Akwa Ibom is set to host the first edition of the food and cultural festival for the Economic Community of West African States.
The Director General of the ECOWAS Food and Cultural Festival, Mr Felix Ihonre, who made the disclosure in Uyo on Wednesday, said the festival would hold from April 25 to April 29.
Ihonre said that the theme of the festival is: “Celebrating Africa’s Cultural Heritage for Peace and Development”.
He said the programme would promote the rich cultural heritage of Nigeria and bring together stakeholders from all walks of life to articulate positive action plans as well as strategies on how to end poverty in the country.
Ihonre further said that the event would give Akwa Ibom the opportunity to showcase its rich cuisines and boost the internally generated revenue of the host state in particular and Nigeria at large.
“This all-important event aims to attract foreign investors/investments to the host state, Nigeria and the ECOWAS region.
“It will promote African cultural heritage, food/hospitality industries for tourism, peace and development; promote a region for sustainable/ qualitative/quantitative food, cultural and industrial revolution.
“Promote friendship, peace, economic integration and trade in ECOWAS with the global community; expose the economic/cultural potential of host state/country /ECOWAS to the world.
“It will also promote youth development, employment and internal revenue to the host state, country and ECOWAS.
“The event is in partnership or sponsorship of the Federal Government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture and other MDAs.
‘It will also be a collaboration of the host state, Akwa Ibom state through the Ministry of Culture and Tourism,” he said.
According to him, the goal of the event is geared toward a food and cultural revolution in West Africa.
The DG said it was also for peace, security, sustainable development and investment that would promote a source of livelihood for employment and nutrition.
He noted that the programme would be on a rotational basis and would bring more economic fortune to the state.
“It will showcase the host country’s potential to the world and promote peace and cordiality within the 15- member countries of ECOWAS.
“The main event will be cultural floats from across the nation, we will have a session with students and youths, where they will be engaged in essay competitions in food security,” he explained.
The Chairman, Local Organising Committee, Mr Lawrence Umoren, said that Akwa Ibom had been adjudged to be one of the cleanest, safest and most peaceful states with a good road network.
Umoren said that it was high time for the people of the Akwa Ibom to showcase to the world the rich culture and cuisines of the state.