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    Tourism leaders place African focus on global challenges.

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    In view of addressing the challenges of the African tourism industry, tourism stakeholders om the continent have been making efforts at finding sustainable solutions.

    One of such efforts is the conference on rethinking Africa, Rethinking Tourism for Africa: Addressing global challenges; promoting investment and partnerships, which brought experts to deliberate on the African perspectives to global challenges, highlighting the need for investments towards a greener tourism sector and access to finance within the sector and the need to further strengthen public-private collaboration at every level.

    The conference was structured around two thematic sessions with a ministerial panel on addressing global challenges followed by a second one focusing on promoting investment and partnerships in tourism for economic development.

    At the conference, African tourism ministers set out visions.

    The visions, among other things, aim to reflect the heightened relevance of tourism as a solution to a range of global challenges and pillar of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

    Steven Obeegadoo, deputy prime minister, Minister of Housing and Land Use Planning and Minister of Tourism for the Republic of Mauritius, and vice-chair of the UNWTO executive council, joined Albert Muchanga, Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals, African Union, who delivered the keynote address.

    As well, a special Ministerial Panel Session focusing on global challenges featured contributions from the ministers of tourism of DR Congo, Didier Mazenga Mukanzu; Ghana, Mohammed Ibrahim Awal; Kenya, Peninah Malonza, and Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage of Zambia, Rhodney Sikumba, as well as Lisa Singh, the UN Resident Coordinator for Mauritius and Seychelles and Nazia M Habib, a professor and head, Centre for Resilience and Sustainable Development at the University of Cambridge.

    In line with UNWTO’s priorities for the sector, the second session put the focus on the importance of building strategic relations and partnerships as well as the vital need for more and better-targeted investments in tourism, building tourism intelligence particularly in projects with the potential to deliver greater sustainability, resilience and inclusivity. Natalia Bayona, UNWTO executive director, opened the session with an overview of the tourism investment climate followed by presentations by Kevin Ramkaloan, CEO, Business Mauritius, and messages from Chileshe Mpundu Kapwepwe, secretary general of The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and Leila Farah Mokaddenm, director general, Southern Africa Region, African Development Bank.

    Philda Kereng, Botswana’s Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Conservation and Tourism and Siandou Fofana, Minister of Tourism, Republic of Côte d´Ivoire, also contributed their unique, expert insights into rethinking tourism investments and partnerships. They were joined by Amanda Serumaga – Resident Representative, United Nations Development Programme for Mauritius and Seychelles, Michaella

    Rugwizangoga, chief tourism officer, Rwanda Development Board and Mamadu Serifo Jaquite, Mamadu Serifo Jaquite, Commissioner in charge of the Department of Human Development of the West African Monetary and Economic Union.

    The conference culminated with the presentation of the Mauritius Declaration by the host country and UNWTO. The program of actions proposed in the Mauritius Declaration, aims to promote sustainable and resilient tourism ecosystems through multi-sectoral partnerships, ethical practices, investment promotion, nature-based solutions, decarbonization, coordination of public health, policy alignment and data driven decision-making. This program includes a range of measures, including: encourage partnership and tourism ethics;

    promotion of investment, innovation and accessibility to financing; public health coordination and crisis management; integration of internal and regional tourism; encouragement of responsible and solidarity tourism; implementation of blue tourism; partnerships between public, private and community actors and models of governance; and Pan-African Fund for Sustainable Tourism and to enable the programme to be carried out under the best possible conditions.

    The declaration also calls for the support, in accordance with their respective mandates, of the Member States of the UNWTO, the African Union Commission, the regional economic communities organizations, regional aviation institutions, banking institutions, the African Development Bank, international aid partners, donor communities and financial institutions.

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    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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    Ecobank’s “Adire Lagos” opens in grand style with over 100 exhibitors

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    Ecobank’s “Adire Lagos” opens in grand style with over 100 exhibitors

    The annual Ecobank “Adire Lagos” exhibition has taken off in grand style with over 100 exhibitors showcasing their wares. The 4-day fair which opened June 14 and ends 17th, is taking place at the Ecobank Pan African Centre (EPAC) in Lagos.

    Originating from Abeokuta in Southwestern Nigeria, Adire textile is an indigenous indigo-dyed cloth made by using different wax-resistant methods to create dazzling designs.

    The four-day Adire exhibition, returning for the third year in a row, is to promote culture, tourism, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and enable them benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Some of the international exhibitors at the fair include Adire Oodua, Tampoori, Jide Batik, Janae, Asologe and host of others.

    The fair is set to witnessing influx of topflight exhibitors, government functionaries, culture enthusiasts, social media influencers, artistes, local and foreign tourists, traditional rulers, and members of the diplomatic community. It provides an exceptional opportunity to network with entrepreneurs, shoppers, and everyone in the business of Adire.

    Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Executive Director, Commercial Banking, Ecobank Nigeria, Kola Adeleke said the exhibition is part of the efforts of the bank to support the creative industry in the country, adding that it was also to promote micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and help them benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

    According to him, “As you all know, we are part of a Pan African bank which operates in 33 countries of Africa. We always look out to support various initiatives on the continent and this adire exhibition fits into the scheme. As you can see, today, we have over 100 merchants who are being given the opportunity to showcase their adire products. This is the biggest that we’ve ever seen.

    It is an international exhibition. We want to support them all the way, train them and make them international brands with indigenous backgrounds. We want to ensure they are able to export their locally-created products across the continent. This is also one way to support the Nigerian economy.”

    Exhibitors and attendees alike were enthusiastic and full of commendation for Ecobank. Ecobank Nigeria, a key driver of tourism, culture and the creative industries in Nigeria, recently hosted the +234Art, a 10-day art fair dedicated to nurturing and uplifting the burgeoning art industry in Nigeria.

    The fair provided a platform to support emerging artists and encourage increased interest in art acquisition; the bank organised the Photography, Art, and Design Exhibition (PADE) to commemorate World Photography Day in 2022; the bank also partnered “Songs & Stories” With Cobhams Asuquo; Redbull Dance Your Style; BellaNaija Style Summit and Loosing Daylight (An exhibition of the history of Nollywood organised by Nse Ikpe-Etim)

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    Makinde Inaugurates New Olubadan Palace, Says 11 LGAs To Maintain Edifice

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    Makinde Inaugurates New Olubadan Palace, Says 11 LGAs To Maintain Edifice

    Ahead of the formal coronation of the new Olubadan of Ibadan Land on Friday, July 12, 2024, the new Olubadan Palace was on Wednesday evening commissioned in Ibadan, by the Oyo State governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde.

    Akonitv reports that the new Palace project was initiated by the immediate-past administration of late Governor Abiola Ajimobi.

    Governor Makinde, who took to his verified social media handles on Wednesday night to disclose the development, thanked the late Governor Ajimobi; a former President of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII), Chief O. O. Bello; Chief Bayo Oyero, and all Ibadan indigenes, who contributed to make the project a reality.

    He added that for the second phase of the palace, the State government will include renovating the Bower’s Tower in order to boost tourism in the State.

    Makinde wrote: “This evening, we commissioned the new Olubadan Palace in Ibadan. The event gave us an opportunity to acknowledge and thank everyone who made it possible including former Governor Abiola Ajimobi who started it, the former President of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII), Chief O. O. Bello, Chief Bayo Oyero, and all Ibadan indigenes who contributed to make the project a reality.

    “To maintain this new palace, we have established a process where all 11 local government councils in Ibadan will contribute to its upkeep on a monthly basis. For the second phase of the palace, we will also include renovating the Bower’s Tower, to boost tourism in our dear State. We are looking forward to the coronation of our Olubadan this Friday.”

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