Bremen, Germany—Through the initiative of Chief C.O. Onyeike, an Ambassador for Peace, the first UPF event was held in Bremen, Germany. In the Bürgerhaus "Kulturladen Huchting," guests could dance to the rhythm of the folk band FuFu and feel the African spirit undisturbed.
Reinhold Merta gave the first presentation, a short speech based on UPF’s Principles of Peace. He emphasized that peace begins with harmony within oneself, the creation of a harmonious social and family environment, and an awareness of conserving the environment.
Ambassador for Peace C.O. Onyeike talked about the problems that currently weigh on Africa and pointed out that behind violence and conflict there is always hatred; therefore, in order to create peace, hatred needs to be eliminated and replaced by love. Between the presentations, Reinhold Merta sang some songs on the topic of peace.
Then followed a brief overview of the Africa Summit in Dakar, Senegal, presented by UPF North Europe Coordinator Ulrich Ganz. Mr. Ganz reported that this unique meeting, with more than 1,200 participants from over 60 countries—from Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Europe and the United States— opened the door to a peaceful future for the African continent and the world. The theme of this first summit was “New Africa: Interdependence, Mutual Prosperity and Universal Values” and was held at the Abdou Diouf International Conference Center.
The Hon. Osamende Edorodion then gave a talk in which he emphasized that not only European and other foreign powers, but also Africans themselves were involved in the slave trade: Motivated by greed and envy, they sold their fellow men. He continued by stressing that improved education and training are urgently needed to increase the opportunities for a better life.
Finally, journalist Joseph Uchenna Ukeje presented his analysis of African society by considering the case of the Nigerian civil war. A proverb says, "If the problems in Nigeria are resolved, they will be solved throughout Africa." Nigeria, which emerged from colonization in 1914 and gained independence in 1960, has from its beginning suffered from the intermingling of two very different cultures. The south had a more democratic culture, while the north had an autocratic tradition, resulting in still- unresolved conflicts that have caused many to flee.
The event was brought to a close with the presentation of an Ambassador for Peace certificate to Nze Christian Ike Nwosu, accepted on his behalf by Chief Onyeike.
This program gave everyone much new knowledge about Africa, and we are inspired to hold further similar events in Bremen.