- Nigerian Artwork Can Make the Country Centre for World Tourism
Chief Solomon Agbonna is another Nigerian worried about the level of development in the country especially the area of tourism in spite of the resources the country is blessed with. The DOYEN of arts and founder of Aguene Arts Foundation believes that promoting Nigerian artwork, culture and tradition is capable of making Nigeria a tourism centre that would earn the country foreign exchange for economic growth.
Ogbonna, who had supported many foundations and institutions to provide youth empowerment also sponsored different groups to Europe for arts exhibition, auctions and cultural dances, all to impact on economic development via art. Recently he was given award as Agu Oyoyo of Ekeoba Kingdom, Umuahia, Abia State for his numerous contribution to the country through artwork, culture and tradition alongside former military Head of State, Yakubu Gowon who now preaches peace and unity was also awarded as Ochi Igbudu Chukwu.
Excerpts: You’re passionate about artwork, culture and tradition, how can it impact on the economy?
It has a lot of economic values, numerous benefits as seen in other countries where governments have interest to harness the potentials. But the major challenge here is that our government has shown little or no interest in artwork, cultures and tradition. In other African countries even Asia, governments take time to develop artwork, cultures and is promoting their economies. Again, you can’t govern your people without understanding their cultures and traditions no matter how educated and experienced you are.
For instance, if you don’t understand my culture and tradition, how do you live with me or govern the people? This is a challenge today. So, the misunderstanding, corruption will continue if we don’t understand and respect our cultures and traditions. It’s a duty our leaders should carry out to secure a conducive environment that promotes economic growth and peace in the land. Artwork can produce a lot of handwork, create ideas and employment. In ancient days, African arts stood as the only means people record history. Right from the time past, artwork is been used for decorations anywhere in the world.
Many Nigerians are no longer placing value on culture and tradition, how can we reverse this?
That is why Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe is one of my best friends. He said, ‘if an African who is educated, well exposed decides to change his chieftaincy title to Mr. his people should not allow him to take over leadership because he is going to westernise it. Most of our leaders are not doing well because they don’t understand what values culture and tradition add on development. Our cultures and traditions will go along way in developing the country, so we should stop emulating everything from the western world that colonised us.
Developing artworks to attract tourism…
Let me start by saying that most people employed to manage our museums who claimed they studied in abroad don’t understand that tourism must be first priority when developing a country. When you visit museums in the country, people working there don’t understand anything about artwork and they frustration their following Nigerians who want artwork as souvenir for Nigerians abroad, even an artwork of 4 weeks old when you take it to museum they condemn it as an antic. Nigeria has over 300 languages with different cultures and traditions. Do you know that Nigerian artwork is the most valuable artwork in Africa. For instance, Igbougwu bronze and museum in Anambra state that dignified Ndigbo. Igbougwu was discovered in 1938 in Isaiah Anozem compound by a retired cool miner hired to dig a system. Where is Igbougwu today?
In 1952 an archaeologist was invited from the University of Ibadan to observe the object. But today nobody cares for it and you can’t find any bronze or metal of Igbougwu and its museum that was set up by the Europeans. Today, it’s a big challenge that our government has lost interest in artwork and idea to develop it so that it can attract tourism which helps a country earn foreign exchange for economy development. A building contractor can’t deliver result in the field of medicine. With wrong people in charge of museums it is difficult to develop and attract tourism.
Kidnapping, armed robbery, killing, unemployment on the increase…
If our leadership as a matter of urgency would start doing something on the welfare of poor Nigerians that are hearing all kinds of loot going on in the country, crime will reduce. It must be a collective efforts. The increase in crime today is as a result of many Nigerians living in the land blessed by God but can’t afford a meal, suffering hunger, unemployment, poverty.
What role do you think past leaders like Gowon who is preaching peace and unity in the country and others can do to improve development?
There is need for them to advise present government on the right way to go since they were there and have had experience of leadership for the interest of the people and not their friends in government. They should offer and proffer solutions to help move the country forward. We should imbibe the spirit of forgiveness so that we can live together.
Creating jobs for our youths…
Asians, Europeans, third world countries recognise that artwork is something humans can produce with bare hands and it creates jobs. Artwork increases in value the longer it stays. Government should also encourage other hand works that can create jobs among our youths. We should not rely on education alone where there are few jobs in the country. Some people who are creating jobs in China and other places are not university graduates. We need more practical things to create jobs.
Oil Inches Higher But Rangebound as COVID-19 Cases Soar
Oil prices edged higher in rangebound trade on Monday on optimism about a rebound in the U.S. economy as vaccinations accelerate, but rising COVID-19 cases in other parts of the world kept a lid on prices.
The prices have remained rangebound in the last three weeks, with Brent between $60 and $65 per barrel and WTI at $57 to $62.
“Oil prices are entering a consolidation phase after swinging wildly last month,” Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM.
“While there are still plenty of reasons to be bullish, market players have become more cautious as infections have surged in Europe, India and some emerging markets, while vaccine rollouts have proved slower than anticipated,” he added.
India now accounts for one in every six daily infections worldwide, and other parts of Asia are seeing infection rates rise.
Asian oil demand remained weak and some buyers asked for lower volumes in May partly because of refinery maintenance and higher prices.
The United States has fully vaccinated more than 70 million people but U.S. gasoline demand has not picked up as much as expected.
The U.S. economy is at an “inflection point” amid expectations that growth and hiring will accelerate in the months ahead, but faces the risk of reopening too quickly and sparking a resurgence in coronavirus cases, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said in an interview broadcast on Sunday.
“There really are risks out there. And the principal one just is that we will reopen too quickly, people will too quickly return to their old practices, and we’ll see another spike in cases,” Powell said in a CBS interview, recorded on Wednesday.
On the production side, no new oil drilling rigs were started in the United States in the most recent week, a report published by Baker Hughes showed.
Equatorial Guinea to Launch Vision on Post-COVID Energy Transition Plans with Report and Film
The Africa Energy Series (AES): Equatorial Guinea 2021 campaign – comprising a report and a documentary – will serve as a critical tool to navigate the energy investment landscape in one of Africa’s more mature petroleum producing markets; Equatorial Guinea has largely been able to sustain its pace of engagement with global investors in the face of COVID-19, forecasting $1.1 billion in FDI in oil and gas activities in 2021; The third edition of the AES: Equatorial Guinea 2021 report will be released at Africa Oil & Power’s U.S. Africa Energy Forum 2021 networking event in Washington, D.C. this July.
Africa Oil & Power is proud to announce the upcoming launch of its Africa Energy Series (AES): Equatorial Guinea 2021 investment report and documentary, as part of a multimedia campaign set to champion the domestic energy sector and shape the West and Central African energy narrative.
The dual-language publication will target key developments driving a post-COVID-19 recovery in Equatorial Guinea – namely, the growth of petroleum and power industries; regional gas monetization initiatives; a clean energy transition; the impact of environmental, social and governance criteria; and expansion of the national diversification agenda.
A 30-minute documentary will provide a visual complement to the publication, featuring first-hand interviews with government officials, private sector players, industry regulators and energy experts discussing Equatorial Guinea’s unparalleled ambition and future plans.
“From spearheading regional gas monetization initiatives to drilling new exploration wells as early as Q2 2021, Equatorial Guinea continues to cement its reputation as a progressive, dynamic force on the African energy stage,” said H.E. Gabriel Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons. “The Africa Energy Series publication in conjunction with a detailed documentary format, gives us the voice to showcase the depth of our full-stream investment opportunities to a global audience.”
Since the onset of COVID-19, Equatorial Guinea has been proactive in safeguarding opportunities for foreign investors and continuing to drive capital into its hydrocarbon resources. In February, Chevron achieved first gas flow from the successful execution of its Alen Gas Monetization project, a $475-million investment representing the first phase of Equatorial Guinea’s Gas Mega Hub masterplan.
The Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons is currently promoting several capital-intensive projects – including the construction of modular oil refineries, a gold refinery, liquefied petroleum gas strategic tanks, a urea plant and the expansion of a compressed natural gas project – which are open for investment. Last December, the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons announced a forecast of $1.1 billion in foreign direct investment in oil and gas activities in 2021.
Active in Equatorial Guinea since 2015, AOP released its first AES documentary on the country in 2016, followed by investment reports in 2018 and 2019.
The AES: Equatorial Guinea 2021 investment report will be launched at the U.S. Africa Energy Forum 2021 online seminar and in-person networking event in Washington, DC. (July 12). The documentary will be launched at the U.S. Africa Energy Forum conference in Houston (October 4-5) and broadcast globally on news networks.
U.S. Africa Energy Forum 2021 Launches: Promotes U.S. Role as Primary Investor in African Energy
The U.S. Africa Energy Forum 2021 – organized by Africa Oil & Power, in partnership with the African Energy Chamber’s U.S.-Africa Committee – will foster alignment between U.S. and African governments’ energy policies and highlight African oil, gas, power and renewable projects across the energy value chain for U.S. investors; the multi-day forum unites U.S. and African policymakers, energy executives and industry leaders to create new linkages and foster discussions that drive long-term policy formation and project execution; the in-person, two-day summit and gala dinner will be hosted in Houston, Texas (October 4-5, 2021) and an online seminar and in-person networking event will be held in Washington D.C. (July 12).
Africa Oil & Power (AOP) and the African Energy Chamber are excited to announce the launch of the first-ever U.S. Africa Energy Forum (USAEF). This event aims to create deeper cooperation between the U.S. and Africa on energy policy, to reach alignment on long term sustainability goals, to stimulate greater American investment in the African oil, gas and power sectors, and to engage and reposition the U.S. as the primary partner of choice for African energy developments.
Under the theme “New Horizons for U.S. Africa Energy Investment” the forum will explore diverse foreign investment and export opportunities across the continent, including natural gas as a vital fuel for the energy transition; energy storage and battery minerals; Africa’s place in global energy supply chains; the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area; evolving energy technologies and how they relate to the future role of petroleum resources; and on-and off-grid power developments.
An online seminar and in-person networking event will be held in Washington D.C. on July 12, 2021, building up to the in-person U.S. Africa Energy Forum summit and gala dinner, to be hosted in Houston, Texas, on October 4-5, 2021. Africa Oil & Power and the African Energy Chamber invite all U.S.-based companies with an interest in engaging with African industry leaders and project developers to participate in the USAEF Houston summit.
This initiative comes at an important juncture in U.S.-Africa relations. The Biden Administration’s announcements of its intentions to proactively build a stronger U.S.-Africa partnership coincides with the fact that African projects are seeing rising interest from U.S. companies and lending institutions alike. The USAEF event is thus dedicated to enabling dialogue between its participants that advances these developments.
“Our mission has always been to showcase the resource potential that Africa has to offer while at the same time showing its growing preference for sustainable energy policies and technologies. Toward that end, we hope it becomes evident that Africa does not just want investment capital: it wants smart capital and an accompanying partnership with the investors,” says James Chester, Senior Director of Africa Oil & Power. “The U.S. Africa Energy Forum represents the first-of-its-kind opportunity to catalyze U.S. participation in Africa’s energy transformation – via technology, policy support, capital injection and skills development – and turns a new page in the chapter on global energy investment.”
In partnership with the African Energy Chamber’s U.S.-Africa Committee, AOP will introduce American companies to African opportunities and advance an agenda of sustainable, long-term investment in African energy and other sectors by U.S. organizations.
“The rise in support from the U.S. to the continent is a credit to Africa itself, which is increasingly viewed as a favored destination for global investors, multilaterals and export credit agencies,” says Jude Kearney, President of Kearney Africa and former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Service Industries and Finance at the U.S. Department of Commerce during the Clinton Administration. “Africa continues to command a healthy share of global FDI in oil and gas industries. It has for decades shown that investment in those sectors is favorable compared to other jurisdictions and can be successful by many measures. Even as Africa and the rest of the world wrestles with a global pandemic, Africa’s energy sector shows vitality and resiliency – not only in hydrocarbons but in regard to new opportunities in mining, liquefied natural gas, and agriculture.”
Both African governments and private sector sponsors of African energy projects value highly the combination of investment and partnership that US investors famously convey. The USAEF seeks to enable successful partnerships between its participants such that the energy development goals of U.S. investors and strategic partners and their African counterparts can be achieved.
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