The Edo State Government has unveiled plans to leverage on the growing investor confidence in the state to grow tourist traffic with the repackaged Edo Festival of Arts and Culture (EDOFEST).
Commissioner of Arts, Culture, Tourism and Diaspora Affairs, Mr. Osaze Osemwegie-Ero said this on Monday at the press conference in Benin City, to announce plans for the 2018 edition of EDOFEST.
According to Osemwegie-Ero, the event with the theme: “Harnessing Arts and Culture for Sustainable Economic Development,” will put on the world stage, the rich cultural heritage of the people of the state and attract a large array of tourists to the state to explore the rich cultural heritage of the state.
“Edo State is deeply rooted in culture. The arts of Benin Kingdom are a global brand. Benin artefacts are among the most exquisite and coveted in the world history and represent the earliest civilisation among blacks, specially Africans,” he added.
The commissioner listed the activities lined up for the 2018 EDOFEST as carnival parade, theatre show, food and fashion exhibition and a gala/ awards night.
Assuring that the 2018 outing will build on the success of last year’s edition, he said the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration places high premium on the culture and tourism sector.
He told journalists that a tourism masterplan currently being developed by the state government would spell out the roles of all stakeholders in the development of the sector to unleash the socio-economic benefits which the sector holds.
He further said that several tourist sites have been identified across the state and discussions with investors are ongoing to develop the sites and take advantage of the prevailing investors-friendly climate in the state.