ECOSOCC: FESTAC 2022 Comes Alive In Tanzania 45 Years After

ECOSOCC: FESTAC 2022 Comes Alive In Tanzania 45 Years After

By Joel Ajayi

It’s going to be a new dawn for the entire Africa and other continents as over tourists, entrepreneurs, exhibitors, around the world will gather at Destination Zanzibar Tanzania, when African Festival of Arts and Culture FESTAC 2022 will come alive after 45 years ago in Lagos.

The history of FESTAC is traced back to the 1940s when certain ideas were developed on pan-Africanism and Negritude by Senegalese President Leopold Sedar Senghor, Aime Cesaire and others.

The Festival of Arts & Culture “FESTAC” the First edition” took place in 1966 in Dakar Senegal

It was the largest pan-African gathering in 1977. Nigeria was called upon to host the second FESTAC festival after the end of the first one which was held in Dakar, Senegal from April 1 to 24, 1966. The festival was to take place in 1970, but due to the Nigerian civil war (1967-1970), it was postponed to 1977.

FESTAC ’77 was attended by about 17,000 people from 56 nations. 

And since then, it went into oblivion and the heritage of Africa given by our forefathers is gradually going to extinction.

It was on the basis of this that Inspire Africa Connect in collaboration with African Union of Economic Social and Cultural Council ECOSOCC to bring back the memory to the present generation and generation to come with the aim of finding a common ground and identifier for Africans all over the world to find to celebrate African identity & pride, culture was then identified as the common unifier and the leaders.

Not only that, the FESTAC in Destination Zanzibar Tanzania will come up on May 22 -29, 2022 and will help drive the core four thematic areas which include. Network, Explore, Trade and Fun as well as bringing unity, pride and development to the continent.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of the event on Friday in Abuja, the Head of Culture And Tourism, Africa Union of Economic Social and Cultural Council ECOSOCC Hon Quadri-Adu-Kehinde said it is now exactly 56 years ago since the first “FESTAC took place in Dakar, and 45 years later since the 2nd event was held in Nigeria.

He said: “One would question why Africa found it hard to host yet another “FESTAC well like 1956 even lesser priority has since been placed on this festival which was aimed to bind and bring together Africans from all over the world to celebrate Art, Culture, Heritage and our unique identity.

“These events were meant to unite rather than divide, and that is exactly what FESTAC AFRICA 2022-Destination Zanzibar is aimed to achieve. We aim for UNITY, pride and development as we plan to activate our #ActionThe Narrative initiative.

“FESTAC AFRICA 2022-Destination Zanzibar is a festival aimed at driving the core of our four thematic areas which include: Network, Explore, Trade and Fun in as much as we would want to avoid trade and only focus on fun, times have also changed, and therefore we cannot ignore the business energy intertwined in our culture traditionally. Trade has always been a major component of culture and whether it was gold traded with art, or coins or other goods, trade has always been a huge component of culture.

“We curated FESTAC AFRICA 2022-Destination Zanzibar to offer you an experience of every touch point of culture that includes Art, Culture, Heritage, Music, Talent Discovery Tourism, Hospitality, Travel, Literature, Story Telling, Writing Trade and Manufacturing. Of course, a festival is not one without food, fashion and music”.

He added that the exhibitors in their number will gather for the exhibition:”FESTACAFRICA is intentionally curated to amplify intra Africa Trade, hence the reason for the exhibition. The exhibition is designed to showcase the richness of our continent through “Proudly Made in Africa Expo” which we are pleased to extend an invitation to all organizations, blue chip companies in Nigeria and in other parts of Africa to participate and proudly showcase what Africa can offer to the rest of the world.

He thanked the Government of Zanzibar for accepting FESTAC AFRICA 2022 to take place in their country. Zanzibar as it’s known by many is the ‘Spice Island’ situated in Tanzania This beautiful island in Africa is yet to be showcased to the world and we are proud to be associated with it, an Island of peaceful, warm & friendly people and a wonderful cross of culture & religion, with abundant richness in Art & History.

“We invite you to share in this unique richness and be part of FESTAC AFRICA 2022 Destination Zanzibar, as we usher a new dawn in Africa from May 22 -29, 2022. Our array of exciting programmes include a 5-day exhibition with about 300 exhibitors of “Proudly made in Africa & international buyers, a 3-day business conference bringing some of the top corporate leaders and government officials to share the abundant opportunities in Zanzibar Tanzania and Africa a one day golf on Africa day, extending a day of fun to the executives or avid golfers just looking for a day to unwind”.

“We look forward to hosting you in Zanzibar. The success of Africa is in our collective hands. When we connect and work together to develop and promote the continent, we will start to see changes demonstrated in Africa’s economy, as sales & trade will increase”.

While Speaking the Chairman of “FESTAC AFRICA Mr Yinka Abioye said the event will remain a platform for unlocking conversations around our similarities, differences, culture, heritage, networking trade and bringing people together to drive intra-Africa economic boost when we start having open & candid conversations.

Speaking also, an Art Educationist Fashion Designer Dr. Ahmed Marriam, expressed that the revival of FESTAC  needs the support of everyone.

According to her, when we come together as Africa, we come together as one, when we come together as one then, the continent will be better so, my appeal to everyone out there is that as many as possible should join forces with this laudable wonderful programme.

“If you are an entrepreneur, a government agency, tourism investors, artisan, musician among others, there is a space for you as far as this project is concerned. Let’s come together through our different engagements to make it happen and take your business to Africa. She appealed.

Also, an elated founder Naija Ibile Tourism,Summit and Expo, Amb. Kayode Adeshola who was born in 1977 when Nigeria hosted the second edition enumerated a lot of benefits from the festival.

He said: “FESTAC is our event to showcase our trade, culture, heritages, it is an opportunity to show the world those things embedded in Africa,

“Africa is a great continent; let us move to Tanzania to show the whole world the reason for our culture and tradition.

While speaking on the benefits of FESTAC in Zanzibar; Amb. Adeshola said that the FESTAC 2022 will change the negative narratives about the continent as participants will all smile home with profits among others.

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Aime CesaireECOSOCCFESTACLeopold Sedar Senghor