Thursday, May 5, 2016

British Council hosts Creative Industries Conference and Expo in Abuja

The Nigerian creative industry held the 5th edition of the British Council led Creative Industries Conference and Expo at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

The two day event which is part of the UK/Nigeria 2015 – 16 season activities was designed as a platform for Nigerian and UK public and private sector stakeholders to discuss and explore areas of potential policy and practice level collaborations and exchange. This year’s edition also featured a trade exhibition where businesses and organisations in the creative industry showcased their products and services.

Speaking at the opening of the conference, the Country Director, British Council Nigeria, Connie Price said, "Both the conference and trade exhibition are in line with our objectives for UK/Nigeria 2015 – 16 to create and sustain the enabling environment that will make possible access to art, new digital work, art in public spaces, as well as working with young people."

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohamme‎d, and the Global Director of Arts, British Council, Graham Sheffield, both delivered keynote addresses on the importance of the creative economy, using Nigeria and the United Kingdom as case studies.

The Lagos State Commissioner for Art, Culture and Tourism, Folorunsho Folarin-Coker delivered a speech titled, 'Building blocks for a successful creative economy.'

Mr Folarin-Coker stated that the Nigerian media and entertainment industry is the fastest growing industry in the world. ‎"Nigerians are highly creative. Creative economies encourage cities to thrive and not just survive, as well as create strategic impact on other industries in the economy through a multiplier effect," he said.

Day 2 of the Conference had panel discussions with thought leaders from various creative fields including; Audu Maikori, Emem Ema, Akin Oyebode, Lola Shoneyin, Yemisi Mokuolu, Tom Porter, Tom Fleming and John Osadolor. They shared insights on various topics including the skills landscape and role of festivals in developing cultural as well as creative industries, and investment and funding models for the creative industries.

Also present at the event were the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright; Mo Abudu; award-winning artiste, D'banj; Hilda Dokubo; Francis Duru; Eugenia Abu; Dike Chukwumerije; Nkiru Asika; Audu Maikori; Tee A; Charles Novia, and others.

The event was organized in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.

About UK/Nigeria 2015–16

UK/Nigeria 2015–16 is a major season of arts in Nigeria aimed at building new audiences, creating new collaborations and strengthening relationships between the UK and Nigeria. Programmed in association with a host of partners, it features more than 30 projects and more than 80 events in art, fashion, design, theatre, dance, music, literature and film throughout Nigeria and includes showcases of Nigerian arts and creative industries in the UK. UK/Nigeria 2015–16 has a focus on creating access to art, new digital work, innovation, and art in public spaces working with young people. Partnerships between Nigerian and British artists, institutions and organisations will be at the heart of
the season which aims to develop skills and capacity across the creative industries. The programme will run until April 2016 creating new connections in arts, education, innovation, trade and investment.

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