#AKWAABA 2019: Networking: The Major Tool of Tourism Development


Akwaaba African Travel & Tourism market is an International travel, hospitality and tourism event organized in Lagos, Nigeria providing businesses, investors, professionals and buyers in the industry in Africa region to network and trade, it’s serves as a platform to impact knowledge and relevant information on trending developments and advanced approaches in the industry.

Akwaaba is the most recognized travel and tourism market in the West African region “Where Africa meets the World”.

This year’s edition and for the very first time in the history of the local government, Badagry officially took part from the preliminary stage which was a tour of the Ancient Badagry by the entire Akwaaba team alongside some groups from Diaspora warmly received on Friday 20th at the Council Secretariat by the Executive Chairman represented by the Secretary to the local government with other Executive Members of the Onilude led administration at about 4:00pm.

After much interactions with the team especially the Diaspora group led by Carol, I. Hay, Director of marketing UK & Europe of the Caribbean Tourism Organization and Dr. Kerry Hall, Director of Tourism Development of the Government of Barbados, and part of the request made by the Mayor of Badagry through his Supervisor for Education & Tourism to establish a Sister-City project between these communities in Diaspora and Badagry to strengthen their relationships, was really given a great attention by this group and promised to make this achievable for the good of Badagrians.

After the whole discussions, both the Diaspora groups and the entire team of Akwaaba were all decorated and costumed with Ankara Fabric by the executive chairman through his Secretary and members of the Executive council of the Badagry Local Government while one of the delicious delicacies of Badagry (Ajangun & Coconut) was served.

Shortly after the host by the local government, they made a visit also to His Royal Majesty, the Akran of Badagry kingdom and they were given a very special treat at the palace with presentation of Badagry Pilgrimage Certificates to the Diaspora group.

To wrap the visit up, they were also taken to some identified tourist sites and later back to 02 waterfront bar for brief reception with a cultural show performed by Gbenopo cultural troupe. After the whole fun of the day, they were taken to whispering palms to enjoy the rest of the night which was full of fun, engagement and exchange of ideas.

The next day Saturday 21st which was Day One of the main event at Convention Center, Eko Hotel Lagos, Badagry Local Government delegates arrived at the venue and were also received warmly by the Akwaaba team in their humble manner. After arriving at the venue, we proceeded to the Lagos Tourism pavilion and we were received with great honour by the members of the ministry of tourism Lagos led by Mrs Oni Ada and Mr. Babatunde Annan both are Directors in the ministry of tourism Lagos.

The high point of the program was the exhibition and presentation by all participating countries sharing their knowledge, experience and ways they’ve taken in getting to their present stage of development and revealing some of their future agenda. The participating countries include; Ghana, Nigeria, Dubai, Gambia, Caribbean, Lagos State, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Ondo State, Sudan and so on.

Also at the exhibition were various tour operators within and outside the country marketing their various packages to the audience.
A lot were learnt during the event, especially the conference and workshop segments which encompass today’s Africa needs in driving economic growth through a sustainable international and Pan-African tourism with stakeholders and top players in the industry.

Other activities featured during Akwaaba 2019 are the African Travel Awards, Live Entertainment with Cultural Display across different countries, wine tasting, culinary events, opportunities to interact with the masters and so on.

The last day September 24th, which was Lagos Day in the program was indeed the best of the rest days.

The Lagos State ministry of tourism team led by Hon. Solomon Saanu Bonu, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Arts & Culture with the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Babatunde Mesewaku and the entire Directors of the ministry alongside the Badagry Local Government representatives led by the Supervisor for Education & Tourism Hon. Apata Samson Nunayon came into the hall in a grand style to really show Lagos is indeed the Centre of Excellence and the host State.

Lagos Tourism’s presentation was fantastic from the pavilion to the organized documentary and speeches by both the SA to the Governor and the PS.

Lagos State with the performance of our own Cultural Heritage from the Ancient City of Badagry (SATO DRUMMERS) took the center stage change the atmosphere of the hall completely as everyone yielded to the call of the drums with various dance steps.

Dignitaries at the event are numerous ranging from country representatives, State Governors, Ministers within and outside the shore of the country, commissioners, Directors, Local Government Mayors, Captain of industries, and so on.

The 15th edition of the Akwaaba African Travel & Tourism market was indeed a great and huge Success.

Thanks to Lagos State Government for the enabling environment created for the host.

Thanks to the Mayor of the Ancient City of Badagry Hon. Onilude Segun Adeniran for keying into the initiative…
Thanks to the CEO, Mr. Uko Ikechi for the initiative.


Reporting from: The office of the Supervisor for Education & Tourism,
Badagry Local Government, Lagos, Nigeria.

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