Thursday, April 22, 2021

AFAC 2016: Regional arts and crafts market opens tomorrow


Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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The National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) has announced its readiness to host the 9th edition of African Arts and Crafts Expo (AFAC 26).

The official opening ceremony comes up on Thursday, November 17 at NCAC’s Arts and Crafts Village, Abuja.

Director General, NCAC, Mrs Dayo Keshi, told The Guardian that aside the 36 states of the federation, about 16 other African countries have also indicated interest in the one-week exhibition.

Since it debuted in 2008, AFAC has remained a veritable platform, not only for the marketing of various indigenous products, it has equally served as a meeting point for producers of arts and crafts, who annually brainstorm on how to move the sector forward.

Regrettably, government’s interest in arts and culture has continued to dwindle, both in annual budgetary allocation to the sector as well as glaring apathy towards cultural activities.

The Investment Forum, therefore, serves to bring together stakeholders from both public and the private sectors to exchange ideas on how to sustain the sector.

The theme of this year AFAC is ‘African Arts and Crafts: A Catalyst for Investment in Nigerian Creative Industry.’ According to the D.G, more people, especially the private sector practitioners, were beginning to look inward towards creating wealth through indigenous arts and creativity.

She was elated that individual exhibitors, non-governmental organisations as well as groups within tertiary institutions across the country have registered to participate at the Expo.

While accepting that the Expo has evolved over time with series of introductions, Keshi expressed the need to get the multinational organisations involved in the different segments of the market.

“In this year’s Expo, we will show that the industry has evolved. But in future, we are looking at inviting multinational companies for partnership. I feel that there must be a partnership to enable the sector to grow. They should key into a particular aspect of the Expo.”

Also, just as the just concluded National Festival for Arts and Culture (NAFEST 2016) where students of tertiary institutions were given the right of place, the D.G disclosed that the youths have been invited to the intellectual segment of the market, which traditionally holds on the second day.

The essence, she stated, is to expose the younger generations to the unexplored business potentials in the arts and creative industry. “It is to begin to prepare their minds,” Keshi said.

Participants have started arriving since two days back to decorate their pavilions. Other activities lined up for the one-week outing include a musical performance at NCAC amphitheatre throughout the duration of the festival as well as State Day celebration.

Products such as indigenous fabrics, pottery, crafts, jewellery and several others are exhibited at AFAC.

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