The Nigerian government under the aegis of National Council for Arts and Culture initiated the African Arts and Crafts Expo, in Abuja, FCT, Nigeria because the cultural Industries played critical roles in fast tracking the growth of rural economies through the abundant array of crafts and ancillary industries that served as adjunct to farming. These can be found in Ivory, Bronze, Brass, and Glass castings, Pottery, Leather works, Textiles, Basketry etc produced in different parts of the country and distributed largely by itinerant traders in what then served as long distance trade.
It was instituted in 2008, and the first three editions had focused on “growing the rural economy through the crafts industry”. This was largely designed to reawaken and re-energize the sector through a well-coordinated plan of action that will attract African craftsmen and women at a forum for sharing ideas, exchange and refinement, as well as attempting to create an organized market as outlet for the sale of these crafts. It also affords relevant stakeholders the opportunities of information sharing with various producers, investors, marketers and entrepreneurs in the industry and a linkage between the financial service sector.
An exhibitor at this year’s event, Chris Etudor, a Director at Diaga Nigeria Limited, an organization that is into; art works, furnishing, decoration, and collection of art works took our correspondent round his company stand at the exhibition venue. His stand was stocked with modern art work ranging from the familiar oil on board to new innovation like oil on skin among other surface they painted on. Mr. Etudor studied environmental management but he is fully into painting as his main source of livelihood.
According to him art is their family because his father was an architect. He started painting as a kid did not find it difficult going into art as a profession.He revealed that he gets inspiration of what to produce from people he comes intact with both with and outside the country. His company produces and collect art works from Ghana, Togo, all parts of the country, etc. He admitted that the industry is becoming competitive but good works always excel in the market place. Another challenge he pointed out is that the business is capital intensive.
This year’s expo will come to an end on the 26th of April, 2014.