Junkanoo festival opportunity for cultural exchange, learning for leaders from Africa, Caribbean, others – Ihonre

The Nigeria Country Representative of World Junkanoo Festival for Tourism and Culture (WJFTC)/ World Carnival Commission (WCC), Prince Felix Ihonre, has said that the upcoming Junkanoo festival will unite leaders in culture and tourism from Africa, the Caribbean, and the Afro-diaspora worldwide, providing a unique opportunity for cultural exchange, learning, and celebration.

Ihonre while briefing newsmen on Monday in Abuja, said the festival which is slated to hold on July 4th to 8th, 2024 in Canada will also provide an excellent opportunity for Nigeria to showcase her rich cultural heritage and tourism potential to a global audience through various expressions, including music, dance, choreography, masquerade exhibitions, art, fashion, and more.

According to him, as we mark a significant milestone of over 400 years, we recognize the importance of sharing our cultural heritage and traditions with the next generation, particularly Africans in the diaspora.

He said it is noteworthy that since the inception of the Tinubu administration in Nigeria, various sectors have received significant support and also experienced remarkable growth including Sport Tourism, Ecotourism, Medical Tourism and Cultural Entertainment.

According to him, this support has been consistent across all levels of government, from local to national and has resulted in a substantial positive impact on these industries.

“By celebrating our cultural diversities and sharing our history through the vibrant lens of Junkanno, we can promote heritage tourism and ensure that our legacy continues to inspire future generations, both born and yet to be born.

“The past holds the key to unblocking a brighter future, and through this festival, we honour our ancestors while shaping a lasting legacy for generations to come.

” This effort has been reinforced by the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu , in collaboration with Federal, State, and local governments, as well as traditional institutions, such as the Palaces of the Sultan of Sokoto, Ooni of Ife, Oba of Benin, Obong of Calabar, the Supreme Traditional Rulers Council of Akwalbom State, and Palace of King Ateke Tom in Okirika, Rivers State, among others.

“This support has been consistent across all levels of government, from local to national and has resulted in a substantial positive impact on these industries,” he said.

“And there is intensification of activities to make sure that culture thrives but I will tell you that one thing that culture and tourism activities cannot thrive in the mix of terrorism.

“They cannot thrive in the mix of violence atmosphere, they cannot thrive in the mix of hunger and poverty that is why today we are happy to say that this present administration has really come up to say we want to fight terrorism and kidnapping. We want to fight every thing that serves as detriment to our cultural heritage.

“Tell me what is the first aspect of our cultural heritage is agriculture and farming. Food security becomes a problem in the country today because there is violence every where.

“We are calling on our northern brothers that violence situation in the north should be put to an end because they have capacity to do it. When they work with this present administration, peace will reign and we will have more foods,” he said.