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Abuja Art Community, Spanish Embassy Commemorates Africa Day


Abuja Art Community, Spanish Embassy Commemorates Africa Day

By Jennifer S Kuwanta

Abuja based theatre outfit, Arojah Royal Theatre, the Embassy of Spain, Centre for Information and Technology Development and the MacArthur Foundation on Thursday May 25 hosted a roundtable discussion in commemoration of Africa Day 2023 and to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the formation of the African Union (AU)

The roundtable discussion which held at the Spanish ambassador’s is tagged Holding Talks 34.

The event was designed to draw attention to the state of the arts and culture sector in Nigeria and other places around the continent, within the context of AU’s declaration of 2021-22 as the year of Arts and Culture while this year’s theme is “Accelerating implementation of AfCFTA (African Continental Free Trade Agreement).

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Spanish Ambassador, Juan Ignacio Sell opened the floor for the discussion and expressed his interest in Art and Culture as he is himself an ex thespian.

The Gambian deputy ambassador, H.E. Abdoulie Hyadara, who was also present on the panel, shared his view on promoting cultural trade amongst African countries and the entire continent.

Convener and Artistic director of Arojah Royal Theatre, Om’Oba Jerry Adesewo noted that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) presents an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate progress and unlock the full potential of the creative industries.

“By integrating our cultural economies into the broader framework of economic development, we can create sustainable employment opportunities, nurture talent, and drive innovation.

“The AfCFTA is not solely a platform for trade; it is a vehicle for African unity, empowerment, and self-determination.” He said.

Adesewo also urged them to embrace the spirit of unity, as they honour the achievements of the African Union and pay homage to the cultural tapestry of the great continent.

Speaking also, one of the speakers, Mrs. Aderonke Ogunleye-Bello of Fame Foundation said, “Let us forge ahead with determination, courage, and an unwavering commitment to realizing the promise of cultural and foreign diplomacy.

“For it is through these endeavours that we shall craft a future where our cultures thrive, our economies flourish, and Africa shines as a beacon of inspiration for generations to come.”

On his part, retired director of culture, Mr. Dotun Osunsanya challenged the drafters of the initiative to consider a review of the document while the Nigerian Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Trade should ensure its implementation.

Also present at the event are the President, Association of Nigerian Authors, Barrister Ahmed Maiwada; award winning writer and development worker, Dr. Kabura Zakama; director of culture at the National Council for Arts and Culture, Dr. Living Ben-Iheanacho; Mr. Mike Ekunno of the National Film and Video Censors Board, and the deputy national president, National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners, Mrs Esther Onwuka among others.

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