplomat and had a big share in organizing the Budapest Africa Forum.
After this the members listened to the reports: Ms. Györgyi Szabó, responsible for humanitarian programs reported: besides Mali and Ethiopia there are regular donations to Uganda too and it seems that there are other possibilities. Mr. Sándor Balogh, president of AHU added: it is a very important principle of theirs that they always give the whole amount to the end users, never deduct any charges. Fortunately, thanks to their contacts, the donations reach their destinations without an intermediary.
AHU think it is important that Hungarians get professional but also enjoyable information on Africa from people who know the localities really well. They have broadened the spectrum this year – besides the online surfaces now there is Tropical magazine that portrays Africa, and other places too, in a beautiful, colorful way. They have started important professional projects, such as the course titled “Africa Close-up”, the Hungarian Africa Knowledge Base or the special medical courses that address people who would like to know the continent more deeply.
In his report Mr. Balogh presented the most important events of the previous year. There have been more than thirty significant events with AHU’s participation; among others Gergely Lantai-Csont’s expedition that covered the whole of East-Africa and an Africa-day in Zseliz, Slovakia where they showed the Hungarian audience Africa and the African culture. We need to mention some events of large dimension such as the concert of KFT Band celebrating the 30th birthday of their song titled “Africa” or the presentation of the “Africa hut” in the Budapest Zoo in autumn.
It is still the main aim of AHU, as it was at the beginning, to promote the image of Africa in Hungary and report not only about poverty, wars or starvation but also present the Hungarian audience with the kind, lovable or developing, dynamic face of the continent. However, the African Hungarian Union is already looking ahead too. They have made contact with other organizations in the Central-European region and also helped create Africa unions or associations from Croatia to Bulgaria. The aim is to create a significant lobby organization all over Europe that can represent African issues in Hungary, in the neighboring countries, and also on European level.
It is a very important milestone in the expansion in Africa that there are Hungarian Houses already in four places. The center in Kampala, Uganda can already forecast serious business successes. There will be a grain dyer and a model farm, and soon Hungarian production systems can be successful in larger areas. There will be a container shop in Ghana, a Hungarian mall in Morocco in the near future. A container of used clothes and English books will arrive in Malawi as donation for a local NGO.