French President romances with Nigerian creative arts

By Rotimi Agbana (Vangaurd NG)

Image is a pencil drawing of Femi Kuti by Osaro Osula

Nigerian arts and culture takes centre stage in the heart of Paris as the Nigerian Embassy hosts France business community and friends of Nigeria to an exhibition of some of Nigeria’s finest art, cuisine, fashion, music, film and traditional games on the Nigerian Creative Arts Exchange platform.

The Nigerian Creative Arts Exchange is a platform for promoting cultural exchange and diplomacy and aims to enhance social and economic collaboration between Nigeria and the world, by developing channels for commerce between Nigeria and France. The exhibition will take place at Le Pavilion Dauphine, Paris, and Saint Clair on Saturday May 19, 2018.

The exhibition is a platform that demonstrates Nigeria’s interest in expanding economic and cultural bilateral relations with France. It reinforces the similar commitment expressed last year when the French Prime Minister received the Nigerian Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, in Paris; and previously, when former President Francois Hollande attended Nigeria’s centennial celebrations in Abuja.

This sentiment is underscored by the fact that barely a year in office, President Macron will be visiting Nigeria to further strengthen bilateral relations with Nigeria through trade and culture. Indeed, Nigeria is France’s largest trading partner in Africa, with diversified exports spanning petroleum, pharmaceuticals, electronic and Agro-allied products.

During her speech, the Nigerian Ambassador to France, Dr. Modupe Irele said “Through the Nigerian Creative Arts Exchange, we are creating a forum where participants can make enquiries, network and build useful links in a relaxed setting. We invite participants to both experience the elements of Nigerian culture that will be on display, and to use the occasion to initiate conversations with representatives from the different industries which will range from fashion to pharmaceuticals, agriculture to real estate, finance to tourism, amongst others. These together represent a wide array of trade opportunities.”

The Nigerian Creative Arts Exchange will beam the light on other fresh trading products as it focuses on Nigeria’s rich creativity and presents a diverse display of products in the arts and the wider Nigerian culture, enabling the French business and travelling public to better understand the tremendous opportunities that lie in this jewel of West Africa.

The Nigerian Creative Arts Exchange will feature among its creative industry giants, Bisi Silva (world acclaimed visual arts curator); Ituen Bassey (Fashion); Orange Culture (Fashion); Andrea Iyamah (Fashion); Lanre Da Silva (Fashion); Chef Tiyan and Chef Fregz (Cuisine); Kemi Lala Akindoju (Nollywood) and Adekunle Gold (Singer-Songwriter).

The exhibition is proudly supported by Bank of Industry, Emzor Pharmaceuticals, UBA, Total, Lagos State Government, CIUC Consulting, Institut Francais, NEPC, CCI France Nigeria, SJ Tours, Aart of Life Foundation and French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Media Partners include Ebonylife TV, Bella Naija, Pulse NG, Channels TV, Wish Africa and Red TV.

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