Briefing newsmen on preparation for the event billed to hold between May 30 and June 11 in Abuja, the Director of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Mr. Malgwi M. Maidugu said the expo has been tailored to encompass major components of arts and culture economic empowerment.
The 13-day expo is also expected to serve as a global market for African cultural products.
On foreign participation, Maidugu said over 12 countries have declared interest to partake and display their unique arts and crafts produces.
He said the countries are Ghana, Cameroun, Togo, Senegal, Mali, Niger, Benin, Ethiopia, Guinea, South Korea and Venezuela.
He said the reason for allowing countries out of Africa to partake was to develop the concept of the event to assume international dimension and attract international investors.
He added that in the spirit of the African Union (AU), the Commissioner for Social Affairs of the African Union Commission (AUC) in Addis Ababa, Mrs. Bience Gawanas would also lead another delegation to the event.
“Her participation will not encourage sister African countries portake and enlist AFAC among the programmes and activities the AU might sponsor,” he said.
He assured participants and investors that all arrangements have been made to make the 2nd edition better.
“We are going to make sure that we utilise our cultural resources to build bridges of peace and national unity by promoting our cultural heritage such as crafts, literature, arts and festivals to see how we can infuse them into the seven-point agenda of the present government,” he said.
The first edition took place in 2008 and since then, the event has been promoted into a prime destination with many more African countries wishing to partake.
This year, the theme centres on the need to “Stimulate economic growth potentials of the arts and crafts sector.” And will be declared open by President Umaru Musa Yar’adua on Thursday, 4 June at the Old Parade Ground, Area 10, Garki, Abuja.