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    Hannatu Musawa Outlines Plan to Boost Nigeria’s Creative Economy

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    Nigeria’s newly appointed Minister of Art, Culture and Creative Economy, Hannatu Musa Musawa has outlined a plan to boost growth in Nigeria’s creative economy by transforming Nigeria into Africa’s creative, cultural and entertainment capital.

    Speaking during a press briefing she said her goal is to deliver a national strategy that supports President Tinubus’ plan to double the national economy to $1tn within eight years.

    ‘She said, “As demonstrated by the bold decisions made thus far by the President, this administration has a transformative agenda that has the Nigerian people at its core. The developments planned in the creative space will reflect this by ushering in a new era where the government engages with, and supports the extensive talent in the country in building a vibrant sector on par with global cultural capitals.”

    Dubbed Destination 2030, the initiative aims to unify all the sectors in the space under a single vision: To position Nigeria as Africa’s creative, cultural and entertainment capital. The reach will be fully inclusive, from literature, music and film to design, visual Arts & heritage, everything will be in focus and appropriately deployed in promoting Nigeria’s cultural identity on a global scale.

    According to Musawa, a robust creative and cultural economy can be a significant catalyst for growth and presents an opportunity for Nigeria to leapfrog its current development trajectory. By implementing the plan, the sector has the potential to become a substantial contributor to the country’s economic growth, contributing meaningfully to the national GDP and creating much-needed jobs for talented youth in the sector. The creative economy, culture & tourism contribute more to global GDP than Oil & Gas production, this is instructive and provides an inspiring benchmark.

    Nigerian artists such as Burnaboy, Asake and Wizkid, curators like Tokini Peterside and Nike Okundaye, as well as writers like Teju Cole and Helon Habila, plus artisans, and other contributors to the sector, are all already exporting our vibrant culture to the world. This culture, and the country’s heritage, as preserved in various iconic museums such as the Badagry Slave Museum and Gidan Makama Museums as well as recent developments like the JK Randle Centre and Yemisi Shyllon Museum, all offer a rich narrative for the global PR and marketing campaigns that a new media office will lead.

    Musawa said, “Nigeria sits at an inflexion point where our global cultural impact is at an all-time high, combined with a new progressive administration, the time is now to support the talent and institutions that power the cultural, entertainment and creative economy”.

    Afrobeats & Nollywood are now firmly part of global pop culture and we have “greats” and contemporary talent in almost every part of the space. For example, in Visual Arts, we of course have Enwonwu and the masters of the Oshogbo School who have been global legends for decades, but today we also have Rom Isichei, William Chechet and many others that are carving out a place for themselves in the Art world.

    Through public-private partnerships and funding initiatives, the focus will be on implementing strategies, educational opportunities and spaces that remove existing barriers to growth for individuals and industry.

    The work being done on the development of MOWAA and the partnerships with various blue chip private sector platforms including renowned architects, Adjaye Associates, provides an excellent example of collaboration. The Benin Bronzes continue to fascinate the world and have arguably become part of global artistic heritage, the issue of how best to ensure their continued mass appreciation while recognising their origins will be one of the top issues on our agenda.

    “Nigeria has a rich, diverse documented heritage that dates back two millennia beginning with the Nok culture, from the latter parts of the middles ages to Pre Colonial times, there have been several ancient Kingdoms including Oyo, Katsina, Jukun & Kano, and more recently others like Bonny and Opobo.

    “When this history is juxtaposed with the events that are happening today, what we see is a continuous cultural journey that has evolved and adapted, continuously providing a source of pride for indigenes and compelling interest for a global audience in a world that continues to grow increasingly smaller. What we have inherited would be a treasure trove for many countries around the world that seek to promote their brand, while we have not done enough in this regard.

    “We aim to turn things around and ensure that this is indeed the beginning of a sustainable long-term ‘revival’, I am extremely excited about the possibilities that lie ahead”, Musawa noted.

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    Culture

    Renaming National Theatre after Soyinka a fitting recognition – NFVCB DG

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    Renaming National Theatre after Soyinka a fitting recognition – NFVCB DG

    The Director-General of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), Shuaibu Hussaini, has commended President Bola Tinubu for renaming the National Arts Theatre in Lagos, after Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka.

    Hussaini, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday, described the development as “the kind of recognition one will wish for a giant like Wole Soyinka”.

    Akonitv that the President disclosed this in a tribute personally written and signed by him on Friday in Abuja, to mark Soyinka’s 90th birthday.

    The President renamed the National Theatre as Wole Soyinka Centre for Culture and the Creative Arts.

    It read: “Professor Soyinka, the first African to win the Nobel Literature Prize in 1986, deserves all the accolades as he marks the milestone of 90 years on earth.

    “Having beaten prostate cancer, this milestone is a fitting testament to his ruggedness as a person and the significance of his work.

    “It is also fitting we celebrate this national treasure while he is still with us.

    “I am, accordingly, delighted to announce the decision of the Federal Government to rename the National Theatre in Iganmu, Surulere, as the Wole Soyinka Centre for Culture and the Creative Arts.”

    Hussaini commended the President for his interest and passion for the arts.

    “It takes somebody who is passionate to remember that this kind of man needs to be recognised with this kind of iconic structure like the National Theatre.

    “It is a welcome development. I am happy because there is nothing you want to name after Soyinka that will be enough compared to what he has done in the literary world.

    “So, this is a fantastic news and welcome development. It is also the President’s interest that made him create a separate ministry for arts, culture, and creative economy because culture has always been an appendage of the Ministry of Information.

    “For us in the arts, this is a fitting reward and recognition for the great feat that Wole Soyinka has achieved, not just for himself, but for Nigeria and Africa as a whole,” Hussaini said.

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    Events

    HMCA 2024 to gather Tourism Minister, 400 African hoteliers, 15 African countries in Lagos

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    HMCA 2024 to gather Tourism Minister, 400 African hoteliers, 15 African countries in Lagos

    The stage is set this week for the opening of this year’s annual Hotel Managers and Conference and Awards (HMCA) 2024, with Lola Ade-John, Nigerian Tourism Minister, leading delegates from over 15 African countries and 400 participants across Nigeria to Lagos for the hospitality industry gathering.

    It will be held from July 13 -14, 2024 at the Lagos Continental Hotel, with the theme; Innovative Strategies: Nurturing Resilience and Excellence in Guest Experience in African Hospitality.

    Ade-John is the chief host and is expected to deliver an address to the August gathering on Nigeria’s agenda for the industry, while over 400 participants from across Nigeria are signed up for the two-day gathering. For the first time, the event will attract delegates from African countries with over 15 countries registered for the event.

    The countries include; Kenya, Botswana, Uganda, Cameroon, Ghana, South Africa, and Rwanda. Also, attending the event are delegates from the United Kingdom.

    It is the sixth edition of the yearly conference convened by Olugbenga Omotayo Sunday, director general, Hotel Managers Conference – Africa.

    According to Sunday, ‘‘The Hotel Managers Conference and Awards was envisioned for hotel managers in Africa for skills upgrade, networking and hotel job opportunities.

    ‘‘It recognises the important roles hotel staff play in sustaining standards in Africa and globally. Hence, the conference seeks to upgrade hotel business operations in Nigeria and Africa to match what is obtainable in other hotels internationally.’’

    “Our core focus is building capacities in the human resources across hospitality brands in Africa both international and Indigenous brands, in administration and general operations standards.’’

    On the choice of the theme for this year, Sunday, who is also lead consultant at Tojum Hospitality, noted, “In the dynamic landscape of hospitality, innovation becomes the cornerstone for fostering resilience and achieving excellence in guest experience. This conference will unravel groundbreaking strategies that go beyond conventional approaches.

    ‘‘From harnessing cutting-edge technologies to cultivating a resilient mindset, attendees will explore how innovation becomes the catalyst for elevating guest experiences to unprecedented levels.’’

    Some of the speakers expected at the conference’s panel sessions include; Karl Hala, group general manager, Continental Hotels in Nigeria; Olufemi Abayomi, CEO/founder, Nethermentor, regional chairman, Institute of Hospitality (UK) Nigeria Region; Lydia Akuna, lecturer, Department of Hotel and Hospitality Management, Moi University-Eldoret, Kenya; Michael Pinder, general manager, JS Signature Hotel, Port Harcourt; Ekene Nnabuihe, group chief executive officer, Boulevard Hotel Group Lagos; Justina Ovat, national president, Women In Hospitality Nigeria; Molly Apion, chairperson, Hotel General Manager’s Association, Uganda and general manager, Arch Apartments and Hotel, Uganda; and Amir M. Adamu, founder and executive director, Hospitality Innovation and Leadership Forum, Cameroon.

    The conference, which will climax with the Hotel Managers Awards Night, on the second day of the event, has as headline sponsor; LG Electronics Nigeria and idsnext as co-headline sponsor as well while other sponsors include; Lagos Continental, Providus Bank, Radisson Hotel Group, Wakanow, Old English, BusyRooms, Nigerian Bottling Company, Ikogosi Resorts, Presken Hotels Group, Eko Hotels and Suites and Bizedge.

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    Afropolis, a 9 day cultural event set to hold in Lagos

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    Afropolis, a 9 day cultural event set to hold in Lagos

    In partnership with a dance company, Q Dance, Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture would be staging a cultural event tagged:”Afropolis” which would run for 9 days at Onikan, Lagos Island.

    According to the lead organiser of the event and brain behind Q Dance, Qudus Onikeku, at a town hall meeting held at J.Randle Centre for Yoruba Culture and History, Onikan, on Wednesday, 10th July 2024, the event which would be running between October 26th and November 3rd, would be a world-class cultural event that would showcase talents, ideas and creativity in which technology would also play a key role.

    Speaking further, Onikeku explained that his Q Dance Company is a pre-eminent creative agency that uses dance, music and creativity as capacities for human development, operating as a community centre in Lagos, Nigeria. And it, therefore, was not a surprise that Onikeku could come up with such a concept like Afropolis in collaboration with the Lagos State Government.

    Explaining the concept of Afropolis further, Onikeku said, ” it is proposing an Afrocentric technocultural approach for future making, through collaboration between emerging technologies and emerging artists, who perceive technology not as a solution but as a tool for understanding and imagining a balanced future.”

    And on collaborating with the Lagos State Government on the project, Onikeku rationalised that, ” sincerely, this is an idea and project that we cannot execute alone due to the huge financial implications. I appreciate Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwoolu, through the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture for being a partner. This indicates a government that is ready to support the youths and help them grow.”

    In her keynote address towards the tail end of the town hall meeting, the Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka, emphasised that, “Afropolis is not just an event; it is a celebration of our rich cultural heritage, creativity, and innovation. It is a platform where African creatives can come together to showcase their talents, exchange ideas, and collaborate on groundbreaking projects. This festival is a testament to the vibrant and dynamic spirit of our continent.”

    Speaking further, the elegant Commissioner asserted that, “Lagos, as the host city, is proud to be at the forefront of this cultural revolution. Our city is renowned as the largest black cultural melting pot in the world, and we continue to lead in various creative sectors such as music, fashion, gaming, tech, design, film, dance, AI, and research. Our young talents are making significant strides on the global stage, and events like Afropolis provide them with the visibility and opportunities they deserve.

    “Over the past few years, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture has been committed to supporting and nurturing our creative industries. We have made significant investments in infrastructure, such as renovating key cultural sites and establishing new venues for arts and performances. These efforts ensure that our artists have the platforms they need to thrive.

    “The essence of AFROPOLIS lies in its ability to bring together a diverse array of creative minds. Imagine the vibrant fusion of traditional and modern expressions that will be on display, from indigenous crafts to cutting-edge digital art. This melting pot of ideas and talents promises to be an unforgettable experience for both participants and attendees.

    “As we gather here today, it is also important to reflect on the historical significance of Onikan. This area has long been a cultural hub, and hosting Afropolis here is a fitting tribute to its legacy. The J.Randle Centre for Yoruba Culture and History, in particular, stands as a beacon of our rich heritage and offers the perfect backdrop for this celebration.” She explained.

    There was a question and answer session before the town hall meeting moderated by popular stand-up comedian, Gbenga Adeyinka, came to a close.

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