Some members of the Diplomatic corps have expressed desire to collaborate with Nigeria on the promotion of art and craft industry in the country. The diplomats spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja during a Cocktail Dinner welcoming participants to the 2019 International Arts and Crafts Expo (INAC).
The theme of 2019 INAC, organised by National Council for Arts and Crafts (NCAC), is “Networking Nigerian Craft to the World”.
Mr Sayyed Mahmoud-Azimi Cultural Consular, Iran Embassy, said his country would be showcasing crafts and arts such as Iranian carpets, wood designs and clothes.
He said that Iran would collaborate with Nigerian artistes in order to improve on the nation’s film festivals.
“Nigeria is beautiful with beautiful arts; also, we are here to collaborate with Nigerians in different forms of arts and most specially to improve our annual festival of films,” he said.
Mr Yogesh Singh, Second Secretary for Culture at Indian High Commission, expressed excitement being in Nigeria which he described as the home of creativity.
He said that India would be exhibiting its culture, arts and crafts, while its cultural troupe would also be performing to entertain visitors during the expo.
According to the Indian envoy, the country would use the INAC platform to revive cultural exchange programmes which had existed between India and Nigeria.
We have been active participant in this expo for years now but this year, we want to revive cultural exchange programmes among Nigerians and Indians,” he said. Mr Carlos Sosa, Ambassador of Cuba to Nigeria, said the country was looking forward to improving its economic relationship with Africa through cultural exchange programmes with Nigerians.
He said this would be possible when artists and craftsmen mingle and exchange contacts in the course of the expo. “Nigeria is doing beautifully well in promoting cultures of its sister countries which had assisted us to remain united.
‘This year, we should be able to explore our culture to translate to wealth for us as individual countries and Africa,” he added.
Mr Marcelino Ansorena, Ambassador of Spain to Nigeria, said his country wished to learn more of Nigerian culture in order to help market it to the world.
According to the Spanish envoy, Nigeria is well endowed with beautiful arts and crafts and Spain would also be learning from variety of Nigeria’s crafts in the course of the expo.
Earlier, Mr Olusegun Runsewe, Director General, NCAC, said that the 2019 edition of the fair promised to be eventful as more countries were participating compared to last year.
Thanking the participating countries, he said ‘Nigerians are hospitable, we love you, we look forward to continue giving you the best of our hospitality. This year we have more countries participating in the expo, last year we had 23 countries but this year we have received 30 countries already’. He further assured that this eventful fair will attest to the fact that they can actually network to the whole world using what we have to sell the nation, which is our culture.
NAN also reports that some of the participating countries are Hungary, Cuba, Venezuela, Austria, India, Spain, Syria, Czech Republic, Namibia, Palestine, Tanzania, Mexico and Guinea. While others are Lebanon, Iran, Cameroon, Malaysia, Sudan, Kuwait, Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Bangladesh and Israel.