Helsinki, a Finnish city full of culture and history, was the venue for the First International Workshop on Role and place of African immigrants in a Finnish society, which was successfully held on August 28-08-2010. The workshop was hosted and organized by Codewit Global Network Ry, co-organized by CAISA international Cultural Center, and technically sponsored by the Technical Committee of the CAISA international Cultural Center.
The workshop attracted about 80 participants among whom where speakers at the events who presented their latest research work on a case study. The Guest of honour and one of our guest speakers at the event, Dr Annika Forsander (director of immigration Affairs), guided us on migrants and immigration in Helsinki Finland. Dr Forsander explores the trends of immigrants' migration to Helsinki, their challenges and opportunities and proffered some solutions on how immigrants can be integrated fully into the system. In her presentation, Dr Annika urged foreigners to learn the Finnish language as part of the integration process.
The Global Coordinator, Mr Anthony-Claret Onwutalobi of the University of Helsinki, Finland in his welcome speech, reminded the Finnish authorities that are currently seeking to become more immigration friendly. A good integration program for the existing immigrants would be a good step to achieving such a goal. In his remark, Mr Claret also reminded the participants that as they explore the future of their very existence here in Finland, they equally need to look for long-term solutions to the problem they have in their various African countries. He, therefore, urged them to mobilize all their forces and use their strength in numbers to strive actively, as the architects of their own future, to change the circumstances which contribute to poverty, unemployment, human right abuses, and lack of democracy in Africa which could also jeopardize their very future.
The workshop included three plenary talks on the followings topics:
Immigration, immigrants and the city of Helsinki by Dr Annika Forsander (Director of Immigration Affairs Helsinki Finland),
Immigrants and Integration process through entrepreneurship in Finland -Dr. Evariste Habiyakare (Haaga-Helia University of Applied Science), and
Intercultural communications Skills by Mrs Oge Eneh(Culture producer CAISA International Cultural Center), respectively.
Several parallel oral sessions and poster sessions provided the main exchange forum for participants to present and discuss the latest issues and research findings. The Global Coordinator Mr Anthony-Claret Onwutalobi, and the very able organizing team (including Mr Onyeka Nnaemeka, Omorose Osarumwense, Bernard Otulugbu, Wiston Eddie, Efe, Williams Nwokedi, Philemon Usman, all members of Codewit Global Network, Helsinki Chapter ), had put together a rich program as well as a series of social events that provided networking opportunities for the participants.
The workshop was highlighted by the workshop banquet where participants had the opportunity to taste Finnish and African snacks and delicacies). For those who had the privilege to attend the three sessions, the debate and the informative presentations had all proven to be unforgettable! The workshop ended with a song by Mrs Cecilia.
The next workshop will be in Helsinki, and Tampere Finland! Stay tuned for further news!