Earlier in the week, news made the rounds that the Federal Government of Nigeria has promised its full support for the successful hosting of the sixth All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA), and while many simply celebrated the announcement music-wise, many forgot the benefits and opportunities that come with the announcement, tourism-wise.
The glamorous event, which is slated for November 20 to 23 in Lagos State, carries the theme ‘Feel Africa’ and was first held in 2014 in collaboration with the African Union (AU) to reward and celebrate musical talents and creativity in Africa as well as to promote African Cultural Heritage.
Nigerian tourism decades ago, was at an all-time low. Religious tourism, perhaps, was our forte as a country, and even with the crowd many religious institutions could pull from around the world, it was still from within a certain cadre of people. It limited our chances to be taken seriously in matters of tourism. In the last decade though, the tables have turned. Not only has Nigeria appeared on the tourism map, but our Nigerian talents have also become a means of marketable tourism.
At the fifth AFRIMA held in Ghana, a number of Nigerian talents took home the biggest awards, even in absentia, including Davido and Tiwa Savage. We are evidently Africa’s leading country when it comes to musical tourism.
With the FG promising full support to AFRIMA, ‘Feel Africa’, it is an opportunity to show Africans and other foreign nationals how we are setting the pace in tourism and what true African hospitality looks like.
In a statement signed by Segun Adeyemi, Special Assistant to the President on Media, for the office of the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the minister said, ”When you look at AFRIMA, it’s one of the biggest awards for the music industry in Africa, and what the government has done in the past is to provide the enabling environment for the awards to take place.
”We provided support services for AFRIMA, we gave them the backing they need and I think it’s on record that the AFRIMA editions that have been held in Nigeria have been among the most successful.”
The statement further revealed that Nigeria has relaxed its visa policies, thereby allowing for visas to be issued upon entry, and creating a welcoming atmosphere for prospective tourists.
Nigeria as a whole is a people-friendly nation. We are hospitable, accommodating and eager to welcome foreigners. With this visa on arrival strategy by the Federal Government, coupled with the Nigerian welcoming spirit and the government’s full support of AFRIMA, Nigeria is setting a pace for other African countries to follow, tourism wise.