Cultural Integration Between Nigeria & UK – The British Council Creative Industries Expo 2011

The first edition of the British Council’s Creative Industry Expo took place on 4th – 7th December 2011 at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos. In attendance were leading professionals who took part in this enlightening three-day event.

The aim of fair was to deepen the exchange of knowledge between creative businesses in Nigeria and the United Kingdom. According to the Olamipo Bello, Project Manager at the British Council “this is an opportunity for awareness, growth, development, trade and industry. We have refreshed our programmes targeted at the creative sector and this is the major beginning of a range of projects.” The British Council Creative Expo is one of several activities and events used by the council to enhance cultural integration between Nigeria and UK as well as promote the growth of local cultural heritage, industries and Nigeria’s local talent. The event is structured to be an annual one.

Several dignitaries were in attendance including Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State and David Higgs, Country Director, British Council Nigeria, Chief Edem Duke- Minister of Culture and Tourism and Mr. Ian Livingstone- Life President Eidos UK.

The event also featured a discussion panel with a focus on experiences in developing creative industries for social and economic growth while accessing the kind of relationships that can be forged between public agencies and the creative economy. Also, the panel took a critical look at the policy and regulatory models that will be best suited to generate jobs, wealth and cultural engagement and how creative practitioners, industry representatives and associations can all work together to influence this agenda.

Members of the various moderating panels were Joke Silva- veteran Nollywood actress and Director of Lufodo Academy of Performing Arts, Remi Ogunpitan- Managing Director Integrated Broadcast Services and Technologies, Ituen Basi- Award winning Fashion Designer, Omoyeni Akerele- CEO Style House Files, Efere Ozako- CEO Efere Ozako & Associates Initiative, Greg Odutayo- President National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners, Martin Smith- Special Adviser Ingenious Media UK, Margaret Bolton- Consultant UK Third Sector Policy while moderators for the event were Ben Tomoloju- Cultural Activist and first Arts Editor for The Guardian Newspaper and Seke Somolu- Writer/Film maker. Makin Soyinka, Director Lagos Film Office, Chude Jideonwo- Managing Partner, Red Media Group, Emem Ema- CEO, Vzhunmedia Limited and Gbenga Sesan, CEO- Paradigm Initiative Nigeria.

Speakers during the three-day event gave resourceful information on various sectors of the creative industry that shed light on issues facing Nigeria and projected ways of bridging the gap between Nigeria and the UK in terms of awareness, growth, development and trade. Speakers were Lanre Da Silva Ajayi- Nigeria’s established Fashion Designer, John Asein- Director Nigerian Copyright Commission, Ayo Ayeni- Intellectual Property Lawyer/Consultant, Kaine Agary- Editor D Talk Shop, Tom Broughton- Digital Media Strategist UK, Barbel Mauch and Thomas Tielsch, both Independent Producers and Representatives of Documentary Association, Germany, Seyi Taylor- CEO, Noah69 Company, Eloi Bela Ndzana- Independent film producer Cameroon, Juliet Ehimuan- Country Manager, Google Nigeria, Evelyn Oputu- MD Bank of Industry, Roberts U. Orya- MD, Nigerian Export Import Bank (NEXIM), Busola Holloway- President, Independent TV Producers Association of Nigeria (ITPAN), Bond Emerua- President, Coalition of Nollywood Guilds and Association (CONGA), Bolanle Austin Peters- CEO, TerraKulture, Dr. Will Rea- Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts & Communications, University of Leeds UK.

Other Activities during the Expo were Creative business product and service trade exhibition, a Web Clinic powered by Google, the Creative Entrepreneur and Blended Solutions: Public and Private Sector Development Models for the Creative Industries and professional clinics in Advertising, Architecture, Visual Arts and Photography and a film Showcase.

Also, short presentations on core issues were featured, topics for these presentations included mapping out Nigeria’s Creative Economy by Professor Emmanuel Dandaura-National President, Society of Nigerian Theatre Artistes and Opportunities and Challenges of the Nigerian Creative Entrepreneur by Mo Abudu- CEO, Inspire Africa.

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Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State and David Higgs Country Director, British Council Nigeria

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Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State and David Higgs Country Director, British Council Nigeria & Joke Silva- veteran Nollywood actress and Director of Lufodo Academy

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Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State  & Mo Abudu- CEO, Inspire Africa

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Mr. Ian Livingstone- Life President Eidos UK, Chief Edem Duke- Minister of Culture and Tourism & Ituen Basi- Award winning Fashion Designer

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Professor Emmanuel Dandaura-National President, Society of Nigerian Theatre Artistes

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The Architects stand

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