The National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) has officially fixed Nov. 17 for the opening ceremony of the 9th edition of the African Arts and Crafts (AFAC) Expo scheduled for Abuja.
The Director General NCAC, Mrs Dayo Keshi, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.
Keshi said that this year’s expo, to hold between Nov. 17 and Nov. 26, would be a market place for showcasing arts and crafts products such as fabrics, leather and souvenirs from Nigeria and other African countries.
She added that “it will be a unique opportunity for artists, craft dealers, manufacturers and other stakeholders to buy and sell, as well as brand their products.”
She noted that the expo, which has “African Arts and Crafts: A Catalyst for Investment in the Nigerian Creative Industries” as its theme, was geared toward harnessing and developing arts and crafts and other creative industries.
According to her, the expo will play a key role toward job creation and economic empowerment of
the rural populace.
It would also be a conducive avenue to attract investors and exhibitors from within and outside the country, as well as promote her brands and products to a large audience.
The director-general said “the expo will bring together a potpourri of vendors hoping to explore and
exploit the arts and crafts industry to their utmost benefit.
“The expo is also apt as Nigeria has recorded remarkable achievements in developing the culture
industry ies to enviable heights through festivals like AFAC.”
Keshi then solicited for the support of the private sector and corporate bodies to transform the arts and crafts sector.
She said that if the sector was properly harnessed, it would empower the rural population, discourage rural-urban migration and create employment locally and internationally.
“AFAC has grown steadily to become a veritable platform for mobilising youths and women toward actualising their talents, skills and creativity.
“The expo has lived up to its expectation of regional integration and unity, as well as bringing to the fore the economic opportunities that abound in the creativity industry.”
The concept of AFAC, which enables it to attract participation from many African countries and beyond makes it a potent tool for realising the objectives of the African Union, the NCAC boss added.
NCAC is a Federal Government organ charged with the responsibility of coordinating, developing and promoting the country’s arts and culture at national and international fora.
The Council focuses its programmes and projects toward positively changing the perception about culture and cultural activities as serious business opportunities.
It portrays arts and culture as tool for the promotion of peace, social integration and national identity. (NAN)