Director-General of National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, has said that plans by the federal government to properly rebrand and harness culture, tourism and travel sectors would improve the economy.
Besides, Runsewe, who lauded the federal government’s plans to rebrand culture and tourism, said such plans would fast track development of Africa’s economy which was already embodied in full exploitation of vast potential of culture, tourism and travel sectors.
He said in an address delivered at this year’s Akun-Day Festival put together by the people of Akungba Akoko South West Local Government Area of Ondo State.
Runsewe, while noting that the key to development of Africa’s economy was embodied in full exploitation of vast potential of culture, tourism and travel sectors said effort was ongoing to sensitize key players in the sectors with a view to reviving Africa’s economy.
He said: “As I have always emphasized, the key to the development of the African economy lies in the culture, tourism and travel sectors.
“As the President of World Crafts Council (African Region), it is my determination to mobilize and sensitize key players in the sector not just in Nigeria but throughout Africa towards optimizing the vast potential in this sector.
“In pursuance of this goal, we have been to Ghana, Botswana, Burkina Faso, South Africa, among other countries, propagating the gospel of culture, tourism and travel industry as key sectors for job creation, employment generation and drivers of the GDP of African nations. The advocacy is continuing.
“With the revival and rebranding of this festival, the community of Akungba Akoko has once again found a viable cultural platform for the preservation and marketing of Nigerian cultural heritage as well as a forum for unifying the people of the community, state and the nation at large.
“Certainly, the different events and segments of the Akun-Day Festival will have a far reaching socio- economic impact on the people of the community and the state both during and after the Festival.
“Indeed Festivals remain one of the fastest growing forms of tourists attraction and if well packaged and organized, have a tendency of injecting extra revenue into the economy of the host community through such dynamics as local transportation, hotel accommodation, food vending and more importantly, empowering our artists through increased direct sales.
“I therefore wish to call on interest groups and the organised private sector to assist by investing in this Festival in order for it to achieve its laudable goals of stimulating grassroots development, especially with our youths and women. I also appeal to our youths to seize the opportunities inherent in this Festival to improve their creative works, and for economic empowerment and networking.
“I warmly commend, His Royal Majesty, Oba Isaac Sunday Adeyeye Ajimo III, the Alale of Akungba Kingdom, the Oba-in-Council, and the good people of Akungba Akoko for reviving, rebranding and implementing Akun-Day Festival, a cultural heritage of our people. It is indeed a worthy cultural endeavour.”
By Foluso Ogunmodede