July 25, (THEWILL) – Engagement and Interaction at the debut Nigeria-France dialogue all formed essential starting points that will foster relationship between both countries.
The round table discussion recently organised by the French Embassy in Lagos, Nigeria, took place at Alliance Française of Lagos. And the general purpose was to promote Nigerian’s creative industry through upcoming artistes.
With the theme “Isn’t Africa already at the heart of creativity” it is meant to encourage organisers to share or disseminate ideas and opinions from the creative industry with participants present at the forthcoming 2021 October Summit in Montpellier.
THEWILL observed that the dialogue was to value the ideas from people that are working daily on that field, find new way for collaboration in order to deploy more balance in terms of partnership between France and Nigeria.
Members of the panel discussion include Judith Okonkwo, Founder of Imisi 3D, a creation lab, Kolapo Oladapo, Head of Technology & Strategy for Clout Africa, Kenneth Gyang, Director as well as Wana Udobang, Storyteller. Meanwhile the event witnessed Derin Ajao, journalist as moderator.
Cultural Attaché, Embassy of France, Cooperation and Cultural Affairs European Union, Christelle Folly, said that, “Nigeria for France is quite important, especially for our President because he knows Nigeria and he came first here when he was a student and lived in Lagos for three months. So there is a special link between him and Nigeria and this thing is still active since days back. And I am sure the idea of this new summit is also to renew the relationships between France and African countries and especially Nigeria…we can imagine the new part together and to develop more sustainable partnership.
“For France, Nigeria and Africa culture is very good and there are lot of platforms and spaces. And we are very willing to work with Nigeria’s artists and creatives and I think this is the way to achieve co-operation, co-creation and to also to create more project together and to make money also because at some points we need money. Idea is very important and essential but we need money also to achieve this.
“We are really thinking that they are upcoming artists and they have a singular way of thinking and way they have being guards of their own works. They keep saying whom they are and what they tend to do with sincerity of purpose but there is no financial support for them to carry on. We pay attention to have representation from other fields in other people to engage in cinema, poetry and others.
We actually had always given some funds and there are some programmes between France and Nigeria at different levels, at state and there is also French institutions partnership with Nigeria institution and the idea is to develop more and more of this kind of relationship.
“It is the very first time this kind of summit would be taking place. We are very optimistic about the outcomes so far. Those who are in the France and those who aspire to work at international level can achieve that. The expectation is to give a platform in showcasing them to have right partners which will enable them build their desired talents.
Audio/Visual Attaché of the France Embassy, Yoann Talhouame, pointed out that the embassy organised first dialogue in the framework of upcoming African summit friends that would take place in October, 2021, as the first dialogue, the idea was centered on creative sector in Nigeria. The idea is to pick panelists that would represent sectors that are already booming in Nigeria such as music, cinema, literature and the sectors are important to us and that’s the sector of importance to France. They are sectors that are commonly interesting between the two countries. We also picked the panelists with the way creation is working in Nigeria and how the sectors are developing and how relationship with France could be either creative developed or even input.
“We will be having up to five dialogues before the summit with different topics such as climate change, innovation, creativity among others.
“It will really be going to create a better understanding between the two countries. We have really talked about authenticity of keeping and preserving Nigerian specialties and it is really important to note that as much as Nigeria and France relationship is green both would also promote their culture.”