Los Angeles will join other U.S. cities and African countries in commemorating the 39th Africa Day with a free one-day cultural festival on Saturday, May 26, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Carson at California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Africa Day Los Angeles 2012, will feature arts, crafts, business development, music, dancing, and food from the African Diaspora. Presented by the Vuvuzela Foundation, a Los Angeles-based African media and marketing organization, the 2012 event is themed “Akwantukesse,” which is Ghanaian for “the great journey,” and will be a “homecoming of our brothers and sisters,” say organizers Aya Charlotte Kouassi (Ivory Coast) and Isaac Appiah (Ghana).

According to the U.S. Census, it is estimated that the current population of African immigrants to the United States is about 881,300. In Los Angeles County, there are about 26,000 Africans representing almost 3 percent of the Black population. African countries in Los Angeles County with the most immigrants include Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa.

Elected officials, civic, business, and community leaders will join the South African Consul General Cyril Sibusiso Ndaba and the Los Angeles African and CariCom (Caribbean Community) Consular Corps, at the invitation only “Taste of Africa” VIP cocktail reception on Friday, May 25, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Dominguez Hills Loker Student Union in Ballroom C.

As a part of Friday’s reception, there will be a ceremony highlighting the cultural induction of four African Americans into their African tribes after having traced their ancestry to Africa. The inductees will be accepted as members of their adopted tribes and will participate in various local cultural outreach and events, both here in the United States and in Africa. The inductees will also have the privilege of becoming members of the community at large; an honor that is also extended to them when they visit their African hometown.

The inductees are:

*James Westbrooks (Kenya), field representative for state Senator Curren D. Price

*Darrell Smith (Angola), vice president, community development & marketing for the Africa Channel

*Jasmyne Cannick (Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea), political consultant and journalist

*Lynn Whitley (Sierra Leone), communications director for the Africa Channel The 2012 Africa Day celebration is sponsored in part by: CaribPress, Afrozon Social Network, NIX Financial, Northgate Financial, MoneyGram, JONS, and Image Global.

African Day was established to commemorate the founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on May 25, 1963, when leaders of 30 of the then 32 independent African states signed a founding charter in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In 1991, the OAU established the African Economic Community, and in 2002 the OAU established its own successor, the African Union. Even though the OAU is now referred to as the African Union, the name and date of Africa Day was retained as a celebration of African unity with celebrations held annually throughout Africa’s 54 countries, as well as by Africans and African Americans in the Diaspora, including the U.S.

For more information on Africa Day, please call (323) 993-8662.