British Council Indicates Willingness To Continue To Support Nigeria’s Creative Industry
By Bukar Bolori
The British Council has indicated its willingness to continue to support Nigeria’s creative industry, insisting that with the right investment and support it has the potential to be the highest employer of labour and contributor to the nation’s wealth.
Speaking at the Creative Enterprise Showcase Programme (CESP) in Abuja, Project Manager Arts and Creative Industry, British Council SSA, Uju Dubas-Agbasi noted that the creative industries in Nigeria are rapidly growing economic powerhouses that are increasingly being recognised as pathways for sustainable livelihoods for young people across art forms.
Dubas-Agbasi while noting that: “However, most (creative artists) are faced with obstacles of weak policy support, a lack of infrastructure, low levels of awareness of the livelihood opportunities that exist within the art sectors and limited opportunities especially for networking, collaborations, and skill-sharing,” added that if the industry is properly harnessed and supported it has the potential of leading the earning index of Nigeria.
She said: “To understand the state of the industry, it is important to highlight some of the several business opportunities that are integral and immensely profitable which include but are not limited to, showcasing of various creative art forms through seminars, art events and residency.”
She disclosed that: “The British Council Creative Economy Showcase Programme aims to stimulate links among Nigerian creatives by providing them access to the British Council exhibition spaces, for displays, showcases and performances.”
She insisted that: “This initiative is in line with our goal at British Council to support the creation of new art and sharing this art to audiences.
“As part of British Council’s engagement with the art community and creative entrepreneurs, we have launched this programme and it will run between the months of September 2022 and March 2023. The programme intends to grant selected exhibitors permitted access to use the British Council exhibition spaces (for up to two consecutive days in Abuja,, Lagos, Kano and Port Harcourt for displays, showcases and performances.”
She revealed that these activities are put together by curators in each of the cities.
The Arts Curator of the Abuja Project, Philip Agbese, on his part, said all that creative art industry needs to attain the lofty height is if the enabling environment and the right legislation.
He said: “The industry has huge potentials, all that is needed is the environment and space for artists to express themselves and to be allowed to run with business model in mind, then we would all see the beauty and potentials of the industry unfolding in our very eyes.”
He added that the creative industry remains perhaps the biggest selling point of Nigeria and the promoter of the country’s image, stating that “can we quantify what people like Wole Soyinka, Chimamanda Adichie, Burna Boy, Kizz Daniel, et al have added to Nigeria’s image.”
At the programme in Abuja were poets, and other creative artists from the Federal Capital Territory and adjourning states.