Afrika Shrine Represents Culture, Strength, Music Of The Continent- Macron

Afrika Shrine Represents Culture, Strength, Music Of The Continent- Macron

…Visit Will Open New Vista Of Cooperation Between France And Lagos-  

…Insists State Remains Undeniable Destination For Business, Pleasure In Africa

 

President of France, Mr. Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday night made a historic visit to the Afrika Shrine, home of the late Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, describing it as an iconic centre for the propagation of African culture, strength and music.

Macron, who spoke at the New Afrika Shrine in Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos, at an event tagged ‘Celebration of African Culture’ to inaugurate the African Cultural Season 2020, said he was glad to be back to the Afrika Shrine, adding that he still holds fond memories of the place since his first visit back in 2002.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (right), with President of France, Mr. Emmanuel Macron (left) during the arrival of the French President at the Muritala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, on Tuesday, July 3, 2018.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (right), with President of France, Mr. Emmanuel Macron (left) during the arrival of the French President at the Muritala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, on Tuesday, July 3, 2018.

“I discovered Nigeria and a lot of my friends are here. I discovered Nigeria and I discovered Lagos and I discovered the shrine. This place is an iconic place and it is a place where the best of music is given. I have to say my main memories about this place are friends, proud people, proud of their culture, proud of their art and music. I have a very different view of Africa than a lot of other people in Europe,” he said.

Macron stressed the need for Africa and Europe, especially France to build a new commonality, adding that “this new commonality is not based on what is important for Europeans but what is important for Africa, about their culture, how they build their culture and promote the culture and which places are important for them about their culture. Being here, I do recognize their culture and respect their views. This place is important for Africa and their culture and that is why I am here.”

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, with President of France, Mr. Emmanuel Macron and Afrobeat musician, Femi Kuti (right) during the celebration of African Culture at the Afrika Shrine, Ikeja, Lagos, on Tuesday, July 3, 2018.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, with President of France, Mr. Emmanuel Macron and Afrobeat musician, Femi Kuti (right) during the celebration of African Culture at the Afrika Shrine, Ikeja, Lagos, on Tuesday, July 3, 2018.

He also disclosed plans to host the African Cultural Season 2020 in France, which he said, would be about promoting African culture in Europe, adding that the event was going to be for Africa and by African artistes.

“It will include people with fashion, African movies, new generation of artistes will be coming from Africa and it will be organized by them to show Europe and France” the real culture of Africa.

“The event will be financed by African leaders. It will not be sponsored by France or European businesses, but by African businesses, it is brand new. This season is a unique one and it will be the new face of Africa in Europe organize by Africans, providing what you like and what you have here,” he said.

At the official unveiling of Alliance Francaise, a French Cultural Centre in Lagos on Wednesday, Macron said the development was part of the measures to scale up the relationship between France and Nigeria, while also specifically offering the commitment of the government and people of France to development of infrastructural projects in Lagos.

“Thanks very much for being here; thanks very much for making this possible and to Mr Governor, we spoke yesterday and this morning together in the car. Going to shrine together yesterday and going to French Alliance now. It’s much more quite, much more calm and reasonable but at the end of the day, I think both of us (Governor Ambode and I) did share the same views that we can do tremendous things together.

“Your State – Lagos, is one of the main challenges of not just Nigeria but the whole of Africa. I mean this huge city, there is tremendous challenge about how to make people living together in peace, in a better place and I want France to be part of this story and I do want my country and my people being part of this experience. It means belonging same values, sharing cultures, languages, literatures, music, movies, building together projects, having common economic projects and so on, and this eco system will be not just possible but stronger staying in this place,” Macron said.

Earlier, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode while welcoming President Macron to the State, expressed optimism that the historic visit will go a long way to break any barriers between Nigeria and France as well as foster greater collaboration for economic, social and cultural growth.

The Governor said the State Government was delighted to host Macron, a well respected global leader, adding that it would also signal a new era between both countries, especially for Lagos where talents in the arts and creative industry abound.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle), with President of France, Mr. Emmanuel Macron (left); Nigerian Music Act, Bankole Wellington ‘Banky W’ (right) when Master Karim Olamilekan presented a painting of the French President during the celebration of African Culture at the Afrika Shrine, Ikeja, Lagos, on Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle), with President of France, Mr. Emmanuel Macron (left); Nigerian Music Act, Bankole Wellington ‘Banky W’ (right) when Master Karim Olamilekan presented a painting of the French President during the celebration of African Culture at the Afrika Shrine, Ikeja, Lagos, on Tuesday, July 3, 2018

“On behalf of the government and good people of Lagos State, I welcome His Excellency, President Emmanuel Macron, President of France, to the commercial and cultural capital of Nigeria and indeed West Africa.

“We are delighted and honoured to be hosting a President of one of the world’s Super Powers; a permanent member of the United Nation’s Security Council with veto rights, a prominent member of the G8 and the World Trade Organisation and a champion of Global Climate Change.

The Governor said he was particularly delighted that Macron’s visit to Lagos began on a cultural and entertainment note, adding that the French Cultural Centre and Alliance Française based in the State had always been an asset to its cultural landscape in the same way that Trace Television had also become an invaluable addition to its music and entertainment sphere.

Governor Ambode said he was very optimistic Macron’s visit and activities would boost the State’s quest to become the culture and entertainment capital of Africa, just as he said that the State Government would seek to establish collaborations with France and play an integral part of the Year 2020 African Cultural Season in Paris as envisioned by President Macron.

“With the exceptional characteristics of our State as the most populous, vibrant and indeed the fifth richest economy on the African continent, Lagos is the undeniable destination for business and pleasure in Africa. The new Lagos experience is being enhanced daily as we continue to create an enduring infrastructural and security architecture for the business of tourism and cultural arts to thrive. This also creates a platform for our local talents to feel a sense of belonging and encouragement.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (4th left), presents an art painting to President of France, Mr. Emmanuel Macron (4th right) during the celebration of African Culture at the Afrika Shrine, Ikeja, Lagos, on Tuesday, July 3, 2018. With them: Grammy award-winning musician, Angelique Kidjo (4th left); Special Adviser to the Governor, Lagos Global, Prof. Ademola Abass (3rd left); Afrobeat mucisian, Femi Kuti (2nd left); Mrs. Yemisi Ransome-Kuti (left); Nigerian Music Act, Bankole Wellington ‘Banky W’ (right) and others.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (4th left), presents an art painting to President of France, Mr. Emmanuel Macron (4th right) during the celebration of African Culture at the Afrika Shrine, Ikeja, Lagos, on Tuesday, July 3, 2018. With them: Grammy award-winning musician, Angelique Kidjo (4th left); Special Adviser to the Governor, Lagos Global, Prof. Ademola Abass (3rd left); Afrobeat mucisian, Femi Kuti (2nd left); Mrs. Yemisi Ransome-Kuti (left); Nigerian Music Act, Bankole Wellington ‘Banky W’ (right) and others.

“Mr. President, this momentous State Visit shall signal the dawn of a new era between France and Nigeria especially for the myriad of talents that have made Lagos their home,” the Governor said.

He said Macron’s emergence as the President of France has inspired many youths in Nigeria, who constitute 60 percent of the country’s population, adding that Lagos was providing avenues for youths to explore their creativity and talents.

There were also Art Exhibition, Fashion Show, display of Nollywood scenes, presentation of a painting of Fela to Macron by Governor Ambode as well as pencil frame artwork of Macron done by 11-old old Kareem Olamilekan drawn within two hours.

Highpoints of the night include sterling performances by dance group, Footprints of David, music artistes, Yemi Alade, Charlotte Dipanda from Kenya and a scintillating performance by Femi Kuti to bring the event to a close.

UNWTO/CAF Meeting: We’ll Showcase Lagos Tourism Potentials To The World- FG

UNWTO/CAF Meeting: We’ll Showcase Lagos Tourism Potentials To The World- FG

… Our Quest To Become Tourism Hub Of Africa On Course

The Federal Government on Thursday said that it has concluded plans to use its hosting right of the 61st edition of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)/ Commission for Africa (CAF) Meeting to showcase the culture and tourism potentials of Lagos and Nigeria in general.

Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed who disclosed this during a courtesy visit to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode at the Lagos House, Alausa in Ikeja, said Lagos would play a significant role in the success of the meeting considering its economic position in Nigeria and also as a foremost tourism city.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (3rd right); Minister of Information & Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed (4th right); Commissioner for Tourism, Arts & Culture, Mr. Steve Ayorinde (4th left); Special Assistants to the President, Office of the Minister of Information & Culture, Mr. Williams Adeleye (3rd left); Mr. Segun Adeyemi (2nd right); Director, Federal Ministry of Information & Culture, Mrs. Ronke Wole-Fasanya (right); Deputy Director, Ms Dorothy Duruaku (2nd left); Assistant Director, Mr. Aliyu Abana (left); Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh (middle behind) and Commissioner for Works & Infrastructure, Engr. Ade Akinsanya (right behind)  during the Minister’s courtesy visit to the Governor, at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, on Thursday, April 12, 2018.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (3rd right); Minister of Information & Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed (4th right); Commissioner for Tourism, Arts & Culture, Mr. Steve Ayorinde (4th left); Special Assistants to the President, Office of the Minister of Information & Culture, Mr. Williams Adeleye (3rd left); Mr. Segun Adeyemi (2nd right); Director, Federal Ministry of Information & Culture, Mrs. Ronke Wole-Fasanya (right); Deputy Director, Ms Dorothy Duruaku (2nd left); Assistant Director, Mr. Aliyu Abana (left); Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh (middle behind) and Commissioner for Works & Infrastructure, Engr. Ade Akinsanya (right behind) during the Minister’s courtesy visit to the Governor, at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, on Thursday, April 12, 2018.

He said though the UNWTO/CAF Meeting would hold in Abuja from June 4th to 6th, 2018, a major part of the event, tagged Technical Visit, would be held at the Eko Atlantic City, adding that the decision to hold the visit in Lagos was strategic and pivotal to the overall success of the programme.

“The choice is not an accident. It is designed to showcase to the world a city that promises to be a tourism haven, with the largest shopping mall in sub-Saharan Africa and a city which also boasts of vast amenities for entertainment, such as food courts, cinemas and playgrounds, an ample parking space and a canal that can be used for water transportation and water sports,” Mohammed said.

He said during the day-long Technical Visit, Governor Ambode would also play host to top executives of the UNWTO, African Tourism Ministers and a select group of local and international media, saying that it would be the major highlight of the meeting and that Lagos was better positioned to host it.

“The meeting will give Nigeria the opportunity to showcase itself to the world especially in the area of its culture and tourism and of course, we have a lot to showcase; our tourism attractions, our rich culture, as well as our music and films which have take the world by storm”.

The Minister said the UNWTO, a leading international organisation for tourism with a global membership of 158 members and over 500 Affiliate members unanimously gave Nigeria the hosting right for the Meeting during its 59th Meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in April 2017, noting that it was a reflection of the growing positive perception of Nigeria by the international community.

He said the Meeting, which has the theme “Tourism Statistics: A Catalyst For Development”, would be attended by mostly delegates drawn from the 51 member states of the Commission for Africa, the Executives of UNWTO, International Organisations, local and international media as well as experts and stakeholders from the public and private sector.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (right), with Minister of Information & Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed during the Minister’s courtesy visit to the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, on Thursday, April 12, 2018.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (right), with Minister of Information & Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed during the Minister’s courtesy visit to the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, on Thursday, April 12, 2018.

Thanking the Governor for the strong support so far towards the success of the meeting, the Minister commended the move by the State Government to hold a Tourism Summit on Monday, saying that the development was in line with the Federal Government’s quest to make Nigeria a top tourism destination in Africa.

“We will not only be participating at the summit, we will also be making a presentation that showcases Nigeria as the preferred destination for tourists”, he said.

Responding Governor Ambode said the State Government was pleased to support moves by the Federal Government to preserve the rich culture and heritage of the nation, adding that his administration was also working hard to make the State the tourism hub of Africa.

“So, we are in tandem with your vision and aspirations to make sure that we tell Nigerians the way our story was and the way our story is and also be able to tell outsiders who we are and who we want to be. So, for me it’s a no brainer that I need to support you because this is also in line with what we believe strongly that Nigerians ought to do.

“In the last three years, we have tried as much as possible to promote our heritage and also promote our languages. We do not want a situation where the Nigerian culture which is so rich and diverse will become extinct and that is why we must do everything in our own capacity to ensure that everything that the Federal Government is doing through the Ministry of Information and Culture, in bringing the unity of Nigerian together, is supported by this government,” Governor Ambode said.

Pledging the support of the State Government for the success of the UNWTO/CAF Meeting, Governor Ambode assured that his administration would continue to provide the necessary infrastructure that would attract tourists to the State.

We want to showcase Lagos as a tourist State; our drive is to make Lagos the tourist hub of Africa; we are getting near it; we are providing tourism infrastructure and you could see because tourism is not so much about what you see; it’s about the infrastructure that makes it to happen – the roads, the airport, the ease of doing business, the warmth and then the strength of the people because there is so much energy in the spirit of Lagos,” the Governor said.

Lagos Promises Spectacular One Lagos Fiesta Finale

Lagos Promises Spectacular One Lagos Fiesta Finale

…KSA, Wizkid, Davido, Olamide, Others Headline Eko Atlantic’s Grand Concert

The Lagos State Government on Saturday promised Lagosians and visitors a world-class, spectacular finale for the ongoing One Lagos Fiesta holding simultaneously across the five divisions of the state.

An array of A-list artistes, a new set of talented youths that emerged from the Lagos Grows Talent (LGT) competition and a spectacular display of fireworks are some of the “special effects” lined up for the countdown concert, which will usher in the new year and draw the star-studded fiesta to a close at the Eko Atlantic City in Victoria Island, Agege Stadium, Ikorodu Town Hall, Badagry Grammar School and Epe Marina waterfront.

In a press statement signed by the State’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, the 8-Day, 5-Centre fiesta has again highlighted Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s passionate commitment to the promotion of art and culture, development of entertainment and tourism and using the creative sector to engage and empower the teeming youths in the State.

An estimated 300,000 people have thronged the five locations of the fiesta on a daily basis in a multi-dimensional arrangement that has made it Africa’s biggest end-of-the-year artistic event.

“It is a fiesta that has provided direct, indirect and induced jobs to more than 6,000 people like musicians, dancers, technicians, stall owners, brand ambassadors, food and beverage sellers as well as security guards and transport services owners,” Ayorinde said.

He added that the Victoria Island zone for tomorrow’s grand finale will hold inside the sprawling Eko Atlantic City as against the Bar Beach end where the first seven days fiesta held since December 24.

According to the Commissioner, the fiesta train is needed to move from Bar Beach to Eko Atlantic City in order to better appreciate the spectacular display of fireworks that will herald the New Year at exactly 12 midnight on Sunday.

He assured that adequate parking provision has been made for those coming in their cars while shuttle buses would be available at the Bar Beach end from 6pm to take guests into the Eko Atlantic venue where some of Nigeria’s biggest artistes like King Sunny Ade, Wizkid, Davido, Olamide, Falz the Bad Guy, Adekunle Gold, Simi, Humble Smith and Osupa Saheed among others will stage a world-class performance that will be broadcast live on various national and international television and online stations.

Ayorinde added that the same high standard that will be experienced at Eko Atlantic will be seen at the other four venues to give Lagosians a memorable countdown/crossover night experience, in tandem with Governor Ambode’s electoral promise that every part of the State would be carried along in all of government activities.

“The Governor is impressed and happy that citizens’ participation in the fiesta has been exemplary across the five zones and that in spite of the unprecedented turn-out, crowd control has been effective; people have conducted themselves responsibly and no untoward incident has happened,” he said.

The statement conveyed the Governor’s best wishes to Lagosians and urged them to continue in this orderly and peaceful manner till the end of the fiesta tomorrow.

The Governor also expressed gratitude to NBplc, South Energy X, Eko Atlantic, GTBank, Access Bank Plc, Eko Hotels LTD, Pepsi, Dangote Group and JMG among other sponsors and partners whose support has not only made the OLF 2017 incomparable, but has also further developed the creative economy of the State.

Lagos Economy Benefits As December Records Huge Spending

Lagos Economy Benefits As December Records Huge Spending

…Cash Transaction Increased By N50bn In Four Weeks

The Lagos State economy has received a major boost as spendings in the creative sector records an estimated N50bn cash transactions in the first three weeks of December, according to reports monitored by the Lagos State Government.

The peak in entertainment activities and the huge influx of people from neighboring states and the Diaspora on holiday visits have impacted positively on the economy of the state at a time that corporate sponsorship of the creative sector has also recorded an appreciable growth.

In a press statement released on Thursday by the State’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, various reports, statistics and analyses monitored over the last few days captured an estimated additional spending of about N50bn in the creative entertainment sector alone within the State in the last 25days, thereby reinforcing the profile of the state as the hub of entertainment and tourism and the economic capital of West Africa.

Ayorinde said reports monitoring the current trends show multi-billion naira spendings in hotel accommodations across the State; alcohol and beverage consumption as well as culinary business; visits to resorts, parks, clubs and lounges, live theatre and cinemas; fees for musicians, their handlers and technical staffs as well as ancillary businesses like fashion and clothing, kiddies’ games and toys, specialized taxis and private security guards that all contribute into the tourism and entertainment sectors.

“What this cash-enabled December has shown is a massive growth in the creative economy sector in Lagos State. The entire state is agog, hotels are fully booked from Victoria Island to Ikeja, Epe and Badagry. There is a renewed sense of fun among the citizens and visitors. The volume of entertainment content being created for the pleasure of the citizens and media is unprecedented right from the beginning of the month.

“COPA Lagos Beach Soccer Tournament at Eko Atlantic was a combination of football and musical performances. The Lagos Street Carnival was a demonstrable evidence of the government’s assurance that security and traffic management can now be taken for granted in the state when big shows happen. New cinemas are being launched and all are recording huge box office takings. Four of Africa’s biggest musicians – Olamide, Falz, Wizkid and Davido – have had the biggest concert productions in Africa in the past one week. All in Lagos.

“And we have now entered Day 5 of the 8-day, 5-centre One Lagos Fiesta that is featuring more than 700 artistes, if you add dancers, instrumentalists and participants at the Lagos Grows Talent component of the fiesta. This is an extra-ordinary entertainment value chain that is impacting on the pockets and wellbeing of the people. This is an economic reality that you can only get in Lagos State.”

The Commissioner said not only is this remarkable development in tandem with the vision of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, to make Lagos the creative nerve-centre in Africa, but also to assure corporate sponsors and tourists that the state security and social infrastructure can support the ever growing creative economy landscape.

He said: “This Government has found a nexus between art and prosperity. Part of what we have done with care in the past two and half year is to develop and nurture the entertainment value chain that feeds the creative economy of the state. We are aware and happy that industries in the creative economy supported more than 500,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs in the past 30 months, cutting across music promotion, live entertainment, motion picture, digital media, live theatre and cinemas as well as fashion and culinary businesses.

“The night economy has fully returned and every part of the state is feeling the impact of government in terms of participation in the arts, infrastructural development, security and social amenities.”

Ayorinde said this season had become a “December to remember” and expresses the State Government’s gratitude to the Organised Private Sector that is supporting the OLF and the other entertainment events that have drawn hundreds of thousands of visitors to Lagos from other states and abroad, knowing that the state is safe and there are limitless entertainment options to choose from”.

The statement urged citizens who are trooping out daily to places of interest to follow the advice of the Police to be vigilant, exercise caution and moderation and be law-abiding, assuring them that the crime-free situation will be sustained throughout the year in order for the state to maintain its preeminent position as the preferred destination of choice in West Africa.