Why we chose Nigeria to present African culture to the world – UNWTO

By Paschal Emeka, Abuja

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) says Nigeria was chosen to present African culture to the world because of its rich cultural heritage and its comparative advantage in the creative industry.

The UNWTO Secretary General, Mr. Zurab Pololikashvilli, disclosed this on Monday in Lagos, at the opening of an expert workshop of the Organization’s maiden Global Conference on Linking Tourism, Culture, and the Creative Industry.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the three-day conference is being held at the historical edifice National Arts Theatre, which is under renovation.

Addressing participants at the experts’ workshop, Pololikashvili decried that African culture was not presented outside of the country like it is.

He said the strategy adopted by the UNWTO to address the challenge was to come under one umbrella with their partners to hold the maiden conference to agree on the modalities to promote African culture outside of the continent.

“I do not think that there is a better place to start the legacies than Nigeria and at this vertical theatre, a historical landmark of the country undergoing renovation.

“We want to support and promote African culture and creative industry to tourists all around the world.

“So, our presence here today is the first pilot project to promote the culture of Africa, from Nigeria,” he said.

The UNWTO boss also underscored the role of tourism as a driver of growth and opportunity for employment creation.

He said there was a huge talent pool in the continent that was waiting to be tapped as well as a lot of opportunities and space for investments in the sector.

“I am, therefore, very happy that we want to use these three days here in Nigeria to talk, to discuss, to entertain ourselves

“We will discuss a lot of challenges we have on the continent and please, let us be active and let us participate in these very important and historical days,” he said.

NAN reports the event, which was attended by participants from UNWTO member countries, featured discussions with the students on tourism and its importance to development.

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